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What are the the best family vacation spots in Minnesota?

Best Family Vacation Spots

You really can only answer that question by finding the answers to a few more questions:

  • Do you want to "rough it," have luxurious accommodations, or something in between?
  • Will you want to visit top museums and educational attractions?
  • Does your family love outdoor adventure?
  • What is the best location in Minnesota for what your family most wants to experience?

Time with family is precious. You want to make the most of your vacation time together. Some of our grandkids are pictured here loving the simple pleasure of a paddle boat. The best family vacation spots for them are often our Minnesota lakes.

Minnesota Vacation Rentals can be a wonderful choice for a family vacation, family reunion or group getaway. Many of them are located on lakes in our top vacation destinations.

Family Vacation Resorts are all located alongside our beautiful lakes. Brainerd resorts are legendary.

If you are like us, you start your vacation planning by looking for vacation spots that offer fun and activities all of you can enjoy.

Summer is its own special season for families and we have some great ideas for your family summer vacations.

These are our picks for the top 10 family vacation spots in Minnesota. For each one we recommend a place to stay and the attractions and activities nearby that offer something for the whole family. This should get you started!

Travel With Tots - Lots of great tips for vacationing with the smallest family members.

Minnesota Family Fun in the City

Best Family Vacation Spots Twin Cities

If your family likes lots of action and activity, one of the best family vacation spots in Minnesota puts you in the metro area. Here's what we have in mind for you.

Settle in at the Best Western Plus hotel in Bloomington. It's right across the road from the Mall of America and provides shuttle service to the mall. Shopping is a given, of course, however there is so much more for the entire family here.

Nickelodeon Universe theme park is a blast; Lego Imagination Center will keep kids busy for hours; Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium is downstairs in the Mall and you can also play at the Water Park of America.

If you run out of things to do in Bloomington, you are just minutes away from the best Minneapolis Tourism attractions as well as exciting Saint Paul Minnesota vacations for families.

Best Family Vacation Spots

Best Family Vacation Spots on the North Shore

Minnesota Family Fun on Lake Superior's North Shore can be as relaxed as rock picking like our granddaughter and her dad are doing. Or you may want a full week of scheduled activity. Check out what we believe are the top 10 North Shore attractions.

Lutsen Resort is our top pick for a North Shore family vacation. Check out their family vacation package. Just some of the activities you'll enjoy: sea-kayaking, fly fishing, swimming pool/whirlpool/sauna, pitch and putt 9 hole golf course, guided hikes ,a game room, kid's pizza and movie nights and evening beach campfires. Winter vacations can include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and downhill skiing at nearby Lutsen Mountains.

Explore nearby Minnesota state parks, breathtaking waterfalls and some of the best scenery in Minnesota. One of our favorite family activities has always been hunting Lake Superior agates. There is a never ending list of things for a family to do on the Lake Superior North Shore.

Minnesota Family Fun in Duluth: Get a lakeside room at the Comfort Suites Canal Park. Enjoy views of Lake Superior and the historic Aerial Lift Bridge. In Canal Park you are within walking distance of the Lake Superior Marine Museum, Carnival Thrillz Family Entertainment Center and the Great Lakes Floating Maritime Museum, featuring the S.S. William A Irvin ore boat. A Vista Fleet Harbor Tour should be on your schedule. Your biggest thrill may be watching ships arrive into the harbor from around the world.

Spirit Mountain features the new Timber Twister ride that takes you into the trees for views of Lake Superior. We have more recommendations on our page about Duluth Minnesota vacations.

We often drive to Duluth to enjoy these best family vacation spots that hold so many memories for our famlily.

Minnesota Maps > available for every region of the state and for specific activities like fishing, hiking, biking and finding the best roadside attractions.

Best Family Vacation Spots

Family Vacation Ideas

Minnesota Family Fun at the Lake:

A stay at Madden's Resort on Gull Lake near Brainerd will bring your family to the heart of "Minnesota's playground." Just a bit of what you will enjoy: three sand beaches, five swimming pools that include whirlpools and saunas, the Gull Lake Waterpark, marina, golf, water-skiing lessons, tennis lessons, volleyball, an onsite naturalist and the Adventure Cove program for kids.

Check out more ideas for Brainerd Minnesota vacations.

Minnesota Family Fun Camping in All of Our Best Family Vacation Spots:

Your lodging recommendation is your family cabin dome tent. With 66 state parks and hundreds of private campgrounds in the state, it's a challenge to recommend just one...but we will. Our favorite camping destination has always been Temperance River State Park. A camping vacation takes you to the best family vacation spots for budget-friendly vacations and for outdoor vacations. Our Minnesota Camping page will give you lots of ideas about what to pack and even offers some easy camping recipes

Minnesota Family Fun Wilderness Adventure:

If you want to up the ante on a camping vacation, take the family on a vacation of a lifetime to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We suggest that this may not be a trip for very young children. A Boundary Waters Minnesota vacation can be outfitted and accessed from Ely Minnesota or out of Grand Marais Minnesota. This is hands down one of the best family vacation spots anywhere in the world.

You can have a similar wilderness experience without the restrictions of the BWCAW in Voyageurs National Park.

Minnesota Family Fun in Bluff Country:

Your "base camp" for this trip is Rochester, MN. We suggest the Econo Lodge for several reasons: it is reasonably priced, it's a wonderful hotel and it's outside the center of the city. You want to be away from the city's center because this vacation is all about day trips. Do be sure to take a tour of the world famous Mayo clinic while in Rochester. Then plan your days to see the amazing sights in the rest of this area:

Minnesota Family Fun in the Red River Valley:

We lived for many years in this beautiful area in Minnesota so may be just a tiny bit prejudiced. However many others agree that the rather small town of Detroit Lakes is one of the best family vacation spots in Minnesota. See if you think your family will enjoy Detroit Lakes Minnesota vacations.

The lakes are the attraction here...as they are in most of Minnesota. There are many other small towns nearby that each have their own unique attractions. You can also take a day trip to the the Fargo/Moorhead area just 40 miles away.

Minnesota Family Fun in Prairieland:

Southern Minnesota is just farm country...right? Not quite.

A visit to Blue Mounds State Park will introduce you to some of our state's original tall-grass prairie and a herd of buffalo. In the same region of Minnesota you can see the world's largest ball of twine (in Darwin) and the famous two-story outhouse (in Belle Plaine).


Above all else, this is where to visit to learn more about Minnesota's early inhabitants. Both Jeffer's Petroglyphs and Pipestone National Monument will allow you to explore Native American culture. The Sod House on the Prairie and Walnut Grove, setting for the Little House On The Prairie books should be on your tour.

Give your family several days to explore this region of Minnesota. Unless you want to camp in the state park, consider making Mankato your "base of operations." We like the Country Inn for lodging.

Staycations and Backyard Vacations

Best Family Vacation Spots Near Home

Minnesota Family Fun at...Home?

Yes, some of the best family vacation spots are those we so often overlook. These are the attractions that others travel to our town or area to experience and we always plan to see or do and never get around to it. Your lodging for this family vacation is...yes, your own home. And here are the guidelines for how to have a great vacation in your home town:

Wherever you are in Minnesota, you will find more ideas here for great Minnesota family fun.

We hope this page will help you decide on the best family vacation spots, and family destinations, for your family.



If You Like the Best Family Vacations Spots Page You May Also Like These:

Best Family Vacation Destinations

Top 10 Family Vacations

Cheap Family Vacations

Summer Activities For Kids

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