Top 10 Places to Visit to Get the Most Out of Your Minnesota Spring

 

Spring is here and with it comes the urge to get out and about. We no longer wanted to be crammed in our dwellings and yearn to get out and watch the world as it comes back to life. Fortunately for all of us, this state was basically designed to be one giant post winter reward and it’s time to reap those benefits folks.

Whether you’re looking for something local or a good old fashioned day trip, here’s a list of quality things to help you get the absolute most out of your spring and ready for the lazy days of summer.

 

Photo: Minnesota Landscape Arborretum

1. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Chanhassan

If there’s one place in Minnesota where you can truly feel springtime in action, it’s at the Arboretum. While it’s an amazing place to visit all year round, during the spring you can feel the world coming back to life and a resurgence of energy. Featuring over 1,200 acres of gardens, tree collections, prairie, woods, and miles of trails this is the place to get a true sense of the season.

They also offer a variety of different events and classes, so there’s always plenty to do. Just check out their calendar for a full list of their upcoming offerings.

 

Photo: Minnehaha Regional Park

2. Minnehaha Falls Park

Minneapolis

This one might be one of the more obvious spots on this list, but sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason. Check out the incredible views and amazing walking or biking trails. You can also rent a variety of fun, multi-person peddle vehicles for exploring the park as you watch all of the local flora sprout back to life.

If  you’re not packing a picnic lunch, for which they have many picnic tables available, make sure you stop by Sea Salt Eatery for a nice lunch and maybe a solid local brew. The lines may be long, but the end results are always worth it.

 

Photo: Afton State Park

3. Afton State Park

Afton

This state park is great if not just for the diversity of landscapes you can see on one walk around the park. There are incredible wooded areas, waterside walking paths, and gorgeous prairie trails. It makes for an absolutely incredible day trip with an abundance of nature to take in.

Once you’re tired, you can head to nearby Stillwater for a nice dinner on the river or to continue your adventure by wondering around all of the amazing local shops.

 

Photo: August Schell’s Brewing Co.

4. August Schell’s Brewery

New Ulm

Is there such thing as a “bad” brewery tour? Out in New Ulm, you can check out the state’s oldest craft brewery and sample all of their classic and seasonal suds. There’s also a ton of other things to do, like check out their onsite museum or go on a little stroll through their beautiful garden.

 

Photo: Niagara Cave

5. Niagara Cave

Harmony

For all of you adventure seekers out there, consider taking a tour of the Niagara Cave. It’s actually family owned and operated, but it’s been rated one of the best cave tours in the country. Here you can journey up to one mile underground, see an underground waterfall, and check out all of the incredible cave formations formed by the stunning underground stream.

Onsite you can also pan for gemstones and fossils, play a round or two of mini-golf, or make use of their 10 acres of picnic area. Best of all, it’s just south of Rochester, so for all of you Twin Cities folks, it’s an easy day trip.

 

Photo: Taylors Falls

6. Taylors Falls

Taylors Falls

Spring and fall are basically the perfect times to visit this great little Minnesota border town. You can hit the trails and walk along the river taking in the incredible sites or you can venture into town and check out all the cool local shops.

You can also take a nice river boat tour or rent a canoe and explore the river on your own. It’s great to drive out to for the day, meander around, and eventually find yourself at the local ice cream shop as a reward for all of the calories burned just wandering.

 

Photo: Canal Park

7. Canal Park

Duluth

Canal Park sits right on Lake Superior offering up some seriously amazing views of the lake. You can walk all along the peer visiting shops or watch the giant ships come in underneath the famous aerial bridge.

You can also take a tour of the old iron ore ship, the William A. Irvin, and learn all about the shipping industry on the legendary North Coast. In addition to all of that, you can take carriage rides, take a waterfront boat tour, or visit the Great Lakes Aquarium and check out all of the incredible freshwater fish that inhabit the lake.

 

Photo: Sand Creek Adventures

8. Sand Creek Adventures (Zip-Line)

Jordan

It’s almost hard to believe that this place is located just southwest of the Twin Cities, but low and behold, there it is! Featuring over 1700 combine feet of zip-lining adventure at 100 ft high, this is a thrill ride designed for all of you adrenaline seekers out there. Check out amazing views that few get to see as you zip along the Sand Creek Bluffs and then check out some of their other offerings like their high and low rope courses. Taking a day trip here guarantees a day of non-stop action!

 

Photo: Como Zoo & Conservetory Japanese Garden

9. Japanese Garden (Como Park)

St. Paul

If you’re looking for a quaint little stroll, this small little park located right next to the Majorie McNeely Conservatory is perfect for exactly that. Beautiful rock formations and sculptures coupled with walking paths that venture around small streams and ponds lined with beautiful and ornate trees, this is a perfect way to get yourself centered for other seasonal adventures to come.

 

Photo: Two Rivers Vinyard & Winery

10. Two Rivers Vinyard & Winery

Ramsay

Take a relaxing wine-filled tour of this beautiful vineyard located just outside of the Twin Cities. Learn all about the vinting process and then sample of some of their delicious wares. They also feature a variety of events throughout the year, so it’s worth checking out their calendar to see if they’ve got something specifically tailored to what you’re looking for.

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