Minnesota may be right in the middle of the Midwest, but our beautiful state has a few quirks that set it apart from the rest. From local cuisine to brutal winters, Minnesota has a lot to offer – both good and not-so-great. If you’re thinking about moving to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there are a few things you’ll quickly learn about our state when you get here. This list will give you a head start.
1. Finding a great hotdish recipe is a must.
A hotdish - or casserole, if you're not from these parts - is an essential part of Minnesota cuisine. There are plenty of great recipes out there, but Minnesotans tend to prefer those that are loaded with tater tots. Pile on the tots and your dish will be a potluck hit.
2. Layers are important.
If you want to survive a Minnesota winter - or any spring, or fall - you have to learn the art of layering. Temperatures can change quickly. Just because it's a warm day in March doesn't mean you don't need to keep a heavy coat nearby.
3. Saying goodbye isn't as simple as you might think.
It isn't that Minnesotans love saying goodbye - in fact, we like it so little that we draw it out for as long as possible. But the unspoken rules of the goodbye may be confusing to an out-of-stater. Leaving a party is often drawn out, and your best bet is to just plan extra time so you can make a proper exit.
4. Never eat the last piece.
Why? Just in case someone else wants it -which, of course, they won't admit to. This dilemma often results in a last piece being divided in half infinitely, with the last tiny piece left a few days before it's finally thrown away. It's a strange quirk of Minnesotans, but if you
really want to fit in, you'll avoid that last piece too.
5. Get the most out of your summer.
Why? Because it won't last. Winter is always coming in Minnesota, so Minnesotans are sure to every ray of sunshine that we can. If you don't, you'll wish you had come January.
6. Life doesn't stop just because it's cold.
In Minnesota, being cold is just part of life. It never stops us from having fun outside. There are plenty of winter activities to enjoy in Minnesota. Find something you love, and you might even start to look forward to winter.
7. There are actually a lot more than 10,000 lakes.
It may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but Minnesota is actually home to nearly 12,000 lakes of at least 10 acres. Count the ones that are as small as 2.5 acres, and we have over 20,000. This is important when you meet a Wisconsinite who claims their state has more. It doesn't.
8. Bug spray is essential.
Because of our many lakes, Minnesota has a bit of a mosquito problem. It's not so bad in a city, but spend a weekend up north and you'll be itching. That is, unless you douse yourself in bug spray. Which you should.
9. Knowing how to jumpstart
will come in handy.
If you don't already know how, learning to jumpstart is essential knowledge in Minnesota. You'll definitely want to learn before your first winter. Not only can it help you out, but it can give you an opportunity to help somebody else. That's what Minnesota Nice is all about.
10. You can't go wrong with Top the Tater.
Is there a Minnesotan who
doesn't love this glorious dip? It can be used in so many things, and Minnesota is one of the only places in the country you can buy it.
11. Fargo is not in Minnesota.
It's in North Dakota, and we won't hesitate to remind you next time you quote
Fargo at us. And for the record, most people don't actually talk like that.
12. There's more to Minnesota than the Twin Cities.
Chances are, if you're moving to Minnesota from out of state, you're going to end up in Minneapolis or St. Paul. These are fantastic cities full of amazing people and things to do, but they aren't the be-all and end-all of Minnesota. There are many smaller towns worth exploring across the entire state, as well as breathtaking nature areas in every region. In your adventures, don't forget to travel south and west as well. Too many people think all of Minnesota's beauty is along the North Shore.
13. Being outside is a way of life.
Minnesotans love the outdoors. If you really want to fit in, you'll think about buying a tent and sleeping bag. Maybe even get a canoe if you're feeling adventurous. This state is seriously beautiful and worthy of exploring.
Native Minnesotans, is there anything you’d add? If you moved to Minnesota from out of state, what did you learn? Let us know in the comments!