Minnesota, known as the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” is one of the best places for a summer vacation. There is an incredible number of things to do in Minnesota, and so many of them are in the outdoors, which means natural social distancing is often a part of the package. We know that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel this summer might be tricky, so how about planning the perfect summer getaway right here in Minnesota?
If you’ve always wanted to travel around Minnesota and explore the many incredible reaches of this state, but just haven’t found the time, then why not this summer? Odds are, your vacation will involve some kind of water (there are more than 10,000 lakes, after all), but that’s not all Minnesota has to offer! Minnesota is a wild, diverse, and scenic state, with an incredible range of things to do!
And, for a glimpse into what truly makes Minnesota so great, you’ll need to visit one of our member Bed and Breakfasts. Minnesota’s Innkeepers will shower you with exceptional hospitality, but they’ll also be your guide to all of the best adventures in a given area. We’ve put together a guide by region of some of the best things to do in Minnesota this summer. Now all you have to do is get here!
Discover New Things to do in Minnesota This Summer
If you’re looking for a definitive guide to the best things to do in Minnesota this summer, we have exactly what you’re looking for! We have Bed and Breakfasts located throughout the state, each of which is eager to show you the very best of their region. Whether you visit one or all of these incredible regions of Minnesota, we hope you enjoy this list of things to do in Minnesota and use it as a guide for how to have the best summer of your life.
At the very heart of the state of Minnesota is the central region, home to cities such as St. Cloud, Alexandria, and Brainerd. Here, you’ll find some of the best recreational lakes in the state, along with wooded hills for hiking, great bike trails to ride (both paved and mountain biking trails), and some of the best golf courses in the state. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Minnesota if you happen to land in this central part of the state:
- The lakes around Brainerd have long been a popular spot for family vacations.
- Golf along the Brainerd Golf Trail, which has over 180 holes of golf, all less than 45 minutes from each other. It’s truly a golf lover’s paradise.
- Bike along the Paul Bunyon Trail, which gets its start in Brainerd and heads northeast to Bemidji.
When it comes to lodging, there are a few B&Bs that serve this wonderful region. You can find there here.
The metro reason is certainly well-known, thanks to the twin cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul. Like most major cities, there are plenty of incredible things to do here, like enjoying the arts, dining at some of the state’s top restaurants, enjoying a great beer at local breweries, and even enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings of the cities. A few of our favorite things include:
- Minneapolis is an incredible supporter of the arts and is home to more theater seats per capita than any city outside of New York. We recommend taking in at least one show while you’re in the area at great venues such as The Guthrie.
- Want a break for the city? Head to the Chain of Lakes Regional Park, where you’ll enjoy plenty of walking and biking trails, and many opportunities to get out on the water for a little paddling.
- Head to the St. Croix River Valley, and paddle along the Chisago Lakes Water Trail while visiting the quaint nearby communities of Lindstrom, Center City, Chisago City, Shafer, and Taylors Falls.
- While in Taylors Falls, visit the beautiful Interstate State Park, home to the famous Glacial Potholes area, and take a river cruise through this scenic area.
- Go wine tasting. There are a number of wonderful wineries in the metro region (and a few in southern Minnesota, too).
The best lodging in Minnesota’s Metro Region can be found here.
One of the most popular things to do in Minnesota is to head to the northeast, where popular and active cities like Duluth and even farther north The Boundary Waters, await. The area is absolutely ripe for adventure, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are a few ideas to make the most of your time here:
- There are a number of wonderful Minnesota State Parks on the North Shore near Duluth, including Jay Cooke State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Tettagouche State Park, and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Each and every one of them is worth a visit.
- Enjoy touring the incredible breweries of Duluth.
- Visit the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center, followed by a little ship watching at the downtown harbor. Ships pulling into the harbor under the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge is a sight to behold.
- Hiking is one of our favorite things to do in Minnesota, and nowhere can you find better hikes than near Duluth. Here, you can take a hike along portions of the Superior Hiking Trail.
- Head up to the Ely and Grand Marais areas, and explore Minnesota’s sensationally beautiful Boundary Waters. If true serenity is what you’re after, this is where you need to go. Sometimes, the only sound you’ll hear is the gentle, soulful sound of the loons and the gentle swish of water around your boat.
As you discover all of the incredible things to do in Minnesota this summer, consider lodging at one of these incredible properties in the northeastern part of the state.
The northwest region is home to some of the largest lakes in the state, making it an ideal place for outdoor adventures like boating and fishing. Thought getting out in wilderness is one of our favorite things to do in Minnesota, don’t forget to explore the charming towns along the way!
- Visit Itasca State Park and walk the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River.
- Take a hike through the Chippewa National Forest, an area with 1.6-million-acres of lakes, wetlands, and forests.
- Just as you can in Brainerd, here you can ride the Paul Bunyon Trail, only this time you’ll want to make sure to snap a picture with the giant statues of Paul Bunyon and Babe, the Blue Ox on Lake Bemidji. Another great biking trail in the area is the Heartland State Trail.
- Go fishing on Leech Lake, the 2nd largest lake in Minnesota. Fishing is, after all, one of the most popular things to do in Minnesota each summer, and Leech Lake is known to offer the best walleye and muskie fishing in Minnesota.
There are quite a few choices for lodging in northwest Minnesota, but none that match what you’ll find at our Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts.
The southern region is known as the bluff county, thanks to the unusually hilly terrain in this part of the state. The steeps bluffs and winding rivers along the valley floor, along with the Mississippi River itself, are the big attractions to this area. Like the rest of the state, there are plenty of things to do and see here, including the following:
- Visit the “Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota” in Lanesboro, and while you’re there ride along the incredible Root River State Trail, or paddle or float down the beautiful Root River itself.
- Take a visit to Amish Country, and enjoy a glimpse into rural life in southern Minnesota.
- Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, and later explore this quaint town, made famous as the setting in the movie Grumpy Old Men.
- Head to Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park, and explore Minnesota’s longest cave.
- Visit the famous Red Wing Shoes, and see the world’s largest boot inside their flagship store in downtown Red Wing.
- Explore the strong German culture of southern Minnesota in cities like New Ulm.
From the B&B Capital of the state and beyond, discover the best places to stay in southern Minnesota.
Stay Safe at a Minnesota Bed and Breakfast
The diversity of things to do in Minnesota is astounding. There really is so much to choose from, and we’ve only listed a few fun ideas to get you started. As you do venture out on your summer vacations and getaways this year, keep in mind that the best way to ensure a safe and healthy home away from home is to choose a small property like our collection of Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts.
Choosing to stay small is actively making a choice to stay healthy. Our Innkeepers have always been focused on cleanliness and the overall guest experience, all the while extending exceptional hospitality for all they meet along the way. There really is a difference when it comes to staying at a small B&B vs. staying at a large and impersonal hotel, and this summer is the perfect time to feel that difference for yourself.
As you plan your adventures around the state, make sure to find a nearby B&B to call home for the duration of your trip. You won’t regret it! Book your room with one of our Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts today!