Is it culture, history, science, nature, or technology? Where does your interest lie? Well, museums in Minnesota offer information on all these and more. Whenever you are in this awesome state, take a tour to one or two of these museums, and you’ll not be disappointed.
If there’s one state in the US that guarantees travelers more places to visit and sites to see than they bargained for, is Minnesota.
You can never run short of things to explore in Minnesota.
Museums are one major attraction that brings numerous visitors to this state each year. And it’s not without a good reason.
With its rich and diverse cultural landscape, Minnesota has numerous museums that sometimes it gets hard to decide which one to visit.
Full of captivating history, Minnesota local museums have more than you can imagine, to satisfy your thirst for history.
From the extensive history to the dynamic art scenes featuring both local and international artists, museums in Minnesota are a total depiction of Minnesota’s beauty.
But how do you choose which museums to visit and which ones not to?
Well, with all these incredible museums in Minnesota, it can be quite challenging to choose some and leave others. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you.
We have compiled a list of some of the best museums in Minnesota to help make your tour even more exciting.
Table of Contents
- List of the Top Museums in Minnesota
- Minnesota History Center
- Walker Art Center
- Bell Museum of Natural History
- Science Museum Of Minnesota
- Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
- The Museum Of Russian Art
- Minnesota Marine Art Museum
- Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
- Bakken Museum
- American Swedish Institute (ASI)
- Conclusion on the Best Museums in Minnesota
List of the Top Museums in Minnesota
Let’s get into the best museums across Minnesota to help you explore history, art, music and so much more.
Minnesota History Center
With so many crucial historical events being easily forgotten and lost in time, this museum plays a major role in preserving the culture and history of Minnesota.
Located in 345 W, Kellogg Blvd, S. Paul, the museum represents one of the best museums in St. Paul and Minnesota as a whole. The entire museum is dedicated to preserving the history of this great state.
If you are a history enthusiast, then you must get time to visit this place. Here, you’ll have a first-hand experience of everything that has molded Minnesota into its current incredible state. You have a chance to get a glimpse of:
- The early Native American settlers in Minnesota; and their way of life
- Rondo community history
- Early industries that formed the foundation of Minnesota’s economy
- The history of Minnesota’s Twin Cities
There’s no better place to learn about the history of Minnesota than in the Minnesota History Center. Through various exciting exhibits, live performances, and stimulating discovery programs, this place will quench your curiosity about the people, places, and stories of Minnesota.
And, if you want some souvenir to take home, the museum’s store offers an incredible selection of:
- Minnesota-inspired items
Don’t just visit; carry back some long-lasting memories with you.
Walker Art Center
This museum has found itself a spot among the top five most visited, modern-day art museums in the country. Also, as one of the best museums in Minneapolis, Walker Art Center attracts thousands of local, national, and international visitors each year.
While the center offers a myriad of different arts, from sculpture and visual paintings to public performances, the building’s architectural design is also fascinating.
When you are not exploring the amazing pieces of art inside the museum, you can admire the beauty of the building from the outside as it’s a great place to take pictures in the Twin Cities.
Even better, while outside, you can explore the Minneapolis sculpture garden; it’s one of the favorite sites for visitors in the city. This sculpture garden is home to “The Spoonbridge and Cherry,” one of the most iconic sculptures in Minneapolis.
And, the juice doesn’t end there!
The amazing shows and presentations, as well as the ever-dynamic exhibits, make it even more fascinating. You’re always sure of something new with each new visit.
While you may have come across numerous art collections over the years, the art here will definitely redefine your perspective of art.
Located in 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN, taking a tour of this amazing museum is something you can’t afford to miss.
Bell Museum of Natural History
As Minnesota prides in its diverse habitats, lush forest, and flowing rivers, this museum offers the ideal place to teach and celebrate the state’s natural history.
It’s a great place for visitors to connect with nature, wildlife, and the entire ecosystem that flourished hundreds of years before the current skylines.
If you wish to have an unlimited insight into the historical ecosystems, the museum offers you that chance. You can explore multiple dioramas that focus on the world’s natural history.
Scientists here travel all over the world, collecting research and information to help you get a complete picture of how past natural systems worked. For instance; you can see the various research programs about South America rainforests or the various bird species on the planet.
Situated in 2088 Larpenteur Ave West, St Paul, MN 55113, this museum is a perfect tourist site both for you and your family. So, if you want to take a tour of the museums, make sure to plan one that includes this museum in your sites list.
Science Museum Of Minnesota
This is one museum that turns science learning into an interactive and entertaining experience. You can spend your entire day here but still not capture everything that the museum offers.
Whether you want to learn about the past or travel into the unknown future, the Science Museum of Minnesota is where you get that chance. Learn about anything, including the structure and composition of your body, and your mind.
This means that, despite where your interests gravitate towards, you’ll still find something unique and interesting there.
And, you don’t have to worry if you have some kids with you, the museum offers unique experiences for visitors in any age group.
Founded in 1907, the Science Museum of Minnesota focuses on various topics in natural history, technology, mathematics, and physical science. The museum which is located in St. Paul, one of the members of the Twin Cities, offers numerous things to do, see, and learn.
Plus, the museum has an amazing Omnitheater, which is arguably one of the best in America.
The theater is a source of some incredible films which focus on various essential topics in life. Whether it’s for you or your family, the museum has you covered.
See Related: Best Minnesota Family Vacations
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
If you are looking for a place that houses a global collection of arts, then you should book yourself a tour to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. This is, in fact, one of the most famous museums in the Twin Cities, which receives thousands of visitors each year.
Here, you’ll experience the sensational work of famous artists including Monet and Matisse. Better still, you can marvel at the ingenious skill used by ancient Romans, to craft complex human body sculptures.
The museum’s extensive network of hallways makes the experience here even more exciting. For every turn you make, you encounter a new surprise that leaves your mouth agape.
So, if you can’t afford the hassle of traveling around the globe, this museum brings everything to you in a single place. You can, therefore, enjoy all these masterpieces from various cultures, right from a single location (Minneapolis Institute of Arts).
MIA museum also hosts the popular MAEP(Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program) galleries. These help to showcase the immense artistic wealth of local artists.
See Related: 19+ Best Breakfasts in Minnesota
The Museum Of Russian Art
From its stunning wall displays to its towering ceilings, the Museum of Russian Art is a sensual place to be. This Minneapolis based museum is the only one of its kind in North America. The museum concentrates solely on displaying Russian art and artifacts.
The Russian history and culture displayed in this museum offer you a chance to connect both to their products and their way of living. You will interact with some of the popular products, the country has contributed to the world throughout history.
Being in this museum helps you to connect with the struggle, as well as the beauty of the country’s culture. It’s quite a dynamic experience for anyone with interest in the history of Russia.
TMORA sits in a building, which once hosted the Mayflower Church. The church building was built way back in a “Spanish Colonial-Revival style.”
Its small size makes it even more ideal for a quick one day tour. You can easily peruse its entire collection during a single visit.
This is, therefore, one of the art museums in Minnesota that should never miss on your to-visit sites.
See Related: Best Museums in Duluth, Minnesota
Minnesota Marine Art Museum
The museum, which is one of the best few museums found in Winona, Minnesota, offers an amazingly eclectic collection of work. This includes work from various iconic artists such as Chagall, Van Gogh, Claude, Monet, Audobon, O’Keefe, and Pablo Picasso.
It also contains great art pieces such as “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” a masterpiece by the famous Emanuel Luetze.
The museum which is known for its marine arts is a real hidden gem that encompasses arts in various periods and styles. It features five exceptional art and artifact galleries, including:
- Marine art
- Hudson River School paintings
- Folk art sculptures
- Traveling exhibits
If you happen to be close to Winona, this is a site you wouldn’t want to miss. And while there, make sure to interact with the workers in the museum. They can be a great source of information about the amazing curated collections.
See Related: Top Minnesota Weekend Getaways
Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
This is one of the best museums in Duluth, Minnesota. The awesome museum is run by the United States’ “Army Corps of Engineers.” Both the museum building and the land it rests on, all belong to the US federal government.
Located in Duluth’s Canal Park, overlooking the Duluth-Superior harbor’s entrance, it’s quite a spectacle both for locals and visitors. One great thing about the museum is that it’s open to anyone. Also, it’s a free museum, charging zero entrance fees.
However, donations are accepted, which are used to cater to the maintenance of the building, staffing, and new exhibits acquisition.
The museum offers a rich history of Maritime travel, the formation of the Great Lakes, activities of the “Army Corps of Engineers,” as well as the process of a ship’s construction.
This place is a source of amazing information about the Great Lakes and its shipping history right from the era of wooden ships.
If you are in town and staying the night, be sure to book one of these best hotels in Duluth to ensure you enjoy your stay.
See Related: 13 Best Day Trips from Minneapolis
This is yet another one, of the great Minnesota museums. The museum is found at 3537 Zenith Ave. S., Minneapolis on the west coast of Lake Calhoun.
The building itself was the work of Carl Gage, for one William Goodfellow. Its design combines European Gothic Revival, English Tudor, and several other architectural styles.
Starting with simple a collection by Earl Bakken, this museum has grown tremendously to become one of the best, and most stocked in Minnesota.
Earl Bakken was an enthusiast in historical, scientific tools that also saw him accumulate an extensive collection of scientific books.
Currently, this museum hosts a myriad of different types of programs such as:
- The Frankenstein’s Laboratory, which is a twelve-minute show that helps bring Frankenstein’s tale to life
- “Ben Franklin’s Electricity Party,” – give visitors a clear insight on how electricity works
- Other numerous fun, inspiring activities
Also, don’t forget to check out their gardens. There are several of them, including:
- “Florence Bakken Medicinal Garden”
- The “Green Energy Art Garden”
- “The Dakota Native Plants Gardens”- this one encompasses the wetlands region, east of the museum.
A tour without this incredible museum would just incomplete.
See Related: Best Weekend Getaways in Minnesota
American Swedish Institute (ASI)
One effective way of understanding the Scandinavian side of Minnesota’s history is through a tour of this amazing Museum.
ASI museum sits in a stunning castle-like building, which was designed and built in the early 20th century, by a Swedish family.
Its design mainly comprises elaborate woodwork, complete with stained glass. And, even before you experience what is inside the museum, the entire structure itself is a cultural sensation.
While the ASI offers exhibitions exploring the Swedish culture, it also offers music and other multiple activities that record cultures from other backgrounds and nationalities.
Here, you can enjoy both contemporary and performing arts, taste the different Nordic cuisine flavors, or shop for various Nordic gifts.
During school holidays, the ASI museum hosts an annual St. Lucia event which makes the place ideal for family tours.
It also conducts various lessons, right from learning simple activities like weaving, to understanding the Swedish language.
Conclusion on the Best Museums in Minnesota
Minnesota is undoubtedly one state in the US that is rich both in culture and history. If you want to learn more than just the Minnesotan accents and slang words, then you must visit these cultural-rich museums in Minnesota.
Make your visit to any of the cities here, worth your stay.
What is your favorite Minnesota museum? Let us know in the comments below.
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