Minnesota vacations give you the opportunity to choose an experience tailored to your desires. From big city energy to laid back lake living, pick your spot and begin to explore.
Next time you have vacation days, get out into the wilderness, explore our state parks or road trip through charming small towns.
Minnesota vacations spots can be visited and enjoyed in all four seasons of the year. You will find here the Minnesota tourism tips you need to plan your perfect trip to the North Star State.
Schedule your vacation in any one of the seven unique regions of Minnesota. Then make a return visit to explore another distinct area of the state.
Northeast Minnesota, or the "Arrowhead Region," is considered by many to be Minnesota's star attraction. Duluth is the largest city in the northeast part of the state.
Between Duluth and the Canadian border you can visit some of Minnesota's most interesting towns and some of our oldest historic sites and intriguing museums. Some "must visit" destinations in The Arrowhead include:
The Northeast is a great Minnesota vacation spot for winter getaways as well. Check out the 10 best winter vacation spots in Minnesota.
Thousands of miles of trails offer skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing or even dog-sledding. Take your pick from a long list of winter sports.
Before you set out to explore Minnesota, get a copy of Explorer's Guide Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes
The Northwest and Central Lakes area is often called "Minnesota's playground." Brainerd vacations will bring you to the heart of the central lakes vacationland. It is said that "all roads lead to Saint Cloud." Alexandria offers more than 200 lakes and 50 of Minnesota's most popular resorts and hotels.
Walker provides some of the state's best fishing on gigantic Leech Lake and offers the beauty of the Chippewa National Forest. On the shores of Lake Bemidji you will love Bemidji Minnesota vacations in "Paul Bunyan Land." And Detroit Lakes is one of the most popular resort towns in the entire state.
This area of the state features many of Minnesota's largest lakes and is the source of the mighty Mississippi River. Vast forests, and some of the best opportunities in the state to view wildlife, add to the joy of a northwestern Minnesota vacation.
All of this can be found just a couple hours drive from the Twin Cities. On every summer weekend about half of the vehicles driving north are pulling a boat, a camper or a trailer with a 4-wheeler---or maybe all of these! Just a few "must see" northwest and central lakes Minnesota vacation spots:
If fishing, boating or swimming are on your Minnesota vacation wish list, you will find lots of lakes and resorts and lodges in this area. You will also find many beautiful golf courses, and miles of hiking, biking and ATV trails.
Southern Minnesota and the "bluff country" south of the Twin Cities features valleys capped by limestone bluffs with rivers and streams meandering through all of it. The Mississippi and Minnesota river valleys are populated with some of Minnesota's most historic, and most picturesque, towns and villages. In this area of you will find both the cosmopolitan city of Rochester and Minnesota's largest Amish settlement. Some of the highlights of a bluff country vacation:
The spirit and traditions of Minnesota Native Americans and early pioneers are honored at historic sites, and the communities here are noted for their antique shops, historic architecture, ethnic festivals and bike trails.
The Twin City's downtowns are just 8 miles apart and the cities are divided by the Mississippi River. St. Paul is renowned for its European charm and arts and culture while Minneapolis is known as a more cosmopolitan city. Both cities offer top-notch Twin Cities entertainment.
The two cities are united by their ability to offer a visitor to Minnesota an exciting variety of things to do. And, you don't have to head out of town to enjoy the great outdoors. Enjoy the many beautiful riverside parks, the 800 or so lakes that lie within the metro area, and the wonderful trails and scenic drives. While in the Twin Cities area, be sure to experience the art and culture of the metro area.
Fort Snelling State Park is right in the Twin Cities.
Just a short drive from the Twin Cities is the beautiful small town of Stillwater. Situated along the banks of the St. Croix River you will find many natural attractions and fun things to do in Stillwater.
Another easy jaunt from Minneapolis/Saint Paul is beautiful Taylors Falls.
We offer lots of budget-friendly family vacation planning tips and ideas on these pages:
Our best vacation destinations are just as much fun in our Minnesota winter.
Each unique region of our state offers a vacation experience with a different landscape and ambiance. Explore vast wilderness, enjoy our lakes and beaches, visit the charming towns in the bluff region and prairieland, and taste the culture and entertainment of the cities.
Minnesota Vacation Spots: more ideas about vacation destinations in all seven unique regions of Minnesota.
The wonderful thing about a vacation in Minnesota is that you can come anytime. All four seasons of the year have their special attractions.
Summer vacations are the most popular though many have discovered that we enjoy sharing our winter activities with our visitors just as much. The best prices for lodging and attractions can be found in early spring when the wildflowers are blooming the the state has turned freshly green. Our autumn paradise attracts people from around the world.
Take a few minutes to read some reviews of the "the best of" Minnesota vacations at the lakes, in the small towns, in the cities and in places you might never think to explore.