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10 Best Winter Vacation Spots
in Minnesota

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Visit the 10 best winter vacation spots in Minnesota and collect a lifetime of memories. If you visit one of these top ten winter vacation spots, your and your loved ones can create a lifetime of memories.

Our online guides  and tips will help you enjoy popular Minnesota vacations spots that are year round favorites. 

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

"Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.” ~Mary Oliver

Minnesota is a perfect winter vacation destination. If you love winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and dogsledding, this is the place. 

One of the great pleasures of being outdoors in winter is coming inside to a roaring fireplace and a pot of hot chocolate. Our cozy hotels, resorts and bed & breakfast Inns are ready for you.

 If you go to Minnesota in January, you should know that it's gonna be cold. You don't panic when the thermometer falls below zero. ~ Peter Lynch

Ely Minnesota Vacations lodging is open in winter and most hotel and resort owners will help you plan your trip.

The Twin Cities is High on our
List of 10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots in Minnesota

Macy's Department Store on Nicollet Mall celebrates the Christmas season by transforming their 8th floor into a storybook wonderland. You can stroll along a glittery storybook path. Each year features a new story. Past animated stories have included The Nutcracker, Pinocchio, and Mary Poppins.

Holidazzle - A favorite of our 10 Best Winter Vacation Spots 

 What used to be the Holidazzle Parade is now Holidazzle Village this year located in Loring Park. You will meet storybook characters, listen to holiday music. Saint Paul, Minnesota Hotels

Winter Food and Wine Experience - In late February the Minneapolis Convention Center hosts an extravaganza that features food and wine by almost everyone in the Twin Cities connected with food or wine. Enjoy tastings, seminars, and socializing with other foodies. Minneapolis, Minnesota Hotels

Winter festivals and holiday light displays abound all across the Twin Cities.

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Saint Paul Winter Carnival - A New York journalist famously called St. Paul in winter "...another Siberia, unfit for human habitation." The insult was the "spark" that launched the Saint Paul Winter Carnival that now draws at least 350,000 people each year who consider this festival to be "tops" on the 10 Best Winter Vacation Spots 

 Just a few of the events include the Medallion Hunt, Snow Sculpture, Ice Carving, and ice skating in Rice Park. 

Minneapolis Minnesota Tourism > Saint Paul Minnesota Vacations

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Lutsen - Ski Resort is one of the primary winter attractions that puts this small town on our 10 best winter vacations list. Lutsen Mountain is the area's largest ski hill with 90 ski runs and a 986-foot drop.Lutsen Recreation rents skis, snowboards, and snowshoes.

You will also find 17 miles of cross-country ski trails, and access to the North Shore Ski Trail. Lutsen vacations are a top draw for Minnesota residents and visitors. You can chose from several of the best Lutsen resorts.

Surviving Minnesota Winter:
A Guide for Newcomers & Residents Alike

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Brainerd hosts the world's largest ice fishing extravaganza every winter on Gull Lake. Join more than 10,000 people who are seeking the prize fish and their share of $150,000.00 in prizes. You can rent a fish house and all the gear you need, or simply sit on an overturned bucket and drop a line through the ice.

Brainerd is also a snowmobiling paradise. More than 1,200 miles of groomed trails in the area will take you through beautiful forests and around area lakes. Experience a lighted night-time ride alongside Gull Lake. Brainerd resorts are some of the state's best. You will agree that this is one of the 10 best winter vacation spots in Minnesota.

Hooray for Minnesota Winters!: For Minnesotans (and Those Who Wish They Were) of All Ages
10 Best Winter Vacation Spots
Ely Minnesota Vacations lodging is open in winter and most hotel and resort owners will help you plan your trip.

If you've never enjoyed a dogsledding tour, Ely is one of the 10 best winter vacation spots in Minnesota for you.  In addition, you can leave from Ely to ski the North Arm Trail ...26 total miles of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Combine skiing with a dog and try skijoring. Snowmobiling trails are abundant in the area. Attend the Ely Winter Festival. 

Boundary Waters Area > Cook Minnesota > Voyageurs National Park

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Minnesota State Parks are open year round. Check the links for the state park you want to visit to see what is offered in winter. Most have cross-country ski trails, and many have snowmobile trails as well. You will find sledding hills, ice skating rinks, and warming houses in some parks.

Many campgrounds are open year round as well. If you have never experienced winter camping, you should!

State Parks Ebook > Itasca State Park > Activities

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Detroit Lakes:  This west central Minnesota town has a lot to offer in winter. Detroit Mountain has always been a winter sports destination for the local. With the new Ski Lodge, Detroit Lakes is now well placed to be on the 10 best winter vacations spots list.

In addition to skiing, area lakes are ice fishing "hot spots." The Lodge on The Lake is one of the state's best hotel resorts. Cozy up to the fireplace in the lobby, enjoy the spa, indulge in amazing food. The newly renovated downtown is a shopper's paradise.

Detroit Lakes Resorts > Ice Fishing

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Lanesboro is one of the most unique small towns in Minnesota. Romantic Lanesboro is called the Bed & Breakfast Capital of Minnesota with good reason. You can choose to hide from winter in one of their stunning B&Bs here or get out and play in the snow.

Enjoy theater, lovely restaurants, and other amenities that make Lanesboro a popular winter destination.  It's easy to see why this in one of Minnesota's 10 best winter vacation spots. Lanesboro, Minnesota Hotels

Bed & Breakfast Inns > Southern Minnesota B&Bs

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Lake Superior North Shore  This entire area should be on your 10 best winter vacations list. In recent years the formation of stunning Ice Caves along the Superior shore have drawn thousands of visitors.

Check with the locals, and the weather reports, to know when conditions are right for touring the ice caves. While you are in the area explore other North Shore attractions.

Knife River > Two Harbors > Grand Marais

Most family vacation destinations in Minnesota include beautiful family vacation resorts, cabins, and dozens of state parks and many other top family vacations spots.

Bring Warm Clothes: Letters and Photos from Minnesota's Past

Our Favorite of the
10 Best Winter Vacation Spots in Minnesota  - Duluth

Duluth Vacations draw visitors in every season. The Bentleyville Holiday Lights extravaganza is one of the newer Christmas winter festivals. Come for the light show and stay to explore all Duluth offers to winter visitors.If you only have time for one of the 10 Best Winter Vacation Spots, consider Duluth.

The Great Minnesota Touring Book: 30 Spectacular Auto Trips will guide you all across the state and highlight everything you want to see and do.

Back to Minnesota Winter

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots

Minnesota Vacation Rentals  -  A vacation rental will give you the feel of your own cabin or chalet in Minnesota. Choose a vacation rental in a specific area or get ideas about some of the best Minnesota vacation destinations before you decide. There are  fantastic rental properties and amazing locations that will be perfect for your group of any size.

Minnesota Hotels With Waterparks

Top Ten Minnesota Winter Jokes

Top 10 Vacation Destinations

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay