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.
Summer is the peak of concert-going season in Minnesota. With outdoor festivals and neighborhood events almost every weekend and warm weather bringing everyone together, what’s not to love? This year, a long list of big headliners will drop by on their national tours—you know, the ones that fill up whole stadiums and sell out in seconds? (Well, hopefully not that fast.)
If your first thoughts when reminiscing about summer don’t take you to a lake, you have been doing your summers wrong! Minnesota is teeming with a trifecta of summer fun statewide, with its gorgeous lakes, delicious and unique food selection, and up-and-coming brewery scene.
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.
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.
In the performing arts, the history and character of a stage can be as powerful as the act itself. Minnesota is home to a number of older stages that have been lovingly restored and continue to host live music today. Here are five notable venues where spectators can appreciate not only the talent onstage, but also the history of the venue within its community.
The Purple One, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Tiny Tim. These are but a few homegrown Minnesota talents that have captured the ears and hearts of the masses. But they’re not alone. Here are some of Minnesota’s top current performers who can be found performing regularly across the Land of 10,000 Lakes and beyond.
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.
Minnesota’s top-notch professional theater scene gets plenty of well-deserved attention, but there’s a home-town exuberance and excitement that’s unique to community theater—plays performed by amateur actors out of civic pride and love of the art, with auditions open to all.