Sailing on Bde Make Ska in Minneapolis

Gay Travelers Will Find Romance in Minnesota

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Gay Travelers Will Find Romance in Minnesota

By Roger Porter

The following story was produced as part of a brand partnership with EDGE Media(opens in new window), the largest network of local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ+) news and entertainment publications in the world, serving 6+ million dedicated readers from a variety of metropolitan areas around the United States and beyond.

There's a moment in the opening credits of the classic television series "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" that many gay travelers know and love: The lead character, played by the incomparable film and TV actress Mary Tyler Moore, becomes overwhelmed with joy and can't help but twirl in a plaza and fling her cute winter hat into the air.

The exuberant bit in the show, set in Minneapolis, is perhaps the epitome of Minnesota, a state at once overflowing with natural beauty, world-class art and culture, and cozy retreats and spas. If you're looking for something bold and unexpected — a romantic getaway for you and your special someone — make your way to the North Star State, a wondrous land that will have you blissfully tossing your hat in the air.

Woman at spa at Grand View Lodge

Hydrotherapy at Grand View Lodge's Glacial Waters Spa

Re-TREAT Yourself to these Luxurious Resort Spas

LGBTQ+ travelers, rejoice! You'll up the ante for your romantic getaway for two with a pick from these revitalization retreats. And the best part? No matter where in the state you find yourself, you'll be near a luxurious resort and spa for ultimate rest and relaxation. In addition to ease and comfort, these spas offer the finest quality body treatment options, all natural oils, moisturizers, and spa products, and the latest in healing massages, body wraps and hot stone therapies.

In the central part of the state, you'll find several spacious retreats, including Glacial Waters Spa at Grand View Lodge, Minnesota's most awarded and beloved resort and spa. Let the pine forest ambiance draw you in, soothe your senses, and rejuvenate your body. Also in the region are Madden's Resort, positioned on a peninsula overlooking the scenic Gull Lake shoreline, and Arrowwood Resort, nestled on 450 acres with miles of lakeshore and a full-service marina for every kind of boating activity.

Downhill skiing on Lutsen Mountains

Downhill skiing on Lutsen Mountains  / Ryan Taylor

Up north, Minnesota offers an abundance of skiing, and when you're done with the slopes, you can relax and recharge in a variety of high-end comfort cabins, including LutZen Reflections at the Mountain Inn. Lutsen Mountains is the largest ski area in the Midwest and offers stunning views of nearby Lake Superior.

If you're looking for more of a wilderness vibe, book a stay at Gunflint Lodge and Outfitters, a resort nestled in heavy forest and featuring lakeside fireplace cabins — many of which offer a private sauna, spa, or hot tub. Purchase the Lover's Getaway package to receive a three-night stay along with all-inclusive meals, outdoor activities, and gear rentals (canoes, kayaks and paddleboards in the summer, and snowshoes, skis, and skates in the winter).

Anda Spa, Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis

Anda Spa at Hotel Ivy  / Hotel ivy

For the ultimate getaway in outdoor recreation, post up at The Lodge at Giants Ridge, a full-service resort — open year round — in a sprawling recreation area that features two golf courses and Giants Ridge Ski Area, which are both right outside the lodge doors. Following your outdoor activities, unwind and relax with a deep tissue massage in a serene spa room at the Laurentian Divide Salon & Spa.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, urban wellness retreats will have you in a zen-like state long after your Minnesota trip ends. Check out the new Anda Spa at the Hotel Ivy, a downtown Minneapolis spot in the historic Ivy Tower and the beating heart of urban luxury, dining and nightlife. Likewise, the historic St. James Hotel, about an hour south of Minneapolis in Red Wing, has the kind of modern touches and spa services that feel so warm and homey it will be hard for you to say goodbye.

Little Saganaga Lake Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness / Gary Hamer

Your Outdoor Adventure Awaits with these Fun Activities

In the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," a day at the beach with your partner is the perfect (romantic!) summer activity. Start with Park Point Beach in Duluth on Lake Superior. If you're closer to the Twin Cities, sandy shores await at Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska. Or consider a week at one of Minnesota's many lakeside resorts. The hardest part will be choosing which one is right for you and yours.

Many resorts rent canoes, paddleboards, or kayaks and can provide tips on the most exciting things to see on your water adventure. For a more exhilarating adventure, you can always rent gear from a trip outfitter who also provides expert advice and guided tours of remote areas like the world-renowned Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Northern lights over a houseboat in Voyageurs National Park

Northern lights over a houseboat in Voyageurs National Park

Tour boats offer a chance to take in the majestic lakes, wooded pines, and sprawling wilderness at a slower pace. Hop on a narrated boat trip at Itasca State Park to see the origin of the mighty Mississippi, or rent a houseboat and explore the lakes of Voyageurs National Park. Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota's largest and most beautiful lakes, just outside of Minneapolis, offers a variety of scenic boat tours, including Lady of the Lake Paddlewheel Boat Cruises, Wayzata Bay Charters, and Al and Alma's Charter Cruises.

A trip to Minnesota in the winter months offers just as many outdoor adventures, such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating. At the end of day — no matter the time of year — grab your loved one's hand and head out for a walk under the stars. If you're lucky, and far enough north, you may even catch a glimpse of the northern lights, a brilliant dance of shimmering reds, purples, and greens. The romance of a moment like this is unforgettable.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Main Stage

The view from Chanhassen Dinner Theatres' main room / InsideOut Studios

Here’s Your Ticket to the Best Shows and Museums

If you are channeling your inner chanteuse, you'll feel right at home with one of these show-stopping musical performances. First on your list is a night out at Roxy's Cabaret, an LGBTQ+ performance space that features the best in drag, comedy, sing-alongs, dinner theater, and raucous brunches. Upcoming shows include "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "All That Jazz Drag Show," and "Beauty and Bubbled Drag Brunch," to name a few. Or book tickets at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the nation's largest professional dinner theater, for upcoming shows "The Prom," "Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret," "ABBAsolutely Fab," and "Jersey Boys."

When the curtain comes down, Minnesota has an abundance of museums and art exhibits to get your creative juices flowing. In Winona, for example, you and your loved one can take a stroll through the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, where exhibitions and educational experiences explore the human relationship with water. The Minneapolis Institute of Art features a world-class permanent collection that's free to all visitors along with ticketed special exhibitions, such as a collection of Chinese bronze objects presented by the Oscar-winning artistic director Tim Yip ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon").

Elsewhere in the state, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post honors the history and heritage of Indigenous peoples from the region at a restored 1930s trading post where visitors can see demonstrations and find locally made gifts from Mille Lacs artisans.

Roger Porter

Roger Porter hails from Austin, Texas and writes intriguing LGBTQ+ characters and stories for a diverse range of media outlets. When he's not crafting stories, travel experiences and content, he's a big movie and TV guy. Catch him soaking up SoCal sunshine biking, hiking and going to the beach.