As the largest cities in the state, Minneapolis and St. Paul are the epitome of Minnesota. They are full of great dining and culture, and the metro area is home to the majority of Minnesotans. But there are dozens of other incredible towns that are just as Minnesotan. These 11 small towns across the state are tailor-made for Minnesotans. Read on to find out why:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Given Minnesotans' love of nature, what better town for a Minnesotan than Ely? It's surrounded by nature on all sides, from the Boundary Waters to Bear Head Lake State Park. This little town is full of beauty, and that makes it one of the most Minnesotan towns in the entire state.
We like Lanesboro because despite its size, this town has a lot going on. In warmer months, it's a tourist hub, with many stopping in on day trips or spending the night in one of its many bed and breakfasts. From bike rentals to ice cream shops to art galleries, Lanesboro is the essential town for any Minnesotan who wants to slow down without going completely off the grid.
As one of Minnesota's oldest towns, Stillwater is one of the most beloved places in all of Minnesota. From its walkable downtown to its gorgeous riverfront, it was tailor-made for Minnesotans who love spending time outside. Better yet, its many annual events make it perfect for those among us who love to get out into the community.
4. Grand Marais
If you're looking for a wonderful town on the North Shore, it doesn't get much better than Grand Marais. Nestled among thick northern forest and bordered by the gorgeous Lake Superior, it's one of the prettiest places in the entire state. But the gorgeous scenery is only part of the draw. Downtown Grand Marais has a charm of its own, with lovely restaurants and shops to keep you entertained.
5. New Ulm
New Ulm is a charming town with a German history, and it shows just about everywhere you look. From the large glockenspiel to the statue of Hermann the German, New Ulm knows how to celebrate its heritage. It is that celebratory nature that makes New Ulm the ultimate Minnesota town. Not only that, but it is home to one of the oldest family-owned breweries in the United States. How better to fit into Minnesota culture than to brew beer?
Walker, Minnesota, is located on the shores of Leech Lake, the third-largest lake in Minnesota. It is a popular fishing destination throughout every season of the year thanks to the great variety of aquatic life that makes its home in the lake. In a state that prides itself on having 10,000 lakes, it makes sense that Walker would be considered one of the most Minnesotan towns.
Here's another town that celebrates its heritage. But unlike New Ulm, Lindstrom is a town steeped in Swedish tradition. In fact, the official name of the town is Lindström. Not only does the town have a strong heritage, but it is surrounded by lakes. There are so many lakes, in fact, that Lindstrom looks like an island from the air. The nature and charm of this little town make it quintessentially Minnesotan.
Luverne is a small town in southwestern Minnesota that not many people have heard of. But this little town was tailor-made for Minnesota. Why? Because it's located in one of Minnesota's most understatedly beautiful regions. Surrounded by vast prairie punctuated by pink Sioux quartzite, its quiet beauty doesn't get much attention - just like most of Minnesota to the outside world.
Askov is an east-central Minnesota town that has a lot of charm. For one thing, the town has held on to its Danish heritage since it was first founded in the 19th century. Street names throughout the small town come with both Danish and English translations. Beyond Askov's heritage, it is surrounded by gorgeous nature areas in every direction. Visit Askov after a stop at the Kettle River in nearby Banning State Park, and you'll be convinced Askov is the most Minnesotan town in the state.
10. Lake City
In southeastern Minnesota, Lake City stands at a wide point on the Mississippi River called Lake Pepin. This beautiful lake is a popular tourist attraction in warmer months, when boaters and swimmers take to the water. In fact, Lake City is the birthplace of waterskiing. What is more Minnesotan than a town famous for its place on the water?
11. International Falls
Minnesotans in general pride themselves on being hardy. We don't mind the cold - or at least, we pretend not to mind it. That goes double in International Falls, the coldest town in Minnesota. In the Icebox of the Nation, being cold is a point of pride. For that reason, this little town - about as far north as you can go before you reach Canada - may be the most Minnesotan town there is.
Have you been to any of these small towns? Are there any other towns tailor-made for Minnesotans that you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments down below!