Our choices for the top 10 family vacations spots in Minnesota are those we recommend because they continue to be our family's favorite destinations in all four seasons of the year.
We raised five children and now have eleven grandchildren. When our kids were young, and we had little extra to spend on vacations, we learned to love all that Minnesota offers that is cheap or free to do.
Now that we are older, it is so much fun to join the grand-kids at a resort or lake cabin where we can enjoy with them so much of what is wonderful about a vacation in this beautiful state.
Minnesota Hotel Deals & Vacation Packages: Everywhere in Minnesota
If you visit even a couple of our 10 best vacation spots, you will experience some of the unique regions of the state that offer very diverse geography and a wide variety of vacation experiences. Here are a few ideas for lodging in these top 10 family vacations destinations:
Family summer vacations offer some of the very best of what makes Minnesota famous...our lakes, cabins, and resorts. Here are some summer vacation ideas to get you started:
There are lakes in all regions of Minnesota. The North Shore of Lake Superior and the Central Lakes Area in the heart of the state are among the best family vacation destinations for enjoying our famous lakes.
Minnesota Resorts and Lodges are located on our most beautiful lakes and are a great choice for a family vacation. Lodging, food, water sports, golf and many other activities are all in one place. Many Minnesota resorts offer spa services and special children's programs.
Top 10 Minnesota Beaches - You may be surprised at some of our picks - including Minnesota's longest beach, farthest north beach and best state park beaches."With everything from sod houses to skyscrapers, from timeless steamboat towns on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, to Wobegonic farm country in the west, and from Minneapolis's world class art scene to a record-setting ball of twine, this state will leave even seasoned travelers impressed." ~ Tricia Cornell, The Moon Minnesota Handbook
A North Shore vacation is certainly one of the best family vacation ideas anywhere. Take at least a day or two to enjoy the attractions of Duluth.
Then take the Minnesota portion of the Lake Superior Circle Tour along Hwy. 61, that runs for about 150 miles from Duluth to Grand Portage.
Along this route you will enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere. Seven state parks on the North Shore include Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, and the state's highest waterfalls at Tettegouche and Grand Portage state parks.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul as well as attractions in the surrounding communities offer an exciting array of family fun activities and attractions. The Twin Cities area includes an exciting arts scene, historic architecture, terrific restaurants, intriguing museums, and big time fun for families with kids.
Fort Snelling State Park is right in the heart of the Twin Cities.A great resource is 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Minneapolis and St. Paul: Including the Twin Cities' Greater Metro Area and Beyond
Plan for your camping excursion with this camping equipment checklist.
The Boundary Waters is located in Northeastern Minnesota. National Geographic called the Boundary Waters area one of 50 best "Destinations of a Lifetime". This beautiful, million acre, wilderness recreation area is one of the best family vacation destinations anywhere.
Voyageurs National Park offers another wilderness experience with fewer restrictions.Exploring the Boundary Waters: A Trip Planner and Guide to the BWCAW
The St. Croix River Valley is less than a half-hour drive from downtown St. Paul. This stunning river is the setting for several of the most beautiful and rugged of Minnesota's State Parks: Wild River and Interstate state parks to the north, as well as William O'Brien State Park, and Afton State Park.
Family fun activities that make the St. Croix River area one of our best family vacation destinations include:
Minnesota Vacation Rentals are a wonderful option for a family vacation or family reunion.
The Mississippi, one of the world's longest and best known rivers, begins as a small stream in Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota. A fun family activity is to cross the headwaters on stepping stones. The river widens and deepens as it winds south through the state. Minnesota has more miles of the Mississippi River than any other state. Visit towns near Itasca that include Bemidji, Cass Lake, Walker, and Park Rapids.
There are lots of family fun activities along the Mississippi River:
The Red River Valley in Northwestern Minnesota has been called "where the West begins." In the Red River Valley, Minnesota prairie meets Minnesota north woods. The Headwaters of the Mississippi are here as are some of Minnesota's largest lakes. Much of Minnesota's richest farmland in the region is nurtured by the ancient glacial Lake Agassiz silt with a fertility equaled only by the valley of the Nile.
The Red River Valley is a great Minnesota tourism destination. Some attractions include:
Minnesota's Iron Range in the northeastern part of the state is named for its rich supply of iron ore. While taconite mining is still important in the area, the Iron Range is now one of the best Minnesota vacation destinations famous for its beautiful lakes and forests as well as its history.
Here are some of our top picks:
Other State Parks in this Area Include:Minnesota 101: Everything You Wanted to Know About Minnesota and Were Going to Ask Anyway
Southwestern Minnesota was once an expanse of prairie grass that was home to herds of buffalo and the Dakota Indians. This area is now a wonderful family vacation spot where you can revisit the time of the Dakota and the early pioneers at museums and historic sites.
Minnesota family fun attractions in this area include:
Minnesota State Parks in Southwestern Minnesota Include:
The Mississippi River reaches its widest spot at at Lake Pepin. A bit west of the Mississippi is the corner of Minnesota called Bluff Country. Among the wooded bluffs are many charming river towns including Winona, Wabasha, Lake City and Red Wing.
Top 10 Family Vacations Destinations in Bluff Country:
These are our Top 10 Family Vacations picks...in all areas of Minnesota and featuring the best family vacation spots that we have discovered.
Here are even more ideas for Top Family Vacations
Summer activities for kids are tips and ideas for ways to keep the kids busy when school is out and they are bored. There is so much to do in Minnesota that you may be able to keep them away from the video games for most of the summer.
We post frequent top 10 family vacations ideas and updates on Facebook:Backroads & Byways of Minnesota: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions
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Discover the best Minnesota hotel deals and cheap vacation packages for your travel dates. Review your lodging choices in every region of Minnesota.