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Top 10 Places to Visit in Minnesota

Photograph Flickr by Michael Hicks, via Wikimedia Commons

#1 Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the largest city of Minnesota and known as the Twin Cities with its neighbor Saint Paul. The city lies on both banks of the Mississippi River. Minneapolis is known as one of the nation's best park city. Also popular for theater and performing arts, Minneapolis is home to the Guthrie Theater and the First Avenue nightclub. The Walker Art Center located in downtown is one of the largest art museums in the U.S. Places to visit and things to do include Minnehaha Regional Park known for 53 foot Minnehaha Falls, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and Weisman Art Museum.

North Shore Scenic Drive
Photograph by E tac, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 North Shore Scenic Drive

North Shore Scenic Drive also known as Highway 61 is a 154 miles scenic highway between Duluth and the Canadian border near Grand Portage. The route is known as scenic highway following North Shore of Lake Superior. It is a 5 hour round trip from Duluth to Grand Portage and passes through the Superior National Forest and the Grand Portage State Forest.

Itasca State Park
Photograph Flickr by Mark Evans, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park is known as the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Located in northern Minnesota, the park is popular for Lake Itasca scenic area. Itasca State Park is popular for wildflowers, bird watching and summer activities in Lake Itasca. Tourist also enjoy wading acroos the shallow 18-inch deep water to cross over from the east side to the west side, where a rock dam indicates the end of Lake Itasca and the beginning of this mighty river. Recreation activities within the park include floating on inner tubes, canoeing, boating, and kayaking.

Photograph by Joey1niner, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Duluth

Duluth is a port city located on the north shore of Lake Superior. Duluth is a popular Midwest tourist destination at the westernmost point of the Great Lakes known for North Shore of Lake Superior road trip starting point. Duluth is home to several local attractions including variety of art theaters and museums. Places to visit and things to do include Great Lakes Aquarium, Aerial Lift Bridge, Canal Park, Lake Superior Zoo, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Enger Tower, and North Shore Scenic Railroad.

Saint Paul
Photograph by Carl Clifford, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Saint Paul

Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota and known as the Twin Cities with its neighbor Minneapolis. The city is known for hosting world class concert and theater venues throughout year. St. Paul's Cathedral overlooking the downtown is a popular attraction known its distinctive copper-clad dome. The city has many historic landmark and attractions. Popular things to do and family attractions include Minnesota State Capitol, Cathedral of Saint Paul, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Minnehaha Falls, and Science Museum of Minnesota.

Voyageurs National Park
Photograph by National Park Service, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park is a maze of interconnected water highways. The park is only accessible by boat, kayak, and canoes. Voyageurs National Park encompasses four major lakes: Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake, Sand Point Lake, and many smaller lakes. Recreation activities include hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Winter activities on frozen lake include snowmobile and ski.

Mall of America
Photograph by Farragutful, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Mall of America

Mall of America (MOA) is a popular shopping mall and family fun attraction located in Bloomington. It is the seventh largest shopping mall in the world. Mall visitors include people from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Illinois, Ohio and Canada. The mall includes more than 530 stores along three levels. It also includes Nickelodeon Universe an indoor theme park in the center of the mall. The theme park features roller coasters, miniature golfing and family fun rides. Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium is another indoor attraction where visitors can travel through a 300-foot-long curved tunnel through 14 feet of water to view over 4,500 sea creatures including sharks, turtles, and stingrays.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
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#8 The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a large wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. It is popular for recreation activities hiking, canoeing, and fishing. The wilderness includes forests, rugged cliffs and crags, canyons, hills, towering rock formations, rocky shores, sandy beaches and number of lakes and streams. This unique area offers over 1200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails, and over 2000 designated campsites.

Pipestone National Monument
Photograph by Jonathunder, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Pipestone National Monument

Located in southwestern Minnesota, Pipestone National Monument is known for pipestone quarries. These grounds and quarries are sacred to many of the tribes because the pipestone quarried here is carved into pipes used for prayer. Things to do include walk along self-guided trail to view the pipestone quarries and a waterfall. The Circle Trail starts at the visitor center and it is about 3/4 mile long paved path. The visitor center includes exhibits about the history of the pipestone quarries. Snowshoeing around the Circle Trail is popular during winter.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Photograph by Jonathunder, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park located on the North Shore of Lake Superior is known for picturesque Split Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse is one of the most popular photographed lighthouses in the United States. The 2,200-acre state park offers many scenic trails and overlooks providing views of the lighthouse and Lake Superior. Recreation activities of the park include hiking, bicycling, and camping. Park is also popular for water recreation including boating, kayaking, and fishing.

Minnesota Places to Visit by Interest

  1. Minnesota Aquariums

Best State Parks to Visit in Minnesota