Enjoy the best road trips in Minnesota with these ideas for a day trip tour or a jaunt across the country. Our focus is, of course, road trips in Minnesota. You can use the same basic road trip planning tips wherever you travel. Purchase a road trip planning guide and you will be miles ahead of the crowd.
Do Lots of Research: Your vacation days are precious, gas is expensive and there are many choices of destination. You want to come home with great memories and photos instead of feeling that nothing turned out the way you wanted it. Check out the best of Minnesota travel road trips.
Make A List of the Kinds of Attractions You Want to See
Minnesota maps and vacation travel guides are a great resource. You can make sure you don't miss any of the great attractions along the way.
Decide If You Want to “Freestyle” Your Road Trip or Stick to The Plan: We know several people who are "free spirits" and like to just get in the car and see where the day takes them. That can be a lot of fun however most people prefer to do some detailed road trip vacation planning.
A primary factor in all of your road trip planning is how many days, or hours, you have for your excursion. We do lots of day trips. I have a really good excuse: to gather information and take photos for my Visit Minnesota website! One advantage of day trips is there is no need for hotels. A disadvantage is that you will be limited in how far you can travel in order to make it back home for the night.
Check out our road trip planning guide page for more tips about planning a fun road trip.
Create A Budget: Gas, Meals, Hotels and Attractions: Unless money is no object for you, knowing how much your road trip will cost is something to consider. Here are some budget items to include in your planning:
Make Sure Your Car is in Good Shape: Nothing spoils a road trip like a breakdown. A few days before your planned trip, check all the fluids, make sure you have good tires on your car and, if necessary, make an appointment for your vehicle to get a "once over" by your trusted auto service or mechanic.
If you're the handy type, pack a few basic tools. AAA roadside assistance has saved us more than once when traveling. We've saved the yearly fee several times over in the "rescues" we've needed.
Tales of the Road: Highway 61 traces approximately 440 miles through Minnesota, from Pigeon Falls at the Canadian border south to La Crescent. Along the way, the road hugs the North Shore, zips through St. Paul, and navigates bluffs along the Mississippi River. While places such as Split Rock Lighthouse or Sugar Loaf Mountain offer well-documented stopping-off points, observant travelers may wonder about historic buildings , abandoned sites, and decaying structures they see along the way.