With glittering snowflakes and otherworldly ice formations – not to mention all the manmade attractions that come with the season – Minnesota is an enchanting place during winter. There are many beautiful winter attractions across the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but there are some that are especially magical. These 11 destinations will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into the North Pole.
1. Minnehaha Falls - Minneapolis
A step behind the frozen blue of Minnehaha Falls in the winter is like stepping into another world. The surreal formation
must be what the North Pole is like. It's that magical. Address: Minnehaha Regional Park, 4801 South Minnehaha Drive, Minneapolis.
2. Bentleyville - Duluth
What place in Minnesota has more Christmas cheer than Bentleyville? It's the perfect place to pretend you're taking a nighttime stroll through the North Pole.
Address: 700 West Railroad Street, Duluth.
3. LARK Toys - Kellogg
It's not a trip to the North Pole unless there's a toy workshop involved, right? LARK Toys has 20,000 square feet of toys to buy and ogle. On top of that, you can ride a carousel, meet llamas, and sample sweet treats.
Address: 63604 170th Avenue, Kellogg.
4. Gunflint Trail - Cook County
The famous Gunflint Trail is beautiful all year, but in winter, it'll really make you feel like you're not in Minnesota. The serenity of being up north combined with thick snowfall feel truly magical. You might find yourself wondering if Rudolph will come wandering out of the woods.
5. Holidazzle Village - Minneapolis
Holidazzle Village comes complete with thousands of bright lights, ice skating, and warm tents where you can buy gifts and treats - not to mention Santa visits. Basically, the yearly event has everything you need to suspend disbelief and pretend you're in the North Pole.
Address: Loring Park, Minneapolis.
6. Naniboujou Lodge - Grand Marais
The unique shape and red trim of Naniboujou Lodge's exterior is a great start in making it feel like a North Pole building. And inside, the stunningly bright colors and overall coziness will make you expect Santa to join you for dinner.
Address: 20 Naniboujou Trail, Grand Marais.
7. Lake Superior - St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties
With the waves frozen in place, Lake Superior looks like another planet in the winter. The jagged edges of and blue sparkle of the ice almost make it look like a magical, glowing formation straight out of the North Pole.
8. Downtown Stillwater - Stillwater
With carolers, horse-drawn sleighs and a beautiful Christmas tree gazebo overlooking water, Stillwater is a winter wonderland not unlike the North Pole.
9. Spicer Castle Inn - Spicer
Located on the shores of Green Lake in Spicer, this hundred-year-old inn is wonderfully cozy. On a winter day, it looks just the kind of house you might imagine Santa living in. Spicer Castle is the perfect place to curl up and watch the snow fall this winter.
Address: 11600 Indian Beach Road, Spicer.
10. Spirit Mountain - Duluth
Whether you love to ski, snowboard, or snow tube, you'll find fantastic winter fun at Duluth's Spirit Mountain. Even if you're not into snow sports, it's still a great place to go to have a warm drink while taking in a winter scene.
Address: 9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth.
11. St. Paul Winter Carnival - St. Paul
Elves have to take a break too, right? The St. Paul Winter Carnival is just the kind of activity you might imagine them doing in their free time. This winter, you can check it out starting January 26. The beautiful lights and elaborate ice sculptures make the event seem truly magical - just like the North Pole.
Address: 75 West 5th Street, St. Paul.