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The charming shops of downtown Bemidji / Lisa Meyers McClintick

Culture, Nature, Legends & Lore

The first city on the Mississippi River, Bemidji is an #OnlyinMN destination defined by its small town charms and north woods beauty. Discover vibrant culture, local lore, outdoor adventure and much more in the heart of northwest Minnesota.  

Snow-covered Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues

Visit the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues just outside of downtown Bemidji / Weston Holland

Lumberjack Lore

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox may be the stuff of tall tales, but their story began in Bemidji—and oh, how it grew from there. An 18-foot statue of the legendary figure stands (flannel, ox and all) along the shore of Lake Bemidji.

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A man looks at colorful artwork in Marley Kaul art studio in Bemidji

Marley Kaul art studio in Bemidji

Top Things to See & Do

A selfie with Babe the Blue Ox is just the start of your exploration of Bemidji. Here, you’ll find art galleries, live theater, great dining, a local brewery and plenty of outdoor fun.

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The Mississippi River headwaters under a pastel sky at Itasca State Park

The Mississippi River headwaters under a pastel sky at Itasca State Park

The Mississippi Headwaters

From Bemidji, it’s about a 25-mile drive south through the woods to Itasca State Park, where the mighty Mississippi begins its journey as a small wilderness stream at Lake Itasca.

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Studio Cruise Marley Kaul Studio Bemidji

Go behind the scenes with local artists during the Bemidji First City of Arts Studio Cruise in October

Experience the Arts

From indigenous art to local theater, Bemidji inspires brilliance. Find locally made pottery, beadwork, rugs and more, and take in a local performance showcasing Bemidji’s creative spirit.

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