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Discover Minnesota

Minneapolis skyline along the Mississippi River
Image Caption
View the scenic Minneapolis skyline along the Mississippi River

Welcome to Minnesota

Minnesota, an incredibly diverse state in the Great Lakes region of the United States, is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota offers activities and adventures of every kind, on water or on land: from the hustle and bustle of cities to pristine wilderness, pine forests and hillsides, from historical landmarks to modern attractions.

This page will give you an introduction to the best Minnesota has to offer, as well as information to help you plan your trip. At the bottom of this page you will find links to Minnesota travel resources available in your language. You can use a browser plugin for translation such as Google Translate or Translator for Microsoft Edge to view the rest of this website in your language.

 

Unspoiled Nature and Dynamic Cities

Unique outdoor experiences await you in the state of Minnesota, from the vast northern forests and shores of Lake Superior to the beautiful slopes of southern Minnesota and the winding trails of the Mississippi. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, the largest urban area between Denver, Colorado, to the west and Chicago, Illinois, to the east, is a vibrant and diverse cultural center filled with music, nightlife, sports, art and shopping.

See Things to Do
Woman in front of the Bob Dylan mural in downtown Minneapolis

A woman poses with the kaleidoscopic "Times They Are A-Changin" mural of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis 

Minnesota State Fair Great Big Ferris Wheel lit up at night

Ride the Great Big Wheel at the annual Minnesota State Fair / MN State Fair

The middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park

Get an up-close view of the middle falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park / Justin Pruden

A Tour of Minnesota

Getting Here

Time Zone

  • Central Standard Time (GMT-6) mid-November to early March
  • Central Daylight Time (GMT-5) mid-March to early November
A map of Minnesota showing the proximity of major cities, towns and points of interest in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Flights and Transportation

Flights

The main international airport is MSP (Minneapolis/Saint Paul). Additional international, regional and municipal airports are located throughout the state.

  • Amsterdam (AMS), Netherlands: Delta Air Lines/KLM
  • Dublin (DUB), Ireland: Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines
  • Frankfurt (FRA), Germany: Lufthansa and Condor Airlines
  • London (LHR), England: Delta Air Lines
  • Mexico City (MEX): Delta Air Lines
  • Paris (CDG), France: Air France/Delta Air Lines
  • Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland: Icelandair
  • Seoul (ICN), South Korea: Delta Air Lines
  • Tokyo (HND), Japan: Delta Air Lines

*Additional international nonstop flights from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

City Railway

At MSP Airport: Getting around the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is easy with the Metro Transit Light Rail System. The Blue Line connects the Mall of America and MSP Terminals 1 and 2 to downtown Minneapolis, and the Green Line connects downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. A ticket costs between $2.25 and $3.50 (£1.83 and £2.85).

Train Connections

Amtrak currently provides passenger rail service in Minnesota on the Empire Builder Route from Chicago, Illinois to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

The Empire Builder runs once daily in each direction in Minnesota, stopping at Winona, Red Wing, Saint Paul and St. Cloud, Staples and Detroit Lakes stations. For more information, visit the Amtrak website.

Car Rental

Available at the MSP airport upon arrival in Terminals 1 and 2, browse car rental companies conveniently located at MSP and nearby.

 

Outdoor Adventures by Season

With more than 10,000 lakes, vast forests and rugged hillsides, Minnesota is an exciting destination for outdoor enthusiasts at any time of year. Kayak on Lake Superior or canoe in the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area, hike to breathtaking overlooks and bike one of over 10,240 kilometers of paved trails. Explore more than 35,000 kilometers of snowmobile trails in winter or take your own dog sled for an unforgettable adventure.

Person kayaking the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis

Kayak the picturesque Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis / Paul Vincent

3 people hiking a trail at Frontenac State Park in Minnesota during the fall

Enjoy hiking at Frontenac State Park with beautiful fall colors / Paul Vincent

Man standing & woman sitting while dog sledding at Poplar Lake in Minnesota

Experience something unique to Minnesota when dog sledding at Poplar Lake / Ryan Taylor

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Most Popular Attractions in Minnesota

A photo collage of Split Rock Lighthouse, aerial of the North Shore Scenic Byway, and the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth

Split Rock Lighthouse (top left), North Shore Scenic Byway (top right), Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth (bottom)

North Shore of Lake Superior

Ships from all over the world dock in the port of Duluth. Arrival times and origin countries can be found at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Canal Park .

Drive the North Shore Scenic Byway from Duluth on the western shore of Lake Superior to the Canadian border. Hike one of the sections of the Superior Hiking Trail to breathtaking viewpoints. Stop at one of several state parks to view spectacular waterfalls at Gooseberry Falls State Park and Cascade River State Park, or visit Split Rock Lighthouse State Park to learn more about the lighthouse's structure and operations.

Just a short drive from the northern shore takes you to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a protected wilderness preserve with 1,175 lakes. At the International Wolf Center and the North American Bear Center, both in Ely, you can see wolves and bears in their natural habitat. 

A photo collage of Lake Itasca, aerial of Great River Road in Winona, and staff with a Bald Eagle at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha

Lake Itasca (top left), Great River Road in Winona (top right), National Eagle Center in Wabasha (bottom)

The Mighty Mississippi

Follow the Great River Road and discover the source of America's largest and most legendary river in Itasca State Park. Continue south through charming riverside towns like Red Wing, home of Red Wing Shoes and the historic St. James Hotel. The Mississippi River serves as the main migration route for the American bald eagle, and you will see many eagles and bird species there. Stop in Wabasha to learn about the river's importance to nature at the National Eagle CenterWinona lies between the slopes of the Mississippi River in the geologically important Driftless Area. The Minnesota Marine Arts Museum's entire art collection is dedicated to the theme of water and includes works by Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso.

Catch a Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium, a MN United game at Allianz Field, Extreme cocktails Target Field and a Wild Hockey match at Xcel Energy Center

U.S. Bank Stadium (top left), Allianz Field (top right), Target Field (bottom left), Xcel Energy Center (bottom right)

Sports in Minnesota

There's plenty of sports to see in Minneapolis: the Minnesota Vikings in the National Football League (NFL) at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Timberwolves in the National Basketball League (NBA) and the four-time WNBA world champion Minnesota Lynx at Target Center, and in the spring /summer Major League Baseball (MLB) games with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field are a tradition.

In Saint Paul, Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) plays at Allianz Field and the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL) plays at Xcel Energy Center.

A photo collage of the Minnehaha Falls, the unique exterior of the Weisman Art Museum, and a closeup of Prince's purple motorcycle at Purple Rain Exhibit in Paisley Park

Minnehaha Falls (top left), Weisman Art Museum (top right), Purple Rain Exhibit in Paisley Park (bottom)

Attractions in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The two largest cities in Minnesota are located on the Mississippi River and are known for their unique combination of city and nature. Beautiful parks surround many urban lakes and natural wonders like Minnehaha Falls and St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River.

In Minneapolis, the Mill City Museum tells the city's history, while landmarks like the Frank Gehry-designed Weisman Art MuseumWalker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden showcase iconic works of art like the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.

Minnesota music legends Bob Dylan and Prince are commemorated by a mural in downtown Minneapolis depicting the life of Bob Dylan and Paisley Park, Prince's former home and studio, now a museum.

Minnesota hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, but the Minnesota State Fair in August is one of the largest fairs in the country. This popular festival of food (mostly hand-held treats), culture, and music also features quirky attractions like sculptures made from blocks of butter and works of art made entirely from plant seeds.

And at the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States, the Mall of America in Bloomington, you'll find more than 520 stores and attractions - and the state of Minnesota doesn’t charge sales tax on shoes and clothing!

Additional Resources for Traveling in Minnesota