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Duluth - Best City to Visit in Minnesota

5 Best Cities to Visit in Minnesota (2024)

Minnesota is home to a diverse and unique landscape along with a rich and fascinating history that enthralls visitors. There are many beautiful cities in Minnesota that you must visit at least once. From the origin point of the majestic Mississippi River at Lake Itasca to the Midwestern charm of the Twin Cities, there are many charming cities to check out in the state.

5 Best Cities to Visit in Minnesota

Here are some of the best cities to visit in Minnesota.

1. Minneapolis

One half of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is a well-known city that is known for its many fascinating neighborhoods. There is much to see in Minneapolis for everyone and for all ages. Minneapolis is home to over 200 miles of biking trails, many of which take you through the numerous forests and parks in the city.

The beautiful fact about this city in Minnesota is that you can pick any random spot in Minneapolis, and you will never be more than six blocks away from a park. There is always an abundance of nature around to be explored. Combined with a large number of parks, there are also many unique museums, art cultural centers, and many tourist attractions located both indoors and outdoors. Many of these attractions are free to the public. No matter what time of the year you visit Minneapolis, you will find a huge number of events like concerts, festivals, shows, and much more to enjoy.

2. Duluth

Duluth is the major port of Minnesota located on Lake Superior. The city has a rich history that has shaped the town into the major tourist hub it is today. This city in Minnesota is known for the dramatically different climates throughout the year, and a visit to Duluth in the summertime is completely different than your trip to the city in winter. Guests to this city will always find new gems to discover with every visit.

Visitors to Duluth in Minnesota can spend their time watching large ships come in and out of the canal at Duluth’s primary seaport, or you can catch a show at the famous Duluth Playhouse. There are many special events happening in Duluth all year round, and you can check online ahead of time to book your tickets.

From visiting the Canal Park located in the heart of Duluth to spending time at the breathtaking Lake Superior, there are many things to do in Duluth. Don’t forget to check out Glensheen, the Historic Congdon Estate, which is a famous house museum operated by the University of Minnesota. One of the most famous things for visitors here is a trip onboard the SS William A. Irvin, which sits on the waterfront of Lake Superior. This flagship of US Steel’s Great Lakes Fleet offers tours of the beautiful spaces inside.

You can also see the steam turbine engine and other parts of the ship. With so many exciting things to do in Duluth, it is no wonder that this town is a major tourist hub in Minnesota.

3. Rochester

Rochester is most famous for the highest-rated hospital in the United States, the renowned Mayo Clinic. However, Rochester has much more to offer apart from the award-winning medical facilities. There is a historic trolley company that offers rides throughout the city, along with the Amish regions in the area, which give visitors a glimpse into a life that is much different than ours. Guests to Rochester also enjoy a trip to the downtown Rochester farmers market, which is a growers-only market that sells seasonal produce throughout the year.

Some of the other popular tourist attractions in Rochester include the Rochester Art Center, Quarry Hill Nature Center, Mayowood Mansion, Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, and the History Center of Olmsted County. While in the city, don’t forget to visit the Plummer Building, which is an iconic symbol of the Mayo Clinic and also a national historic landmark. For those who want an up-close view into the Amish lifestyle should opt for the Bluffscape Amish Tours, which is a three-hour guided tour that takes you through Amish farms and shops and gives you a glimpse into Minnesota’s Amish community.

There are many other beautiful places to check out while you are in Rochester, and a trip to this city in Minnesota means a fun-filled vacation for the entire family.

4. Saint Paul

St. Paul is the other half of the famous Twin Cities of Minnesota, along with Minneapolis. St. Paul is one of the best places to come to experience a spectacular twist to the traditional culinary delights. If you are a foodie, don’t forget to get a taste of the original Juicy Lucy burger at St. Paul.

There are many tourist attractions in the city that vary by weather or season. If you are visiting St. Paul in the summertime, a hot favorite activity amongst tourists is taking a walking tour of the city and visiting one of the many summer festivals that are held at various spots around St. Paul. You should also enjoy a local craft beer in any outside garden. For those who visit this beautiful city in Minnesota in the wintertime, there’s plenty to do as you enjoy the outdoor skating rinks and take part in the Red Bull downhill skating competitions.

5. Ely

The city of Ely is located deep within the heart of northern Minnesota. The city is surrounded by hundreds of lakes and countless stretches of lush green forest. Ely offers an easy access to visitors to explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The town of Ely is very popular amongst water explorers and kayakers as it is accessible to those who are beginners or inexperienced in water activities as well.

One of the key draws for visitors to Ely is the International Wolf Center or the Bear Center, both of which provide valuable and extensive information on the native species to this region. For visitors who are more urban-focused, the downtown Ely business district is a must-see, along with exploring the local art centers.

Apart from these major cities, there are many other beautiful cities that you can visit in Minnesota. These include:

  • Grand Marais
  • Stillwater
  • Brainerd
  • Grand Portage
  • Lutsen
  • Mankato

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