Minnesota has a classic continental climate, and its location in Upper Midwest as the northernmost US state except Alaska means you will get hot summers and freezing and snowy winters. Land of the 10,000 lakes has, in fact, almost 15,000 with many rivers and streams on top of that. Most population live in Twin Cities.
The best time to visit Minnesota is between June and August, with pleasant to hot temperatures. It’s also peak season with numerous festivals and farmers’ markets. If you want to avoid moderate crowds, you can fall with still somewhat nice weather and late spring. Winters are long, with temperatures mostly below freezing and with snow.
Foreign visitors will need travel authorization to visit the US. British tourists should apply on esta application for uk citizens and a similar process is for other travellers from countries in the Visa Waiver Program. The administration takes around three days to process the application, and once you get the permit, there is a two-year window to visit the US.
Twin Cities in Minnesota accommodate most of the population of the state, and Minneapolis and St Paul. You will probably start your Minnesota itinerary from there, and let’s look at the city attractions first.
If you come in summer, which is the best time to come, you can explore Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with interesting sculptures scattered around 19-acre of green space.
City Hall was built in the early 1900s, and it is National Historic Landmark. The building has a clock tower higher than other parts of the building. In the dome, you can find the marble statue Father of the Waters.
Speaking of water, Chain of Lakes Regional Park is a public open space with five shorelines connected with trails and green spaces. You can enjoy outdoor activities, like boating or biking, or hanging out on the beach in summer. In winter, there are numerous cross-country ski trails.
Nicollet Mall is an enormousshopping and dining district stretching through Nicollet Avenue’s twelve-bloc of various interconnected buildings. Crystal Court piazza is a network of glass skyways that lead from one building to another. You can find skyscrapers, and one of them is the 775-foot-tall tower of the IDS Center, a part of the Mall.
Scandinavian immigrants are a massive part of Minnesota’s history, so that you can check everything about the origins of local peoples atthe Swedish American institute.
Outside of the town, you can find many exciting landmarks as well. The Aerial Lift Grighe in Duluth was constructed in 1905, and from the 1930s, it was converted to a vertical lift bridge, and it still works like that.
Valleyfair Amusement Park opened in 1976 and is one of the largest in the Upper Midwest area. You can go on one of the 75 rides, among which there are eight roller coasters. You can tackle the summer heat with Soak City water park.
Day trips in Minnesota
With almost 89,000 square miles, Minnesota is more extensive than many independent countries. The 12th largest US state offers numerous one-day trip opportunities.
Mankato is a popular destination just over an hour of driving time from Minneapolis. You can find more than 50 miles of paved trails, a couple of rivers and lakes.
Minnehaha Regional Park is among the oldest public parks in Minneapolis, with a powerful 53-foot waterfall, river overlooks, and impressive limestone bluffs.
Visit Salt Lake in Lac Qui Parle County. The sole saltwater lake in the state is an excellent place for bird watching.
Head down to Darwin, where you can find the largest ball of twine made by one man. Francis Johnson rolled this twine, and now it is a local attraction and a great invitation to explore Darwin.
The oldest state park in Minnesota is Itasca, where the state protected area of 32,000 acres of forests and lakes that are a source of the Mississippi River.
Minnesota tourism statistics
With so much to offer, no wonder the Minnesota tourism industry is one of the economy’s driving forces with annual sales of over $16 billion. Every day tourists spend more than 44 million dollars. Canadians make the most international travellers, with over half a million on overnight trips, while 476,000 visitors come from other countries.
Most revenue comes from Minneapolis, where tourist numbers reached $8 billion in record-breaking 2018.
Weird things to see in Minnesota
Along with the most prominent attractions, the state has numerous weird ones. Northwest Angle is the northernmost part of the US outside of Alaska, and Canada surrounds the inlet from all angles and by Lake of the Woods. It’s a beautiful and secluded part of the US.
Franconia Sculpture Park was founded in 1996 in the St. Croix River Valley. An open 50-acre space with numerous art installations, contemporary sculptures, and artist programs is unique in the Midwest region.
The Old Jail Bed & Breakfast is the oldest licensed B&B accommodation in the state. The cottage looks unattractive from the outside, but it has air conditioning and modern amenities inside, and you can spend the night in the part of the history.
You should check esta status before making final reservations or hotel bookings. Sometimes ESTA applications get rejected, so it is advised to wait for travel authorization first.
Minnesota is in the northern part of the US with harsh winters. If you want to spend time outside and explore the countless lakes and rivers, choose the summertime. The state has a booming tourist industry, and thankfully, huge attractions for all kinds of visitors.