Walk in the Footsteps of These Famous Minnesotans

By Erica Wacker

What do Bob Dylan, Judy Garland and F. Scott Fitzgerald have in common? Besides being household names around the world, they have all, at one point or another, called Minnesota home. Walk in their footsteps at these sites that honor their lasting legacies.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan mural downtown Minneapolis Photo credit Alesya Zubik
Photo by Alesya Zubik (@alesyazubik)

Born in Duluth, raised in Hibbing and spending his college years in Minneapolis, Robert Allen Zimmerman is one of Minnesota's biggest claims to fame. The Hibbing Public Library houses a Bob Dylan exhibit and offers a walking tour map and accompanying podcast, and Duluth hosts an annual Dylan Fest in May. A new mural (pictured) in downtown Minneapolis is the city's latest tribute to the legendary singer, and a street outside CHS Field in St. Paul was recently renamed "Positively 4th Street" after his hit song.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Before he wrote "The Great Gatsby," Fitzgerald spent much of his early life in St. Paul. The Minnesota Historical Society offers walking tours of the neighborhood where he lived, including the home where he wrote his first successful novel, "This Side of Paradise." Tours depart from the James J. Hill House on Summit Avenue.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland MuseumThe girl best known as Dorothy was born in Grand Rapids by the name Frances Ethel Gumm. Her childhood home on the outskirts of town is open for tours, as is the attached Judy Garland Museum, which also hosts an annual Wizard of Oz Festival in June.

Garrison Keillor

Fans of "A Prairie Home Companion" have until summer 2016 to see Keillor host his last season of the long-running radio show at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater. The popular humorist and creator of the fictional Minnesota town, Lake Wobegon, lives on Summit Avenue; tour guides point out his home on historical walking tours.

Tom Lehman

Tom Lehman at Rush Creek Golf CourseThe professional golfer was born in Austin, grew up in Alexandria and graduated from the University of Minnesota before joining the PGA Tour. He still comes back to play and had a hand in designing several courses, including the Alexandria Golf Club.

Sinclair Lewis

Tour the boyhood home of America's first Nobel Prize-winning author in Sauk Centre and walk along the town's charming Main Street, the inspiration for his novel of the same name.

Charles Lindbergh

The pioneering aviator grew up in Little Falls in central Minnesota, where visitors can tour his childhood home, explore the exhibits and take a simulated flight on the Spirit of St. Louis. Across the street is Charles A. Lindbergh State Park, with scenic trails, campsites and picnic grounds.

Joe Mauer

The hometown hero and MLB All-Star grew up in St. Paul and plays for the Minnesota Twins. See him in action at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, along with former player and current coach Paul Molitor.

Prince

Paisley Park Chanhassen PrinceThe Minneapolis native and international superstar made his hometown famous in the 1980s classic "Purple Rain," which features landmarks including First Avenue and Lake Minnetonka. Paisley Park, his headquarters in Chanhassen, is now a museum featuring artifacts from his life and career.

Find more Prince-related sites.

Marion Ross

Best known for her role as Mrs. Cunningham on "Happy Days," Marion Ross hails from Albert Lea. The Freeborn County Museum has an exhibit dedicated to her (and fellow Albert Lea native Eddie Cochran), and the town's performing arts center bears her name.

Charles Schulz

Snoopy statue at Union Depot St. PaulCreator of the timeless "Peanuts" comic strip, Schulz is another St. Paul icon. Homages to his beloved characters, including Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy, can be seen around town in the form of bronze and other colorful statues.

Lindsey Vonn

The Olympic gold medalist and Minnesota native learned to ski at a very young age at Buck Hill in Burnsville.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls fans from around the world flock to Walnut Grove, where the family once lived on the banks of Plum Creek. The museum here depicts daily life in those days and displays numerous artifacts from the books and TV series. There's also a popular outdoor pageant every July.

Andrew Zimmern

A transplant via New York, the celebrity chef and TV host proudly calls Minnesota home. Catch him at the State Fair, where he notoriously hangs out all 12 days, or sample his fare at AZ Canteen at Target Field or Minibar at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

Other famous faces with Minnesota ties include the Coen brothers (award-winning filmmakers); actors Jessica Biel, Chris Pratt, Josh Hartnett, Jessica Lange, Winona Ryder, Craig Kilborn, Tippi Hedren, Loni Anderson, Laura Osnes, Amy Adams and Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver); folk singer Leo Kottke; baseball legends Roger Maris and Dave Winfield; basketball stars Kevin McHale and Lindsay Whalen; pro hockey players Neal Broten and Zach Parise; NFL icon John Madden; comedian-turned-senator Al Franken; former wrestler and governor Jesse Ventura; and former vice presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.