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Minnesota Winter Vacation Ideas  

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Minnesota winter vacation ideas are easy to come by in this state that celebrates our winter season.  Enjoy a winter family vacation, couple’s getaway or a solo adventure into Minnesota’s winter wonderland.

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

Winter Vacation Ideas

We don't try to escape from winter. Instead we find winter escapes where we can best enjoy the season.

Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Inns - Choose a romantic, cozy B & B anywhere in Minnesota you want to be.

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You might agree that the most exciting winter vacations include enjoying winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Or your best winter vacations spots might include a cozy winter cabin with hot tub and fireplace.

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There are very few winter days in Minnesota that are too cold to be outdoors. Your options for snowy recreation are nearly endless.

For those days that are too cold, we have remedies...blazing fireplaces, cuddly quilts and steaming hot chocolate in one of our cozy bed & breakfast inns or spa resorts.

Winter Vacation Ideas in the Great Outdoors

10 Best Winter Vacation Spots are where you can best celebrate your love for winter!

Resorts, bed & breakfast inns, hotels and cabins in these areas are often booked months in advance by winter lovers.

Winter Vacation Ideas
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Minnesota State Parks are open year round. State Park campgrounds offer winter camping sites and even some heated camper cabins. 

Our state parks are ready to entice you into the great outdoors by offering all of the best winter activities found on any list of winter sports

Trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Many state parks have ice skating rinks and warming houses. Snowmobiling is permitted on some trails. 

Minnesota Lodging in all parts of the state is "open for business" for your winter pleasure. These outdoor and indoor Minnesota winter vacation ideas will make your winter memorable. There is nothing better than a cozy B&B after a day in the snow.

Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Inns Choose a romantic, cozy B & B anywhere in Minnesota you want to be.

Hit the Slopes and Trails

Choose downhill skis that are perfect for your gender and ability. Make sure that children have skis that are crafted specifically for them.

Winter Vacation Ideas

Ski areas all across Minnesota offer groomed hills and trails for skiing, tubing, and and snowboarding. If you are new to these sports, take some lessons right at the ski lodge.

  • Minnesota Ski Resorts: There are more than a dozen ski resorts or ski areas in the state. The most popular are Lutsen Mountains, Giants Ridge and Spirit Mountain.
  • Cross-Country Ski Trails: Almost all state parks and most other large parks as well, have groomed trails for "skinny skiing."
  • Snowshoeing is a quiet way to enjoy winter's beauty.
  • Skijoring Minnesota: Your skis and your dog are all you need to enjoy this popular winter sport! 

Go Sledding: Motorized or the Old Fashioned Way 

There is more than one way to glide across the snow. Choose a traditional sled, a motorized "sled" or a sled pulled by dogs.

  • Snow Sledding just requires a simple sled and a high hill.
  • Snowmobiling Minnesota: You will find groomed snowmobile trails in many state parks and other areas of the state.
  • Dogsledding Tours: The area around Ely is the most popular for dogsledding though you will find others throughout the state.

Enjoy "Hard Water" Fun

  • Minnesota Ice Fishing Trips: You can just chop a hole in the ice and drop a line, pop up a portable ice fishing shelter, or join those who create elaborate "ice shanties." Walker hosts an ice-fishing extravaganza each winter and Brainerd does as well.
  • Learn to Ice Skate: Shovel your own ice rink on any well frozen lake. Visit one of many skating rinks available in almost every town in Minnesota.

Warm & Cozy Winter Vacation Ideas

Book a Stay at a Resort or Hotel

Winter Vacation Ideas

Minnesota Entertainment is wonderful indoor fun. Enjoy the best of our sporting events, shows, and plays.

Even if you really don't want to get out on the ski slopes, snowshoe through the woods, or take a dogsled tour, schedule a stay at one of the state's beautiful Minnesota resorts and lodges.

Most of our resorts are open in winter. Choose one that offers indoor recreational options like a water park swimming pools, onsite spa and other comforting amenities. Many of our best hotels, resorts, and bed & breakfast inns have rooms with hot tubs and fireplaces.

Winter destinations can be the same as your favorite summer vacation destinations; your experience will be all new and different!

If you believe that the best winter vacations are an escape to a warmer climate, we hope you will try our winter vacation ideas that offer opportunities to really enjoy winter.

The Moon Minnesota Handbook by Tricia Cornell is the guidebook to Minnesota that we keep with us wherever we travel in the state.

Minnesota Winter Festivals & Celebrations

Winter Vacation Ideas

Celebrate all winter by planning mini-vacations with these winter vacation ideas that will get you out into the fun all across the state. Here are just a few of our favorite Minnesota Winter Festivals.

International Falls, famous for its designation as "The Icebox of The Nation" celebrates with "Icebox Days" every January. Events include snow sculpting, a polar bear dip and "Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard" 10K and 5K races.

In February you can celebrate in Wabasha with the "Grumpy Old Men Festival" that features softball games played in the snow, motorcycle races on the ice and a grumpy old men "look alike" contest. Nearly every town or community has a celebration of winter. 

Our most well known winter festival, one that draws people from around the world, is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

With our famous Holidazzle celebration in downtown Minneapolis, Christmas light shows in several cities, lighted displays at the zoos and the perfect setting for a white Christmas, your best winter vacation just might be spending Christmas in Minnesota.

Winter weather predictions are so variable. It's always good to check the latest forecast.

Winter Vacation Ideas

Christmas in Minnesota

Back to Minnesota Winter

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay