Minnesota Regions 
The Seven States of Minnesota 

Tourist Attractions in 7 Unique Travel Destinations

Search the Minnesota Visitor Website

Minnesota Regions

The seven Minnesota regions are sometimes called the "7 States of Minnesota." Discover the diverse geography and attractions offered by each unique region in Minnesota. 

Every region offers you a different Minnesota vacation experience. 

The most commonly defined regions are the Twin Cities, the St. Croix River Valley, the Arrowhead, the Central Lakes area, the Red River Valley, Prairie land, and Bluff Country.

Find the best deal with HotelsCombined.com

Twin Cities Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions

The Minnesota Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are often referred to as simply "The Cities" by residents of the state. However, the two cities are quite distinct from each other. As you might guess, this area is the most visited of our Minnesota regions.

We have lived for more than 30 years in the capitol city of Saint Paul.  This wonderful city is known for its culture, its well preserved late-Victorian architecture, the beautiful mansions along Summit Avenue, and its early Irish and German Catholic roots.  

Mark Twain visited St. Paul in 1882 on his trip up the Mississippi. He said:

"Saint Paul is a wonderful town. It is put together in wonderful blocks of honest brick and stone, and has the air of intending to stay."  ~ Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Minneapolis with its broad boulevards, easily navigable grid layout, and modern downtown architecture, remains more connected to its Scandinavian/Lutheran heritage. My grandfather, on my father's side, was a Minneapolis police sergeant in the 1930's and 40's. My grandmother worked for the Burma Shave company when it was uncommon for women to work full time outside the home.

Some of the finest hotels in the state are found in the Twin Cities. 

Minnesota's art and culture is well represented in these cities by a wealth of museums including the Minnesota History Museum and the amazing Science Museum of Minnesota.

Both cities have a wealth of water: the Mississippi River, many lakes and, as well, creeks and waterfalls all lie within their borders. Many of these are connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway -  two of the best road trips anywhere. All of this provides for wonderful outdoor activities without leaving the urban area. 

Central Lakes Minnesota Tourist Attractions

The Central Lakes Minnesota region is less than a two hour drive from the Twin Cities. This region is truly Minnesota's playground. Visit these Central Lakes Minnesota Region Towns:

Regions of Minnesota

Arrowhead Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions

The Arrowhead Minnesota region, so called because of its pointed shape, is located in the northeastern part of the state. The Arrowhead Region is quite rugged and dotted with hundreds of lakes and borders the Lake Superior North Shore.

Minnesota visitors will want to explore:

Cities in the Arrowhead include:

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.

Minnesota hotels in every area are ready to host your special Minnesota getaway.

Red River Valley Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions

The Red River Valley is named for the Red River of the north which flows up to Canada along the western border of Minnesota. On the edge of the great plains, the Red River Valley was once swathed in tall prairie grass as far as the eye could see.

This may be the least visited of Minnesota regions. Here is why you should not miss it. 

Moorhead adds a touch of big-city life to the Red River Valley. It is home to two colleges, a symphony orchestra, opera company, community theater and an art museum. Especially interesting is the Hjemkomst Heritage Center, home of a replica Viking ship built by a local teacher and sailed from Duluth to Norway. This is a rich agricultural region, however the hills and valleys also include wonderful recreational areas. You will enjoy visiting:

  • East Grand Forks offers great fishing and is noted for its catfish - 15-20 pound fish are not uncommon.
  • Thief River Falls is the center of action amid a network of hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails. The machines are even manufactured here and Arctic Cat offers tours of its plant. There's also a system of Riverwalk paths linking five parks and a "pioneer village" of shops and log houses built by early settlers of the area.

Outdoor activities abound in all of these areas, including wildlife and bird watching, fishing, river tubing, and snowmobiling. Catch a glimpse of a moose in the wild, as well as beaver, deer and a wide variety of birds.

Prairieland Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions - Prairieland

In a state known for thousands of lakes, countless miles of streams and rivers, and thousands of acres of wetlands, this Minnesota region presents to travelers a very unique landscape. Resembling the great open spaces of the Dakotas more than the forested hills of eastern Minnesota, it doesn't seem as if Prairieland belongs to the state. What you will see when you visit Minnesota's prairieland:

  • Prairieland covers southwestern and west-central Minnesota and contains the headwaters of the Minnesota River and some of the most intensively farmed land in the state.
  • Blue Mounds State Park  located in the Southern Prairie region in the southwestern corner of the state near Luverne and Pipestone.
  • Lac Qui Parle State Park      
  • Minneopa State Park
  • Pipestone National Monument - Watch artists craft traditional pipes from the pipestone found only in this area.
  • Panoramic views of fields of row crops stretching to all four horizons. Broken only by the occasional farm with its silos or island of trees, this vast landscape exists in an area where nature can be both cruel and kind.
  • Dozens of species of prairie grasses and wild flowers.
  • Minnesota Wildlife in abundance.

Some towns within the prairieland include: Montevideo, Mankato and Luverne.

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

St. Croix River Valley Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions

Nestled between Minnesota and Wisconsin in a picturesque valley, the St. Croix River flows between bluffs of limestone and sandstone, beginning as a narrow gorge with steep vertical walls, then slowing and widening into the scenic Lake St. Some of the attractions that draw Minnesota visitors year-round to the St. Croix Valley:

Bluff Country Minnesota Tourist Attractions

Minnesota Regions Bluff Country

In the southeastern Minnesota region corner, visitors will find a landscape not found anywhere else in the state.

Along the Mississippi River, limestone bluffs tower above the valley floor, looking like sentinels. Much of this land resembles parts of the Appalachians or Ozarks, and it has a more southern climate than any other area in Minnesota.

The western edge of Bluffland is flat to mildly rolling farm country, and as you drive east to the Mississippi River, the landscape becomes much more rugged and dramatic. This is a landscape of rolling plains and spectacular valleys.

Rochester is a logical starting point if you want to do a tour of this region. 

Some highlights of a visit to this part of Minnesota should include:

Cities in Each Minnesota Region

Our Cities in Minnesota Page will give you great ideas about what you can see and do in the large cities and small towns all across our Minnesota regions.

The Seven States of Minnesota

There is no better exploration of these unique regions of Minnesota than the book The Seven States of Minnesota: Driving Tours Through the History, Geology, Culture and Natural Glory of the North Star State

Minnesota Vacation Spots

Minnesota Attractions at TripAdvisor

Become A Fan of Minnesota on Facebook!

Minnesota Vacations

Advertise on the Visit Minnesota Website

Book Your Minnesota Vacation

Best Prices on Minnesota Hotels at Hotels.Com

Minnesota Vacation Rentals

Shop the Largest Collection of Bed and Breakfast Inns at BedandBreakfast.com

Budget Minnesota Vacation Packages

Check out US Travelers' most wanted destinations!

ACT NOW! Save Up To 70%! For A Limited Time Only At AirportParkingReservations.com!

Ticket Liquidator: Minnesota Events Tickets and Venues Get deeply discounted tickets on top Minnesota sporting events, concerts, and shows. Timberwolves, Golden Gophers, Top Concerts ....More. Continuously Updated with current ticket offers.

Find cheap country music tickets

Minnesota Vacation Rentals by VRBO - Choose a vacation rental in a specific area or get ideas about some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations before you decide. Take a look at some of these fantastic properties and locations for your group of any size.

Lodging in Minnesota - Hotels - Resorts - Bed & Breakfast Inns - Vacation Rentals

Ticket Liquidator: Minnesota Events Tickets and Venues Get deeply discounted tickets on top Minnesota sporting events, concerts, and shows. Timberwolves, Golden Gophers, Top Concerts ....More. Continuously Updated with current ticket offers.

Minnesota Entertainment: Discount tickets to sporting events, concerts and shows. Save up to 50%.

Top Things to Do in Minnesota Every area of Minnesota has unique attractions and activities. This is the best interactive list of the fun to be found everywhere in the state.

Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

Made in Minnesota

Minnesota Gifts & Souvenirs

Minnesota Visitor Site Map

About Me

Contact Us

Minnesota Visitor Home Page

Judith Ramsey - Publisher
Copyright © 2005 ~ 2016
All Rights Reserved

Amazon Associates Disclosure
 - Judith Ramsey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Thank you for supporting this site so I can continue to bring you Visit Minnesota.

Advertise On Visit Minnesota

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Minnesota Explorer.

Minnesota Vacation Rentals by VRBO - Choose a vacation rental in a specific area or get ideas about some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations before you decide. Take a look at some of these fantastic properties and locations for your group of any size.

Recent Articles

  1. Visit a Lake Superior Lighthouse

    Aug 16, 17 10:19 AM

    The most famous Lake Superior lighthouse is the Split Rock lighthouse. Visit it and other Lake Superior lighthouses.

    Read More

  2. 10 Best Vacation Spots in Minnesota - Vacation Travel Guides

    Aug 09, 17 08:16 AM

    Visit the 10 best vacation spots in Minnesota. These vacation travel guides showcase the top ten Minnesota tourist attractions across every region of the state.

    Read More

  3. Your Adventure Kayak - Sea Kayak Adventures

    Aug 08, 17 09:40 PM

    Paddle your adventure kayak on Minnesota's exciting lakes and rivers. Explore inland sea kayak adventures on amazing Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters.

    Read More

Minnesota State Parks E-book for Kindle:
Minnesota Events Ticket Sales

TicketLiquidator Logo

Minnesota Vacation Rentals