B;;;;;;; ;; ;;;;; ;;;;;; to the west, Iowa to the south, Wisconsin to the east and the Twin Cities
to the north, southern Minnesota is a
li;le bit like all of its neighbors, taking
pieces of their topography, culture and
distinct charms, and turning them into
something else entirely—something
special and uniquely its own. Take some
time to discover these quintessential
southern Minnesota experiences, and
you’ll wonder why you didn’t visit sooner.
Traverse the vast landscape, from
the wide-open prairies once roamed
by bison to the river valley blu;s with
Sights of the South
Visit these seven wonders of southern Minnesota. | LISA HAVELKA
hidden caves. The prairies of southern
Minnesota o;er rare plants, such
as bu;alo grass and even cacti near
Pipestone in the southwest. Explore
the blu;s for breathtaking views of
the Minnesota and Mississippi river
valleys. Then head underground to see
stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and
pools in the Mystery Cave in Preston or
Niagara Cave in Harmony.
Meet the larger-than-life
monuments sca;ered throughout
southern Minnesota. A;er defeating the
Romans in A.D. 9, Hermann the German
now towers 102 feet over Ne w Ulm and is
the country’s third-largest copper statue.
The Jolly Green Giant claims to have a
body built out of Green Giant vegetables,
standing more than 55 feet tall in Blue
Earth. In downtown Red Wing, the
world’s largest boot is constructed of the
same materials used to make the famous
Red Wing shoes.
Minnesota may be the Land of
10,000 Lakes, but Salt Lake, on the South
Dakota border near Madison, is the only
one that tastes like the sea. This body of
water is one-third as salty as the ocean
and has outstanding biological diversity.
It also o;ers exceptional bird watching,
with more than 150 species of birds
frequenting the area.
Stop by the National Eagle
Center in Wabasha along the banks
of the Mississippi River in southeast
Minnesota’s beautiful Blu; Country.
MYSTERY CAVE STATE PARK, PRESTON