While it may not be the size of Alaska or Texas, Minnesota is still a pretty sizeable state. It’s the 21st largest in the U.S., and it has a lot going on. Northern Minnesota brings thick forests, while southwestern Minnesota is all about prairie. And in between? Sparkling lakes, rugged bluffs, and endless places to visit on a long weekend. It’s time to embrace all that the Land of 10,000 Lakes has to offer and plan a weekend away at any of these 10 best places in Minnesota to take a long weekend.
1. Lake Pepin
Lake Pepin is technically a wide area along the Mississippi River. But it's a great way to
2. North Shore
The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of Minnesota's best treasures. From sampling local food to hiking the region's many trails to staring at the endless water, there is no shortage of ways to entertain yourself. Whether you've been there a million times or never in your life, you'll fall in love with the North Shore on every visit.
3. Leech Lake
If you love fishing, Leech Lake is one of the best places to go in Minnesota. There are many lodges and campgrounds along its shores, as well as plenty of fishing outfitters. If you don't have the equipment - or don't want to haul it all that way - you can still easily find a way to enjoy all that the lake has to offer. This long weekend trip is a fantastic way to get outside - and maybe catch your own dinner.
As the entry to the Boundary Waters, Ely is one of the most popular towns to visit in Minnesota each summer. Camping and fishing are favorite activities, but there's plenty to do in town, too. Other than the Boundary Waters, Ely is home to Bear Head Lake State Park. This lesser known park is full of beauty, and it's among many reasons Ely is such a great long weekend destination.
Stillwater is one of the cutest towns along the St. Croix River. The downtown area is charming, with lots of great restaurants, antiques, and more. Along the river, you'll find hiking, boating, wineries, and great views.
6. Pipestone National Monument
Located in the southwestern corner of the state, Pipestone is one of only two national monuments in the entire state of Minnesota. Grand Portage National Monument is worth visiting as well, but we like Pipestone for the unique beauty of its quartzite cliffs, the gentle flow of Winnewissa Falls, and the long history of Native American quarrying in the area. While you're there, also check out the nearby Blue Mounds State Park. It's one of the most unique parks in the entire state.
Duluth is a city that, for many people, has an irresistible draw. It's hard exactly to explain what's so alluring about this city, but there's a reason it's one of the most popular long weekend destinations in Minnesota. The entryway to the North Shore, Duluth has many fantastic attractions in its own right. Plenty of nature areas, shopping, and dining await.
Lutsen is one of the most popular places to go for a long weekend in Minnesota. And it's for good reason. This area is not only charming, but it is filled to the brim with lakeside lodges, tasty restaurants, and beautiful scenery. If you want to get away from it all for a few days, your best bet may just be Lutsen.
9. Twin Cities
If you don't live in the Twin Cities - or even if you do - it would make a great long weekend to explore all that Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer. From museums to city parks to some of the best restaurants in the state, there is plenty to do between Minnesota's two largest cities. This long weekend trip would prove that you don't have to leave the city to have an amazing weekend.
10. Bluff Country
Southeastern Minnesota's bluff country offers some of the most scenic drives in the state. As you traverse rolling green hills, you'll be transported into the most idyllic landscape you've ever seen. Charming farms dot the rural areas, which give way to adorable towns filled with quaint small-town activity. Make your trip even better by biking along the Root River Trail or spending a night in the adorable town of Lanesboro. You won't be sorry you did.
Have you ever taken a long weekend at any of these places? Where are your other favorite places for a long weekend in Minnesota?