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Minnesota

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis ©Minnesota Office of Tourism

Minnesota, in the north central region of the USA, has been dubbed the 'land of 10,000 lakes'. The poetic name of the state is a Sioux phrase meaning 'land of sky-tinted water'. Obviously this means Minnesota is rather wet, thanks to antediluvian glaciers which scoured the landscape, leaving numerous basins ready to be filled by great rivers like the Mississippi.


The result is Lake Superior, with its rocky and scenic shoreline, as well as thousands of other small bodies of water, linked by hiking trails, ideal for outdoor recreation like camping, kayaking, fishing and canoeing. In wintertime the countryside becomes a wonderland for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. Pleasant harbour towns and villages hug the north shore of Lake Superior along the scenic Highway 61 drive, that offers breathtaking vistas on its route to the Canadian border.


The original inhabitants of this watery world were the Sioux Indians. In the early 19th century, French pioneers penetrated the thick forests and found a treasure-trove of furry creatures like beavers and muskrats, which sparked a prosperous fur trade in the region, accompanied by fishing and logging. Iron ore was then detected in the hills, and the influx of settlers eventually drove out the Sioux. Today the northeastern extremity of Minnesota still remains as largely unspoilt wilderness, much as it was when the first Europeans came across it in the 16th century.


While there are many jokes about rural Minnesotan stereotypes, most of the population of Minnesota is urbanised, with more than half inhabiting the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St Paul, that occupy opposing banks on the Mississippi River. The cities reflect the jovial culture of the roots of the early settlers, who were largely German, Irish and Scandinavian. The Twin Cities are renowned for their entertainment, attractions and shopping opportunities. Minneapolis in particular is a shopper's dream with the mighty Mall of America situated in its suburb of Bloomington.


Climate Info

Minnesota experiences a continental climate with warm summers and cold, often frigid winters. Normal daily temperatures range from 12°F (-11°C) in January to 74°F (23°C) in July. Heavy snowfalls occur from December to April, especially in the northeast. Blizzards hit Minnesota twice each winter on average and tornadoes occur mostly in the south with approximately 18 tornadoes in the state each year, mostly in July and August.


Getting Around

Getting around on foot in the downtown areas of the massive metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St Paul is a fascinating experience on the famous skyways, a network of enclosed walkways which connect buildings in the city centre at second-storey level, ensuring no pedestrian needs to be exposed to bad weather. About 50 blocks of downtown Minneapolis are connected by skyways. When your feet are tired, hop on the bus: Metro Transit operates one of the largest public transport systems in the United States. Trip planners and route information are readily available in the city and from hotel concierges. The METRO Blue Line Light Rail Transit route links downtown to the airport and the Mall of America, and the Northstar Corridor route takes passengers as far north as Big Lake. The twin cities also have numerous taxi services, available on call or outside hotels and other public venues.


Falls International Airport (INL)

LocationThe airport is located in International Falls, Minnesota.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is no public transport serving International Falls Airport, however taxis and hired cars are available.

Car Rental

Rental cars are available from Avis, Ford, and GM.

Airpor Taxis

City Cab taxis are available by advance booking.

Airport Facilities

Services are limited, but tourist information and vending machines are available in the terminal.

Car Parking

International Falls Airport provides free short and long term parking.

Websitewww.internationalfallsairport.com


Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP)

LocationThe airport is situated 12 miles (19km) from Minneapolis and 8 miles (13km) from St Paul.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from March to November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 612 726 5800.

Transfer terminals

The airport's two terminals are linked by covered walkways, shuttles and a free light rail.

Getting to city

A Ground Transportation information booth provides passengers with information and directions. City buses leave from the Lindbergh Terminal to both Minneapolis and St Paul. A light rail operates between the airport, downtown Minneapolis and Mall of America. SuperShuttle provides a shared van door-to-door service to the local cities and towns. Taxis are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National. Shuttle buses to the off-site rental companies are accessible from the Transit Center.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available at both terminals. The journey from the airport to Minneapolis is approximately 12 miles (19km), costing $39-49; and to St Paul is around 8 miles (13km), costing $31-38. To reach the taxi booth from the Lindbergh Terminal, cross through the Tram Level (Level T) toward the parking ramp and go up one level.

Airport Facilities

North Star Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal is a collection of numerous shops, restaurants and food courts. Other facilities include ATMs and bureaux de change, duty-free and a children's play area. Business centres situated throughout the airport offer internet, fax and photocopying services. Wireless internet access is also provided. The nearby Hilton hotel offers its rooms and gym facilities at day rates. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Car Parking

Parking for the Humphrey Terminal is in the orange and purple ramps; Lindbergh Terminal parking is in the blue, green, red and gold ramps. All parking is connected to the terminals via skyways. Short-term parking is $5 for the first hour and $3 per hour thereafter up to $36 per day. Value parking in the orange ramp is $17 per day, connected to the Humphrey Terminal by skyway and the Lindbergh Terminal by light rail.

Websitewww.mspairport.com


Duluth International Airport (DLH)

LocationThe airport is located five miles (9km) northwest of Duluth.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The Duluth Transit Authority operates bus services (Route 5) throughout the week. Limited service is available on public holidays and Sundays. Single fares are $0.75 off-peak, or $1.50 during peak travel times. Exact change is required.

Car Rental

Car rental companies at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.

Airpor Taxis

Several taxi companies operate from the airport, including Airport & Duluth Taxi and Yellow Door Taxi. It is best to book ahead via phone.

Airport Facilities

Airport services include a restaurant, coffee shop, vending machines and conference rooms.

Car Parking

Parking is charged at $3 for the first hour, $5 for two hours, $9 for six hours and $13 per day. Weekly rates are $78.

Websitewww.duluthairport.com


Rochester International Airport (RST)

LocationThe airport is seven miles (11km) southwest of Rochester.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 (507) 282 2328.

Getting to city

There are no public buses or trains from Rochester International Airport, but there is a shuttle service that runs from the airport to downtown for about $15. To book the shuttle, ask the Ground Transport Desk in the terminal to assist. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Rental operators at the airport include Hertz, Budget, Avis, National, and Enterprise.

Airpor Taxis

There are a few taxi companies which service the airport. To book a taxi, locate the Ground Transportation Service Desk for assistance. Taxi service to the Downtown area is a flat rate of $32 per trip, plus $5 for each additional passenger.

Airport Facilities

Public phones, ATMs, foreign exchange, a free mini-library, charging stations, vending machines, baby-changing stations, restaurants, bars, and retail outlets are all available.

Car Parking

Parking is free for the first 15 minutes. The first half hour costs $1. Each additional half an hour costs $1, up to a daily limit of $9. Weekly rates are set at $54.

Websitewww.flyrst.com


Range Regional Airport (HIB)

LocationThe airport is located five miles (7km) southeast of Hibbing, Minnesota.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is no public transport serving the airport. Car hire and taxis are the best method of getting to Chisholm or Hibbing.

Car Rental

ACAR Auto Rental and Enterprise have car hire facilities at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Hibbing Taxi and Z-Taxi provide services at the airport.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities are limited.

Car Parking

The airport provides parking free of charge.

Websitewww.rangeregionalairport.com


Walker Art Center


Internationally renowned for its permanent collection of 20th century paintings, drawings, prints, photography and sculptures, the Walker Art Center is one of the country's leading contemporary art centres and is one of the most visited museums in the USA. It features works by top artist
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Walker Art Center ©www.walkerart.org



Mall of America


Located in the southern suburb of Bloomington, the futuristic superstructure of the Mall of America is recognised as the largest enclosed shopping and entertainment complex in the country. It welcomes more than 42 million visitors each year and is the fifth most visited attraction in the
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Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America ©Flickr: Aine D



Boundary Waters Canoe Area


Part of Superior National Forest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (also known as the BWCA), is an immense chain of lakes in north-eastern Minnesota that is extremely popular for canoeing, camping and fishing. With more than a million acres of pristine wilderness, it's no wonder the Bounda
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Boundary Waters Canoe Area ©rengber



Valleyfair


Valleyfair is the largest amusement park in Minnesota, with 125 acres of rides and attractions ranging from high-speed roller coasters to midway games and an IMAX theater. Valleyfair also has the Soak City Waterpark with a range of waterslides and pools, and Challenge Park, which feature
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Fair grounds ©www.stevemease.com



Target Field


Home to the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team, Target Field was built in 2010 and is considered one of the most state-of-the-art baseball stadiums in the world. Minnesotans tend to be rather affectionate toward their team, and a day at the ballpark is a fun family activity for M
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Target Field ©drumminhands



Minnesota Zoo


A huge state-of-the-art zoo with over 40 acres of habitats housing more than 2,000 creatures of all kinds, the Minnesota Zoo is a fantastic attraction for those travelling with kids in Minneapolis. It features animals from every continent in large habitats that mimic their natural enviro
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Minnesota Zoo ©clairity



Minnesota History Center


This large museum showcases everything about Minnesota's history, with interactive exhibits ranging from blizzard and tornado simulations to a grainbelt exhibit with slides and a 24-tonne boxcar, and even a Rock n Roll Hall of Fame with Prince's famous purple jumpsuit. Ever-changing temp
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Minnesota History Center ©Jonathunder



Minnesota Childrens Museum


Children in the Twin Cities will love the Minnesota Children's Museum, aimed at kids six months to ten years old. Fun interactive exhibits allow children to go ice fishing, operate a crane, shovel coal into a locomotive engine, burrow their way through a giant anthill, or create a thunde
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Minnesota Children's Museum ©Appraiser



Chain of Lakes


Minnesota is known as the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes', and there are plenty of lovely lakes within the Twin Cities for visitors to enjoy in the summers; some of the best are located southwest of downtown Minneapolis.


Lake Calhoun has a few sandy beaches with lifeguards on duty, go
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Lake Harriet ©William Wesen



Glensheen Mansion


This 39-room Jacobean Revival mansion on the shores of Lake Superior is a popular attraction in Duluth. Managed by the University of Minnesota, the Glensheen Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 7.6-acre grounds and carriage house can be explored at leisure,
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Glensheen Mansion



Split Rock Lighthouse


A popular tourist attraction outside of Duluth, Split Rock Lighthouse is located on the shore of Lake Superior, and was constructed following a major storm in 1905 that caused 29 shipwrecks. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1969, and is now operated by the Minnesota Historical Societ
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Split Rock Lighthouse



Minnesota Science Museum


The Minnesota Science Museum is a much-loved family tourist attraction in St Paul. Often called the most popular museum in the Midwest, the building is a state-of-the-art facility housing dozens of interactive exhibits where children can learn about weather, biology, anthropology, paleon
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Science Museum of Minnesota ©Minnesota Jones



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