Minnesota Marine Art Museum
Unlike other art museums that you can find in Minnesota, The Marine Art Museum is home to some unique and ambitious art collections. Their collections of highlights include Winslow Homer, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent Van Gogh, along with many, many others.
You can find this museum and its incredible selection of art in Winona, better known as one of the most beautiful cities in Minnesota. It is also close to the Mississippi River.
Details: 800 Riverview Dr., Winona, MN 55987 | Website
Places Of Interest In Minnesota: North American Bear Center
The North American Bear Center is a unique bear and wildlife educational facility. From beautiful wildlife murals to naturally posed bear mounts and background forest and bear sounds, the indoor exhibit area is designed to allow yourself to become immersed in the bear experience. A wall of windows enables visitors to peer into the bear enclosure, which is equipped with ponds and waterfalls.
The Bear Center includes three living black bears, which are housed in a 2.5-acre naturalistic habitat. The bears can be viewed from either the indoor viewing area or an outdoor balcony. The center also has a theater, a 1/4-mile interpretive trail walk, a gift shop, and daily programming and events.
1926 MN-169, Ely, MN 55731, Phone: 218-365-7879
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Annual Summer Events In Minnesota
If you’re visiting Minnesota over the summer, here are few highlights of annual events worth checking out.
- Minnesota Fringe Festival: Held Aug. 1 to 11, 2019, this event features hundreds of performances in locations throughout the state. See live music, theater, and dance performed as part of this artistic celebration.
- Loring Park Art Festival: Head to Loring Park in Minneapolis on July 27 and 28, 2019, for this annual fine arts festival.
- Uptown Metris Art Fair is widely considered one of the most esteemed juried fine arts festivals in Minnesota and beyond. It’s known throughout the Midwest and is said to be one of the finest art festivals in the United States. It’s happening on Aug. 2 to 4, 2019, in Minneapolis.
- Powderhorn Festival of Arts: The Powderhorn event in Minneapolis focuses on local and regional artists every year in the first week of August. It’s on Aug. 3rd and 4th, 2019.
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Visit The Minnesota State Capitol
The free or self-guided tours offered at the Minnesota State Capitol building in St. Paul, MN are a definite must on any Minnesota bucket list.
The Capitol recently underwent a 3-year, $310 million restoration project which brought the already stunning building back to life.
Among its most impressive features are the golden horses on the exterior of the building that can be seen from even miles away .
While inside, visitors have a chance to see the legislature in action in the restored House and Senate chambers via the public gallery that is located on the third floor.
Other favorite activities here include admiring the gigantic first-floor rotunda and paintings of scenes from Minnesotas involvement in the Civil War that can be found in the Governors Reception Room.
Guided tours lasting 45 minutes leave at the top of each hour from the Capitol Information and Tour Center.
Spend Time Outdoors In Austin
Becoming more active is a fun way to contribute to your familys health and wellbeing. Playing sports or visiting parks to get some extra steps in are both great ways to start building a good habit and lead healthier lives. Whether you and your children are natural athletes or not, getting the whole family involved can help your children understand the importance of exercise.
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Fun Things To Do In Minnesota: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a park in Minneapolis. At 11 acres, it is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the United States. The garden boasts 40 permanent art pieces as well as several rotating pieces. The garden has many well-known and loved pieces, but the centerpiece and most famous sculpture in the garden is the “Spoonbridge and Cherry” fountain.
The garden provides a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy the sculptures in an expertly landscaped and manicured setting of plazas and walkways. The Sculpture Garden is currently closed for renovation but is set to reopen in June 2017.
726 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403, Phone: 612-230-6400
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Go Mini Golfing Biking & Paddling
Bikes, boats, and mini golf is what itâs all about at Wheel Fun Rentals, a family-oriented, outdoor recreation company in the Twin Cities. Mini golf at Malt-T-Melt in Richfield , rent a bike at Minnehaha Falls, Lake Nokomis, Como Lake, Veterans Park, or Canal Park in Duluth, or rent a stand-up paddleboard or single or tandem kayak at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, or Como Lake. If trying paddleboarding for the first time, staff will provide all necessary gear and training, and guests can stay in shallow water near the shoreline until theyâre comfortable . Locker rentals are available at the Minneapolis water locations. Kids can request passports, get stamps at local Wheel Fun destinations, then earn a prize if they hit all locations. wheelfunrentals.com
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The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is an excellent place for people looking to connect with nature. With the entire attraction spanning more than a million acres, the wilderness area is beautiful in its sheer scale. Hiking trails range from easy to difficult, taking visitors across various parts of the wilderness, looking at its many bodies of water and flora.
One of the more unique attractions is the campsites on the water, with upwards of 200 unique campsites to find and rest at.
Learn To Sail On Bde Maka Ska
Take a sailing class with the Minneapolis Sailing Center. They are one of the largest sailing schools in the Midwest and offer classes for all ages and levels. Sailing is a great way to spend some time on the water. The lake has some amazing views of the skyline and is the perfect size lake for a beginner to start. So hoist those sails!
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Visit Forestville And Forestville/mystery Cave State Park
Forestville and Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park is located in Preston, MN which is located 37 miles south of Rochester, MN.
Historic Forestville is a restored 1800s village operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. They offer guided tours that allow visitors to connect with historical figures and experience what life was like at the turn of the 20th century.
Tours begin at the Forestville visitor center and travel through the garden, kitchen, Meighen family house and offices, and general store filled with original 19th-century artifacts and merchandise.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park surrounds Historic Forestville. This park features tours of Mystery Cave, tent and camper cabin camping, horseback riding and a horse camp, hiking trails, and trout fishing.
As Minnesotas longest and most popular cave, Mystery Cave tours are complete with views of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, beautiful underground pools, and a maze of interconnecting passages.
Parks naturalists lead your tour through various portions of the cave and explain its history, its features, and how it was formed. Modern lighting and walkways enhance accessible tours.
Due to its uniqueness, beauty, and overall appeal, we have included Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park on this Minnesota Bucket List! Plus, who knew that Minnesota has caves?
Ways To Chill Out On A Hot Day
In Rochester, we savor every precious second of spring and summer. When the sun shines and the flowers bloom, it’s time to get out and play together. While the opportunities for summer fun and relaxation in Rochester are infinite, we’ve got some suggestions to help you narrow your options!
1. Enjoy an event. Rochester hosts many special events in June, July, and August to keep you busy. Check out Thursdays Downtown, a summer market and music festival. Be sure to mark Rochesterfest, which livens up the city in late June, on your calendar. Also, don’t miss our city’s free Sunday night Think Bank “Down by the Riverside” concerts for six weeks in July and August. Enjoy all that Rochester has to offer and celebrate time together during our city’s bustling, bright summer months.
2. Take to the water. Summer recreation in Minnesota revolves around water, whether we’re gliding over it, splashing in it, or casting a fishing pole into it. For a quintessential on-the-water experience with your family or friends, enjoy a paddleboat ride around Silver Lake, or journey down the Zumbro River in a canoe or kayak. If swimming is more your style, take a dip at Foster Arend Park‘s lake and then soak up the summer sun on the sandy beach. Another favorite destination that will make a splash with the whole family is Soldier’s Field Pool, which features a 112-foot water slide and zero-depth entry.
Enjoy summer in Rochester, MN!
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Root For The Home Team
Minnesotas Twin Cities are home to a number of pro sports teams that play during the sunny season. And with Minnesota being the so-called State of Hockey, its only natural that visitors should experience a Minnesota Wild National Hockey League game at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. If the Wild are having a good season, they could still be playing during the playoffs in May and June.
The Minnesota Twins play at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. And as every Major League Baseball fan knows, their season extends from April through the summer and into the late fall. Be sure to try The Big Ginger signature cocktail if youre thirsty.
The most successful Minnesota sports team of late has been the Womens National Basketball Associations Minnesota Lynx. They clinched their leagues championship title in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. What a WNBA dynasty! Basketball fans can easily catch a game during the summer months, since the season generally runs from May through September or so. The Lynx play at Minneapoliss Target Center along with their less successful male counterparts, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Soccer aficionados can plan to attend a Major League Soccer match at Allianz Field in Saint Paul. There, the Minnesota United FC plays from spring through fall in the charming Midway neighborhood. Fittingly, the team mascot is also the state bird of Minnesota, the loon.
Before You Travel To The United States
With specific exceptions, noncitizens who have been in certain countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States, either as immigrants or nonimmigrants. For more information, visit Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.
For information about COVID-19 requirements for land travel, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals.external icon
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Visit The Childrens Museum
The Minnesota Childrens Museum has three floors of fun for kids . They also provide some awesome summer experiences to empower kids to develop creative and critical thinking skills.
Want to learn more about what it has to offer? Read this review of the Childrens Museum in St. Paul by The Caffeinated Introvert.
Fun For All Four Seasons
Minnesota offers an endless array of things to do on vacation. Outdoor pursuits include fishing and boating, great golf, and some of the countrys best bike trails. There are excellent museums of all types, and options for live theater abound. Numerous wineries, breweries and distilleries are open for tours and tastings. And shopping is always nearby, including Mall of America, the states most-visited attraction.
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Free Things To Do In Minnesota
See Places on a Map
Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money. In Minnesota, there are plenty of attractions and activities that are completely free to visitors. Here are 18 free things to do in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Bemidji and beyond, from gardens and trails to museums and monuments.
With origins dating back to 1890, the Munsinger Clemens Gardens are a must-visit in St. Cloud
Stop & Smell the Roses at Munsinger Clemens Gardens
This well-known, beautiful garden park is located along the Mississippi River in St. Cloud. With origins dating back to 1890, the gardens have been a popular respite for close to a century. Stroll the Munsinger Gardens to see annuals, perennials and shrubs shaded by 90-year-old Scotch and Norway pines, then visit the Clemens portion to see the rose garden, formal garden, white garden and several fountains. During the summer, come for free concerts every other Sunday and the annual art fair in July.
Every winter at Swan Park, over 1,500 trumpeter swans gather along the Mississippi River in Monticello. Late November to March is the best time to see them the park has a viewing deck overlooking the river and is wheelchair accessible. Come spring, the swans return to Minnesota’s many lakes as the water begins to thaw.
Visit the SPAM Museum in downtown Austin for a free history lesson
The Best Things To Do In Minneapolis During The Summer
The City of Lakes is a bustling creative and business hub that offers natural resources, fine dining, and a rocking beverage scene all year long. But due to Minnesotas famously harsh winters, tourists tend to visit Minneapolis during the summer. To ensure that you enjoy this northern gem to the fullest, weve rounded up the best things to do in Minneapolis during the summertime theyre sure to enchant both locals and visitors.
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Experience Minnesotas Beautiful North Shore
The North Shore is one of Minnesotas most beloved summer vacation destinations. Its one of the best places to visit in northern Minnesota thanks to its gorgeous outdoor spaces. The lake and the woods are the main attractions here, of coursehere are some of our favorite ways to enjoy the natural splendor of the North Shore:
- Hike the 256-mile Superior Hiking Trail
- Take the family camping on the lake at Grand Marais Campground
- Bike the paved Gitchi Gami Trail
- Go fishing dockside or out on the lake
- Rent a kayak and get your paddle on
- Hit the green at one of the North Shores many golf courses
Boards & Blades Skate Park
Located at Legion Field next to the Marshall Aquatic Center, the Boards & Blades Skatepark features three skate zones designed to accommodate all levels of skaters, bikers, and rollerbladers with 10,000 square feet of skating area. The park is a designated Tier 1 Skatepark, which has features with heights lower than 48 inches. Open from dawn to dusk, grab your helmets and start shredding!
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Beat The Heat In A Museum
Museums are fascinating, educational and usually air-conditioned. Whether you want to brush up on the art of Southeast Asia at Mia or dive into local history at the Minnesota History Center, there are plenty of options in the cities and out.
MPR News intern Gitanjali Raman contributed to this story
Attend An Outdoor Festival Or Concert
Each August, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board hosts a series of free movie nights in various area parks. This has historically been a partnership between the park organizers and the Twin Cities Black Film Festival. Guests can bring their own blankets and chairs as well as food and beverages to enjoy.
The Park & Recreation team also provides free Music in the Parks programming throughout the summer. Various parks around the metro play host, including Minnehaha Park, Bryant Square Park, and Lake Harriet Bandshell Park. These live events run from Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in September and could include rock, swing, jazz, classical, folk, or bluegrass music.
Summertime is also prime arts festival season, and Minneapolis has a number of cool options in that vein. From the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, which features music and art on the Minneapolis riverfront, to the performance-focused Fringe Festival to the biggest festival in the area, the three-day Uptown Art Fair, Minnesotas largest city has got you covered.
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Take A Ride On The Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System
More than 30 years ago, mining companies abandoned this 5,000-acre stretch of pits and rock deposits. Now, the state has turned it into a recreational destination: The Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. There’s camping, fishing and some of the best biking the state. Cuyuna has more than 25 miles of trails spread across 800 acres. There are 30 routes to choose from, for everyone from beginning bikers to pro-riders.
Looking for a less extreme ride? There are thousands of miles of bike trails around the state. Ride the Willard Munger State Trail, which stretches from Hinckley to Duluth, or take a spin around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis.