Journey to the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes to experience trendy, artistic cities and state parks that promise wilderness adventures and thrilling wildlife.
Minnesota deserves its nickname as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Find your own watering spot to fish, sail, kayak, canoe, waterski, swim and sunbathe. This is the perfect place to relax and learn the fine art of fly-fishing. Travel to Lake Itasca State Park near Bemidji to see and step across the very start of the Mississippi River.
Away from the state’s waterways, enjoy summer and winter sports in quiet woodland areas. Hike through Superior National Forest, hunt for moose, try maneuvering on snowshoes or cross country ski on miles of trails. If you dare, dress warmly and bring a thermometer to the northern area of International Falls in winter, when the temperature can drop to minus 46 F (minus 43 C). Stay in a cozy winter cabin and enjoy local beer while you watch the television weatherman report the area’s frigid lows.
Moving south, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul straddle a much wider Mississippi River. Enjoy year-round access to cultural sites using miles of enclosed walkways connecting the skyscrapers of Minneapolis and protecting pedestrians from winter cold and summer heat. Explore renowned collections at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. For sporting culture, see the Minnesota Vikings play football, the Timberwolves play basketball or the Twins play baseball.
Stop at the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington for endless shopping and entertainment. The nearly 100-acre (40-hectare) complex is one of the most visited malls in the world, with over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and an indoor theme park and aquarium.
Far from the big-city bustle of Minneapolis is the northeastern city of Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior. Follow the North Shore All-American Scenic Drive for beautiful views of the massive lake. Stop to hike up small streams to waterfalls. Explore exhibits describing the state’s commercial boating history at Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and walk aboard the S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum.