Minnesota Vacation Guide

Minnesota, a state nicknamed the land of ten thousand lakes, is undoubtedly a nature enthusiast’s dream destination filled with more hiking, biking, fishing, paddling, and adventuring than one can entertain in a lifetime. From the breathtakingly beautiful wilderness of the Boundary Waters area to the rolling hills of Minnesota’s southern Bluff Country, this state is remarkably diverse, engaging, and worthy of exploration. 

However, like Wisconsin, Minnesota’s easterly neighbor, this state is about so much more than you see at first glance. Minnesota is also a state filled with unexpected pleasures and hidden gems, particularly in its smaller cities. Most people have heard of, and maybe even experienced, the many delights of Minneapolis/St. Paul, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of this fun, friendly, and beautiful state! 

Moreover, Minnesota also holds to the famous moniker “Minnesota Nice,” a cultural stereotype that is just as true as the lakes are plentiful. This warm, welcoming, and judgment-free hospitality is precisely what you can find in every bed and breakfast in Minnesota that is part of the Midwest Association of Independent Inns. 

Things To Do In Minnesota

With a nickname like the “Land of ten thousand lakes,” you’ll undoubtedly find that water factors into many of the best adventures in Minnesota. Whether that means fishing, boating on big-name lakes, or paddling on small rivers is entirely up to you. 

However, as stunning as the crystal clear waterways of Minnesota are, that is just the start of your upcoming adventures in this state. Turn to the owners & Innkeepers of whatever Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota you’re staying at, and you’ll find your own personal guide to the best adventures, restaurants, and cultural attractions around the state!

Outdoor Enthusiasts

Whether you choose to set sail or charter an epic fishing adventure off the shores of Lake Superior, set out for an unforgettably wild kayaking adventure in the Boundary Waters, or you’d rather paddle your way down Minnesota’s quiet but scenic rivers like the Root River in southern Minnesota, a water-laden adventure is never too far away in Minnesota. However, as we’ve already eluded, this is just one of the many great adventures waiting for you in Minnesota. 

There are also countless miles of fantastic biking trails around the state, including the Root River State Trail near Lanesboro, the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in the Twin Cities, and the Paul Bunyon State Trail near Walker. There’s also plenty of excellent mountain biking and hiking in cities like Duluth and even more fun adventures in Minnesota State Parks

Minnesota is also a winter wonderland for those who enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, fat tire biking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling – and of course, we can’t forget about the state’s beloved hockey, both professional and amateur. In short, there are four seasons of fantastic fun to enjoy in Minnesota, and it all starts at a leading Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota.

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Food & Drink

Whether getting out and having fun outside or visiting top attractions around the state, Minnesotans don’t let anything get in the way of a good time. That extends to enjoying plenty of delicious food and drink in venues around the state, too. You can find plenty of classic Minnesota dishes in just about every city of the state, but you’ll also find a stunning array of international specialties, especially in the Twin Cities. 

Get a taste of Laotian or Hmong cuisine, dine on Vietnamese specialties, or dig into traditional Ethiopian or Somali dishes, and you’ll quickly understand Minnesota’s iconic reputation for international flavors. It doesn’t stop with the food, though. All around Minnesota, you’ll find a broad array of craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries to enjoy, too. 

Head to Minneapolis or Duluth for big-name Minnesota Breweries, though most small communities are boasting an increasing number of fantastic small breweries. The same goes for wine and distilled spirits, with growers bringing more great craft beverages to every corner of the state.

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Arts & Culture

Though outdoor adventure in Minnesota is something we frequently feature, Minnesota’s art & cultural scene is not to be overlooked. Minnesota has one of the country’s most vibrant art & cultural scenes, with many incredible theatres, music venues, galleries, museums, and more. Moreover, with an increasingly diverse population, Minnesota’s growth in cultural offerings is only set to grow. 

With places like the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center leading the way, and an increasingly diverse population, Minnesota’s growth in cultural offerings is only set to grow. Add to these artistic venues rich cultural traditions, including healthy Native American and Scandinavian Roots around the state, and it’s easy to see why a burgeoning and vibrant arts scene has emerged.

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Best Time to Visit Minnesota

With so many fantastic lakes and waterways to enjoy, there’s little doubt that the best time to visit Minnesota is summer, particularly when it’s seasonably warm outside during July and August. Summer is, of course, the best time of year to go boating, paddle through the Boundary Waters, or otherwise swim and enjoy the crystal clear waters of Minnesota lakes.

Of course, summer is also a great time to enjoy hiking and biking in Minnesota State Parks, though these activities can be easily enjoyed in spring and fall. Fall in Minnesota shouldn’t be underestimated either, as it’s a great time to hit the road for scenic foliage drives and gorgeous hikes through the lush forests of Minnesota. 

Winters are most certainly cold in Minnesota – it’s rated as having some of the most frigid winters in the country! But with these icy cold weather conditions comes a whole slew of new adventures, from fat tire biking to ice fishing. Summer may be the best time to visit, but any time is a great time to unwind at a Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota!

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Winter in Minnesota

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Spring in Minnesota

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Summer in Minnesota

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Fall in Minnesota

Top Destination Cities in Minnesota

We could no sooner choose our favorite things to do in Minnesota than we can choose a favorite city. With big cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis serving as the cultural heart of the state, to the smaller towns of the north like Duluth and charming romantic getaways like Stillwater, you’ll never run out of great things to do in Minnesota.  There’s plenty to love about every city, big or small, and serve as your best guide wherever your adventures take you will be the innkeeper of your Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota.

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Minneapolis / St. Paul

All great visits to Minnesota should include at least a few days in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. These connected cities truly are the cultural heart of Minnesota – though, at the same time, they offer just the beginning of great things to do in Minnesota. 

You’ll find some of Minnesota’s best dining, entertainment, and cultural attractions in the Twin Cities, including a diverse network of cultures. There are fantastic farmer’s markets, innovative food halls, incredible breweries, top-rated museums and cultural centers, and even plenty of parks for people who’d like to mix urban adventures with nature breaks. 

Chase waterfalls at Minnehaha Regional Park, do a little biking or boating at Theodore Wirth Park or spend a relaxing day exploring the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park, the most popular park in the greater Twin Cities area. 

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Though Stillwater isn’t too far away from the Twin Cities, it offers an entirely different and more relaxed break from the city. Situated on the banks of the scenic St. Croix River and boasting numerous restaurants, bars, and shops, Stillwater is the perfect place for couples to retreat for a few days of romantic bliss. 

This town is full of Minnesota charm, as it should be! Stillwater is actually the official birthplace of Minnesota, founded in 1848. Today, you can still venture back in time on the St. Croix River aboard the historic paddlewheel riverboat – or, perhaps, something more romantic a la the gondolas of Venice.

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On the rugged north shore of Lake Superior sits another of the most popular cities of Minnesota, Duluth. As you make your way into town, you’ll no doubt spot the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, an attribute of the shipping industry that still moves massive ships into and out of Duluth’s harbor. Beyond the bridge, the sparkling blue waters of Lake Superior practically beg visitors to set sail, launch a kayak, or otherwise explore this vast waterway. 

Framing Duluth on the other side of the lake are lush forests perfect for hiking and biking. In fact, mountain biking at Spirit Mountain or on the state’s popular Duluth Traverse has seen an explosion of popularity in recent years – and that’s not all. Duluth is also home to some incredibly popular Minnesota State Parks, including Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Best Places To Stay In Minnesota

There’s no shortage of great things to do in Minnesota, and with so many exciting cities worth visiting, it’s easy to see how you could easily spend a lot of time in this charming Midwestern State. Wherever you choose to adventure, though, there will be a Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota waiting to serve as your cozy and friendly home away from home. 

Our network of Bed and Breakfasts, Inns, and boutique hotels is unique, all offering something different but holding to the same values of excellence in hospitality. From Minneapolis to Lanesboro and Walker to Duluth, you’ll find a homegrown treasure worth enjoying the next time you visit the great state of Minnesota. At the heart of every great experience here, of course, will be a top-rated Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota. 

Our network of Inns includes a little bit of everything, from Victorian Mansions, cottages in the woods, and lakeside castles to log cabins and urban escapes. Regardless of where you stay, you’ll find our same dedication to providing excellence in everything we do – and that healthy dose of “Minnesota Nice” that you crave from a quality lodging experience. It’s no wonder many of our Inns are considered the best places to stay in Minnesota!

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Representing only the finest lodging properties in the state of Minnesota.  The Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association has been the guide for fining a Minnesota Bed and Breakfast for over 30+ years.

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