A family at Ranier in Voyageurs National Park
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Visitor Information

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Ranier in Voyageurs National Park  / Paul Vincent
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Visitor Information

By Explore Minnesota

The North Star State is easy to reach, whether you’re flying, driving or arriving by train. No matter how you get here, we want your travels to be as hassle-free as possible. Read on for travel information and tips.

Airplane MSP Airport Minneapolis skyline

Delta airplane on tarmak at MSP Airport / Emmanuel Canaan

ARRIVING BY AIR

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), a major hub of the Upper Midwest, was the best airport of its size in North America in 2021 and 2022. Minnesota is only about an hour away by air from most Midwest cities, and a two- or three-hour flight from the East and West coasts. The Twin Cities can be reached from several countries on direct international flights.

The airport is conveniently located on the south side of the metropolitan area, 12 miles southeast of downtown Minneapolis, 10 miles southwest of downtown St. Paul and just minutes from Mall of America in Bloomington.

Other Minnesota cities served by commercial air service include: Bemidji, Brainerd, Chisholm-Hibbing, Duluth, Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, International Falls, Rochester and Thief River Falls.

Take in all the views on one of the many scenic byways in Minnesota

Take in all the views on one of the many scenic byways in Minnesota

MINNESOTA BY TRAIN

The Empire Builder Amtrak route crosses the state between the southeast and northwest borders, with stops in Winona, Red Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, Staples, Detroit Lakes and Fargo-Moorhead. This route runs between Chicago and Seattle or Portland.

DRIVING TO MINNESOTA

Minnesota’s central location makes it convenient to reach by car from much of the United States. It is midway between the east and west coasts, and the northernmost state along the Mississippi River. The interstate highway system makes driving to Minnesota from other states a breeze, and eight Minnesota/Canada border crossings provide easy access for our northern neighbors.

DRIVING DISTANCES

In miles to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Chicago, IL: 400

Denver, CO: 915

Des Moines, IA: 240

Detroit, MI: 690

Fargo, ND: 240

Green Bay, WI: 300

Indianapolis, IN: 590

Lincoln, NE: 430

Madison, WI: 275

Milwaukee, WI: 340

Omaha, NE: 375

Sioux Falls, SD: 240

Winnipeg, CA: 450

Dresbach Welcome Center

Dresbach Welcome Center

TAKE THE BUS

Megabus provides express bus service to Minneapolis from several Midwest cities, including Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee. In addition, Greyhound and Jefferson Lines offer service to many Minnesota cities and provide convenient inter-city travel options within Minnesota.

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

Visitors from other countries are advised to exchange currency at their first convenience, since most Minnesota businesses don’t accept foreign currency. Currency can be exchanged at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and at most large banks, or withdrawn from automated teller machines (ATMs).

MINNESOTA’S WELCOME CENTERS

Welcome Centers are located on major highways at key points in the state. Stop in for statewide travel information.

Man standing on the end of a dock, overlooking a lake in central Minnesota

Basking in the fall colors on Crosslake / Micah Kvidt

MINNESOTA’S CLIMATE

Part of Minnesota’s appeal is its four distinct seasons, each with its own particular pleasures. The average high is 24° in January, 70° in May, 80° in August, and 58° in October, and the average low is 7° in January, 48° in May, 61° in August, and 39° in October.  

WHAT TO PACK

Spring and fall, bring layers that can be added, depending on the temperature, and a lightweight coat or jacket. For winter trips, pack warm clothes, including sweaters, fleece or a blazer. You’ll need a heavy coat, boots, a warm hat and lined gloves or mittens. As we like to say here, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing!

TIME ZONE

Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone, one hour behind the East Coast, two hours ahead of the West Coast.