Many out-of-towners forget about Minnesota altogether, so when we’ve grabbed their attention enough to warrant a visit, there are more than a few things we feel the need to explain. Here are just a few of them.
1. First things first, Minneapolis is not the state capital.
It may not be the biggest or busiest city in Minnesota, but St. Paul still holds its own. The history alone makes St. Paul a fantastic place to visit. Of course, the proximity to Minneapolis doesn't hurt.
everyone sounds like they’re from Fargo.
The accent is far more prevalent in northern Minnesota, though some hold on to the long O in the south as well. Regardless, the famous Minnesota accent is not as prevalent as you might think... But every single Minnesotan can do a spot-on imitation of it.
3. Speaking of which, Fargo is not in Minnesota.
Shocking, we know. But the town made famous by the Coen brothers is actually just over the border in North Dakota. They probably thought
Fargo sounded a bit better than Brainerd.
4. Yes, you very well might need a winter coat in August.
It's not uncommon for a giant snowstorm to strike right as we're trying to ease into spring. More often than not, this will happen at the very end of April. Best bring a coat. Or, if you really want to feel like a local, you can spitefully refuse to wear any outerwear because there comes a point when enough is enough.
5. But you might also want to pack flip flops.
They're a must in the winter, but it can just as easily get warm enough to open toes in cooler months as well. Our weather is unpredictable, so if you come during a transition period, you have to be prepared for anything.
6. The whole state isn’t going to shut down just because it snows.
To the disappointment of schoolchildren everywhere, snow is usually not a big deal. Sure, there may be a snow day here and there, but Minnesota doesn't typically shut down for a little bit of snow.
7. Actually, most of us hate the Mall of America.
We'll take you there with a smile, but most of us would rather be anywhere else. There are plenty of other malls. Why does it have to be MOA?
8. Really, we'd rather go to Target.
This Minnesota company is a point of pride. We know they exist practically everywhere else, but we're still convinced ours are the best.
9. We prefer Caribou, not Starbucks.
Caribou is about as common here as Starbucks is everywhere else, and Minnesotans like it that way. To get the full Minnesota experience, we're going to recommend it without a doubt.
10. Uff da is an expression for every occasion.
Any lucky visitor who hears this expression will probably be treated to all of the ins and outs of using it properly. It's so uniquely Minnesotan that many out-of-towners don't know, but it's so simple that they can pick it up right away.
11. Minnesota nice is more complex than you think.
For some, Minnesota nice is another word for passive aggressive. They say locals are nice on the surface but deep down, ultimately disinterested. Whether or not you agree, it's a cultural thing that out-of-towners should be aware of as they interact with locals.
12. Bug spray is an absolute must.
Really. If the cold doesn't get you in the winter, the bugs will get you in the summer. All those lakes have their price, but it's nothing a little - or a lot - of bug spray can't fix.
13. Speaking of lakes, we aren't kidding when we say we have 10,000 of them.
That's actually an understatement. We have more than 11,000 lakes, and we definitely want to show them to you. All you have to do is ask, and a Minnesotan will tell you all about their favorite lakes.
14. But Minnesota isn’t
just beautiful nature.
We're incredibly proud of Minnesota culture. We have a fantastic music scene, the most theater seats per capita outside of New York, and many world-class museums. Should this be such a surprise? We did give the world some of the most iconic artists of all time.
15. Minnesota is like several different states in one.
The Twin Cities are the pinnacle of urban life in the midwest, while Duluth is the main stronghold of the north. In the far north, we have pristine forests and lakes dotted with small towns. In the south, gently rolling hills offer up a much different landscape than the rest of the state. There are many regions in Minnesota, each with people as diverse as the landscape.
What else have you had to explain to an out-of-towner? Are there any misconceptions you’ve had to clear up? Let us know in the comments!