Best Adventure Travel Destinations

Minnesota Adventure Travel Guide

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Best Adventure Travel Destinations in Minnesota

Explore the best adventure travel destinations in Minnesota with adventure tour travel tips for the wild Boundary Waters wilderness, vast Lake Superior, stunning Voyageurs National Park, amazing Bluff Country, the Great River Road,  and the Gunflint Trail.

In addition, we share travel guides to all of Minnesota's beautiful state parks....each is a unique adventure destination.

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Best Adventure Travel Destinations - The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Boundary Waters Canoe Area WildernessAlmost everyone describes the BWCAW as "the trip of a lifetime." We agree, however you will want to return again and again to the beauty and solitude.

Canoeing is how you will navigate the Boundary Waters. Your first step in planning your adventure is to purchase a set of Boundary Waters maps.

Boundary Waters Planning Resources including detailed maps, guide books, and other resources are available online.


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Best Adventure Travel Destinations - The Great River Road

Great River Road:This amazing road trip begins at Itasca State Park just north of Park Rapids and extends all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Minnesota portion of the trip will take you through some of the the best adventure travel destinations in our state. Plan stops in Cass Lake and Bemidji. Explore Schoolcraft State Park. Signs will direct you through a number of smaller towns including Brainerd and St. Cloud. Plan for some time to visit Lindbergh State Park. 

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, you can visit Great River Road Interpretive Centers in each city.

As you cruise on toward the Iowa border, you will find yourself in "Bluff Country." Read more below.


Best Adventure Travel Destinations in Minnesota -  Bluff Country

Bluff Country: This is one of the seven distinct regions of Minnesota. Barn Bluff in Red Wing typifies the unusual landscapes you will see in this region. For wonderful views of the river from the bluffs, visit Frontenac State Park.

Lake City on the shores of Lake Pepin is a "must see" on the road south. 

Rochester is a natural "hub" for exploring the area. Other "not-to-be-missed" towns include romantic Lanesboro and nearby Harmony. Tour amazing Forestville Mystery Cave State Park.

Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha and the lovely river town of Winona. South of Winona is Great River Bluffs State Park.

Take a side trip to Austin and visit the amazing SPAM Museum. 

Explore the Great River Road established in 1938 as the national parkway of the Mississippi River. Its route traverses nearly 3,000 miles through 10 states. Read more about the Great River Road in Road Trip USA Great River Road

Best Adventure Travel Destinations in Minnesota - Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National ParkJust west of the Boundary Waters is this relatively undiscovered paradise...Minnesota's only National Park. The BWCAW restrictions on motorized watercraft are not in place here. Bring your motorized fishing boat, your pontoon, and motorized water toys. Rent a houseboat at Voyagaire Houseboats and Lodge.

While you are in the area, make a stop in tiny Cook Minnesota and plan a visit to Bear Head Lake State Park. 

Minnesota National Parks and Forests are a state treasure. Don't miss an opportunity to camp in our National Forest Campgrounds.


Best Adventure Travel Destinations in Minnesota - North Shore of Lake Superior

Lake Superior North Shore: many of the best adventure travel destinations in Minnesota are along the North Shore. Lake Superior draws visitors to Minnesota from all over the world.  Duluth is the starting point for most visits. The Lake Superior Circle Tour is a fantastic road trip. The Top 10 North Shore Attractions include some of our most beautiful state parks. A favorite activity is North Shore lighthouse tours.

Stop anywhere along the shore to hunt for agates.

Sea kayaking adventures on Lake Superior make the lake another of our best adventure travel destinations.

Winter is a beautiful time to visit the North Shore. The Lake Superior ice caves that form along the shore create a popular winter wonderland. Skiing is popular at Lutsen Mountains. 

Before you head up the North Shore, you may want to pick up a copy of Lake Superior: The Ultimate Guide to the Region


Best Adventure Travel Destinations in Minnesota - Gunflint Trail

The Gunflint Trail: is one of the best adventure travel destinations for getting off the beaten path and into the wilderness. This 57 mile drive out of Grand Marais winds through the Superior National Forest. This is one of the best Minnesota wildlife drives...and maybe your best chance to see a moose. The Gunflint Lodge is an iconic getaway resort. Visit the Chick-Wauk Museum, indulge in some Gunflint Trail fishing and hiking, and explore some history of the area.

The Gunflint Lodge has been run by the Kerfoot family since 1927.

Best Adventure Travel Destinations - Minnesota State Parks

Minnesota State Parks:The most famous of the 78 Minnesota State Parks and state recreation areas is Itasca State Park where you can visit the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Many of the best Minnesota campgrounds are found in our state parks and, as well, many RV Campgrounds.

Our love of Minnesota's state parks led to our publishing an ebook: Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay


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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay


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