The Visit Minnesota insider's travel guide to Minnesota travel and best vacation spots includes our personal travel stories and, as well, the experiences of others who know the state well.
Use the drop down menu at the top of the page to quickly find the information you want.
Check out our Top 10 lists of "must see" tourist attractions and create your own Minnesota Bucket List.
Even if you are a life-long Minnesotan, you will likely discover amazing road trips, charming small towns and little known destinations that you won't want to miss.
In every case we will suggest top entertainment, the best places to stay and area attractions you will want to see.
The most important travel decision you will make is where to stay. You may prefer a hotel, resort, B&B, or vacation rental. We offer reviews of all the best in Minnesota and you can make reservations right from the Minnesota Visitor website.
Lodging Ideas > Some of our favorites include beautiful hotels, amazing resorts, charming bed and breakfast inns and vacation rentals that will accommodate a large group. Read reviews of all of them.
Minnesota Hotel Deals > The best prices for your getaway. Cheap hotel ideas are worth considering. Choose your dates, then compare hotels in the area you want to visit. Some of the most romantic hotels can be found in the Twin Cities; hotels in Minneapolis include the iconic W Foshay.
Minnesota Resorts & Lodges > Your place at the lake! A few of our resorts offer all-inclusive resort vacations. Choose a resort in a top vacation destination or plan a fishing expedition at one of our fishing resorts.
Minnesota vacation rentals can be reserved in every area of the state. Plan a family reunion, a corporate getaway, or a scrapbooking retreat in one of the large rentals. Smaller vacation rentals include cozy cabins like these Lake Superior vacation rentals, and even city apartments.
Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Inns > Plan your romantic getaway in some of the most beautiful B&Bs in Minnesota. One of the most unique B&Bs is the Lighthouse B&B in Two Harbors.
Waterpark Hotels > One of these overlooks Lake Superior in Duluth. Several are in the heart of the Twin Cities. All are wonderful family vacation destinations.
This comprehensive overview of things to see and do in Minnesota is a great place to begin if you don't have much time to browse: Top 10 Vacation Destinations
Top 10 North Shore attractions will guide you from Duluth to the Canadian border. On this trip you will enjoy legendary scenery and some of our most popular state parks.
Ten Best Vacation Spots in Minnesota > Discover the diversity of scenery and experience this beautiful state offers. Our three largest cities and several charming small towns are on the list.
Top 10 ten family vacations include Minnesota getaways that we think are the best family vacation spots. These often include resorts in towns like Detroit Lakes and Brainerd that cater to families and lots of ideas for family fun! Family time is precious. Make it memorable!
Top 10 Minnesota Beaches > The "Land of 10,000 Lakes" has hundreds of wonderful beaches. Some of these are in our largest cities including Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
10 Best Winter Vacation Spots in Minnesota - Enjoy our winter wonderland with sports, festivals and celebrations. Get out and play in areas like Lutsen that celebrate winter with all our favorite winter sports.
Top 10 Books About Minnesota is our personal list of favorites with reviews of each. We include several intriguing travel books, some Minnesota trivia books and several wonderful books for children.
"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, Moon Minnesota Handbook
Minnesota Bucket List Ideas Plan your adventure in the places we think are the "must see and do" destinations in the state. Your bucket list may include other adventures you have discovered. If so, please share your Minnesota bucket list with readers of the Minnesota Visitor website in the form at the bottom of this page.
Forbes Magazine recently named the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as "the most relaxing" cities in the country. The Twin Cities provide energy, culture, art, and entertainment to rival any metropolitan area in the world. Enjoy the best of Twin Cities entertainment.
The top 10 vacation destinations and other top ten Minnesota lists will guide you to the "best of" Minnesota visitor experiences or you might choose to adventure into "little known" Minnesota attractions. You could spend a lifetime exploring.
The "Seven States of Minnesota" Each of these areas has a distinct geography and amazing attractions. These 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.
Best Adventure Travel Destinations: Find your adventure in Minnesota! Visit the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs National Park, The Great River Road. Plan a high energy adventure like sea kayaking or a low-key fun activity like agate hunting. Road trip through charming small towns; explore our largest cities.
Minnesota Road Trips Explore scenic byways, lovely small towns, huge forests, and stunning lakes and rivers. Drive the Great River Road and the Lake Superior Circle Tour. Road trip to the best places where to see wildflowers, the Northern Lights, and our beautiful wildlife.
Little Known Minnesota Road trip across the state to see what others may miss. Take photos of Minnesota's many "cement statues" and explore small towns that have unique history and attractions.
Top 10 North Shore Attractions is a road trip along the lovely Lake Superior North Shore. You will begin in Duluth and and at Grand Portage on the Canadian border. Along the way you will stop in some of the loveliest small town in Minnesota. You may want to plan to spend a few days in one of them. Eat in quaint restaurants and stop to search for agates on the beaches.
State Parks Minnesota has 78 state parks and recreation areas where there is something to do in every season of the year. Don't miss our oldest and best known state park - Itasca State Park.
Camping Equipment Checklist > We have a basic "must have" camping list for you as well as some convenient, beyond basics ideas for your camping adventure. We also share our favorite with camping food ideas and easy camping recipes.
Explore our "inland sea" along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
One of the Most Beautiful Spots in all the World is the BWCAW. For the "trip of a lifetime" plan a visit to the million acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
National Geographic described Lake Vermilion as one of the ten most scenic lakes in the United States. Your experience here will be similar to the Boundary Waters but without the restrictions.
Voyageurs National Park where you can relax on a houseboat in Minnesota's only National Park.
The Mississippi River is "born" in Minnesota at Itasca State Park. "Walking across the Mississippi River" at Itasca is one of the top unique experiences that brings visitors to the state.
Most of Minnesota's legendary resorts are located on scenic lakes. Your time at a resort will likely include the use of a boat and other outdoor recreational equipment.
Family vacation resorts > relax and play in some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations. Many of these family resorts offer day long recreational programs for all ages that include fishing, kayaking, and other sports. Gather by the campfire in the evening for S'mores and stories!
Travel With Tots - Tips and tricks for vacationing with the littlest family members.
Romantic Getaways in Minnesota's hundreds of beautiful vacation spots in every season of the year. A romantic winter getaway is a cozy idea.
Visit Minnesota vineyards > taste the wines at our unique wineries.
First Date Ideas - for when your romance is just beginning.
Autumn Splendor > plan a leaf-looking excursion.
Take to the highways to view our colorful autumn scenery.
Enjoy a fall festival.
Make a stop at an apple orchard, a pumpkin farm or a roadside vegetable stand filled with traditional Minnesota food products.
Create some of our favorite Minnesota Recipes
By late October the state is often covered with a blanket of snow and transforms into one of the top winter vacation destinations in the world.
Don't hide from winter! Get out and play in the snow! You will love our Minnesota winter sports.
While we don't have mountains, we do have wonderful ski resorts.
Trails across the state > including in our state parks, are groomed for cross-country skiing. You can find places to take a dog sled tour, to skijour with your dog, and go on a sleigh ride. Attend winter festivals in many towns and cities all across the state.
If you enjoy fishing, you will love "hard water fishing" or as it is better known, ice fishing.
Photo Courtesy John Heino Photography
Come for Christmas! > Where better to enjoy a winter wonderland?
Cheapest hotel prices> compare what is offered at all the major hotel and airfare vendors.
Read about one wonderful thing to see or do in each of these towns > & Cities in Minnesota. You will find the widest variety of things to do in the big cities however many of our smallest towns offer some of the most unique experiences and Minnesota tourist attractions.
Red Wing, Minnesota > Recently named one of the top 25 historic destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveler magazine. The same magazine highlighted Minneapolis as one of the “10 best summer trips."
Journalist Charles Kuralt called Ely, Minnesota the "number one vacation destination in the country." He further stated: "On the map, Ely appears to be at the end of the road. For people who love the wilderness and beauty and solitude, on the contrary, it's the center of the world."
Minnesota Maps > available for every region of the state and for specific activities like fishing, hiking, biking and finding the best roadside attractions.
Entertainment in Minnesota - Save up to 50% on tickets for top sporting events, shows and concerts.
Minnesota Festival and Events offer something for everyone. We have dozens of fun events that include top music festivals like WeFest and the Irish Fair, fun family events that include the Renaissance Fair, the State Fair and Duluth's Tall Ships Festival. Get out for wine tastings, a grape stomp, Cinco de Mayo, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, and the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. Where will you go next?
Get the best Minnesota hotel deals > vacation packages, and cheap travel ideas for every place you want to go.
Minnesota Hot Dish Recipes - This is the most popular of our Minnesota recipes and so often thought of as a traditional Minnesota Recipe. The Tater Tot hot dish recipe is our most popular version.
Minnesota Wild Rice Recipes - Most often made with our own Minnesota Native harvested wild rice. If you have never used wild rice in recipes, you will love these versions.
Indian Fry Bread - This is another traditional Native American Recipe. It is a great accompaniment to a wild rice recipe.
Wild Game and Fish Recipes - Minnesota fishing is one of our most popular sports. We have the recipes for your catch. We also have tasty ways to use many other Minnesota protein sources. Some will surprise you.
Spam Recipes - Made in Austin Minnesota, this popular canned meat product is sold world wide. We have multiple ways to use it. Some may surprise you.
Lefse Recipes - Learn the technique for making this traditional Scandinavian flat bread. Discover a variety of ways to use it.
Lutefisk Recipes - Just the right recipe to go with your lefse. Here in Minnesota, many people celebrate their Scandinavian heritage with this unusual dried fish.
Ableskiver Recipes - This tasty "Danish Donut" is made in a special Aebleskiver pan. It can be filled or topped with a variety of additions.
Lingonberry Recipes - We offer some great recipes for this unusual fruit and tell you where you can get them.
Maple Syrup Recipes - Many Minnesota residents tap Maple trees in early spring and make their own maple syrup. If you don't have maple trees, you can still enjoy this tasty treat.
Rhubarb Recipes - This tasty plant grows in many yards and gardens yet many people really don't know what to do with it. Here is a page of recipes for this ruby treasure.
Made in Minnesota - Do you know about these amazing Minnesota inventions and products? Any Minnesota visitor or resident will delight in owning some of these.
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.
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Charming Minnesota bed and breakfast inns make a perfect retreat or romantic getaway in Minnesota.
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Paddle Minnesota rivers on a river rafting trip. Enjoy a drive along the Great River Road. Learn about our Wild and Scenic Rivers and where to do some extreme kayaking.
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Visit Pipestone National Monument at Pipestone Minnesota. Stay in a local hotel or at the Pipestone RV campground.