Minnesota Destination Overview
Minnesota sits in the northern area of the Midwest, abutting the U.S.-Canadian border. With more than 10 acres of lakes and 69,2000 miles of rivers and streams, the state attracts outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, Minnesota is known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes. However, this state is has more than water attractions.
Enjoy City Life in St. Paul
The state capitol of Minnesota, St. Paul is the second largest city in the state. It sits against the Mississippi River, giving visitors the chance to enjoy the sights and activities that come with living near a body of water. Furthermore, St. Paul has plenty of historic sites sure to attract anyone with a mind for the past.
The State Capitol
The capitol building in St. Paul was designed by architect Cass Gilbert. Construction began in 1896 and completed in 1905. The State of Minnesota started renovations on the building in 2013, and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the capitol building has the second largest dome in the world, beat out only by the Vatican itself. All in all, the capitol building has 378,825 square feet.
Minnesota Continental Showboat
Combining history and entertainment, the Minnesota Continental Showboat is docked on the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The historic riverboat began hosting performances in 1958. The boat features 19th century lighting, music and a stage sure to take passengers back in time. Visitors can also enjoy the city skyline as seen from on the water. Pop out on deck during intermission to check out the sites.
Mixing City and Nature in Minneapolis
Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota, but its proximity to the state's beautiful wilderness makes it a unique urban area. In fact, there are 22 lakes within the city limits alone, earning the area the name "The City of Lakes."
Chain of Lakes
The Chain of Lakes refers to a series of lakes in and near Minneapolis. The area is the most popular of Minneapolis's parks, logging about 5 million visits a year. Not only can visitors boat on the lakes, but the area contains 13 miles of pathways for walking, biking, rollerblading, jogging, etc. Furthermore, the land near Lake Harriet contains tons of attractions, including the Lake Harriet Bandshell (which hosts live music), the Bird Sanctuary, Rose Gardens and the Peace Gardens. This tranquil setting is just about 4 miles outside the city center.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
This art museum is filled with more than 80,000 works spanning 40,000 years of history. From Monet to Matisse to ancient artifacts and fashion, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts covers its bases. Visitors can view numerous mediums for free, as the museum asks no fee for stopping by. With both permanent and temporary exhibits, the museum always has something new for visitors to enjoy.
Small-Town Feel in Pequot Lakes
Located north of Minneapolis, Pequot Lakes is a small city with lots to see. Pequot Lakes is known for its unique shopping, woodsy scenery and festivals, which fill the calendar.
Paul Bunyan Trail
Famous American folklore figure Paul Bunyan is rumored to have lived in the Pequot Lakes area. As such, his story lives on in local attractions. The Paul Bunyan Trail is the longest of Minnesota's many bike trails. After some renovation work, the trail now has 120 miles of paved road to make biking smooth. Though the trail may attract cyclists, it's also a popular spot for hikers and campers.
Crosslake Historical Society Log Village
Go back in time to when settlers first made homes in northern Minnesota by visiting this log village. Every year, community members gather for the Cider and candlelight tour. When the sun goes down, visitors light their lanterns, explore the village, drink hot cider and go on hayrides.