Besides our over 10,000 lakes, outsiders to Minnesota know our state mostly because of its winter weather. Though it’s often deemed brutal or unlivable, we in the north have come to look at our extreme weather fondly. Sure, we may groan about snow in April or poorly plowed roads, but at the end of the day, we wouldn’t trade our four-season climate for anything.
1. Rochester - 51.9 inches
Starting off in southern Minnesota, Rochester gets an average of 51.9 inches of snow each year - over four feet. But the city doesn't back down from the ice and cold. The annual WinterFest makes the winter something to look forward to each year. This winter, it's January 26-February 14.
Albert Lea - 37.8 inches
Though a bit less than Rochester, an average of 37.8 inches of snow is nothing to scoff at. When Albert Lea is done shoveling itself out, it celebrates winter in an event called The Big Freeze. Usually occurring in early February, the event celebrates winter with events like a polar plunge. Check in
to find this winter's date when it's announced.
Faribault - 42.6 inches
While not the highest total in Minnesota, Faribault's 42.6 inches is still a respectable amount of snow. It only snows an average of about 20 days per year there, so they get more snow at once than a more snowy city like Rochester.
Mankato - 38.6 inches
Mankato deals with its heavy snowfall by offering lots of outdoor activities throughout the season. Check out the Pond Hockey Classic this winter on January 28-29.
Redwood Falls - 35.5 inches
If 35.5 inches - just under three feet - of snow isn't impressive to you, maybe Redwood Falls won't appeal to you. But you may change your mind if you like to spend time outside in the winter. The annual Fire and Ice Festival on Lake Redwood will feature many fun winter events on February 6, 2017.
Minneapolis - 54 inches
From Holidazzle to snow tubing to checking out the frozen Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis has plenty to offer even when it's blanketed in snow. And with a seasonal average of 54 inches, it's a
St. Paul - 50.6 inches
St. Paul may be a runner-up to Minneapolis in average annual snowfall totals, but it does receive a fraction of an inch more snow per snowfall than Minneapolis. Another one in the win column for St. Paul. When you're done tallying, check out the Winter Carnival, snow sculptures at the State Fairgrounds, ice skating, and more.
International Falls - 71 inches
Way up on the Canadian border, the Icebox of the Nation blows southern Minnesota out of the water when it comes to winter snowfall averages. At 71 inches - nearly six feet of snow - this city has more snow than most places would know what to do with. But it does a good job. This winter, celebrate the snow on Ice Box Days January 18-22.
Grand Marais - 42.1 inches
The lovely Grand Marais doesn't escape the snow, either - and they wouldn't have it any other way. While some of its most well-known activities take place when the trees still have leaves, there's still plenty to do in cold months. Why not take a snowy hike on the Gunflint Trail?
Two Harbors - 56.2 inches
Along the shore of Lake Superior, Two Harbors offers plenty to do in the summer. But what about the winter months, when Gooseberry Falls and its two charming lighthouses are blanketed under snow? It just may be the best time of the year in this small town. Snowshoeing, ice skating, fishing, and more await those who can handle the cold.
Brainerd - 46.8 inches
If you live in a place that gets over 46 inches of snowfall each winter, the weather is
probably cold enough to freeze the lakes. And being located near some of Minnesota's most beautiful lakes, Brainerd makes the most of it. The $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on January 28, 2017, is just one Brainerd activity that will get you out in the snow.
St. Cloud - 46.1 inches
With an average 46.1 inches of snow each winter, St. Cloud is no slouch when it comes to snowy day activities. Many locals love to take a quick skate on Lake George as snowflakes fall around them. What could be more pretty?
Moorhead - 57.9 inches
Located near Fargo in northwestern Minnesota, Moorhead is in an area of Minnesota known for heavy snowfalls - and the road closures that go with them. But Minnesotans that they are, Moorhead locals take it in stride.
Alexandria - 42.3 inches
Detroit Lakes - 44.8 inches
With so many lakes around, Detroit Lakes is a great place to get out into the snow. Or, if you don't love being out on a frozen lake, try snow tubing or skiing at Detroit Mountain.
Duluth - 86.1
It probably comes as no shock that Duluth highest average snowfall in Minnesota. Maybe it's lake-effect snow, or maybe Duluth is just blessed to be all-around great. But whatever it is, Duluth is Minnesota's go-to spot if you love snow. Besides Christmas activities like Bentleyville, Duluth is home to Spirit Mountain, where you can ski, snowboard, and snow tube all winter long.