9 Reasons to Visit Minnesota

9 Reasons to Visit Minnesota

Looking for a fun summer vacation destination? Consider these 9 reasons to visit Minnesota and start packing your bags.

By: Michelle S.

The state of Minnesota is known for lakes, hotdish, nice people and a killer accent. Minnesota is also home to one of the biggest malls in the world, but it is so much more than just a shopping destination. If you are in search of some incredible scenery, really nice residents and some good ol’ fashioned fun, Minnesota should be at the top of your summer vacation list. Here are nine fun things to do in Minnesota with kids.

Minnesota lake fun

Minnesota lake fun.

1. Lakes, Lakes and more Lakes
Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and if boating, water skiing, fishing or swimming is your thing, you’ve got plenty of lakes to choose from. Minnesota is home to a plethora of cabin resorts, most of which offer boat, kayak, Jet Ski and stand-up paddleboard rentals. So grab your suits and towels and jump right in!

Even if you don’t like to get your feet wet, I promise that you will enjoy the beautiful views while floating on just about any lake in our state. Be sure to wave to the passing boats; it’s what we do in Minnesota. After all, we are all very nice.

2. Lake Itasca
The Mighty Mississippi begins here in northern Minnesota. The raging waters that travel from the northern U.S. all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico starts as a trickling stream about four hours north of the Twin Cities. Walk across the Mississippi River in the Itasca State Park and see where it all begins.

3. Target Field
Even if baseball isn’t your thing, a visit to Target Field is a must-do in Minneapolis. The stadium is a state of the art facility with breathtaking views and amazing food around every corner. With ticket prices starting as low $14, you can spend the day outdoors enjoying America’s favorite pastime. Be sure to catch a pre-game tour while you are there; both kids and adults will enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes action.

4. Como Zoo
Como Zoo is a zoo located in Roseville, Minnesota, just 10 minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’s a small zoo but has plenty animals to enjoy. It is free to enter, although a donation is always welcome to help support the organization.

While you are there, be sure to check out the Margorie McNeely Conservatory. The conservatory features a huge array of exotic plants, fountains and a children’s educational playroom. During the summer months you can ride a small variety of kiddie rides in Como Town and cool off in the splash pad.

5. St. Anthony Falls
St. Anthony Falls is a quaint city along the Mississippi River right outside of downtown Minneapolis. Spend the day roaming the cobblestone streets, grabbing lunch at one of the many unique restaurants, and then hiking down to the river. The views along the river are spectacular and provide an amazing photographic backdrop for your family vacation.

Before you leave for the day, make sure you walk across the historic stone arch bridge into Minneapolis. If you are interested in the history of the falls, head over to Mill City Museum for some hands-on fun and learning.

6. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a fabulous FREE museum that is open six days a week and has a very comprehensive collection for your viewing pleasure. Before you head there, go online to plan your visit; it is very easy to get lost wandering the works of art (which isn’t always a bad thing).


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There is a Family Center for you to take a quick break and let out some energy. In the Family Center, you will find kid-friendly books and toys, as well as a family restroom and nursing area. If you’re hungry, check out the in-house restaurant, Agra-Culture, which features healthy and sustainable dishes, as well as cold-pressed juices.

7. Duluth
Duluth is located on the great Lake Superior, two hours north of the Twin Cities. You can spend your day exploring the city, sampling the local fare and admiring the beauty and power of Lake Superior. While visiting, consider heading north to Gooseberry Falls for a day of hiking. Gooseberry Falls is known for their spectacular waterfalls, river gorge and views of the Lake Superior shoreline.

Read more >> Fun Things to do in Duluth, MN for a Weekend

The Aerial Lift Bridge is large in scale and rises when ships need to pass through the canal.

Visiting Duluth is one of the fun things to do in Minnesota with kids! The Aerial Lift Bridge is large in scale and rises when ships need to pass through the canal.

8. Theater
If seeing live shows are your thing, you will have your pick of great theaters to catch one. If you are traveling with children, you will not want to pass up The Children’s Theater Company. The CTC won a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater and offers productions for all ages. If you are looking for an adult night out, you will have your choice of shows at various locations – including, but not limited to – the brand new Guthrie right on the river in Minneapolis, the Orpheum and State theaters in Minneapolis and the Ordway in St. Paul. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many amazing restaurants, and then catch a show for an amazing night out.

9. Mall of America
Mall of America is one of the largest malls in the United States. It boasts over 520 stores including The American Girl Store, The Lego Store and Nordstrom’s. Some of the main attractions include Nickelodeon Universe, Sea Life Aquarium, a movie theater and a comedy club. A visit to Mall of America is bound to leave you tired after a long day of shopping, eating and playing, but never fear, you can kick up your feet for a little relaxation at the Hilton.

Minnesota may not be home to the ocean or mountains, but we do know how to have a good time. Whether you come here for the great outdoors or the bustling city scene, you are bound to find something that suits you. These nine reasons to visit Minnesota are a great starting point, but be sure to stay awhile and explore our great state.

You may also enjoy:

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  3. Fun & Free Things to do in Minneapolis & Nearby During the Holidays
  4. Find Hilton hotels near Minneapolis

Hilton Mom Voyage writers receive free night certificates to use at Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. To learn more, visit our About Us page.

Michelle writes for Hilton Mom Voyage and resides with her family in a small town outside of St. Paul, Minnesota. They love the quiet their little city affords them, but enjoy being just minutes from mostly anything they may need, including both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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