World-class theater productions, impressive art museums, big-name concerts, and art and music festivals galore all combine to make Minnesota a don’t-miss destination for the arts. Venues like the Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center anchor the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as an arts hub, with cities including Winona, Lanesboro, Bemidji and Duluth offering exciting entertainment of their own. Find more inspiration below, add them to your favorites, and plan your arts-filled Minnesota vacation today.
It’s been half a century or more since jazz and blues, the great American musical forms, have drawn big crowds or filled arenas. What that means is you might have to sit at a table 20 feet away from the stage, drink in hand, to hear some of the greatest musicians alive.
It’s no surprise that Minnesota’s busiest arts scene is in Minneapolis, our largest city. But in smaller college towns throughout the state, students and faculty generate enough excitement for the arts to support destination-worthy galleries, museums, theater and more.
While New York is synonymous with Broadway, and California is home to Hollywood, Minnesota has earned its rightful place among these theatrical heavyweights. In fact, Minneapolis ranks as the fifth-most “creatively vital” city in the country, right after D.C., LA, NYC and Boston, according to the latest report by the Western States Arts Federation. The Twin Cities aren’t the only place to find notable stages. Of the more than 440 theaters throughout the state, close to 200 are in greater Minnesota. This year, new venues and new shows provide even more reasons to make going to the theater part of your Minnesota vacation.
Performing arts abound in Minnesota, and it’s not just the Twin Cities venues that have audiences cheering. In the northwest part of the state, orchestras, choirs, theater groups and concert halls have a full calendar of impressive performances all year long. Whether you’re headed to Bemidji, Moorhead, Walker, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids or Thief River Falls, consider adding a live show to your must-see list.
On tour, I’m often asked about the music scene in Minnesota. People joke and flatter, “Is it something in the tap water? The long winters?” I think it’s what’s not here that has shaped our sound and culture.
No matter the season, there’s usually a gift-giving occasion on the horizon, be it a birthday, wedding, anniversary or new baby. When you want to give something a little out of the ordinary, artful or inventive (but you aren’t a Pinterest pro), the Twin Cities offer a unique option: museum gift shops.
The F. Scott Fitzgerald Home, at 599 Summit Ave., is just one of many fascinating literary sites in Minnesota, in addition to several literary-themed events and attractions.
Minnesota museums and sculpture parks boast amazing collections of art from thousands of years ago to today. From renowned Twin Cities museums to lesser-known gems in greater Minnesota, art shines.
Take a long weekend in Minneapolis and St. Paul to immerse yourself in culture, theater, music and fine dining. Getting out on the towns will stimulate all of your senses.
From the Iron Range to Wabasha, Minnesota has been a filmmaker's destination for decades. Tour the many places throughout Minnesota where history was made on film.