From pristine wilderness to picturesque river towns, some of the region's most intriguing place are an easy drive from Minneapolis.
Three historic river towns offer memorable shopping, dining and recreation within an hour of Minneapolis. Nestled in the bluffs of the St. Croix River, one of America’s wild and scenic waterways, Stillwater has a charming Main Street lined with antique shops, art galleries and romantic bed-and-breakfast inns. Further upstream, the quaint city of Taylors Falls overlooks a steep gorge of bedrock, around which an idyllic state park and downhill ski area create a recreation haven. Sixty miles south of Minneapolis, Red Wing (of Red Wing Shoes fame) bustles along the Mississippi River, offering measurable charm and Victorian ambiance, as well as unique shopping. All three cities offer historic and contemporary attractions ranging from river cruises to hot air balloon rides.
Minnesota’s rugged North Shore region follows the western edge of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake and an unparalleled source of outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. Mountain biking and downhill skiing make Lutsen Mountain an all-season attraction, while fishing, sailing and kayaking are Lake Superior favorites. The 200-mile Superior Hiking Trail offerslodge-to-lodge hiking and cross-country skiing.
Further north, the historic Gunflint Trail leads to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), one of the largest and most heavily used wilderness areas in the country. This unique landscape creates a scenic border between the U.S. and Canada and offers 1,200 miles of canoe routes, some 2,000 campsites and hundreds of lakes and rivers. State parks within and around the metro get visitors back to nature quickly.