Minnesota seasons offer more variey of climate and experience than almost any other place on earth. The changing seasons also offer more variety of experiences and activities than you can find in most travel destinations.
Come for Minnesota vacations in every season of the year.
Winter days sometimes warm to no more than -10 degrees F. Summer days can reach 100 degrees F. In between these extremes, however, are all of the delightful days and nights that make so many wonderful Minnesota memories.
It is a rare day that Minnesotans stay indoors because of the weather. A wide variety of activities, adventures and recreational opportunities can be found by Minnesota visitors in any season.
Many vacation destinations have a limited season. Most people don't go to the tropics in the heat of summer or to Alaska in the winter. You can put those considerations aside, however, when it comes to visiting Minnesota. We'll show you where to find adventures and activities year round.
The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other. ~Arthur Rubenstein
Spring in Minnesota is more likely to come in like a lion than like a lamb. We may have a day that is above 70 degrees, then a day later find snow on the sidewalk.
Some years "spring" seems to begin in February; other years we are not feeling it until May. Spring in Minnesota is one season guaranteed to give the old-timers plenty of fodder for conversation about the weather.
Some communities that border lakes hold contests to see who can guess the day the ice finally melts completely from the local body of water.
When I was a kid in Detroit Lakes, this was done by parking an old car on the ice. When the car fell to the bottom of the lake, the person who had chosen that date was declared the winner. If I remember correctly, the prize was some sort of fishing gear!
Once the ice and snow finally leave for good, spring is the time to get out the bikes, roller blades, walking shoes and begin to explore Minnesota's wonderful vistas anew.
Summer is when most people plan a visit to Minnesota. They are making a good choice, of course, as summer days and summer activities in Minnesota are glorious.
Temperatures are often around 80 degrees, though they can soar much higher, and cooler days are also to be expected. This is the season Minnesotans load up the family and head for the cabins "up north."
We take full advantage of our thousands of lakes and rivers to fish, swim, and enjoy a multitude of water sports. Not all of our water-based life happens in the northern part of the state. There are lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota; some of the best are right in the metro area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Some of our favorite events and festivals take place in summer: the Aquatennial, Taste of Minnesota, Festival of Nations, Minnesota State Fair and fairs and festivals by the hundreds in the towns and cities across the state.
In summer we garden, visit farmers markets and "pick your own" orchards and gardens. We have developed some famous varieties of fruits and vegetables including our own Honeycrisp apple. Yummm!
Autumn is the time of year when everyone takes to the roads, rivers and trails to view our stunning autumn paradise. Minnesotans, and visitors to Minnesota, love autumn. The changing leaves spark anticipation of fall festivals, holidays and celebrations.
The cool temperatures and changing vistas entice us from our homes to walk, bike or drive the paths and roads through the newly tinted woodlands.
The fall season in Minnesota can last from early September until mid-November. There are years when, even in early December, fall weather persists.
This enchanting season has so much to offer.. leaf-looking of course as the leaves turn color, "in their turn," in progression from far north to far south. Not only is the weather ideal for excursions, it is a time when there are fewer visitors to Minnesota, our legendary mosquitos are gone and you will find off-season discounts for lodging and more.
International Falls and Ely---September 25
Bemidji and Walker---September 26
Duluth (inland )---September 27
Duluth (along the lake )---October 1
Detroit Lakes and Brainerd---October 1
Alexandria and St.Cloud---October 5
Metro and Mankato---October 10
Rochester and Winona---October 15
Some fall color even lingers into late October along the Mississippi River from Red Wing to La Crosse, WI.
Often, some of the nicest fall color can be found at Camden, Gooseberry Falls, Lake Maria and Wild River state parks.
On average, peak fall color arrives in the northern one-third of the state the middle of September to early October. The central third of the state is most colorful between late September and early October. Southern Minnesota trees reach the height of their fall color late September to mid-October.
One exception is the North Shore Drive, where trees along Lake Superior turn color a week later than inland trees due to the warming effect of the lake.
Please note that fall color conditions can change rapidly due to wind, rain and frost.
Experience Winter - Don't Escape It!
Minnesota Winter: Minnesota is a beautiful vacation destination in winter. Experience a winter vacation paradise and exciting Minnesota winter activities. Celebrations in Minnesota happen all year round. There are many Minnesota winter festivals to attend including the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.
Minnesota State Parks are busy this time of year, thanks in part to frequently mild weather and the variety of unique activities offered.
If you ski, snowboard, snowmobile or snowshoe, the colder, drier climate in Northern Minnesota, virtually guarantees lots of fluffy white snow the entire season for your favorite winter sports.
Or come to enjoy some of our great winter events. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is the most famous of our winter festivals. Many other towns hold winter celebrations, ice-fishing contests, snowmobile races, dogsled trips and so much more!
Then come and play with us!
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Take advantage of our Minnesota online vacation planning resources page. Ask questions about Minnesota tourist attractions and lodging options. We are happy to respond with tips and ideas.