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20 Best Things to Do in Minnesota




If you’re born and raised in the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes,’ you’ve probably been to most nature spots already. But don’t fret – the place is still filled with tourist-friendly destinations, great food, and awesome adventures! Here are the 20 best things to do in Minnesota.

1. Check out the Best Marine Artworks in the Midwest

Minnesota Marine Art Museum
Source: Minnesota Marine Art Museum | Wikipedia/McGhiever

Visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and be amazed at all the wonders. Be in awe of the great art of talented artists inspired by water! The most significant artworks include Monet’s and Picasso’s, but it doesn’t fall short of other masterpieces for everyone!

Current Exhibitions:

    November 3, 2019 – February 27, 2020
    August 23 – January 5, 2020
    September 5, 2019 – January 19, 2020

2. Explore the Most Magnificent Lakes

Lake Harriet Loch Ness
Source: Loch Ness Monster in Lake Harriet circa 2012 | Flickr/Michael Hicks

The state is known to be the Land of 10,000 lakes although the actual count of their majestic waters stands at 11,842. Make each day count by exploring the best of the best! Because if it’s not clear already – chilling by the lake is one of the best things to do in Minnesota.

Popular Lakes:

  • Lake Vermilion, Saint Louis County
  • Lake Harriet, Minneapolis
  • Rainy Lake, Koochiching County
  • Gull Lake, Cass & Crow Wing Counties
  • Lake Pepin, Goodhue & Wabasha County
  • Lake Superior

3. Attend a Memorial Day Ceremony at Brainerd

Brainerd Memorial Day
Source: Veteran giving his salute during the Brainerd Memorial Day | Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

Memorial day events are commonly planned in the Brainerd area. Brainerd Memorial Day ceremonies begin early in the morning for the tossing of wreaths into the Mississippi River. After that, there will be a prayer and firing of a rifle salute and taps. Anticipate a parade, short performance, as well as a free lunch soon after.

4. Watch a Performance at Guthrie Theatre

Guthrie Theatre
Source: Guthrie Theatre

Experience the magic of the theater at Guthrie Theatre, which serves as a home for performing arts enthusiasts’ performance, education, and professional training. The place may be small as compared with other theatres, but that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t observe the highest professional standards.

5. Spot Wintering Bald Eagles From Wabasha

Bald eagle near Wabasha
Source: Bald Eagle near Wabasha | Flickr/Michael Janke

One of the best things to do in Minnesota is to visit the best viewing spot for wintering bald eagles. Use binoculars for a more unforgettable viewing experience!

Tip: Camp Lacupolis and Read’s Landing also have a high eagle activity at certain times.

6. Watch a Football Game or Attend Events at U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium
Source: U.S. Bank Stadium | Minnesota Vikings

Get hyped up with the NFL crowd as you cheer for the Minnesota Vikings! Or if there are no games, try attending other activities and events!

The events slated for the first half of 2020 are:

  • U.S. Bank Stadium’s Winter Warm-Up Inline Skating and Indoor Running (Jan. 8 to Feb. 10)
  • Minneapolis Home + Remodeling Show (Jan. 24 to 26)
  • Monster Jam (Feb. 15)
  • 2020 DI Men’s Wrestling Championship (Mar. 19 to 21)
  • Kenny Chesney’s Chillaxification Tour 2020 (May 2)
  • Motley Crue + Def Leppard 2020 Tour (June 27)

7. Experience the Best in Arts and Entertainment at Sheldon Theatre

Sheldon Theatre for the Performing Arts
Source: Sheldon Theatre | Sousaband

Are you looking for a premier performing arts venue? Look no further. Since the theatre’s opening in 1904, the Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts has warmly welcomed about 30,000 people every year. It has played host to both local performers and international artists – plus, we bet you’d love the small town hospitality partnered with a breathtaking environment!

8. Have a Good Time at Turf Club, St. Paul

Protomartyr at the Turf Club, St. Paul
Source: Protomartyr at the Turf Club, St. Paul | Darin Kamnetz

How do good music, good food, and a good crowd sound to you? According to most guests, the place is intimate yet cool. It must be because the place has “fun” written all over it (it used to be a dance hall in the 1940s). You’re sure to enjoy the decor, bands, and the cool lounge.

9. Skii down Lutsen Mountain

Lutsen Mountain Skii
Source: Skiing down Lutsen Mountain | Lutsen

Get the true mountain ski experience with four interconnected peaks overlooking the magnificent Lake Superior.

10. Enjoy a Canoe Trip at the Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters
Source: Boundary Waters | Erik Fremstad

Start packing for an enjoyable canoe trip at the Boundary Waters! All you need to bring is your clothing and important items.

Note: Pack light because everything will be portaged.

11. Have Fun With Your Family at the Mall of America

Mall of America
Source: Mall of America | Explore Minnesota

This is not your ordinary mall. No, this is the Mall of America. Here, you’ll find more than 500 stores, 60 restaurants, an indoor theme park, comedy club, mini-golf, SEA Life Aquarium and more!

12. Bike Around Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park
Source: Itasca State Park | Wander the Map

This well-loved Minnesota state park is still the place of choice of many families despite being old.

13. Try Gondola Romantica at Stillwater

Gondola Romantica
Source: Romantic Cruise | Gondola Romantica

This beautiful setting calls for a gondola ride. You may not be in Venice, but the charm of Stillwater will give you the ultimate romantic experience! Gondola Romantica offers a daytime cruise and a moonlit evening cruise.

14. Create Summer Memories at the Spirit Mountain

Spirit Mountain
Source: Spirit Mountain Zip Line | Real Housewives of MN

No, the Spirit Mountain is not a haunted place. Visiting this, is in fact, one of the best things to do in Minnesota. If you’re here, go try the Alpine Coaster and the Zip Line!

15. Go for a North Shore Scenic Drive

North Shore Scenic Drive
Source: North Shore Scenic Drive | Explore Minnesota

The North Shore Scenic Drive will take you along Lake Superior, or the world’s largest freshwater lake. If you have time for a stopover, check out the cities of Duluth, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, and Two Harbors.

16. Be Inspired by the Cathedral of St. Paul

This Anglican cathedral will leave you in awe with its English baroque architecture and heavenly and spiritual aura. There are more than 200,000 visitors each year. It’s best if you join a guided tour.

17. See Wolves up Close at the International Wolf Center

International Wolf Center
Source: International Wolf Center | Twitter

If you want to visit a place that promotes a good cause, add the International Wolf Center to your list! It aims to aid the survival of wolf populations by imparting knowledge and teaching about the humans’ role in their future.

18. Check out the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Be inspired with artistic creations and achievements as you walk through the museum filled with over 90,000 artworks.

How cool, right?

19. Immerse Yourself in the Munsinger Clemens Gardens

Munsinger Clemens Gardens
Source: Munsinger Clemens Gardens | Flickr/Thomas Parsons

Delight yourself in the natural beauty of this botanical garden in your next Minnesota trip! If you think you’d be bored walking around places like these, you’re definitely up for a big surprise!

20. Play in a World Class Golf Course at Giants Ridge

Giant's Ridge Golf Course
Source: Legend Golf Course | TripAdvisor

The top-rated family vacation destination is also one of the best golf resorts in the Midwest! The Giants Ridge is the perfect place to share memories with those you love. You can’t find highly ranked golf courses of this caliber anywhere else!

The only question now is, which activity would you like to try first?

A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Errot with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring.

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