Attractions August 17, 2021
There’s No Better Place To Spend Your Summer Than These 9 Hidden Minnesota Spots
Summertime in Minnesota comes with many activities. After all, we have only a few months before the weather turns cool again. We have to make the most of the good weather while it lasts! You’re likely aware of all the best summertime spots, from swimming pools to state park hikes. But there are plenty of lesser-known places to discover as well. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite secret waterfalls, swimming holes, campgrounds, and more. There’s no better place to spend a Minnesota summer!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Pipestone National Monument
Pipestone National Monument, 36 Reservation Ave, Pipestone, MN 56164, USA
Tucked away in Minnesota’s southwestern corner, Pipestone National Monument is not as well-known as it should be. Sure, it’s a long drive for most Minnesotans. But the monument is home to some impressive sights, including an ancient pipestone quarry used by Native Americans. Trails through the area are lined with unique pink quartzite cliffs that eventually lead to a lovely prairie waterfall. It’s a great summer road trip destination!
2. Franconia Sculpture Park
Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St Croix Trail N, Shafer, MN 55074, USA
Minnesota’s most famous sculpture park is always worth a visit. But there are plenty of smaller parks that art lovers will enjoy as well. Franconia Sculpture Park is just outside the Twin Cities, and it’s home to a wide variety of whimsical sculpted pieces that adults and kids alike will enjoy. There’s even a huge playground that kids will love exploring!
3. Mystery Cave
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, 21071 County Rd 118, Preston, MN 55965, USA
During a hot Minnesota summer, a cave tour is just the thing to cool off! Mystery Cave is part of Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park in southern Minnesota. Guests can go on a guided tour to learn about the formation and history of Minnesota’s longest cave. It’s a great summertime activity that introduces one of the state’s most unique landforms!
4. Kamp Dels
Kamp Dels, 14842 Sakatah Lake Rd, Waterville, MN 56096, USA
If you’re looking for a camping getaway - one that doesn’t require too much roughing it - Kamp Dels could be the ticket for you. Not only is this an excellent family campground. It’s also full of amenities, including an arcade, playgrounds, trails, fishing, and even a giant waterpark! It’s a spot that kids and adults alike will live, and it’s a fabulous place to spend a few days each summer.
5. Treasured Haven Farm
Treasured Haven Farm, 53407 Government Rd, Rush City, MN 55069, USA
As summer begins to wind down, Treasured Haven Farm winds up! This beautiful place in Rush City is home to a gorgeous sunflower field that comes into full bloom in late summer. Visitors are welcome to come and see the sight of beautiful yellow blooms in every direction. If you’re looking for a summertime photo op, a visit to this little-known sunflower farm should do the trick!
6. Buffalo River State Park
Buffalo River State Park, 565 155th St S, Glyndon, MN 56547, USA
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is full of excellent swimming holes. It’s not hard to find a place to swim. But during the hottest days, the most popular spots can be overrun with swimmers. Luckily, the little-known Buffalo River State Park never gets too full. This northwestern Minnesota spot is a drive for most Minnesotans, but it comes complete with beautiful nature scenes and a great sandy swimming beach. If you’re on a mission to see Minnesota’s state parks - and you can’t resist a good swimming hole - add this spot to your Minnesota bucket list!
7. Cannon Valley Trail
Cannon Valley Trail, Cannon Falls, MN, USA
The Cannon Valley Trail is a 20-mile paved trail between Cannon Falls and Red Wing in southern Minnesota. The trail passes beneath shady tree canopies, over picturesque bridges, and along gorgeous riverbanks. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy some Minnesota scenery that is a little off the beaten path. Whether you bike, hike, or rollerblade, you’ll surely find more than enough to enjoy along this beautiful trail.
8. Deer Lake
Covering 4,000 acres, Deer Lake is a large lake in Itasca County, Minnesota. Because of its crystal-clear waters, it’s often called the Lake of Changing Colors thanks to its many beautiful hues. On a summer day, the lake looks bright blue. As evening falls, it may turn shades of orange, pink, red, and purple. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to spend a summer day, especially on a bit. You can sunbathe, fish, and enjoy the view on this little-known Minnesota lake!
9. Timber Twister
Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, 9500 Spirit Mountain Pl, Duluth, MN 55810, USA
If you’re looking for an exhilarating ride in Minnesota, you’re in luck! Valley Fair is the go-to spot for thrill-seekers. But Minnesota’s North Shore is home to an interesting mountain coaster that you’re sure to love as well. Hop board the Timber Twister at Spirit Mountain for a speedy ride through the woods. You’ll fly around twists and turns, speed down hills, and take in a water view that you can’t get anywhere else. This is a fun ride that’ll keep you cool even under the hot sun. It’s a must for any Minnesota adventurer!
There you have it! What other attractions would you add? Let us know in the comments, or fill out our