M ILES. We’ve got 22,000 of them for snowmobiling, 4,000 for biking, and
enough to surpass a trek from St. Paul to Los
Angeles for cross-country skiing.
; ICE, as in “Minnesota Nice.” This common phrase has many nuances for
locals, but for visitors, it means to expect
smiles on the street, strangers opening doors
and minimal honking on the roads.
O UTDOOR RECREATION. The Twin Cities regularly top lists of the healthiest
cities in America, and statewide, you’ll find
people biking, running, paddling, skiing and
enjoying the outdoors year-round.
P OWWOWS. American Indians hold these traditional celebrations in the
summer and fall, with many events open to
Q UILTS. Quilt shows are a popular pastime throughout the state, and the
southeastern town of Caledonia boasts 60
barns adorned with painted quilt squares that
dot the rural countryside.
R IVERS. Our lakes may be our claim to fame, but we’re also home to the
headwaters of the Mississippi River, as well
as the Minnesota, St. Croix and dozens of
other rivers that add up to 92,000 miles.
; UPERIOR—as in the largest freshwater lake in the country, bigger than all of the
other Great Lakes combined. Take in the
beauty of the North Shore by foot, bike, car or
motorcycle, and come winter, keep an eye out
for extreme surfers hanging 10.
; ARGET. Everyone’s favorite big-box store is based right here in Minnesota. In
addition to the headquarters and some of the
chain’s biggest (and smallest) stores, you’ll
find stadiums, museum wings and special
events donning the signature bull’s-eye.
; NIVERSITIES. From one of the biggest in the Midwest (the University
of Minnesota) to dozens of acclaimed liberal
arts colleges, many campuses offer
impressive museums, exhibits, performances
and sporting events.
V IKINGS, in both senses of the word. The historic Nordic variety reached
America before Columbus, and several
museums and monuments tell versions of
their story. As for the purple, football-playing
type, their shiny new stadium makes its
downtown Minneapolis debut this year.
; ATERFALLS. Find them everywhere from the southwest corner of the
state to the Canadian border, and even in the
middle of our biggest cities. They are
especially stunning as the snow melts into
them come spring.
; -RAYS. Rochester’s renowned Mayo Clinic welcomes patients from
around the world for X-rays and many other
treatments. Visitors can also tour the
founding family’s mansion nearby, as well as
their earlier, much humbler abode in the town
of Le Sueur.
; URT. Falling somewhere between a tent and a cabin, these ancient Mongolian
dwellings are gaining popularity statewide
and can be rented year-round at a handful of
state parks, in Ely and on the Gunflint Trail.
; OOS. Rub shoulders with native and exotic species at Minnesota’s 10 zoos
and aquariums, found in Apple Valley, St. Paul,
Duluth, Freeport, Little Falls and beyond.
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