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15 Ideas for Weekend Getaways in Minnesota

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Commitments may prevent you from taking a much-needed week off but don’t fret. Sometimes, a quick romantic getaway with your significant other is all you need to calm your frazzled nerves.

Fortunately, Minnesota doesn’t fall short of quick and accessible destinations for vacation-deprived couples. Besides being flush with scenic beauty, the state is much more budget-friendly than some other spots, especially if you’re interested in autumnal leaf-peeping.

For folks outside of the Midwest, it may seem odd to consider romantic getaways in Minnesota. But I can tell you from personal experience that this gorgeous state flanked by the Mississippi River is highly underrated. With a plethora of cozy cabins and the rustic lake lodge, there is abundant beauty to spend time and relax.

More than that, you’re bound to find some incredible food here too. If you head to the Twin Cities or other metropolitan areas in the state, you’ll find international cuisines of all kinds. Visitors might be surprised to learn that Minnesota is incredibly diverse, meaning its food scene is widely varied in the best ways possible.

Honestly, Minnesota is a great place for couples to reconnect. Minnesota has easy access to breathtaking views, excellent fishing, sandy beaches, golf courses, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

But it isn’t just one for nature lovers. From a charming small town or bustling city, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is a gem you won’t soon forget.

Best Weekend Getaways in Minnesota

1. Spend the night at St. James Hotel

St. James Hotel best weekend getaways MN

Address: 406 Main St, Red Wing, MN 55066

The St. James Hotel offers rest, relaxation, and a chance to immerse yourself in rich history. This luxury hotel circa 1875 is one of the best romantic getaways in the state. Set amidst majestic bluffs, the family-owned St. James Hotel offers several premium rooms, some of which provide scenic views of downtown Red Wing or the Mississippi River.

Once winter arrives, couples can try downhill skiing by booking a two-night getaway package while purchasing lift tickets from the Welch Village. Or, have your hand at cross-country skiing at the nearby Frontenac State Park.

The Scarlet Kitchen & Bar, a top destination in Red Wing, offers scrumptious New Age American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with panoramic views of the Mississippi River. Once you’re full, you can explore the vicinity of the city. Visit historical sites and museums, head to the Sheldon Theatre for a delightful show, or go hiking at Frontenac State Park.

See Related: Hotels in Duluth, Minnesota

2. Calm your nerves at an award-winning resort

Glacial Waters Spa

Address: 23521 Nokomis Ave, Nisswa, MN 56468

Sometimes, a weekend spa retreat is all you need to prepare for a busy week. If you need relaxation, head to the Glacial Waters Spa at Grand View Lodge, one of the best weekend spa getaways in Northern Minnesota

While I didn’t have a romantic getaway here, my trip during college with my childhood bestie was a lot of fun. But a word to the wise, many things are closed in Nisswa, even during spring break.

Conde Nast Traveler awarded the Grand View Lodge as one of the Top 5 Resorts in the Midwest and earned a spot in U.S. News 16 Incredible Midwest Vacations. Here, nature beckons: 750 acres of rich pine forest and over 2,500 feet of fine sand beach offer a natural retreat for weary souls, but the resort’s main draw is its world-class spa. 

To top it off, some lodge rooms at Grand View Lodge have hot tub-esque soaking tubs. The rooms are plush with a woodsy feel. Plus, the food on-site is delicious, and the surroundings cannot be beaten, even if much of the town is closed in a still-snowy March.

See Related: Things to Do in Nisswa, Minnesota

3. Revel in Luxury at Hotel Ivy

Hotel Ivy

Address: 201 S 11th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403

If you want to make the most of a night’s stay, booking a weekend at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis is an incredible romantic getaway with a historic setting. It’s also an excellent spot for a staycation if you live around the Twin Cities. Hotel Ivy offers over 130 rooms along with world-class suites, with fine linens, 10-foot floating ceilings, and a display of original works from local artisans.

A historic landmark located at the heart of Minneapolis, Hotel Ivy is a luxury accommodation with seven miles of the skyway, which offers guests access to a myriad of attractions, including the Nicolet Mall, the Convention Center, Guthrie Theater, and the Orchestra Hall. 

More than anything else, the Anda Spa is Hotel Ivy’s main draw. Couples can book a bespoke treatment ritual or indulge in several hydrotherapy offerings.

Get a body scrub, a much-needed manicure or pedicure, a wide array of facials, or a rub down. It is the ideal way to relax in the center of an incredible city.

See Related: Best Hotels in the Midwest

4. Live the solitary life at a Scandinavian lake house

Scandinavian Lakehouse Cabin

Address: Lutsen, Minnesota

Tucked deep in the woods and by the shore of Caribou Lake, this stunning Scandinavian lake house can be a great setting for a romantic getaway along the North Shore of beautiful Lake Superior  Surrounded by water on all sides while offering over 500 feet of lakeshore, this lake house cabin in Lutsen comes complete with modern comforts, including a deck, dock, a sauna house, screen porch, a spacious driveaway, and canoes you can use to explore the nearby lake.

In the winter, you can go cross-country skiing or ice fishing to enjoy the beautiful scenery of a Minnesota winter. Once you’re done, head back to this cozy cabin and make a fire.

This cabin is just a short drive from the ski hill and located just 20 minutes away from the legendary city of Grand Marais. Check out all the awesome things to do in Lutsen Mountains on our YouTube channel.

The cabin’s claim to fame is its airy aesthetics – hand-finished columns of cedar, fir, pine, and natural stone, along with wide-open spaces that let the light in result in a pared-back style of understated elegance. This stunning cabin offers three bedrooms, three walk-in showers, and enough space to hold a group of eight. You’ll feel the majesty of the nearby Lutsen Mountains embrace you during your stay here.

See Related: Best Tropical Vacation Spots in the World

5. Stay over at a B&B

Alexander Mansion Bed & Breakfast building
Alexander Mansion Bed & Breakfast / Facebook

Address: 274 E Broadway St, Winona, MN 55987

Built in 1886, the gorgeous Victorian Alexander Mansion was built for local judge Thomas Wilson. After half a century of calling the mansion home, the Alexander family sold it, and over a century later, it remains a bed and breakfast in all its romantic splendor. Each room is named for a different member of the Alexander family, decked out in vintage sheen.

The bed and breakfast has been named an excellent place to stay twice by Midwest Living. Midwest Living named it one of the best bed and breakfasts in the region and one of the top places to stay. Suffice it to say this B&B is one of the best places for weekend getaways.

Although it is a bed and breakfast, often considered an adult-centered vacation spot, the Alexander Mansion is both pet and child-friendly. Just beside the Mississippi River, the complimentary breakfast here will set you up for a day full of adventure–whether you stay in the city or not.

See Related: Places to Visit in Minnesota

6. Get a relaxing massage at a world-class spa in Northern Minnesota

LutZen Reflections Massage Studios

Address: 360 Ski Hill Rd, Lutsen, MN 55612

Looking for a refreshing romantic getaway in Minnesota? Don’t underestimate the restorative powers of a good massage at LutZen Reflections Massage Studios. Located at The Mountain Inn in Lutsen, this spa sits at the base of Lutsen Mountains Ski and Summer Resort – a great place to soothe sore muscles from skiing or snowmobiling.  

LutZen offers several massage services that employ the latest in massage therapy. Try the Deep Buddha massage for a deep tissue rub down that focuses on the deepest layers of tendons, muscle tissue, and fascia. The Earth Mama Prenatal massage is specifically designed for mothers-to-be suffering from the common aches and pains of pregnancy. 

Want a more romantic setup? There are plenty to choose from. The Zen Sweethearts Couple’s Massage is a couple’s massage session where you can relax in the same room with your partner. You don’t need to stay at the Mountain Inn to enjoy the spa, so if you’re staying in Grand Marais or another nearby town, you can still enjoy this place of nirvana.

See Related: Minnesota Lakes to Explore

7. Get your nature fix at Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

Address: Voyageurs National Park, International Falls

Featuring untouched landscapes, top-notch hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and a wealth of flora and fauna, Voyageurs National Park promises an adventure-filled weekend and an opportunity to disconnect. Couples usually reach the area by car from the city of International Falls, the most popular launching point.

Travelers can access the visitor’s center easily by car. Still, the Kabetogama Peninsula, the state park’s heart, may only be accessed by boat, plane, or traversing the frozen lake during winter. 

Here, couples can participate in nature-based activities, including hiking, fishing, canoeing, and visiting the many historic sites available in the area. Voyageurs National Park also offers 270 campsites only accessible by boat travel.

If lucky, you may witness the rare northern lights (aurora borealis) – a spectacular natural light display caused by solar winds! Check out these hotels and lodges near Voyageurs National Park for your weekend getaways filled with exploring. Be sure to stop by the International Wolf Center and downtown Ely on your way to an outstanding Northern Minnesota getaway.

See Related: Minnesota State Parks to Visit

8. Unleash your inner culture vulture

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Address: 400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404

For couples looking for an art fix, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) is one of the best weekend getaways in Minnesota for good reason. Located south of downtown Minneapolis, MIA receives more than 700,000 visitors annually. The museum offers a wide range of attractions and art without paying a single penny for admission. 

MIA boasts of an extensive collection of art: more than 89,000 artworks, with permanent and temporary exhibits of various themes, from ancient artifacts to African American art, textiles, European masterpieces by Monet and Titian, and many Asian masterpieces. If you want to carry the art into your stay in Minneapolis, we highly recommend a stay at The Chambers Hotel and even walk over to the Walker Art Center.

This Minneapolis art museum is also the home of the Doryphoros, one of the four surviving Roman copies of the ancient Greek sculpture. Once you’re done exploring art, grab a coffee or cold-pressed juice at MIA’s Agra Culture Coffee Shop and Cafe. 

While general admission is free, some special exhibits cost extra. A trip to MIA will take around 90 minutes, but other visitors recommend breaking up your tour into two days.  

See Related: Museums in Minnesota

9. Dine by the wharf on Lake Minnetonka

Lord Fletchers

Address: 3746 Sunset Dr, Spring Park, MN 55384

With a history spanning more than five decades, Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge is one of Minnetonka’s most popular establishments and is an ideal stopover spot while taking a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka. This bustling restaurant is nestled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka and is always busy during the summer.

The menu is incredibly varied, with seasonally fresh lodge-inspired entrees and plates including steaks, freshwater fish, pasta, lobster, walleye, and others. You can dine on casual eats or slightly elevated cuisine for special occasions or any occasion.

Opened in 1968, Lord Fletcher’s has been a favorite for locals and tourists alike for decades. Since the restaurant is resort-style, there are dining rooms with numerous styles. If you want an outdoor, party-like ambiance, you can dine at the wharf, while those looking for a more intimate setting can feast at the main dining area. 

See Related: Things to Do in Brainerd

10. Frolick in a field of flowers 

Munsinger and Clemens Gardens

Address: 1515 Riverside Dr SE, St Cloud, MN 56304

Suppose the idea of frolicking in a garden of flowers excites you. In that case, the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud might be one of the best weekend getaways in Minnesota for you and your significant other. Once a sawmill on the Mississippi River in 1890, the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens now houses over 80,000 plants within a stunning setting of swings, benches, trees, ponds, and fountains. 

There are two sights to see here: the Munsinger Gardens and the Clemens Gardens. The former features winding flower-bordered paths under tall pine trees, while the latter features six European-style gardens with American plantings and fountains. Take a relaxed walk around the area and witness many fauna, including perennials, clematis and rose vines, hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas.

Photo contests are held annually for aspiring and professional photographers, while free concerts are held on alternating Sundays at 3 pm near the Munsinger Gazebo. Munsinger and Clemens Gardens also hosts an art fair every summer with over 45 artists from all over the state. Music is provided, along with food and beverages. 

See Related: Parks in Minneapolis

11. Plan the ultimate relaxation getaway 

Chase on the Lake Spa

Address: 502 Cleveland Blvd W, Walker, MN 56484

Before the new week starts, plan the ultimate girls’ getaway weekend in M.N. or a romantic rendezvous and treat yourselves to a relaxing stay at the historic Chase on the Lake Resort & Spa. This hotel on the lake offers stylish rooms, some with water views to make your getaway even more beautiful.

Perfect for friends or couples on a quick staycation, The Chase offers classy lodging, lake and land rentals, lakeside dining, a two-lane bowling alley, and a popular favorite: the Copper Door Aveda Spa. Try their spa services, including a hot stone massage, a chakra massage focusing on deep tissues, and a personalized massage experience based on the Aveda elemental natural philosophy.

Sign up for facials, body treatments, nail care, waxing, and Reiki sessions. Not sure about which service to sign up for?

Try booking a spa package through the hotel. This package includes two nights in a lakeside room, a couples massage, full resort amenities, and a bottle of champagne to toast the night away. 

See Related: Things to Do in Excelsior, Minnesota

12. Wine and dine along Stillwater’s main street

Domacin Wine Bar Stillwater

Address: 102 2nd St S, Stillwater, MN 55082

If you want to spend your weekend on gastronomical delights, Domaćin Wine Bar in Stillwater is one of the city’s most popular gems. Here, guests can expect a delicious Mediterranean menu with a couple of twists.

Some of their most delightful dishes include succulent braised pork with cheese grits, perfectly seared ahi tuna slices with wasabi mashed potatoes, and beef tenderloin drizzled with a glaze-like dark truffle sauce.

There’s plenty to enjoy here for the avid foodie. The establishment’s Wine Shop is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, with over 600 selections, including over 100 chilled rosé, whites, and bubbles. After dinner, stop by one of the many great cocktail bars, dive bars, and lounges in the heart of downtown Stillwater.

Make your stay the best possible by staying at our personal favorite, Lora Hotel, one of the best boutique hotels in Minnesota, featuring luxurious amenities.

Or, check out the legendary Water Street Inn if you want some historic charm during your stay along the St. Croix River. Either way, you’ll be experiencing one of the best Minnesota weekend getaways.

See Related: Best Lakes in Minnesota

13. See the Boundary Waters

The Grand Ely Lodge from the water
Grand Ely Lodge / Grand Ely Lodge

Address: 400 N Pioneer Rd, Ely, MN 55731

On the legendary Boundary Waters, the Grand Ely Lodge is as relaxing as it is exciting. You don’t need to leave with an on-site pool, sauna, dining, and game room to have a good time.

But when you’re ready for adventure, the nearby Boundary Waters await you. Grand Ely Lodge is near the International Wolf Center and Shagawa Lake for excellent fishing opportunities.

Being on vacation in the north woods may seem like you won’t be able to enjoy any pool amenities. Worry not, though! The lodge’s pool and sauna are available all year round. Some of the rooms even have whirlpool tubs if you’d instead enjoy the water amenities in private.

For those on the hunt for added romance, the lodge offers a Romance Package. In addition to your two-night stay in any of their room categories, you’ll receive champagne and chocolate truffles upon arrival. Not to mention including breakfast and dinner in the on-site Evergreen Restaurant.

See Related: Best Boundary Waters Waterfalls You Need to Visit

14. Choo-choo-choose the Traincar Inn

Moose room at the Northern Rail Traincar Inn
Northern Rail Traincar Inn / Northern Rail Traincar Inn

Address: 1730 Co Hwy 3, Two Harbors, MN 55616

Were you a big fan of the Boxcar Children books as a kid? Or maybe just always wondered what it would be like to hang out on a train? It’s your lucky day! The Northern Rail Traincar Inn is here to deliver all your train dreams. These unique hotel rooms made their public debut in June 2002.

Rooms inside train cars make this inn, unlike any other place in Minnesota. The inn is available all year with its boxcar rooms and spectacular views of the north woods.

Here you’ll find a dozen rooms as well as three full-car suites. Each room is uniquely themed with styles like Moose, Bear, Safari, and Victorian to name a few.

What makes the inn even more fantastic is that they don’t charge separate rates between weekdays and weekends. Plus, guests are treated with campfires as weather permits, continental breakfast, and media/game rentals.

This inn is certainly the most unique locale on our list and for good reason. See for yourself how upcycled train cars can be romantic.

See Related: Things to Do in Minocqua, Wisconsin

15. Be part of history at the Water Street Inn

Exterior of Water Street Inn
Water Street Inn / Facebook

Address: 101 Water St S, Stillwater, MN 55082

When you head to the incredible city of Stillwater, you’ll want to stay over at a piece of the town’s history. The Water Street Inn is housed in the former Lumber Exchange Building, built in 1890.

Although it no longer trades in lumber, it is reminiscent of the building’s heyday. Part of Stillwater’s historic waterfront district, the hotel is only a short walk away from all the boutique shopping and dining options.

All of the rooms here are vibrant and cozy. You’ll think you’ve been whisked away to a charming north woods lodge with all the little luxuries of a city hotel.

This hotel is near some of the area’s best golf courses, hiking/biking trails, and many outdoor activities. Not to mention it’s only a 30-minute drive from the Twin Cities. So if you need more to do, the cities are a quick jaunt away.

Water Street Inn is also well-equipped for a romantic getaway. Not only is this hotel beautiful, but they also have a wide range of enhancements to make your stay even better. For example, you can deliver custom floral arrangements, wine, cheese, fruit plates, and even tasty truffles.

See Related: Things to Do in Madison, Wisconsin

FAQs

What are the best romantic getaways in Minnesota?

The best romantic getaways in Minnesota include scenic locales like Duluth, known for its historic downtown, Lake Superior views, and romantic B&Bs. Another option is Stillwater, where couples can enjoy charming inns, antique shopping, and river cruises. For those preferring a rural setting, the rolling vineyards and wineries of Cannon Falls are an idyllic choice.

What are some affordable romantic getaways in Minnesota?

Affordable romantic getaways in Minnesota can be found across the state. Consider a cozy cabin stay in the Minnesota State Parks, a budget-friendly but picturesque option.

The Twin Cities offer affordable yet romantic experiences, like wandering the Minneapolis Institute of Art or exploring the historic neighborhoods of St. Paul. Small towns like Red Wing provide reasonably priced accommodations and plenty of charm.

Is Minnesota suitable for a honeymoon destination?

Minnesota might seem off the beaten path for honeymooners, but you’d be surprised how much there is to do here. Minnesota is where you’ll want to be, especially for those looking to save some money but not miss out on any beauty. Minneapolis is also an excellent and budget-friendly choice for those looking to fill their honeymoon with activities.

What are some romantic things to do during our Minnesota getaway?

There are many spas to enjoy throughout Minnesota, particularly at some more luxurious hotels like the Grand View Lodge. Many of the hotels and resorts in Minnesota also benefit from a more relaxed, natural environment that helps quiet the mind and spirit.

That is perfect for setting a romantic mood. Plus, many lakeside or riverside eateries around the state make for excellent dining dates at any time of day.

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