Minnesota April 29, 2017
10 Undeniably Fun Weekend Trips To Take If You Live In Minnesota
Minnesota is a great state to take a road trip in. To the north, there is thick, beautiful forest. To the west, an endless prairie. And in between, more lakes, rivers, and streams than you can count – not to mention the towns and cities that have risen around them. There are tons of great weekend trips in Minnesota – and even more that are easy to access in surrounding states. These 10 are just the tip of the iceberg, but they should help you as you plan your next weekend getaway.
Given its location right on the shores of Lake Superior, is it any surprise that Duluth is on this list? There is so much to do there, you could easily plan a weeklong trip to this city. But even if you only spend a few days, your trip will be filled with fun. From the Glensheen Mansion to Canal Park to gorgeous views from above, Duluth is not going to disappoint.Round out your trip with a brewery visit, and be sure to check out one of Duluth's many notable restaurants as well.
Here's another city on Lake Superior, though this one is in Wisconsin. But it makes the cut because it's only a few hours from the Twin Cities - and even closer to those who live in northern Minnesota. Bayfield is a charming city with plenty to do. Strolling through downtown to check out the local shops is always a good time. Or you can take a boat out to the Apostle Islands for a look at some truly breathtaking scenery. The sea caves are a bucket list item for sure.
Lanesboro is a pretty small town, but it's hard to top its charm. The town is known for being the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota. There are plenty of options no matter your taste. To make your weekend complete, hiking and biking trails along the Root River are popular.
4. Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area
Trollhaugen is another great Wisconsin destination that is easily accessible for many Minnesotans. It's about 50 miles from the Twin Cities, and it's packed with fun outdoor adventures. There are zip lines and canopy walks in the summer, and plenty of skiing and tubing in snowy months. Learn more about it
5. Grand Marais
Grand Marais is a great town with a good mix of nature and local culture. Depending on when you visit, you may get to take part in an annual festival, such as the Fisherman's Picnic. But even if you don't go during that time, there is still plenty to do and see. If all else fails, you can count on a great view of Lake Superior.
6. Wisconsin Dells
We know what you're thinking: really, the
Wisconsin Dells. But hear us out: despite all of the goofy tourist areas, the Dells themselves are actually really beautiful. If you focus on the scenic beauty of this Wisconsin getaway, you can really enjoy it. Plus, some of those tourist traps are pretty fun. At only a few hours from the Twin Cities, the Wisconsin Dells are a great place for a weekend trip.
In 2016, National Geographic named Ely
one of the best towns in the world for outdoor adventure
. And with the Boundary Waters and Bear Head Lake State Park each a stone's throw away, it's no wonder. Ely is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy the great outdoors. And when you've had your fill, there's plenty to do in downtown Ely as well.
8. Walnut Grove
Walnut Grove is tiny, but that's why it's such a great spot for a weekend trip. There won't be as many tourists as somewhere like the Wisconsin Dells, so you'll have plenty of time and space to explore unhindered. There are a lot of interesting historic sites int his area, and if you're a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, it's going to be an ideal weekend trip for you.
We've talked about Wisconsin weekend trips, but what about Iowa? The Hawkeye state has a few tricks up its sleeve. For example, the charming town of Pella. This town is nicknamed "America's Dutch Treasure," and it shows. Complete with a windmill, a tulip festival, and lots of charm - even their McDonald's looks pretty special - this adorable town is worth the trip. It's about four hours south of the Twin Cities, so it's in easy driving distance for most Minnesotans.
10. Red Wing
Red Wing is another town full of historic charm. Located along the Mississippi River, it offers picturesque views of southeastern Minnesota's river bluffs. Couple that with the quaint downtown - full of local shops and restaurants - and you may find yourself wanting to stay for more than a weekend.
Got any other favorite weekend trips in Minnesota (and beyond)? Feel free to share in the comments!