10 Best Vacation Spots
Explore Cities, Towns, Lakes, & Wilderness
Our picks for the 10 best vacation spots in Minnesota represent what we believe to be the best types of vacations in our state.
Included are the largest cities, charming small towns, beautiful lake and resort country, and stunning wilderness.
If you were to visit these top 10 vacation destinations you would have an eye-opening introduction to just how diverse the various regions of the state really are.
The North Shore of Lake Superior attracts the most visitors to Minnesota. Several of our top 10 spots are along this famous lake. Our photo of the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse evokes the majesty and historic significance of this area.
Minnesota cities are showcases of our history and culture and are where you find our largest museums, zoos, theme parks and shopping.
Charming small towns along the North Shore of Lake Superior are in the areas where you can enjoy some of our most beautiful scenery and outdoor activities.
Wilderness areas allow you to truly "get away from it all" and see parts of Minnesota that remain much the way they have been for generations.
Romantic travel destinations in beautiful river towns are where you will find many of our most beautiful bed & breakfast inns.
Hundreds of visitors offer their thoughts about these and other top vacation spots. Here are what they say are the Top Things to Do in Minnesota.
Saint Paul Minnesota vacations might include touring the Minnesota State Capitol and historic homes, taking a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River, and visiting some of the best museums in the state. Take in a concert or event at the Xcel, see A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald or a play at the Ordway. Best of St. Paul!
Minneapolis tourism attracts those who love the concert venues and nightlife of the city. It is also on our 10 best vacation spots list for its many art museums and extensive theater offerings. As "The City of Lakes" you will also enjoy the scenic beauty of our largest city. The Mississippi River runs through the city and offers many scenic vistas. Best of Minneapolis!
Duluth Minnesota vacations spots take you to the shores of the "greatest of the great lakes," Lake Superior. Watch ships from around the world arrive at our inland sea port. Stay in one of the beautiful hotels that overlooks the lake. Make Duluth your base for day trips up the shore to state parks and attractions or stay right in town and enjoy the city. Best of Duluth!
Grand Marais Minnesota vacations in one of the 10 best vacation spots in Minnesota take you to the start of the Gunflint Trail and the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness. This small town has a large arts community, beautiful lodging and is on the shore of Lake Superior. The areas outside town are among the most likely places in Minnesota to see a moose. Best of Grand Marais!
Ely Minnesota vacations can be the place to get outfitted for a trip into the BWCAW however Ely is a great vacation spot on its own. The Grand Ely Lodge is one of the state's best. See wildlife at the International Wolf Center and the North American Bear Center. One of the best spots in Minnesota to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). Best of Ely!
Brainerd Minnesota vacations place you in the center of the lakes area. Nearly 500 lakes, and all of the recreational opportunities that made Minnesota famous, places Brainerd on our 10 best vacations spots list. Beautiful resorts and lodges abound. Plan a fishing vacation, go water-skiing, boating, or just relax on the beach. Come in winter for ice fishing and other winter sports. Best of Brainerd!
Detroit Lakes Minnesota vacations almost always include time spent on the mile long city beach. You can come for the yearly WeFest country music extravaganza. This resort town is located in the Red River Valley area of Minnesota and close to our "cross border" sister cities of Moorhead, MN and Fargo, ND. Best of Detroit Lakes!
Red Wing vacations will take you to the most beautiful small city along the Mississippi River and is one of the 10 best vacation spots because it is one of the most romantic vacation spots in Minnesota. Plan a family getaway or a romantic vacation in this lovely historic town. Climb Barn Bluff, hike the Cannon River Trail, view eagles on a river boat ride and visit a local vineyard. Best of Red Wing!
Lanesboro Minnesota vacations take you to one of 10 best vacation spots and the "bed and breakfast capitol" of Minnesota. Enjoy southern Minnesota's beautiful bluff country and Root River Valley. The entire town of Lanesboro is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the location of one of the largest Amish communities in Minnesota. Best of Lanesboro!
Rochester Minnesota vacations should include tours of the amazing Mayo Clinic facilities. We include Rochester as one of our 10 best vacation spots because there is so much to explore on a Rochester vacation. Parks, the Nature Center, theater, music and golf are attractions. Rochester is a hub in southern Minnesota that connects you to many of the tourist attractions and vacations spots in surrounding areas. On your way to or from Rochester, don't miss Minnesota's only remaining historic covered bridge, the Zumbrota Covered Bridge. Best of Rochester!
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