3 Things You Can’t Miss in Minnesota

Located in the northern part of the United States, Minnesota is known for its connections to hockey, numerous lakes, and bountiful agricultural scene. If you’re planning a trip to this region of the country, there are plenty of things you should add to your itinerary. Whether you’re interested in the outdoors, entertainment attractions, or history, Minnesota has something for you.

Image via Flickr by chefranden

Step back in history onto the lands of the Dakota people at Fort Snelling, which is located at the confluence of the rivers of the Bdote. For nearly 10,000 years, Native Americans called this land home, but it was eventually overrun by immigrants, fur traders, enslaved African- Americans, and soldiers. The fort is a reminder of this amalgam of history and how it shaped the world we know today.

When you stop here, you can take a guided group tour or walk around on your own to see at all the exhibits, activity stations, and demonstrations. The fort is open June 9 to Sept. 3; check the website for special events. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 17. Since the fort is located between the Twin Cities, you should have no problem finding hotel rooms near Fort Snelling during your stay.

North Shore Scenic Drive

If you have a car, you’ll need to take a drive up to Canal Park in Duluth to experience what’s known as the North Shore Scenic Drive. This passage through the northern part of the state takes you into undisturbed wilderness, giving you a look at the purity of the world’s largest freshwater lake. You’ll cruise around Lake Superior under the shade of birch, pine, and aspen trees while navigating sparkling waterfalls and looming lighthouses.

The entire drive is 142 miles and takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete. You’ll head all the way from Duluth to Grand Portage along Highway 61. Stop along the way for a picnic or to take a hike through the forest.

Nickelodeon Universe

Even if you don’t have any kids along on the journey, Nickelodeon Universe is a stop you won’t want to skip. It’s an amusement park located in the Mall of America in Bloomington that features all of your favorite characters and shows from the past and present.

Enjoy the thrill of the Avatar Airbender, a ride that shoots you 70 feet into the air as the forces of fire and air compete for bragging rights on every side. Both children and adults can have fun on the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, which rolls with intense loops, spirals, and hairpin turns.

Rides have variable point pricing, so you can buy passes with a certain number of points loaded on them, depending on how much you want to ride. You can also buy an all-day wristband for $35.99

Obviously, these aren’t the only things to do in Minnesota. It’s a huge state, so the only way to conquer it all is to explore it on your own and find what interests you. Start at the Twin Cities and go on from there to take advantage of the state’s pristine and untamed wilderness.