Explore Minnesota: 11 top Sight-Seeing Destinations in Minnesota (2023)
From the marble terrain exterior of the state capitol in St. Paul to the North Country, which is full of lakes, Minnesota is a state that is filled with cultural and natural beauty. You can explore the natural beauty of the wilderness by visiting the areas of Minnesota like the Superior National Forest, and the areas of interest of culture include the Minneapolis Institute of Art. There are also many places in Minnesota where you can partake in hiking, paddling, and shopping, like in the Mall of America. Minnesota is known for the 10,000 lakes it has in the state; therefore, there are plenty of activities tourists can do once they visit this beautiful state.
Explore Minnesota: 11 top Sight-Seeing Destinations in Minnesota
Here is a specially created list of the top attractions to visit in the state of Minnesota:
1. Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
With its pristine reviews and large forest areas, the Superior National Forest in Minnesota covers most of the northeast region. The International Wolf Center, which is situated in the town of Ely, is one of the best places to explore the unspoiled wilderness. Within the forest, The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is popular among Americans and Canadians for paddling.
This area is located along the border of America and Canada and is a popular place for kayaking and backcountry canoe trips. Fishing is also very common here. The area also has a wide variety of flora and fauna, including bears, moose, and foxes. The entire region of the Superior national forest covers over 3 million acres, of which almost 700 square miles consists of water.
Official site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/superior
2. North Shore Scenic Drive
The North Shore Scenic Drive follows the Lake Superior from Duluth to Thunder bay in Canada. There are many state parks along the route of the drive, including the Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, and the Grand Portage State Park. With the scenic views of waterfalls and cliffs makes the long drive an enjoyable one to experience. There are also many activities which can be done here, like boating, fishing, and biking. During the winter, you can also indulge in skiing, snowshoeing, and also ice fishing.
3. Cathedral of St. Paul
The very well-known St. Paul’s Cathedral in Minnesota was built in the early 1900s. The Cathedral of St. Paul is today recognized as the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul and is a prominent pilgrimage site. It is based on the Classical Renaissance design, and the interior of the cathedral can hold up to 3000 people. Cathedral of St. Paul is an active place of worship and is open to the public for the whole day. Tourist visits are generally not allowed during masses and holy services. There is a one hour guided tours at 1 pm from Tuesday to Friday. This will help you gain some historical knowledge of the church.
Address: 239 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota
Official site: http://www.cathedralsaintpaul.org/
4. Voyageurs National Park
The Voyageurs National Park is one of the best natural habitats in Minnesota that combines both nature and history. The main activities here are canoeing, boating, and fishing. Even though the park is a bit remote, it offers a great chance to view wildlife like bears, moose, loons, and more. This area was well known in history for its trade of fur, during the time French-Canadian Voyageurs traveled the waters there in canoes to collect the fut. You can have plenty of adventures in boats and enjoy some of the best camping destinations in Minnesota.
Official site: http://www.nps.gov/voya/index.htm
5. International Wolf Center
The International Wolf Center is located near Ely in Minnesota and is an educational center that promotes and supports the survival of wolves. Some many Hands-on exhibits and demonstrations show you how to track the wolves and also how to observe a pack of wolves. Visitors will be able to learn the history and evolution of wolves through time. The International Wolf Center also provides wolf photography workshops and overnight visits for groups of eight or more.
Address: 1396 Hwy 169, Ely, Minnesota
Official site: http://www.wolf.org/
6. Minnesota State Capitol Building
The Minnesota State Capitol Building was constructed between 1986 and 1905 in the Minnesota state and recently has also undergone some renovations to restore this historic structure to its original allure. The 2013-2017 renovations have given the Minnesota State Capitol Building more public space and accessibility to visitors. There are tours with guides available every day of the week. Visiting the Governor’s Reception room and the second Grand floor is always encouraged as it is a sight to see. On the exterior of the Minnesota State Capitol Building in the entrance, there is a golden four-horse chariot statue known as The Quadriga. This is a tourist favorite.
Address: 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, St. Paul, Minnesota
Official site: http://www.mnhs.org/capito
7. Mall of America
The Mall of America is situated in the outskirts of St. Paul in Minnesota. It was opened back in 1992 and is one of the largest malls in North America. There are more than 500 stores and dozens of restaurants. The Mall of America also includes theaters, hotel accommodation, and many amusements, which can be enjoyed by travelers. Over 400 events occur in the mall every year, ranging from dance parties to Viking celebrations.
Address: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, Minnesota
Official site: http://www.mallofamerica.com/
8. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Located 20 miles northeast of the Two Harbours, the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in Minnesota was built back in 1910 to protect the Lake Superior shipping. The tourists are allowed to tour the lighthouse, the foghorn building, and the tower and light. There are also -plenty of options for hiking in the park, which leads to the forest and has many viewpoints. During the winter, the trails of the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is dedicated mostly to fat tire biking.
Address: 3755 Split Rock Lighthouse Road, Two Harbors, Minnesota
9. Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, also known as the MIA, is a popular destination to visit in Minnesota that gets over 700,000 visitors a year. The free admission to explore gives the MIA much more attraction. There are around 89,000 artworks that range from American modernism to ancient artifacts from all around the world and from different cultures. Visitors can also indulge in Korean and Japanese art and textiles. The Doryphoros, which is one of the four surviving copies of the ancient Greek scripture, is located at the American modernism to ancient artifacts from around the world. The Minneapolis Institute of Art offers free daily public tours and family programs, which can be very fun and a learning experience for the entire family when you visit here.
Address: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Official site: https://new.artsmia.org/
10. St. Cloud Clemens Gardens
The St. Cloud Clemens Gardens is one of the place for summertime fun in Minnesota. The St. Cloud Clemens Gardens features over 80,000 annual plants within a natural setting of trees with benches, swings, and fountains. The St. Cloud Clemens Gardens is well known for the wide range of over 1,100 rose bushes and all-white garden, which includes white flowers and flowering shrubs, making it a very beautiful sight to see.
Music is another essential factor in the gardens as it is played every other Sunday in the summer and is a fun way to engage and enjoy the experience. The annual art fair in the gardens is a very popular event that features artists and musicians from all over the state.
Address: 1515 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Official site: http://www.munsingerclemens.com/
11. Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge was constructed as an aerial transfer bridge with a cable car which was constructed between 1901 and 1905. The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge has now become a prominent icon of the city of Duluth. It is operated 24 hours every day, and seeing it raise and lower for ships and sailboats is a sight to behold.
Address: 601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, Minnesota
Looking at the descriptions of the following places of interest, you get an idea of how unique the state of Minnesota can be if you consider a family vacation. The wide array of places of all ranges, be it natural, historical, or marvels of modern engineering, the state of Minnesota has it all. It is a state that is always active, and you will therefore have unlimited things to do, and therefore no time will be wasted but with having fun and joy. The state of Minnesota has over 10,000 lakes and is a well-known kayaking destination.
So depending upon your interests, the state of Minnesota will have something to offer. If you are travelling with family, the natural habitat and animal experience, especially from the international wolf center, will make it an exciting and informative trip on the various species of wolves and other animals too. Drives through the North Shore scenic drive is a joy to behold.