Even as a native of Minneapolis (since removed to NYC), I know relatively little about the greater state of Minnesota. A scattered handful of camping trips to beautiful spots like Itasca State Park and semi-regular hops up to Duluth stand out as memories from my childhood and early adult life as being north of awesome. So, I leave it to our capable contributor to school me in the outdoorsy bits alongside some Twin City fun in my home state. – Jake
With dense forests and lakes, Minnesota is beautiful and mysterious in its own right. Bordering Canada and the largest of all the Great Lakes, Lake Superior – this state has loads of fun activities for the entire family to enjoy. With the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, the state of Minnesota is also known for its festivals and affordability. This means that not only is this a great place to raise a family financially but also in regards to security, with it’s relatively low crime rate. But for tourists, the opportunities are endless when it comes to what there is to experience, eat, and see. Famous national parks and crystal clear lakes make this an adventurer’s dream, while the largest mall in America, The Mall of America (where Jake once ran the cash office at Macy’s), provides a shopping experience like none other. That said, have a look down below at everything Minnesota has to offer to people who have never been.
What to do
Depending on your idea of fun, Minnesota has a wide variety of activities to choose from. Tourist Attractions like the Superior National Forest will provide an epic hiking experience. At the same time, St. Paul Cathedral will mesmerize any individual who sees it, giving a more spiritual note to your itinerary. The Mall of America, as mentioned above, boasts more than 500 shops, ensuring you will never experience a dull moment while visiting. The Minneapolis Museum of Art holds some of the most beautiful and most valuable pieces of art you’ll ever see, allowing you to get more in tune with your artistic side. Minnesota also hosts the International Wolf Centre, an educational and supportive center that encourages wolves’ survival livelihoods. This center provides educational tours on wolves and their natural habitats and interactive tours while observing the wolf pack that lives there.
At its core, comfort food is what Minnesota is all about. But do not be fooled, flavor is their game, and different cuisines are what they thrive on. From wild rice to seafood, even Scandinavian food is a hot topic in Minnesota. This is why, if you’re a big foodie, you should definitely visit this unique state sooner rather than later. There is also not a shortage of bars in this state, providing more than enough opportunities for you to pop in and enjoy some of their local beers and ciders.
Jake tip: We’re big fans of The Bad Waitress in Minneapolis for diner-like eats and Pizza Luce in Minneapolis/St. Paul or Duluth. Check out more recommendations for food and drink in one of our earlier podcasts.
Where to stay
Since loads of celebrities visit Minnesota each year because of its cities and luxurious locations, there is an abundance of options to choose from. If you like hotels that’ll give you a good soak, make sure you have a look at hotels in Minnesota with hot tubs – this will surely add another layer of luxury and relaxation to your stay. But, if you’re a family of four and would instead appreciate something a bit more homelike, there are also loads of self-catering accommodation options to choose from.
Jake Tip: The Graduate Hotel in Minneapolis wins for both location (near the University of Minnesota) and Minnesota kitch.
Besides the greenery and the massive mall, Minnesota is also known for having the most accommodating residents as well – always friendly and ready to lend a helping hand. So, next time you’re planning your family vacation, head on up to the beautiful state of Minnesota and experience a holiday like never before!