Minnesota Tourist Attractions
Minnesota attractions, visited by thousands every year, may be the Minnesota tourist attractions you will want to explore as well.
Or you might want to get off the beaten path and discover little known attractions that most never see. The "all encompassing" attraction in Minnesota is the beautiful setting in which all of our other attractions are located.
The lovely, and plentiful, lakes, winding rivers, dense forests, prairieland, bluff country and rolling farmland offer a diverse experience for travelers. Read reviews about what others choose as their favorite Minnesota attractions.
Most of the inquiries we get are from people who say something like, “when I visit Minnesota what are the attractions I should not miss?” Our answer is that it depends on how many days you have to explore and what types of activity you enjoy.
Minnesota tourist attractions is an overview of what people come to our state to experience: the lakes, the forests and wilderness, and our tourist-friendly cities and towns.
Other pages on our site will take you to fun, wacky, and little known Minnesota tourist attractions
Some of us really love the Minnesota attractions that rarely get mentioned in the guidebooks. These "hidden gems" are often wonderful travel destinations as well as places to spot unusual Minnesota roadside attractions that are often missed by visitors to the state.
In the southeastern region of Minnesota you can visit an Amish community near Harmony, stay at a bed and breakfast inn in Lanesboro, the “Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota” and drive the Bluff Country Scenic Byway through the Root River Valley. Take an Amish Tour and shop at their roadside stands and markets. Be sure to make a stop at the Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe.
Following the Great River Road along the Mississippi River will bring you to several historic river towns. Winona, Wabasha and Red Wing. All offer great shopping, art and music venues, charming hotels and restaurants, and stunning views of the river from the bluffs above the towns. Don’t miss the historic downtown area of Winona, the Red Wing Pottery Museum and the Red Wing Shoe Museum in, of course, Red Wing as well as the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.
The Twin Cites Metro area of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is the primary Minnesota attraction for those who love the energy and action of the cities. Explore Minnesota arts and culture. Plan to
visit Minnesota museums including the Minnesota Science Museum, and Minnesota history museums. See A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater.
Explore the Mississippi Riverfront in both cities. Stop in at the Mississippi River Museum and take a cruise on a riverboat.
Drive down Summit Avenue in St. Paul to see the mansions that include the Governor’s mansion. Be sure to walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. Visit the living history museum at Fort Snelling State Park. Shop at the Mall of America. Visit at least one of our Minnesota Zoos.
If you visit the central Minnesota lakes area you might choose to spend time fishing, boating and just enjoying some of our famous lakes. Stay at one of our legendary resorts.
Many of our best golf courses are also in this area. Other stops could include the Oliver H. Kelly Farm, a working 1860’s farm near Elk River, the Munsinger and Clements Gardens in St. Cloud, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum on the edge of Mille Lacs Lake, and the Judy Garland Museum and the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids. Don’t miss Itasca State Park, the source of the Mississippi River.
The Arrowhead region of Minnesota is thought by many to be the “crown jewel” of Minnesota vacation destinations. Our inland port, Duluth, features the Aerial Lift Bridge, watching the ships come in at Canal Park, Vista Fleet Harbor Cruises, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Rose Garden in Leif Erikson Park. Travel twenty miles north to Two Harbors. If you can get a reservation, spend a night at the Lighthouse B&B.
From Duluth, travel up the Lake Superior North Shore on Highway 61. Make stops at Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse, Temperance River State Park, Judge C.R. Magney State Park, Grand Marais and Grand Portage National Monument near the Canadian border. Stop for lunch or tea at Naniboujou Lodge, brightly decorated in Cree Indian motif. If you plan a camping vacation in Minnesota, the state parks along the North Shore are an unforgettable choice.
For a Minnesota vacation of a lifetime, plan a trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Another way to enjoy the wilderness area of the state is to spend some time in our only National Park, Voyageurs National Park. Rent a houseboat on an area lake. Explore Ely,Minnesota and visit Bear Head Lake State Park. Don’t miss seeing the bears at Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary or the wolves at the International Wolf Center.
Click the link below for more ideas about what to see and do in Minnesota:
Minnesota Attractions Continued...
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