Embarking on a road trip through the picturesque state of Minnesota promises a journey through diverse landscapes, charming small towns, and vibrant cities.  With its nickname, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the state offers a wealth of natural beauty and cultural experiences.  In this article, we’ll guide you through 10 must-visit places to include in your Minnesota road trip itinerary, ensuring an unforgettable adventure.  Firstly, let me quickly share how to book your Minnesota road trip independently through KAYAK, then we’ll explore the top things to do in Minnesota.

Utilizing KAYAK to plan your Minnesota road trip enables you to efficiently compare various travel platforms online.  KAYAK streamlines the search for the best deals on rental cars, accommodations, and flight fares.  The platform adeptly scans multiple travel websites simultaneously, ensuring that you secure the most fitting choice for your journey.  Once you identify the most advantageous option, a few clicks will guide you through the reservation process.  This KAYAK approach is applicable for rental cars, hotels, and flights to Minnesota.

 


Minneapolis and the Chain of Lakes

Minneapolis and the Chain of Lakes

Start your Minnesota road trip in the dynamic city of Minneapolis, known for its cultural richness and outdoor activities.  Explore the Chain of Lakes, including Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, where you can enjoy walking and biking trails, picturesque views, and water activities.  Don’t miss the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  Finally, read about these Minneapolis landmarks.

North Shore Scenic Drive

North Shore Scenic Drive

Head north towards the stunning North Shore of Lake Superior and embark on the scenic drive along Highway 61.  Marvel at the rugged cliffs, waterfalls, and lighthouses that dot the coastline. Gooseberry Falls State Park and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park are must-visit stops along the way, offering breathtaking views of the world’s largest freshwater lake.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

For nature enthusiasts, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a haven of tranquility and outdoor adventure.  Explore pristine lakes, dense forests, and waterways by canoe or kayak.  The serene wilderness offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and experience Minnesota’s unspoiled beauty.

Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park

Visit Itasca State Park, home to the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River.  Walk across the iconic Mississippi Headwaters, where the river begins its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  The park’s diverse ecosystems provide opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and immersing yourself in Minnesota’s natural splendor.

Duluth and the Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth and the Aerial Lift Bridge

As you travel along the North Shore, make a stop in the charming city of Duluth. Admire the Aerial Lift Bridge, a symbol of the city, and explore Canal Park, known for its maritime history and vibrant atmosphere. Take a scenic ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad for a unique perspective of Lake Superior.

Grand Marais

Grand Marais

Continue your journey to Grand Marais, a picturesque harbor town on the shores of Lake Superior.  Discover local art galleries, enjoy fresh seafood, and take a stroll along the cobblestone beach.  Grand Marais is a gateway to the Superior National Forest, offering hiking trails and outdoor activities for nature lovers.

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

For a remote and scenic experience, venture to Voyageurs National Park, located near the Canadian border.  Explore the park’s interconnected waterways by boat, immersing yourself in the beauty of pristine lakes, dense forests, and abundant wildlife.  The park is a haven for fishing, stargazing, and experiencing the solitude of the northern wilderness.

Pipestone National Monument

Delve into Native American history and culture at Pipestone National Monument.  This sacred site is known for its red pipestone quarries, used by indigenous people for centuries to carve ceremonial pipes.  Take a guided tour to learn about the significance of the quarries and explore the visitor center’s exhibits.

Mankato and Minneopa State Park

Mankato and Minneopa State Park

Visit Mankato, a vibrant city on the banks of the Minnesota River.  Explore Minneopa State Park, home to stunning waterfalls and a herd of bison.  The park offers hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and a chance to witness the majestic bison roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Saint Paul and the Capitol Area

Saint Paul and the Capitol Area

Conclude your Minnesota road trip in the state’s capital, Saint Paul. Visit the Capitol Area, home to the impressive Minnesota State Capitol building.  Wander through the historic neighborhoods, visit the Science Museum of Minnesota, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city.

How to Plan a Minnesota Road Trip – Enjoy

A road trip through Minnesota promises a diverse array of experiences, from urban adventures in Minneapolis and Saint Paul to the serene beauty of the North Shore and wilderness areas.  With these 10 must-visit stops, you’ll discover the unique charm and natural wonders that make Minnesota a perfect destination for a memorable road trip.  So, pack your bags, hit the road, and immerse yourself in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Happy travels!

Visiting the USA?  Read about road trips to CaliforniaOregonWashingtonUtahNevadaColoradoTexasArizonaMaineNew HampshireNew YorkVermontMassachusetts, Connecticut and South Dakota.