66 state parks, 57 state forests, numerous nature reserves and of course the more than 10,000 lakes make Minnesota a popular travel destination, especially for fresh air fanatics and water sports enthusiasts. But the North Star State also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment. According to homeagerly, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area is particularly worth mentioning here. The metropolitan region consists of the Twin Cities and the surrounding cities and townships. The beautiful lake landscapes with the largest lakes in Minnesota by area are located in the northwest of the country.
Cultural Monuments and Landmarks in Minnesota
The metropolitan region around the Twin Cities, which has the highest per capita density of theaters after New York City, is considered the cultural center or the upper Midwest. Music ensembles can be found there that are among the most important in the United States. The best known here are without a doubt the music ensembles of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra alone plays over 130 concerts a year in the capital. Famous artists with roots in the North Star State are for example Bob Dylan, Prince and Judy Garland.
Some cultural institutions worth visiting
- Charles Lindbergh House and Museum: This is the home of Charles A. Lindbergh, the famous inventor and aviation pioneer. Today the house is a museum where you can learn more about the famous American and his life on the Mississippi River.
- Mayo House: The Mayo House was once home to two of the most influential families in Minnesota’s history: the Mayo Clinic’s Mayo family and the Green Giant Company’s Cosgrove family. The house was built in 1859 by Dr. Gothic style Mayo, who ran his medical practice there. After the events of the US-Dakota War of 1862, the family moved to Rochester in 1864 to build the world-famous Mayo Clinic. Today the venerable house can be visited.
- Weisman Art Museum: The well-known Weisman Art Museum is located in Minneapolis and houses mostly American art from the 20th century. The more than 17,000 exhibits include works by Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist.
- Walker Art Center: The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis was once the first public art museum in the upper midwest. It is considered to be one of the best contemporary museums in the country and has, among other things, a sculpture garden that is well worth seeing.
- Minneapolis Institute of Art: The important art museum is located in Minneapolis and offers over 80,000 objects from over 5,000 world history on an area of 32,000 square meters. You can see paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, textiles, and architecture here when you visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art in the metropolitan area around the Twin Cities.
National parks and natural landmarks in Minnesota
Prairie grasslands in the west and southwest, deciduous forest in the southeast and boreal forests in the north, Minnesota’s vegetation is typical of North America and provides a habitat for many native animal species. Among other things, the second largest wolf population in the USA is at home here. Those who love nature should definitely pay a visit to the following national parks and natural monuments. Much of the northern forests have been cut down, but around a third of Minnesota is now forested again. The southern two-thirds of the state are prairie.
In addition, Minnesota is on the shores of Lake Superior, which makes many water sports activities possible. If you want, you can also hike on the shore of the lake and enjoy the nature of the region.
- Grand Portage – National Monument Minnesota: This National Monument is a memorial on Lake Superior in Cook County and is an important focal point for the fur trade on the Great Lakes. In addition to the visitor center, a warehouse and the Indian-run Heritage Center, which serves as museums on the history of the Indians and fur traders, can be visited. In the summer, a historic Indian village will also be built. A garden with historical useful plants can also be found within the palisade.
- The Historic Gardens: The historic gardens of the Grand Portage are outside the palisade walls by the village of Ojibwe. Many of the vegetables grown there date from the 18th and 19th centuries and have survived to this day because the Indians and early settlers kept seeds from their crops for planting the following year and the seeds from one generation to the next next have passed. Today the historic gardens consist of two raised beds, the original gardens are under the beds.
- Pipestone National Monument: The Pipe National Monument is a memorial in southwest Minnesota near the border with South Dakota. The National Monument preserves the quarries of the “holy claystone” where the Plains Indians cut the heads of their peace pipes (calumets) and still do today. The quarries were sold to the US government by the Yankton Sioux in 1928 and have been a National Monument under the administration of the National Park Service since 1937.
- Voyageurs National Park: Located in northern Minnesota on the Canadian border, Voyageurs National Park is a haven for hikers, kayakers, and skiers. Dense, lush green forests, winding waterways and, last but not least, the sparkling starry sky and the aurora borealis make the national park a worthwhile travel destination for all those who love nature.
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: Large glaciers formed today’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is an area where it is rather lonely. You will rarely see many people or motorized vehicles there. There are numerous animals at home in this wilderness.
- Itasca State Park: Itasca State Park was established in 1891, making it the first state park in Minnesota and the second oldest state park in the United States. There in Itasca State Park in the northwest of the state is, among other things, the origin of the Mississippi. In addition, the state park has a very beautiful landscape and some historical sites to offer, which makes it a perfect destination for active vacationers in the region.
- Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge: Minnesota has over 55 state forests, and pretty much each of those state forests is worth a visit. The forest is located on the upper reaches of the Minnesota River in the heart of the historic high grass plains range. Today only a small part, less than one percent, of the original high grass prairie is left. The state forest is a great place to see ground-breeding waterfowl.
- Schoolcraft State Park: The tranquil park in Minnesota’s North Woods offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here in this comparatively small park it is great to relax. If you want, you can hike here, paddle fishing on the Mississippi or watch the waterfowl that are native to the park. The park was named after the American geographer, geologist and ethnologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.
- Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge: The reserve is partially located in Carver County, which in turn is part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. The green belt of large marshland is divided into eight different units that are home to many wild animals, waterfowl and migratory birds. The metropolitan region around the Twin Cities also benefited from this nature reserve. Because it offers residents of Carver County and the metropolitan area a nearby opportunity to spend time in nature. If you want, you can hike, cycle, fish or just take your dog for a walk.