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Minnesota Road Trip Planning Guide

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Stash a road trip planning guide in your suitcase for your Minnesota vacations. See the best road trips and  Minnesota travel ideas. Our large and varied state of Minnesota is a natural for road trips. Each region of Minnesota offers a unique adventure and landscape. 

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

North American Road Trips: Unforgettable Journeys of a Lifetime

Road Trip Planning Guide

Best roads trips in Scenic Minnesota have enticing names like:

  • Waters of the Dancing Sky: the farthest north scenic byway named in honor of the Northern Lights. This route follows Highway 11 from Karlstad to International Falls.
  • Edge of the Wilderness: take Highway 38 from Grand Rapids to Effie. You'll enjoy the Chippewa National Forest and likely see some eagles.
  • Gunflint Trail: take Highway 12 from Grand Marais through the Superior National Forest. Look for deer, bear, moose and wolves. You'll be traveling right on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
  • Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway: this 50 mile long loop along country roads explores the area north of Brainerd.
  • Ladyslipper Byway:This route follows County Road 39 and Highway 2 between the Blackduck and Cass Lake area near the Mississippi River headwaters
  • Grand Rounds Scenic Byway: the only urban National Scenic Byway. Loops through the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. See Minnehaha Park and the Stone Arch Bridge.

Road Trip Planning Guide Resources

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Read more on this detailed page about these road trips and more.

Get even more ideas about Minnesota road trip vacation planning.

Minnesota maps, including detailed map books, will take you where your iPhone may not. There and dozens of scenic byways and back roads in the state that many people never explore. We have detailed some of the best road trips.

A road trip along the Great River Road in Minnesota follows the Mississippi River south from its source in Itasca State Park. If you do the entire trip, plan for several days to a full week. You will want to spend some time in the park and nearby towns like Bemidji and Park Rapids. The road meanders for 562 miles through the heart of Minnesota including the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Road Trip USA Great River Road is an excellent road trip planning guide for the Minnesota portion of the Great River Road and the road as it continues all the way to New Orleans.

Road Trip Planning Guide

Consider a two day, or more, driving tour of Highway 61 along the North Shore of Lake Superior. 

Some of the "must see" attractions along the rugged Lake Superior coast include eight of our most beautiful Minnesota state parks.

There is no better road trip planning guide for this scenic highway than Tales of the Road: Highway 61.

Travel from Duluth to the Canadian border, staying overnight in one of the small towns or Minnesota state parks along the shore.

If you want to take a more extensive Lake Superior road trip, do the Lake Superior Circle Tour.


Road Trip Vacation Planning for Regions of Minnesota

This is just a sampling of unique road trips across Minnesota.

The North Shore road trip and Great River Road trip are extensive...and well worth the time to do them.

If you just want a day trip or short scenic drive there are 22 designated scenic byways in Minnesota.

All of these and many others are described in detail and mapped for you in the road trip planning guide: Backroads & Byways of Minnesota: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions.

Discover the attractions in some of the best vacation destinations in Minnesota. Even if you are just planning a day trip, the same fun spots, attractions, scenic delights and great restaurants can be enjoyed.

Take a day or a weekend and learn what brings so many to our state for unforgettable Minnesota vacations.

Road Trip Planning Guide

Minnesota Road Trip Guides



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