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Minnesota Getaways
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A Lay of the Land

The Mighty Mississippi begins in a small spring-fed lake in Itasca State Park and winds its 1,126-kilometer path through Minnesota before flowing south to the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can walk a stone path across the source of the Mississippi to ensure a long and happy life, according to legend. The 240-kilometer Highway 61 along Lake Superior’s coast, an All-American Road, offers state parks, scenic overlooks, waterfalls and the Split Rock Lighthouse, whether you’re traveling by auto, bicycle or motorcycle, or hiking the North Shore scenic trail. Visit harbor town Duluth, a lively, welcoming place hopping with breweries and a vibrant lakefront scene.

 

Monumental Outdoors

Two national monuments – Grand Portage on Minnesota’s northeastern tip and Pipestone National Monument in its southwestern corner – preserve the state’s rich American Indian and fur-trapping heritage. Twenty-six state historic sites document the growth of Minnesota, including the boyhood home of aviator Charles Lindbergh, the estate of the Mayo brothers (of Mayo Clinic fame) and the original Main Street of author Sinclair Lewis. Outdoor recreation opportunities include Voyageurs National Park, the only water-based national park in the country, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a region with 1,300 lakes. Additionally, 76 state parks, 58 state forests and two national forests provide camping, hiking, biking and scenic driving experiences for visitors of all ages and skills.

 

Midwestern Metropolis

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Mall of America, the largest enclosed shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S., offers plenty of excitement for all ages, with 520 stores, 50 restaurants, 14 movie theaters, SEALIFE Aquarium, Nickelodeon Universe Amusement Park, free live concerts and events, attractions and salons (and there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota). Scores of theaters, museums and galleries define the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area as an influential arts haven. The music scene is legendary, launching such native superstars as Bob Dylan and Prince, artists whose stomping grounds you can still see today. The Walker Art Center is one of the nation’s top modern art institutes, and the Weisman Art Center, designed by Frank Gehry, sparkles on the University of Minnesota’s Mississippi riverfront campus.

Minnesota Getaways
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Fun Fact

Dressed as elves for the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
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The world’s largest hockey stick and puck are located in downtown Eveleth, which is often called the capital of American hockey and is home to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Northwest Angle
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Due to a topographer’s error, the Northwest Angle is separated from the rest of the state and can only be accessed by water or through Canadian customs by land.

So many kilometers of hiking trails, so little time
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There are more “Rails to Trails” – former railroad routes that have been converted into bicycling and walking paths – paved in Minnesota than any other state in the U.S.

Must see places

Exterior of Mall of America

Mall of America

With more than 500 stores, an indoor amusement park featuring upwards of 20 rides, attractions like Flyover America and the Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium, as well as two attached hotels and dozens of restaurants, this mall is unlike any you’ve ever experienced.

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Itasca State Park

Minnesota’s oldest state park, near Bemidji, has another claim to fame: The headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River are located here. Boat, paddle or swim the river or hike through the old-growth pines, where you’ll find an Indian cemetery and Wegmann’s Cabin to explore. Drive the Lake County Scenic Byway to catch everything you missed on the hike.

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Brainerd’s Grand View Lodge Resort

Brainerd Lakes

This outdoor paradise offers spectacular resorts with championship golf, spas, year-round activities like fishing, boating, water-skiing, snowmobiling and sledding as well as excellent on-site restaurants.

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A winter sunrise over Lake Superior at Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Four lakes dominate Voyageurs, making it a true water playground. Take a naturalist-led sunset or wildlife cruise, or rent your own boat. On land, fish the walleye-filled waters or go berry picking.

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Up close and personal at the National Eagle Center

National Eagle Center

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the iconic bird is covered here. Go on an eagle viewing trip in the wild, catch a live eagle program, sit inside an eagle’s nest or engage with any number of interactive exhibits.

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International Wolf Center

See the center’s Exhibit Pack up close and personal, and then listen to a naturalist-guided program as what you just observed is explained to you. The Wolves and Humans exhibit here is 557 square meters of interactive fun and learning, with video games, art and displays that tell the story of wolves.

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Inside Prince’s iconic Paisley Park home

Prince’s Paisley Park

The legendary artist’s Chanhassen estate in Minneapolis offers two tours that will take you deep inside the icon’s daily life. See the Prince archives, which include hundreds of artifacts and awards, and even take a peek at his wardrobe. Upgrade to the VIP tour to go even further into the home, and make sure to stay long enough to see the house at night, when lights turn it lavender.

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North American Bear Center

Get to know the bear in a whole new way at this center in Ely, where you’ll find full-scale bear mounts you can examine from all angles, and then real ones you can observe in the backyard from a safe distance. Programs, events and tons of exhibits (including audio of bear sounds) await those interested in knowing more.

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Many-veiled Winniwissa Falls in Pipestone National Monument

Pipestone National Monument

The slabs and stones of red rock found in this now-protected tallgrass prairie were quarried by the Plains tribes and made into ceremonial pipes. Take the interpretive trail through the quarry area and end at Winnewissa Falls, learning about the area’s rich American Indian heritage and landscape.

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Fort Snelling

The state’s history comes alive at this early 19th century fort set right where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers meet, a site long held sacred by the area’s Native American tribes. Tours, reenactments and history players teach visitors about the fort’s fur trade history and its military past.

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Explore more

Bird's-eye view of Portland and beyond
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Destination

Portland

Snow-capped mountains behind the downtown Boise skyline
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Destination

Boise