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The F. Scott Fitzgerald Home, at 599 Summit Ave., is just one of many fascinating literary sites in Minnesota, in addition to several literary-themed events and attractions.
Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is best known as a bucket list destination for summer canoe trips. But winter transforms this magnificent landscape into a forested cathedral of ice, snow and silence, offering another adventure like no other—dog sledding.
In Minnesota, the fishing stays hot even after the lakes freeze over. Just drill a hole in the ice (power augers help!), drop in a line and relax until a fish takes a nibble. For many anglers, this low-tech, no-fuss, boat-free fishing has a special appeal.
The culture of Minnesota was created, and continues to be influenced, by immigrants. For centuries, wave after wave of newcomers have brought pieces of the old country into the new country, which has become far richer and more diverse as a result. Newer immigrant groups are bringing distinctive and exciting foods, music, art, handiwork and more to the region.
The great heritage of Minnesota’s state park system begins at the source of America’s greatest river. Itasca State Park, home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, was established in 1891, launching what is now the second-oldest state park system in the nation. The system has continued to grow, and Itasca remains one of the most beloved of the state’s 67 state parks.
The North Shore of Lake Superior, where waves crash against jagged cliffs crowned with pine forests, and countless waterfalls tumble down to the great lake, yields some of the most rugged and dramatic scenery Minnesota has to offer. The 150-mile northeasterly drive along Highway 61, from Duluth to the Canadian border, offers enough eye candy and coastal village charm for a weekend or more.
Many Minnesota anglers who have spent their lives with a spinning rod and reel, cranking baits and plopping bobbers, think fly fishing is too difficult and too refined for regular folks. Fly fishing expert and guide Bob Nasby says different.
The Boundary Waters is a true wilderness preserved within Superior National Forest’s 3 million acres, and offers its many visitors an experience of a lifetime. But it isn’t the only place to take in the area’s beauty. Much of the forest shares the BWCAW’s distinctive, rugged beauty.
It’s no surprise that Minnesota’s busiest arts scene is in Minneapolis, our largest city. But in smaller college towns throughout the state, students and faculty generate enough excitement for the arts to support destination-worthy galleries, museums, theater and more.
Voyageurs National Park is Minnesota’s only full-fledged national park. It is uniquely water-based among national parks, with its interior accessible only by water. 240 camping, houseboat and day-use sites dot the shores of four large, island-studded lakes, and dozens of smaller lakes, along the Canadian border.
For many Minnesotans, the annual fall trip to a favorite orchard to pick a peck (or three) of perfectly ripe apples is essentially a holiday, a festival, and certainly an honored tradition. Fall is also prime farmers market season, with a dazzling variety of super-fresh produce from broccoli, cauliflower and carrots to parsnips, Brussels sprouts and squash of every color and shape.
It’s been half a century or more since jazz and blues, the great American musical forms, have drawn big crowds or filled arenas. What that means is you might have to sit at a table 20 feet away from the stage, drink in hand, to hear some of the greatest musicians alive.
A winter getaway in Minnesota can be warm and cozy, with fireplaces, saunas, whirlpools and intimate dinners in an elegant lodge. It can also be a bracing adventure in the elements, traveling through the pristine white woods on cross-country skis, snowshoes, a dogsled or snowmobile.
Six diverse and unique national park sites can be found in Minnesota, preserving and highlighting some of our most distinctive natural, historical and cultural resources.
Don’t let Minnesota’s most colorful season pass you by without a road trip—the rest of the year just won’t feel right. Below are some fine options for a fall color drive, from a loop through northern Minnesota’s beautiful and historic Iron Range, to Grand Rounds Scenic Byway along Minneapolis’ waterways, to the colorful hard-wood bluffs towering above southeast Minnesota’s streams and rivers.
One of the most peaceful, immersive ways to experience Minnesota's fall color show is paddling a canoe between the densely wooded banks of the St. Croix River. Much of the 164-mile river forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and it was one of only eight waterways originally designated as a "National Wild and Scenic River" by the federal government in 1968. It's also widely considered one of the best canoeing rivers in the nation.
More than 10,000 years ago, glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the southeastern corner. And that made all the difference. Known by geologists as the “driftless” region (and by Minnesotans as Bluff Country), this land is graced with gentle rivers and streams flowing between high wooded bluffs.
Explore the world-renowned Boundary Waters by boat and the Superior Hiking Trail by foot.
There's not much room for debate: Fall hiking is simply the best. Moderate temperatures, infrequent rain, no mosquitoes and lighter crowds are added bonuses to the breathtaking landscapes bursting with fall color—nature’s buffet enticing hikers to push forth and feast upon the next spectacular view.
Fall is the most popular time of year for art studio tours in Minnesota, when art lovers can roam from studio to studio, with opportunities to talk to the artists and see them at work, as well as purchase pieces to take home.
Minnesota is raising the bar on its well-earned reputation for family- and kid-friendly activities. Several new, best-in-class attractions are joining an already impressive roster of facilities that cater to kids, making history, science, nature and culture fun.
Snowshoes are more than just another way to get around in the snow. They can take you deeper into the wilderness than you’ve probably ever been. There’s simply no better way to spot wildlife than padding quietly into deep, snowy woods where the landscape is sparse, the trees are bare, and the snow cover is unbroken but for the occasional animal tracks.
It’s just you, the line you drop through a hole in the ice, and the fish you pull back through the hole. No boat, no motor, no casting, no trolling, and typically no depth-finder or other high-tech equipment. In its purest form, ice fishing is sweet and simple.
If you love adventure in comfort, visiting Minnesota by train might be for you. One of America’s most legendary and beautiful train rides—Amtrak’s Empire Builder—bisects the state from the scenic southeast corner to the fields and prairies of the northwest. The grand train follows the banks of the mighty Mississippi much of the way, with stops in a half-dozen Minnesota towns well worth exploring for a few days or longer.
At its most exciting, learning about Minnesota’s history means watching the past come alive. Several of the state’s popular historic sites sponsor living history programs, where costumed historical characters introduce you firsthand to the sights, smells and sounds of the past. A number of Minnesota’s many fine historic sites incorporate this “living history” approach to learning about Minnesota’s early days, where costumed interpreters play roles and even specific historic characters.
When Sir Tyrone Guthrie founded Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater in 1963, he was widely recognized as a great name in the tradition of English theater. Before that, there was the Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. From roots this deep, Minnesota’s stellar reputation for the performing arts—theater, classical music and popular music alike—continues to grow.
This winter, Minneapolis’ historic Orpheum Theatre is staging two blockbuster musicals and a powerful, award-winning drama this winter as part of its “Broadway on Hennepin” series.
In the state where the great Mississippi River begins, the lesser-known Red River of the North deserves more credit than it gets. It winds north through quiet, incredibly fertile country along the Minnesota-North Dakota border, through a college town with a surprisingly fertile arts scene, and other pleasant small towns.
The fishing opener is sacred in Minnesota, regardless of how good the fishing turns out to be. For serious or even halfway-serious anglers in Minnesota, staying off the lake on the opener is a recipe for heartbreak, like a 10-year-old staying home on Halloween.
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