Minnesotans are pretty lucky. Sure, we deal with rough winters and plentiful mosquitoes. But if you look past the cold and bug bites, you’ll see that we have more than a few privileges that set us apart from the rest of the U.S. From our thousands of lakes to our delicious local cuisine, here are 11 privileges Minnesotans have that the rest of the country envies:
1. Endless choice of lakes.
Minnesota actually has far more than the 10,000 lakes our slogan modestly suggests. We clock in with more than 11,000 lakes. The only state with more is Alaska, but we still hold the record for the continental United States.
2. Access to the best state fair in the country.
The Great Minnesota Get-Together receives an average of 1.8 million visitors across its 12 fun-filled days. By visitors per day, that makes it the most attended state fair in the country. Given the great food and entertainment, we are not at all surprised by how many Minnesotans love the fair.
3. Deliciously cheesy burgers.
Regardless of which restaurant you count as the inventor of the cheese-filled burger, Minnesota is the birthplace of the Juicy Lucy. If you love biting into a burger and being met with gooey, melty cheese, you should count yourself lucky to be a Minnesotan.
4. The Mississippi River headwaters.
Only one state can be the home of the Mississippi headwaters, and Minnesota is it. Generations of Minnesotans have walked across its shallow waters at Itasca State Park, the northernmost point of the Mighty Mississippi before it flows south to the gulf.
5. Access to the largest mall in the country.
Love it or hate it, Minnesotans are the only ones in the country who have easy access to the Mall of America. Across its thousands of square feet, shopping, eating, and people watching are the main activities of any visit. Many Minnesotans do avoid this spot, but we never hesitate to brag about it to out-of-towners.
6. The best outdoor sculpture gardens.
The iconic cherry spoon is a symbol of Minneapolis — and of Minnesota as a whole. But that's just one of many great sculptures in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. And beyond Minneapolis, many smaller sculpture gardens draw locals with quirky, interactive installations. Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota, is just one of many options.
7. Fantastic live theater.
Did you know Minneapolis has the most theater seats per capita than any city outside of New York? That's not bad for the 46th most populous city in the country.
8. Tater tot hotdish.
Sure, residents of any state can make tater tot hotdish. But there's something about hotdish that just tastes better at a Minnesota potluck. It's a huge part of the state culture, and it doesn't get any more authentic than when it's served by a Minnesotan.
9. Hundreds of miles of bike trails.
Minneapolis has consistently been ranked among the most bike-friendly cities in the country. In fact, a 2015 study ranked Minneapolis the 18th most bike-friendly city in the world. It was the only U.S. city to make the list! With the city's excellent bike trails, it's no wonder. But the trails extend to Greater Minnesota, too. There, they take cyclists on a journey to some of the state's greatest natural sights.
10. Year-round outdoor activities.
We may sometimes complain about our overly long winters, but we wouldn't trade them for the world. Minnesotans make the best of every weather, no matter how chilly or snowy. Outdoor sports carry on in every season of the year. Summers are famed for boating and hiking, and winters bring out hockey fans and sledding enthusiasts.
11. Going up north.
We know every state has a north, but isn't Minnesota's just a little bit better? In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, going up north is part of the culture. Heading to the cabin on for a long summer weekend is about as Minnesotan as you can get.