If you find yourself traveling to the Land of 10,000 Lakes (and yes, there are actually that many!), you may wonder what you should do for fun. Minnesota has so many fun places to visit and interesting tours to take, from the capital city of St. Paul and its twin, Minneapolis, to Duluth and Stillwater.
There are many sightseeing opportunities that include the Twin Cities highlights, tours of hidden gems in downtown Minneapolis, brewery tours, and even vampire tours! Whether you want to take one of the many bus tours (on a luxury air-conditioned coach), a walking tour, or a private tour with a professional driver, we’ve compiled a list of the best Minnesota tours.
Most tour companies offer free hotel shuttles and a free cancellation policy should your plans change. The tour operators are also taking safety measures into account, offering small group tours to avoid large crowds. So, if you want to explore the popular attractions across the state or see the Twin Cities highlights, keep reading to find the best ways to experience Minnesota.
Best and Fun Tours in Minnesota
1. Aerial Helicopter Tour Over Duluth and Lake Superior
Address: 4525 Airport Approach Rd, Duluth, MN 55811
If you’re looking for a birds-eye view of Minnesota, this helicopter tour is for you! This 15-minute helicopter flight goes over Lake Superior as the pilot shows you the Aerial Lift Bridge and Enger Tower. You will be able to communicate with the pilot through the headset in the helicopter, and they will give commentary on the sights as you fly.
This sightseeing experience is unique, with unobstructed views of Lake Superior and Duluth. Not only will you pass by Enger Park and Tower, but you’ll also see downtown Duluth and a birds-eye view of the Aerial Lift Bridge. This helicopter tour may be short, but it’s one of the most unique tours in Minnesota!
See Related: Reasons to See Duluth Fall Colors in Minnesota
2. Minneapolis & St. Paul Highlights Private Riding & Walking Tour
Address: Hotel pick-up
If you want to have a Twin Cities sightseeing experience with a private guide, this tour is for you. This highly-rated tour takes you to 16 different stops in the area, from Target Field and Xcel Energy Center (the professional sports stadiums) to the Minnesota State Capitol and Mill District. The guide will give you a customized experience of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area’s art, history, and culture, while riding in the car and walking.
On this tour, you’ll pass many lakes along with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minnehaha Falls, and the historic Fort Snelling. You’ll also pass by the Cathedral of St. Paul and the James J. Hill House (the largest residence in Minnesota!), as well as Summit Avenue, one of St. Paul’s exclusive neighborhoods with many restored Victorian houses.
This three-hour Minneapolis-St. Paul highlights private tour is perfect if you want to spend a morning or afternoon learning about the area. This is one of the best sightseeing tours in the Twin Cities area, combining history and highlights.
3. Walking St. Paul Summit Ave. Victorian Homes Private Tour
Address: 240 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55102
If you want a more in-depth history of one of St. Paul’s most exclusive neighborhoods, this walking tour is for you. While the private tour above touches on this area, this private tour focuses solely on the Victorian homes on Summit Avenue.
Starting at the James J. Hill House, the two-hour private tour will take you past some of Minnesota’s most beautiful Victorian homes. Your tour guide will tell you about the wealthy tycoons that lived in these estates and the different architectural styles they chose. You can see Georgian Revival, Neo-classical, Queen Anne, and Romanesque styles during the tour.
For icing on the cake, consider a guided tour of the James J. Hill House either after this tour or before.
This two-hour private tour of Summit Avenue’s Victorian homes is a fantastic way to see some of the most beautiful architecture in St. Paul. No matter your preferred architectural style, this is one of the best tours in Saint Paul to see the city, whether with a group or solo.
See Related: Best Restaurants in Minneapolis & St. Paul (Twin Cities)
4. Charming Stillwater Tour with Private Transportation
Address: 1725 Market Dr, Stillwater, MN 55082
Just a short 45-minute drive from Minneapolis, Stillwater, Minnesota, is known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota.” This town is located on the west bank of the St. Croix River, a destination for lumberjacks in the 19th century.
This private tour includes history and architecture, from the 19th century village built by lumber tycoons to the historic Main Street lined with shops and restaurants. The tour guide will share stories of these wealthy lumber barons while pointing out the architecture of some of the homes.
You’ll also stop by the Washington County Historic Courthouse to learn how the town became the “Birthplace of Minnesota” and visit the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, where you’ll learn how the townspeople contributed to the Civil War. Other stops on the tour include St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the opulent Rivertown Inn, the Sauntry Mansion, the 1930’s Stillwater Lift Bridge, and even a stop at Candyland for treats.
This architecture and history tour in the small town of Stillwater is perfect if you’re looking for something outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul but still close enough for a day trip. It’s one of the best tours for a small group looking to visit this small town.
See Related: Best Things to do in Stillwater, Minnesota
5. Historic Cave Tour
Address: 215 Wabasha St S, St. Paul, MN 55107
This Saint Paul tour begins at the Wabasha Street Caves, the only remaining restored Gangster Era site. While it is now an event hall on the shores of the Mississippi River, the caves were used as a haven during Prohibition.
This speakeasy was frequented by well-known gangsters such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Ma Barker, and Fred Barker. While these caves were once mining hotspots in the 19th century, they were long abandoned by the time of Prohibition.
The tour guide will take you into the extensive caves, where the abandoned mines became a gangster hotspot and casino in the 1920s. Reporters from a Saint Paul newspaper claimed that a murder took place at the casino (the bullet holes are still visible today), but the bodies were never found. Some people believe that the caves are haunted by the ghosts of the mobsters who were murdered there.
While it sounds spooky, this historic cave tour is family-friendly, with a lot of interesting history and a few ghost stories. So when you visit and looking for the best things to do in Saint Paul, don’t hesitate to book one of these spooky tours, as it’s one of the most fun things to do in the city!
Want to check more attractions in Wabasha? Here are the best things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota, for you.
See Related: Best Indoor Activities in Minnesota
6. Duluth/Moose Lake: Triple Cross Dune Buggy Adventure
Address: 4750 Split Rock Rd, Sturgeon Lake, MN 55783
If you’re looking for an awesome adventure in Minnesota, this dune buggy adventure should be on your to-do list. Located near Duluth at Moose Lake, this guided tour will take you into the trails in a fun dune buggy. However, prepare to get dirty while traveling over puddles and mud trails.
The tour includes a safety helmet, goggles, and 2-person dune buggy rental. And don’t worry, as long as you have a driver’s license, you can drive one! During the adventure, there are places where the drivers can switch with passengers to give everyone a chance to drive.
This adventure is easily one of the best ways to explore Minnesota while zipping around the wilderness on forest trails. And there are plenty of places to take photos for Instagram lovers or for the family scrapbook. Located about an hour and a half from Saint Paul, this dune buggy adventure is one of the best tours in the area! It would be fun for a group with family, friends, or coworkers.
7. Minneapolis All-Inclusive Craft Brewery Tour
Address: 35 S 7th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
If you’re looking for a fun way to explore Minneapolis, this brewery tour is it. Not only will you visit multiple breweries on this guided small-group tour, but the beer is all-you-can-drink!
Starting at the Royal Sonesta in downtown Minneapolis, you’ll head to breweries such as Lakes and Legends Brewing Company, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Modist Brewing Co., and others. You’ll travel in style in a comfortable minibus and enjoy as many beers as you can handle since you’re not driving! The tour takes place in the afternoon or evening, so take your pick.
Looking to discover Minnesota craft beer when you visit Minneapolis? This is one of the best ways to have fun in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. So whether you’re traveling as a group or flying solo, you’ll enjoy this Twin Cities tour. It’s easily one of the best brewery tours in the city!
See Related: The Ultimate Guide to Minneapolis Nightlife
8. Ghostly Private Tour of Saint Paul
Address: 11 E Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55101
If you’re looking for a year-round spooky tour of Saint Paul, this private tour should be on your itinerary. Like all private tours, the tour guide moves at the group’s pace, so you don’t have to rush from one attraction to the next.
Starting across from the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis, the tour guide will show you the spookiest Saint Paul attractions, including stories of gangsters and ghosts. You’ll first learn about the history of Saint Paul and how the Twin Cities arose in the 19th century.
Then you’ll head to the Minnesota State Capitol, where visitors have claimed to see several “friendly” ghosts. A walk around downtown Saint Paul includes tales of mobsters and spooky stories, with the last stop at the Saint Paul Hotel, where ghosts of mobsters haunt the guests!
This two-hour spooky tour is fun, even if you’re just interested in learning about the history of mobsters. This is one of the more ghostly tours in the Twin Cities area, but it shouldn’t give you nightmares!
9. Romantic Tour in Minneapolis
Address: 350 S 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415
If you’re traveling with your partner, love interest, or spouse, this romantic tour is a great thing to put on your to-do list. Starting in downtown Minneapolis, this tour will show you where all the city’s romantic spots are.
You’ll visit the most picturesque places to snap romantic photos, but you’ll also hear historical love tales as you walk in downtown Minneapolis. The love stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking, with everything in between.
Do you know the history of the Minnesota state flower, the Lady’s Slipper? If not, this tour will teach you about it and its origin tales. This two-hour trip is often booked around Valentine’s Day but is perfect for couples year-round.
One of the best dates in Minneapolis is this romantic tour, where you can discover the city’s most romantic spots. So, when you visit the Twin Cities, don’t hesitate to book this fun experience, as it’s one of the only romantic tours in the city!
See Related: Best Minneapolis Murals You Need to Visit
10. Saint Paul Gangster Tour
Address: 215 Wabasha St S, St. Paul, MN 55107
Most people don’t automatically associate Minneapolis-St. Paul with mobsters, but if you want to learn how the city became the center of bootlegging, this is one of the best bus tours! This 2-hour tour begins at the Castle Royal gangsters nightclub at the Wabasha Street Caves in Saint Paul.
You’ll visit the St. Paul Hotel and many other historic sites, such as the Green Lantern Saloon, Hamm’s Mansion and Bremer kidnapping sites, and the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home, in Summit Hill. You’ll also see sites of the Irish Syndicate, in addition to the site of John Dillinger’s gun battle.
This guided gangster tour is one of the most interesting tours in the city, with historical sites, good stories about mobster life, and Saint Paul history.
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