It’s that time of year again – time to start planning our getaways for the rest of the year. But, if you don’t have the time or the funds to travel far this year, remember that there are plenty of things to do right here in Minnesota. Each of these 13 trips is absolutely incredible – and you don’t have to go too far to experience them. Click the captions for more info.
Upper Sioux Agency State Park
This little-known park in southwestern Minnesota would be a great place to work into your travel plans this year. It's located on over 1,200 acres of beautiful bluffs, prairies, and forests along the Minnesota River. Fishing and hiking are popular activities, and you can even camp in a tipi!
New Ulm is truly one of Minnesota's most charming towns. Its German heritage adds that extra something to make a trip there really special. Great restaurants and shopping are a given, but you also have to visit the famous glockenspiel and the Hermann Heights Monument.
Mystery Cave State Park
As one of Minnesota's coolest nature areas, Mystery Cave State Park would be a weekend great trip this summer. Not only is there a cave - featuring beautiful rock formations surrounding still blue water - but nearby Historic Forestville will take you back to the 19th century.
Jay Cooke State Park
If you've ever wanted to star in your own action-adventure movie, Jay Cooke State Park may be the place to live out that fantasy - or at least pretend to. The famous swinging bridge over the St. Louis River is the focal point of the park, but the entire area is gorgeous. You won't want to leave.
Whistle Stop Bed & Breakfast
This is one of Minnesota's most unique bed and breakfasts. Visitors have four authentic train cars to choose from, the oldest being 124 years old. But don't think that's the only attraction. This bed and breakfast is in New York Mills, a tiny but charming town in Otter Tail County. There, you'll find hometown eating, a cultural center, and
hundreds of lakes
Mining is a huge part of Minnesota history, so a trip to this mine would be educational as well as beautiful. It's one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, stretching 3.5 miles across and 600 feet deep. Even if you live far away, the drive to Hibbing is totally worth it for the astonishing view. There's no other place like it in Minnesota.
If at any point this year you crave a little relaxation, consider a trip to the Boundary Waters. This gorgeous area contains over one million acres of untouched wilderness. Pristine lakes, secluded forests, and fascinating wildlife await. Grab your camping gear - and maybe a canoe - and go.
High Falls of the Baptism River
The 60-foot High Falls of the Baptism River is certainly the focal point of Tettegouche State Park. There isn't much more beautiful than the water rushing over rocks as the river continues on its course. But Tettegouche actually has plenty of other great sights as well. Miles of hiking trails along cliffs and bluffs make up this beautiful park. And when you're done looking at the waterfall, be sure to check out Shovel Point.
Superior Hiking Trail
Okay, so you definitely can't hike the Superior Hiking Trail in one day. It's over 300 miles long, stretching along the North Shore from Duluth to the Canadian border. But you can certainly hike a portion of it. And the good news is, it doesn't really matter where you start. Every mile of this trail is breathtaking.
Whether you love to fish, or you just want to get as far away from the hustle and bustle of the city as possible, a trip to Oak Island will help you accomplish that. This little island is part of the Northwest Angle, so you can only get there by crossing the Canadian border into Angle Inlet, or by crossing Lake of the Woods from its southern shore. Either way, several rustic resorts await, ready to give you the perfectly secluded trip of your dreams.
Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
This quaint bed and breakfast was built in 1892, making it one of Minnesota's oldest lighthouses. Over 100 years later, the historic building was renovated to become a bed and breakfast. It's one of Minnesota's coolest - and most historic - places to stay the night. And better yet, it's feet away from Lake Superior. A weekend here, with the waves crashing just outside and the historic charm surrounding you? Well, it doesn't get much better than that.
Interstate State Park
Interstate State Park is another one of Minnesota's lesser-known parks. But that doesn't mean it's any less great. This park is right on Minnesota-Wisconsin border, along the St. Croix River. Hiking trails along the river bluffs lead to stunning views of the river and beyond. It's an especially great trip to take in the fall, when the trees make the forest bright with color.
Eagle Mountain is Minnesota's highest point, at 2,300 feet above sea level. But that doesn't mean it's a difficult hike. It's 7 miles round-trip, across gently sloping forest. Along the way, you'll trek through thick forests and - depending on your route - may even pass the beautiful Brule Lake. The last few steps towards the top are the steepest, but it's the view from the summit that will really take your breath away. On top of Minnesota, you can see for miles.