Whether you’re a visitor or a longtime resident, if you’ve spent any amount in Minnesota, you know just how great our state is. Around just about every corner, there’s something great to see, eat, or celebrate. There’s so much good in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, in fact, that we’re willing to wager it’s the coolest state in America. Here’s why we think so:
1. We celebrate all seasons.
Unlike many other states, Minnesota doesn't shut down when the weather gets cold. Instead, we embrace the chill. When the snow starts to fall, Minnesotans head outside to enjoy our favorite winter activities. From snowmobiling to ice fishing to hockey, there is no shortage of cold-weather fun.
2. Our summers are truly amazing.
As soon as the sun comes out each spring, Minnesotans take to the outdoors in droves. The summer season is short, but we make the most of it. Nearly every free afternoon is spent at a beach, on a boat, or visiting any of our many outdoor attractions. And if it gets too hot, there's always a nearby body of water to cool off in.
3. We have tons of great indoor activities, too.
If you just can't brave the elements, there is plenty to do indoors in Minnesota. We have many fantastic - and often free - museums. The Science Museum of Minnesota is always a great day trip, and Minneapolis Institute of Art is a free museum full of notable art pieces. You can even visit the Como Zoo without stepping outside. The Sunken Garden and all of the other areas of the conservatory are truly stunning. All in all, you can have a lot of fun indoors in Minnesota.
4. Our cuisine is second to none.
Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But Minnesota does have its fair share of great eating. Whether you prefer the highly rated restaurants of the Twin Cities, or one of the quieter spots in small-town Minnesota, you're bound to find something you like. Even if you forego the restaurant scene altogether, it's still possible to find a great meal. Nearly every family has a great hotdish recipe that they'll be happy to share.
5. Minnesota is full of incredible natural beauty.
From thick forests to lakes that sparkle in the sunshine, Minnesota has it all. Our western prairies are full of wildflowers, and our snowy seasons are full of unearthly beauty. Everywhere you look, it's evident that Minnesota is full of wondrous beauty.
6. We have quiet small towns...
In every region of Minnesota, there is at least one small town that will impress you with its charming downtown, beautiful surroundings, and welcoming atmosphere. Many Minnesotans take pride in small-town living and will not hesitate to tell you why they prefer the simple life to living in the Twin Cities.
7. ...and energetic big cities.
While our small towns are great, many prefer the hustle and bustle that comes with living in a large metro area. For most Minnesotans, that means the Twin Cities. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, you'll find an interesting activity or event every day of the week. Whether you love theater or craft breweries, we've got it covered.
8. There are plenty of unusual activities to keep you busy...
Want to drop a line for the ugliest fish in Minnesota? Head up to International Falls for the annual International Eelpout Festival. Want to see a reenactment of Jesse James robbing a bank? Check out Northfield's Defeat of Jesse James Days. These events are only skimming the surface of fun, folksy festivals that Minnesotans love to take part in.
9....as well as some tried-and-true traditions.
Our most tried-and-true tradition by far is the Minnesota State Fair. For many Minnesotans, every summer officially ends with a trip to the state fairgrounds in St. Paul. The Great Minnesota Get-Together is for people watching, weird food sampling, and enjoying the last bits of summer before it's gone.
10. We are an artsy state.
In addition to museums, Minnesota has plenty more art to offer. There are many great concert venues to catch your favorite musician. We also have the most theater seats per capita of anywhere else in the United States besides New York City. There are many great theaters to discover, both large and small. There are plenty of galleries to check out all over Minneapolis and St. Paul.
11. Minnesota is home to some incredible, friendly people.
It may take us a while to open up, but when we do, Minnesotans are just as welcoming as anyone. We will gladly offer directions, tell you our favorite places to eat, or - if you're lucky - share our secret fishing spots. And, if you spend one snowy winter here, you'll see that Minnesotans often go out of their way to help anyone who needs it.
What do you think? What else makes Minnesota the coolest state? Share your thoughts in the comments!