Getting Around Minnesota
Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, bike, train or light rail, getting around Minnesota is simple and convenient. Read about transportation options below to find your ideal way to explore and make your journey as smooth as possible. For more on getting here, see the Getting to Minnesota page.
Navigating the North Star State
Minnesota is about 400 miles long and between 200 to 350 miles across. Exploring by car is popular, and Amtrak passenger train service crosses the state from the scenic southeast corner to the prairies of the northwest. In the Twin Cities area, public transportation options include light rail and bus service, and it’s also easy to get around on foot or by bike.
In the Twin Cities
Check out how to tour the Twin Cities on the Green Line, an easy, accessible light rail service with more than 20 stops between Minneapolis' Target Field and St. Paul's Union Depot.
- Light Rail: Find schedules, stops and more at Metro Transit
- Bus: Find schedules, stops and more at Metro Transit
- Bike: Find bike share stations and more at Nice Ride Minnesota
Beyond the Twin Cities
- Northstar Commuter Rail: Find schedules, maps, fare information and trip tools at Metro Transit
Exploring by Train
Union Depot in Saint Paul is part of the Amtrak national train system and serves as a stop along the Amtrak Empire Builder route, connecting Winona, Red Wing, St. Paul/Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Staples and Detroit Lakes. This route features one daily train in each direction. See how to explore Minnesota by train.
Traveling By Car
Hitting the open road in Minnesota means a mix of major highways, small town roads and scenic byways. You'll discover natural and cultural gems along the way.
Order the free Minnesota State Highway Map before you go. This handy foldout map includes driving distances between key cities – a few popular routes are listed below.
Drive Times & Mileage
Scroll horizontally to view the full contents of this table.
|Ely||Duluth||Rochester||St. Cloud||MSP Airport||Minneapolis||St. Paul||International Falls||Bemidji||Grand Rapids||Grand Marais|
Visit the Office of Traffic Safety website for a quick summary of key rules for the road, including laws about seat belt and booster seat usage.
Texting/Cell Phone Usage Laws
With Minnesota’s “Hands-Free” law, it’s illegal for drivers to read, send texts and emails, and access the web while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. That includes sitting at a stoplight or stop sign.
Some general rules are below, but be sure to follow all posted speed limits.
- 20-30 mph on streets in urban districts
- 55 mph on other roads
- 65 mph on expressways
- 65 mph on urban interstate highways
- 70 mph on rural interstate highways
Right on Red Rule
Minnesota law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light unless there’s a sign indicating the turn is prohibited. However, drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules when making a right on red.
Twin Cities Rush Hour
The morning rush hour is worst around 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., while the evening rush hour starts relatively early, at around 4 p.m., and peaks at 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Exploring by Bike
Getting around on two wheels is a popular mode of transportation that's good for you and the planet. From some of the nation's best urban trails in the Twin Cities to rural rail-trails through lush forest or wild prairie, 4,000+ miles of trails make it easy to explore Minnesota by bike.
- CITY RIDES – Cycle around the city on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a 51-mile urban loop connecting connecting the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, Mississippi River, Minnehaha Falls, Chain of Lakes and more.
- TRAILS – Explore paved, unpaved and single-track recreational trails around the state, and take in scenic views along the way.
- LONG-DISTANCE RIDES – Gear up for long-distance bike rides and find more than 1,000 miles of adventure in Minnesota.