10 Things To Do In Minnesota For Everyone
Minnesota has gained popularity as the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ and has become the best destination for those who love nature. Its cities like Saint Paul and Minneapolis offer a variety of modern activities whereas wilderness areas and national parks take you away from all the hustle. Be it the picturesque Split Rock Lighthouse State Park or the bustling Mall of America, there are all types of things to do in Minnesota. This Minnesota travel guide will introduce you to some of the best and popular activities that will help you make the most of your vacation!
1. Witness the beauty of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is that postcard-perfect site where a lighthouse is perched on top of a steep 130-foot cliff. Apart from witnessing picturesque sites, this state park offers other activities in Minnesota as well. You can go hiking, bicycling, or cross-country skiing if you are interested in outdoor activities. And if you want to be in the heart of nature, opt for camping in the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
2. Enjoy skiing
When it comes to skiing in Minnesota, the whole state turns into a playground for ski and snowboarding enthusiasts. You can choose from sites like Lutsen Mountains, Buck Hill, Hyland Hills, Giants Ridge, Wild Mountain, and Welch Village depending on your skill level. Most of the resorts around the area offer year-round outdoor things to do in Minnesota, attracting thousands of adventure-enthusiasts.
3. Stop by the Cathedral of St. Paul
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Paul is perched on top of the hill and looks over downtown St. Paul since the 1840s. Its copper-clad dome dominates the city views and has twenty-four stained glass windows that add to its beauty. Be it for offering your prayers or understanding its history and architecture, visiting the Cathedral of St. Paul is one of the best things to do in Central Minnesota.
4. Explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The vast 1,090,000-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is heaven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The landscape made up of rolling hills, rugged cliffs, meandering canyons and dotted by numerous lakes will steal your heart with its serenity. And when it comes to things to do in Minnesota, you can choose from canoeing, camping, fishing, and hiking.
5. Go hiking or kayaking at Voyageurs National Park
Boasting to be a maze of interconnected water highways, Voyageurs National Park has 4 major lakes in the state. This beautiful landscape is popular amongst those who enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing, and boating. And when it comes to things to do in Minnesota in winter, the whole park welcomes you with cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, lake driving, ice fishing, snowshoe hiking, and winter camping.
6. Shop til you drop at the Mall of America
Mall of America, the largest mall in America, is one of the exciting places to visit in Minnesota. With over 520 stores on the premises, this is a paradise for shopaholics. Its 2 food courts and a separate level for entertainment are added benefits. And if you are interested in things to do in Minnesota with kids, then Mall of America offers two indoor amusement parks including Nickelodeon Universe.
7. Take a tour of Glensheen Mansion
A huge 39-room Glensheen Mansion is one of the historic points of interest in Minnesota. Built in the early 1900s and spread over 20,000 square feet, its striking Jacobean architectural style will leave you amazed. It is recommended to take a tour of the mansion where you will get to see original furnishings as well as explore the grounds to make the most of your time.
8. Take a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad
Taking a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad will let you soak in the impressive views and understand a little more about the history and heritage of Minnesota. It will take you on a 26-mile section of rail between Duluth and Two Harbors. You can opt for a regular train excursion or check other themed rides as well. While planning for fun things to do in Minnesota, keep in mind that this railroad has different schedules in each season.
9. Wander through the Mill Ruins Park
Mill Ruins Park is a site located in the heart of modern Minneapolis that takes you back in a bygone era. A place of historical importance, the ruins here represent the history of flour milling and have walking and biking paths around. You will also find several informative signs around the park, letting you take a self-guided tour. Considered among the interesting places to visit in Minnesota, Mill Ruins Park will take at least a couple of hours to explore.
10. Take your kids to the Minnesota Children's Museum
Visiting Minnesota Children's Museum is one of the best family-friendly things to do in Minnesota. The museum is proud of providing a fun and stimulating environment for kids where hands-on activities help them explore and discover interesting things. It is a perfect site for kids from 1 to 10 and can keep them engaged for at least 2-3 hours. They also have specially designed places like Rooftop ArtPark where nature and art come together.
Apart from the listed things to do in Minnesota, you can also add Minneapolis Institute of Art, Tettegouche State Park, Como Park Zoo, and Great Lakes Aquarium to your itinerary.