Commitments may tie you down 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 on quick and easy destinations for vacation-deprived couples. Here are the best weekend getaways in Minnesota!
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A state perfect for quick getaways
Minnesota is known for its gorgeous prairie land, breathtaking sceneries, sparkling blue lakes, and thick forests, but couples looking beyond expansive bluffs and greenery are bound to discover a lot more.
From cheese sampling in award-winning wineries to booking a facial at world-class spas, the choices are endless, but there’s another reason why quick weekend getaways MN are so popular.
No matter where you live in the area, great restaurants, luxurious hotels, and top-notch attractions are just a short car, train, or bus ride away.
Exploring the locality by car is the most popular choice, but the Amtrak passenger train service is another convenient option as it crosses the state from the scenic and urban southeast corner to the wild prairies of the northwest. The Twin Cities area holds several transportation options including a bus service and the light rail. Minneapolis is the 11th most walkable large city in the US, and it’s also very bikeable.
If you’re flying in from another state or country, booking a flight is incredibly cheap and easy with platforms like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Scott’s Cheap Flights. Most airports in Minnesota are located near great accommodations and attractions, so you can get started on your adventure without having to spend hours in transit. Time is, after all, extremely essential if you’re only spending a weekend in the area.
To help you in planning the perfect weekend, I selected 12 of the best ideas for weekend getaways in MN, selected according to their popularity and reviews. Now pack your bags and let’s begin!
1. Spend the night at a charming hotel
Location: St. James Hotel, Red Wing, Minnesota
St. James Hotel offers rest, relaxation, and a chance to immerse yourself in rich history. This luxury hotel is more than a 150-years old, but it still carries the traditions that made it one of the best accommodations in Minnesota state.
Set amidst majestic bluffs, this family-owned hotel offers several premium rooms, some of which offer scenic views of downtown Red Wing or the Mississippi River. Once winter arrives, couples can try downhill skiing by booking a 2-night getaway package while purchasing lift tickets from the Welch Village.
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 Red Wing. Visit some historical sites and museums, head to the Sheldon Theatre for a delightful show, or go hiking at Frontenac State Park. Book a night at St. James hotel through Booking.com.
See Related: The 18 Best Hotels in Duluth, Minnesota
2. Calm your nerves in an award-winning resort
Location: Grand View Lodge, Nisswa
Sometimes, a weekend spa retreat is all you need to prepare yourself for a busy week ahead. If you’re in dire need of relaxation, head to the Glacial Waters Spa at Grand View Lodge, one of the best weekend spa getaways MN.
The Grand View Lodge was awarded by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the Top 5 Resorts in the Midwest, as well as earning 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.
Set amidst nature and atop a natural spring created over 10,000 years ago, Grand View’s Glacial Water’s Spa aims to calm the body, mind, and spirit with a host of professional spa services including facials, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, and the latest in health and skincare.
Once you’ve renewed your energy, the outdoors await. Grand View Lodge holds 750 acres of natural surroundings perfect for biking, horseback riding, golfing, and a host of water activities.
See Related: 8 Best Things to do in Nisswa, Minnesota
3. Revel in luxury at a historic landmark
Location: Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis
If you’re looking to make the most of a night’s stay, booking a weekend at the Hotel Ivy can be one of the best weekend getaways MN. A historic landmark located at the heart of downtown Minneapolis, Hotel Ivy is a luxury accommodation with seven miles of skyway, which offers guests access to a myriad of attractions including the Nicolet Mall, the Convention Center, Guthrie Theatre, and the Orchestra Hall.
Hotel Ivy offers 136 rooms and over 9 world-class suites, complete with fine linens, 10-foot floating ceilings, flat-panel televisions, and a display of original works from local artisans.
More than anything else, the Anda Spa is Hotel Ivy’s main draw. Here, 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 relaxing rub down.
Gym buffs will feel right at home at Hotel Ivy’s fitness center, which boasts virtual reality hiking, biking, and running trails. Looking to save? Join the Marriot Bonvoy program and earn points from your stay at Hotel Ivy.
See Related: 28 Best Hotels in the Midwest
4. Live the solitary life at a Scandinavian lake house
Location: 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 one of the most romantic weekend getaways in MN.
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. Best of all, this cabin is just a short drive from the ski hill and located just 20 minutes away from Grand Marais.
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. A night’s stay is easy to book with Airbnb.
5. Go on a gastronomical seafood escapade
Location: Pescara, Rochester
If you’re looking to spend your weekend on a more high-end dining experience, Pescara in Rochester regularly receives raving reviews and is one of the best weekend getaways in MN for food lovers. This popular restaurant serves fresh, line-caught fish daily, while shipping in fresh from various parts of the world six days a week.
From wild Alaskan halibut to Costa Rican Mahi Mahi, oysters, scallops, mussels, and shrimp – seafood lovers have plenty to choose from. While the restaurant focuses mostly on seafood, those who have a more land-based diet can feast on a variety of steaks, pasta, and vegetarian options.
6. Get a relaxing massage at a world-class spa
Location: The Mountain Inn, Lutsen
Looking for the best weekend getaways for couples in MN? Don’t underestimate the restorative powers of a good massage. If the weekdays’ got you frazzled, leave your worries behind for one of the best weekend getaways MN 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 a day of 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 who are suffering from the common aches and pains of pregnancy.
If you’re looking for a more romantic setup, there’s plenty to choose from.
The Zen Sweethearts Couple’s Massage is a couple massage session where you can relax with your partner in the same room, while the Honeymooners Romance Package allows you to enjoy a 90-minute Gitche Gumee Hot stone session while snacking on chocolate truffles and sipping on champagne.
7. Get your nature fix at a state park
Location: Voyageurs National Park, International Falls
Tired of urban life? If you’re looking for a more nature-themed excursion, a trip to Voyageurs National Park is one of the best weekend getaways MN. Featuring untouched landscapes, top-notch hiking trails, and a wealth of flora and fauna, Voyageurs not only promises an adventure-filled weekend but 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, but the Kabetogama Peninsula, the state park’s heart, may only be accessed by boat, plane, or by traversing the frozen lake during winter.
Here, couples can participate in several nature-based activities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, spying for local flora and fauna, as well as visiting the many historic sites available in the area. Voyageurs offers 270 campsites which are only accessible by boat travel. If you’re lucky, you may be able to witness a rare aurora borealis – spectacular natural light displays caused by solar winds!
8. Unleash your inner culture vulture
For couples looking for an art fix, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) is one of the best weekend getaways MN. Located south of the downtown area, MIA receives more than 700,000 visitors annually. The museum offers a wide range of attractions and art, all without having to pay a single penny for admission.
MIA boasts of an extensive collection of art: more than 89,000 artworks to be exact, with permanent and temporary exhibits of various themes, from ancient artifacts to African American art, textiles, European masterpieces by Monet and Titian, and a plethora of Asian masterpieces.
Planning to tag your children along? Kids activities like the monthly Family Day and scavenger hunts make MIA one of the best family weekend getaways in MN.
MIA is also the home of the Doryphoros, one of the four surviving Roman copies of ancient Greek sculpture. Once you’re done exploring art, grab a cup of coffee or cold-pressed juice at MIA’s Agra Culture Coffee Shop and Cafe.
While general admission is free, some special exhibits cost extra. Exploring MIA will take around 90 minutes, but other visitors recommend breaking up your tour into two days.
See Related: 10 Best Museums in Minnesota
9. Dine by the wharf
Location: Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge, Minnetonka
With a history spanning more than five decades, Lord Fletcher’s is one of Minnetonka’s most popular established. This bustling restaurant which seats 500 is nestled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and is always busy during the summer.
Guests will be happy to choose from several dining options. If you’re looking for an outdoor, party-like ambiance, you can choose to dine at the wharf, while those looking for a more intimate setting can feast at the main dining area.
The menu is incredibly varied, with seasonally fresh lodge-inspired entrees and plates including steaks, freshwater fish, pasta, lobster, walleye, and others.
See Related: Best Pizza in Minnesota: 18 Top Pizzeria Options
10. Frolick in a field of flowers
Location: St. Cloud
If the idea of frolicking in a garden of flowers excites you, then the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens might be one of the best weekend getaways MN for you and your significant other.
Once a sawmill located on the Mississippi River in 1890, the Munsinger & Clemens Gardens now houses over 80,000 annual 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 a plethora of fauna, including perennials, clematis and rose vines, hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas. Photo contests are held annually for both 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.
11. Plan the ultimate relaxation getaway
Location: Chase on the Lake Resort & Spa, Walker
Before the new week starts, plan the ultimate girls getaway weekend MN and treat yourselves to a relaxing stay at the historic Chase on the Lake Resort & Spa. Perfect for friends or couples looking for 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.
The Copper Door Aveda Spa offers a unique menu of spa services. Try their relaxing massage treatments which include a hot stone massage, a chakra massage that focuses on deep tissues, and a personalized massage experience based on the Aveda elemental natural philosophy. Sign up for facials, body treatments, nail care services, waxing services, and Reiki sessions.
Not sure about which service to sign up for? Plan one of the best weekend getaways MN by booking a spa package. 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.
12. Wine and dine at a popular restaurant
Location: Domacin Wine Bar, Stillwater
If you’re looking to spend your weekend on gastronomical delights, Domacin Wine Bar in Stillwater is one of Minneapolis’ most popular gems. The extensive wine list alone is what makes it one of the best weekend getaways MN.
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 more than 600 selections including over 100 chilled rosé, whites, and bubbles.
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