Which are the best places to visit while in Minneapolis? Well, this is a detailed guide of the best day trips in Minneapolis that you must check out. It will help make your stay or visit even more adventurous.
“For me, going to Minneapolis is like going to Mecca.” – Stephan Pastis
Well, Stephen was right. If you’re looking for a city that religiously prides in its attraction sites, Minneapolis is the place.
Serving as Minnesota’s largest city, it has more to offer than you could ever imagine. Speak of diverse and unique cultures, awesome people, natural features, and finger-leaking foods from state-of-the-art-restaurants, you’ll get it all here.
Also, if you wish to visit some other sites outside Minneapolis, there are numerous awesome sites around the city. This means that you can never run out of awesome places to go for day trips from Minneapolis.
So, which are these sites that you shouldn’t miss?
Table of Contents
List of Top Day Trips from Minneapolis
If you live in Minneapolis, or you are visiting the city for a few days, here are some of the best sites you should include in your adventure.
Ever heard or worn Red Wing shoes? This is an iconic boots collection that was first handcrafted in 1905.
The shoes were inspired by Chief Redwing, a leader of the Mdewakanton. The rich collection of shoes represents the rich heritage of the town of Red Wing.
It will take you less than one hour to drive to the town from Minneapolis. Some of the most exciting attractions include:
- Numerous museums like Alliveo Military museum dedicated to the US military
- Anderson Center at Tower View
- Red Wing Marine museum.
Redwing shoes store and museum is dedicated to the Red Wing shoes with the genesis of the company and its evolution over the years. These museums unearth the rich history of the town.
You will also enjoy hiking the tracks that will lead you to Barn Bluff. This is the last point where you will get breathtaking views of the city’s beauty to its entirety.
Not to mention the captivating images of the great Mississippi River and the ever-packed traffic that symbolizes a group of ants matching after capturing their prey.
See related: 30 Cheap Places to Travel [Ultimate Guide]
If you’re looking for a right and quiet place with a serene environment to spend with your family, Stillwater is one of the best places to visit in Minnesota.
Why family? All the features in the town favor family activities and rated one of our top Minnesota family vacations. For instance, the Teddy Bear park of Stillwaters is excellent for kids.
They will spend their time running around and playing with their favorite toy, teddy. You will also enjoy spending time at linking Wisconsin, as well as the Stillwater lift bridge.
These are some of the best things to do in Stillwater.
How can we forget such a beautiful town? Bemidji had to make it to the list of the best places to visit in Minneapolis. We’ll tell you why.
First, Bemidji has made a record as the town that gets thousands of families visiting every month. Thanks to the Headwater science that deals with collections of live animal exhibits.
You can be assured to get some of your beloved animals’ exhibits and collections here. Besides that, the center has a rich understanding of natural history.
If you have a place for art in your heart, Bemidji should also take place in your heart. All the art lovers gather here to take breathtaking looks of sculptures produced by artists from all over the world, for the last two decades.
All you need is a good camera to ensure that those memories are preserved. But, you can still make it a point to visit the town regularly to get the first views of new sculptures.
In Northern Minnesota, you get some of the best sunsets possible. Check out this one during our trip to Nisswa:
If you’ve never been to Germany, visiting Ulm is as good as touring the country. It resembles the city of Ulm found in Germany. Thanks to the foreign influence that disrupted the town’s culture.
If it’s your first time visiting the town, you will think that nothing good can come out of it as it’s tranquil. The locals mind their own business, and everyone seems to be unfriendly.
Don’t pack your bags yet. Wait for summer, and the city suddenly bursts into life. The locals will be sitting out of their homes, sharing a unique German beer produced by the Schell brewery.
The best attraction site for decades has been and will always be the Minnesota Music hall of fame. Here you get to see masterpiece records produced by music legends, Bob Dylan being one of them.
Whether its winter or summer, the fun in Taylor falls never fade. It’s, therefore, an excellent spot to visit if you are an outdoors person. And, it will only take you about thirty minutes from Minneapolis town.
The falls are surrounded by pristine mountain sceneries that are monumental during the winter season. The mountains pile up snow to make skiing slopes.
People gather from all over the country to come and have a good time in the snow. It’s no doubt that it’s the right destination for winter day trips from Minneapolis
Guess what! It’s even better during the summer season. You can take a journey to the Interstate Park. There are many areas to explore, like lake O’ Dallas, and S.t Croix river.
You shouldn’t leave Minneapolis before you visit Owatonna. If you can, give it one hour, and you will not regret it. It’s only an hour away from the city. You can make it your first stop if you don’t know where to go from Minneapolis.
It has historic sites that preserve the fascinating small beginnings of the town. This takes you back to the old ages and gives you first-hand experience of how the earlier generations used to live here.
A few of the most exciting places to set foot on include the village of yesteryear, a charming place to wander away. The restaurants here have the best food for lunch. You can always get into one and enjoy sumptuous affordable meals.
If you love animals, Owattona still got you covered. The Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo is the perfect premier reptile destination. The zoo hosts animals such as snakes, crocodiles, turtles, and a vast array of amphibians.
The park is also an incredible spot for surprise birthdays. If your kid is an animal lover, organize a unique birthday experience that she/he will live to remember.
Owatonna is not the only historical city in Minnesota. Alexandria has also made a name for itself when it comes to history and leisure activities.
Take note that a one-day trip is not enough to visit every tourist destination. Plan to stay for at least three days. During this period, make sure you cover every area of the town, including the Runestone museum, which has one of the most extensive collections of Native American artifacts.
If you’re a wine lover, you can visit the Carlos creek winery, the official wine of Minnesota fun. There are loads of leisure activities from live music and ventures to beautiful Tuscany.
As the city of numerous kinds of world-class and tasty wines, it would be fair enough if you buy a few wines or join the wine club. Trust me; there are goodies that come with the membership.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
How does it feel, when you’re swimming in that cold water splashing through your back, and the sun hurling its hot rays at Mother Earth? Well, you will get all your answers at Noah’s Ark waterpark.
It will take you 3 hours to road trip to Noah’s Ark waterpark from Minneapolis. The waterpark, established in 1979, has risen to become the most significant American waterpark.
It features two endless rivers, two huge wave pools, and four water play areas for kids. No wonder it’s one of the perfect spots for summer day trips from Minneapolis.
Other things to do in the park include dining, shopping, organizing birthday parties, and events.
The Apostle Islands
A ride of around 3.5 hours from Minneapolis, lands you here. The Apostle Islands are only over five years old, but new surprises keep coming every year.
It’s no doubt that this park has a great future. You can be part of the evolution if you pay it occasional visits.
The unique natural formations take place in Lake Superior. To the locals here, it’s where water, sky, and land converge to create one of the most beautiful scenes. The natural resources combined with cultural resources just brings out the best of this spot.
As a visitor, you can decide to go hiking, paddling, or cruising in the great superior river. You can also visit the mainland caves or camp in the secluded campsite.
But before you come here, check with the camp authorities if the conditions are favorable.
See Related: Best Things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota
Grantsburg is an ideal location for a nature lover. Located in northern Wisconsin, it will take you not more than 2 hours to reach here.
The environment is filled with wetlands and marsh that cover an area of around 24 miles. The bushes are not thick, which makes it the perfect habitation for birds like fowls and sandhill cranes.
You can still do some leisure activities like hiking and canoeing. The rentals are also in abundance.
In a nutshell, this is the perfect place for soul-searching as you get to know more about nature. Always carry a camera to take photos of the breathtaking beauty of the fascinating fauna and the unique birds.
See Related: 9 Things to do in Two Harbors, Minnesota
If you are thinking of visiting Wisconsin this summer, make sure to stop over at Hudson for a few hours or days if you can. Here’s why.
The number of activities here is countless. From the antique spots, retail therapy, and getting a view of arts from seasons of S.t Croix gallery, you’ll get all you need. The gallery has the best artworks from over 160 national and local artists under one roof.
You can also stop at the lakefront beach, which has a wide assortment of leisure activities. For instance, it has picnic shelters, a playground area, and a band that hosts concerts. Most of these activities take place during the summer, making it suitable for family and workplace retreats.
See Related: Best Lakes in Minnesota
Duluth Park Point Beach
Minnesota does not have a lot of beaches; hence locals have Duluth Park point beach in their hearts. It’s the only place they go to unwind by the sea during the weekend or holidays.
It’s located at the end of Minnesota Avenue in Duluth, a two-hour drive from Minneapolis.
This beach is an ideal place for swimming and recreation activities. Not only that, but it also has a volleyball pitch for beach volleyball and a few grills.
It is filled with people during the summer, making it ideal for visiting during this time to mingle with the locals.
If you move further north, you will find some of the best state parks in the area. These are Split rock, Gooseberry Falls, and Lighthouse.
These parks are suitable for hiking and camping. During winter, the park is turned into snowboarding dunes. Check out these best hotels in Duluth to book your trip.
See related:10 Top Things to do Around Lake Minnetonka
Quarry Park and Nature Reserve
It’s only one hour from Minneapolis to reach quarry park. The park is situated in a 683-acre large enough to host all the scenic natural features and woodland. It’s, therefore, the perfect place for those that love the outdoors.
Some of the plants you will come across in the area include open prairie and wetlands.
They also have human-made features like sizable hills encompassed with rock remnants. Like hiking? Here are some of the awesome hiking options near Minneapolis.
Conclusion Day Trips from Minneapolis
Life in Minnesota is hidden in these small cities that many people shun when looking for perfect destination sites. The result is that they don’t get to experience fun as it ought to be.
Lucky you, you now have the secret. You’ve got 13 of the best day trips from Minneapolis. And, it’s only right that you make your visit more enjoyable by trying out some of these sites.
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