Minnesota is great, isn’t it? In case you are you traveling to Minnesota and wondering about the gifts from Minnesota to buy as a souvenir, this article is just for you.
10 Best Gifts from Minnesota – Souvenirs to Bring Home
Minnesota is an ultimate treat for hearts with wanderlust. The state has an amalgamation of earthiness, rural atmosphere, and natural scenery, that’s enough to take your breath away.
It’s home to the famous Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, where cultural richness meets celebrated urban landscapes.
You cannot return from the state of 10,000 lakes without leaving a piece of your heart there, and your hands full of souvenirs. It has a rich heritage in goods manufacturing, agriculture, and mining.
Meaning, you can find something you’ll love in every corner of their cities.
Best Gifts From Minnesota – Cool Things to Buy in Minnesota
Once you’re in Minnesota, you’ll find a plethora of gifts from Minnesota to take back with you as a memory of the serene, earthy environment for yourself and your loved ones.
However, it’s impossible to take everything made in Minnesota with you, attributing to some legal and natural restrictions.
That’s why to help you choose what to buy in Minnesota, here’s a list of interesting Minnesota souvenirs to bring back home from your trip.
1. Minnesota Wild Rice
Wild rice has been cultivated in Minnesota for centuries, and was known to the Native Americans as ‘a gift from the earth.’ Wild rice plays an essential role in the state’s culture, as it was the reason that brought their ancestors to the lakes and river tributaries in the region.
Today, it’s harvested in most regions with the same centuries-old canoe method.
Although it’s called rice, the crop is mainly a reed-like grass grown for its seed. The seeds are used like cereal grains and are the only cereal grains native to the North American Continent.
If you intend to take back a gift for a cooking enthusiast, wild rice is the perfect option. You can find it almost anywhere in the streets of Minnesota. From local farmer’s markets to large grocery stores.
It’s a good idea to purchase industrially packaged wild rice to take home so that it retains its freshness on your way back. The rice kernels have a smoky, earthy flavor and can be incorporated into delicious recipes to consume at any mealtime.
See Related: Best Things to do in Minneapolis
2. Minnesota Wines & Breweries
Minnesota is nothing short of heaven for a wine-loving tourist. The state is full of breweries and vineyards that you can tour along with friends. The breweries allow you to witness their processes and taste their wine samples as well.
As it is organically made in dedicated breweries, wine and beer are not cheap. You can spend as much as $10-$50 for a wine tasting session, about $30 on a wine bottle, and $300-$500 for a wine case.
However, Minnesota wine is something that’ll entice your tongues all your life once you’ve tasted it. That’s why it’s a great idea to take a wine case of your choice or a few bottles for your loved ones back home.
While there’s nothing like tasting the wine in its brewery, the wine itself can be a great remembrance of your sweet memories of the region.
There are many breweries you can visit along the Midwest region and select the best ones to take back home. The staff are amiable and help you pick out the beer or wine of your choice.
3. Faribault Blankets
Faribault blankets also symbolize the rich heritage of Minnesota. They’re made in the 150-year old mill built along the banks of the Cannon River. The mill is one of the last ones that still use the vertical weaving technique in America.
The mill offers a complete tour for interested travelers every week. You can visit the mills on your trip to the state and witness the living testament of American craftsmanship.
On your way back, you can take Faribault blankets for your children or elderly relatives. These blankets are known for their quality and have remained for generations in some families.
They’re expensive, but worth your investment because who knows, you might be creating a cultural family heirloom?
4. Sweet and Smoky Meats
You must’ve heard of Minnesota as the ‘Bread and Butter State,’ but did you know it displays a mouth-watering array of delicious meats? Whether you’re looking for smoky, spicy, pr salty meats, you can find them in their meat markets.
Their product range includes traditional delicacies like the Italian porketta, venison jerky, smoked fish, and Polish sausages.
Besides that, you can indulge in contemporary tastes like sizzling burgers, juicy steaks, and sizzling chops. The St.Joseph’s meat market, Everett’s meat market in Minneapolis, and Duluth Pack have these meats available in packaged form.
Vegans will be happy to know that the city offers vegan alternatives to these delicacies as well. You can get them at The Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis.
The best part is that you can take all of this stuff home with you to remind you of Minnesota’s tastes. You can have these savory delights ice-packed, or tin-packed to keep them fresh until you reach your hometown.
It’s a perfect gift for your friends and family who love devouring the meat’s different varieties and flavors.
5. Locally-Made Chocolates
The Twin Cities in Minnesota are famous for their world-class chocolatiers. If you’re taking souvenirs from Minnesota for your better half, there’s nothing more romantic than hand-made, artisan chocolates.
You can choose from lots of local chocolatiers. Some of the most popular ones are Legacy Chocolates, whose wide range of flavors include boozy bourbons and nutty caramel pecans with 41 to 99 percent cacao.
Besides that, there’s St Croix Chocolate Co. that offers creamy truffles made with original Swiss and Belgian chocolate. Also, there’s the B.T. McELRATH, known for its salted chocolate bar for a savory twist to the contemporary sweet flavor.
If you’re short on time and can’t possibly visit all of these places, you can get the assortment from these brands from the Golden Fig, a chocolate shop in St. Paul. The friendly owner will even pack the truffles you choose in a lovely package according to your partner’s preference.
6. Minnesota Tourism Passport
For a traveler in Minnesota, carrying a Minnesota passport is a must. You can find cute little booklets in any store in Minnesota with all the major tourist sites and attractions in the state.
You can use these passports as your itinerary and plan your trip accordingly. This way, you won’t miss anything worth checking out while you’re in the state.
Furthermore, you can load the passport with your personal memories from your trip, or add more souvenirs from each place you visited. This way, you’ll have your very own travel log from Minnesota to take home with you.
You can either keep it as a travel memoir for yourself or gift it to someone who wishes to travel to Minnesota in the future. They can indulge in your experiences and add their own when they visit the state themselves.
7. Local Charity Goods
While shopping in Minnesota, you’ll find many Minnesota gifts that give back. The state has a very generous and compassionate population, and it’s quite common to see local vendors and shopkeepers involved in charitable causes.
These stores make donations to children’s welfare organizations, animal shelters, and nursing homes. Mainly, shops like Greater Goods use a percentage of your payment to help these causes. What’s better than investing in a gift that gives back to the state you loved touring?
You can mostly get Minnesota merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, accessories, and refrigerator magnets from these shops to take for your loved ones back home.
8. Ukrainian Products
Believe it or not, Minnesota is quite rich in Ukrainian history as well. Apart from products made in Minnesota, you can get cultural artifacts from Ukranian origins as well in the local shops of the state.
Besides that, local shops, some dedicated shops sell only Ukrainian products. These goods include colorful Ukrainian wooden easter eggs. You can use them as decorative pieces back at home and gift them to your friends and family.
Additionally, you can purchase eggs stands, coloring dyes, and egg-crafting tools to create your own customized designs. Apart from purchasing cultural artifacts as souvenirs, you can witness the culture hands-on in the shops.
The shops conduct performances for traditional acts and music using Ukrainian figurines.
9. Intricate Jewelry
You can easily find jewelry in any part of the world, even in your hometown, but Minnesota jewelry is something to behold. The artisans of the state proudly present intricate hand-crafted jewelry using precious crystals and stones.
Moreover, you can get mineral necklaces that bring various benefits to the wearer. Also, attractive rings, bracelets, and pendants are crafted with amber pieces and uniquely-shaped crystals that’ll leave you awestruck.
These jewelry pieces are perfect gifts for friends who love wearing and collecting delicate jewels and adornments.
See Related: 10 Best Museums in Minnesota
10. ‘I Like You’ Store Merchandise
The ‘I Like You’ store is perhaps the most popular souvenir store in Minnesota. The place has an extensive collection of everything you can remember about the state by including chocolates, jewelry, wine glasses, wine ornaments, and hand-crafted items.
Most importantly, the store is famous for bringing the Minnesota culture to the visitors. It’s small, quaint, and beautiful with many exciting things to explore. It’s not that big, but you’ll find many interesting things worth taking back home.
The best part about the store is the owner. She imparts positive, energetic vibes towards each visitor and makes them feel like home. She keeps the place clutter-free even when there are endless options of products and souvenirs to choose from in the limited area.
If you’re confused about what to buy from Minnesota, you’re likely to get what you want from this store while genuinely enjoying your shopping trip.
See Related: 16 Best Lakes in Minnesota
That wraps up our list for the best gifts from Minnesota. While looking for cool stuff to buy from Minnesota, you should target things that remind you of the place.
There’re plenty of gifts that can capture the state’s cultural essence. This way, you can take back a part of your experiences as a tourist, and share them with your loved ones.
Remember, while souvenirs can range from $10 trinkets to $300 wine cases, the main focus remains on the memories that the gift holds.
Buying an expensive gift is not the point. In the end, your souvenir gifts should tell a story about all the exciting places you visited. Happy Traveling!