A lot of times, outsiders don’t know what to make of Minnesota. And it’s no wonder when you realize that our state defies expectations in a lot of ways. We’re in the Midwest, but we have a thriving metro area with plenty of local culture. We’re known for our frigid winters, but our summers are incredible. So what’s a newcomer to the Land of 10,000 Lakes supposed to expect? Here are a few things longtime Minnesotans with they could tell newbies or people hoping to move here:
1. There's more to Minnesota than the Twin Cities.
Sure, Minneapolis and St. Paul have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment. But if you want to see Minnesota in all its glory, you have to explore the rest of Minnesota. Thousands of lakes, including Superior, await your visit. And on top of that, there are many state and regional parks - not to mention adorable small towns - that are worth noting.
2. We're known for being a pretty healthy state, but there is one time of year when we all gorge ourselves: during the State Fair.
The Minnesota State Fair is a big deal. Held over 12 days at the end of every summer, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is the ideal way to say goodbye to our favorite season. There's plenty to see, but the biggest buzz is always about which crazy - and crazy unhealthy - new foods we'll try this year.
3. Minnesota Nice isn't always as nice as it sounds.
Minnesotans have a reputation for being nice, but many newcomers complain that it is actually quite hard to make friends here. Why? Because we're nice but rarely offer to make plans with new people. That, and we can be pretty passive-aggressive. But don't let that turn you away. Most Minnesotans defy this stereotype.
4. We may be landlocked, but we've got some incredible beaches.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a place with more great beaches than the Land of 10,000 Lakes. And we've got some pretty
to choose from. Whether want to lounge on soft sand or pick through rocks for agates, we've got you covered.
5. This is the land of Caribou.
Sure, we have plenty of Starbucks. But why go there when you can go to Caribou? This Minnesota-based company has our loyalty, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
6. Winter lasts six months.
Sadly, winter is an unfortunate reality of Minnesota. Though the official start of winter is December 21, the snow and cold usually start much earlier - and end much later than the first day of spring. If you can't handle it, this may not be the best place for you.
7. The key to enjoying winter is finding a winter sport you love.
If the long winters don't turn you off, you may discover a new favorite hobby. Every Minnesotan knows that the best way to get through the winter is to find a snowy activity you love. Skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are popular choices. Who knows, you might even look forward to winter one day.
8. Driving in snow is an essential skill you must learn.
Even if you find a great activity, there are some major bummers when it comes to winter in Minnesota. One of the biggest is driving. It's slow, icy, and can be incredibly frustrating. If you're from a warm state, make it easier on yourself and others by reviewing some snow driving tips before your first winter here.
9. Despite the cold winters, our summers really are incredible.
Come summer, you may find it a bit more difficult to make plans with your Minnesotan friend. Why? Because they use every weekend to get out of town, soak in the sun, and swim in one of our many lakes. This is the best time to enjoy the outdoors, and we don't want to waste it.
10. For being only the 16th largest metropolitan area in the country, we have way too much traffic.
All the snow leads to plowing, and all the plowing leads to messed up roads. That means that come winter, just when you thought you were done with the slow commutes, construction season starts. The traffic in the metro area has been particularly bad lately, and it's only getting worse as the population grows. If you hate sitting in traffic, consider living outside of the Twin Cities.
11. The most satisfying vacations are those taken in the dead of winter.
Most of us think of summer as the best time to take a relaxing vacation. But what's even better is waiting until the cold has become unbearable before you take your beach vacation. While Minnesota digs out of another March blizzard, you'll be sitting in the sun. What could be better?
Minnesotans, is there anything you’d add to the list? Feel free to share in the comments!