Check out the article below, written by a local MN blogger...
Minnesota is well-known for its lakes, which are ideal for almost every form of water recreation, like fishing, swimming, boating, skiing, and now even paddle boarding. Minnesota is certainly an ideal vacation destination and has something for everyone to look forward to.
There are over 900 Minnesota resorts for tourists and travelers to choose from. The state's abundance of lakes makes it an ideal site for resort vacations. You may choose from resorts with different types of accommodations, from small family owned resorts, to large lake home reunion accommodations and lodges. Minnesota resorts have their own unique charm. Depending on your preference, you can choose from a resort with on-site golf courses, or an in-house spa. There are also quaint cottages, which have maintained their vintage vibe over the years. Stay at these cozy lodges and get transported back to the old days when people went on real summer vacations. No rushing about, just time to lay back and watch the children play, enjoy a good book, or take a relaxing boat ride.
Minnesota vacations are best if you are running low on time and funds since everything is usually on-side with some resorts offering family plans. Some people in your group might want to try canoeing, while those who love shopping can experience unique finds in many of the small towns throughout the state. Minnesota not only boasts unique small town shopping, but is also home to the world famous Mall of America.
Of course, something more everyone who stays at a resort in Minnesota loves to do is explore the many state forests which you can either do for free, or by paying a minimal fee. For those who like to hike, bike, or walk, Minnesota state parks are famous for their many connected trails. If you're lucky enough to be in Minnesota at the end of August or early September, you could visit the Minnesota State Fair.
Below are some of the top attraction sites or top fun places to visit in Minnesota:
Frontenac State Park:
Frontenac State Park, MN is located at Lake Pepin, a natural widening of the Mississippi River, and is know as one of the best bird watching areas in the country. The park is home to numerous scenic overlooks and is home to the bluff called "point-no-point". A trick in visual perspective makes the bluff appear prominent from a distance to travelers moving downstream on the river, but vanishes from view as it is approached. One of the Gerard brothers, the first settlers of the nearby town of Old Frontenac, used to jump from "point-no-point" with his flying machines in an attempt to soar above the river. The machines didn't work, but he was never badly hurt in his attempts. Some things to see and do in Frontenac Park are birding, hiking, camping, canoeing and boating. This park lies along the Great River Road Minnesota, which follows the Mississippi River from the Twin Cities to the Iowa Border. This is a beautiful drive that you must take sometime.
Scenic State Park:
Scenic Park is located amidst the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. The park is home to a forest of virgin white and red pines that were never touched by logging interests, as well as the untouched beauty of Coon Lake, Sandwick Lake, and Lake of the Isles. Some things to see and do in Scenic State Park include hiking the Chase Point Trail, view the interpretive displays at the historic CCC-built lodge houses, RV camping, tent camping (drive-in, backpack, and boat-in sites available), fishing, canoeing, birding, and taking in the scenic views.
Itasca State Park:
Itasca State Park is Minnesota's oldest state park and home to Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. In 1832 explorer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft correctly claimed Lake Itasca as the source of the Mississippi. He named the lake by combining the Latin words for "truth" (verITAS) and "head" (CAput), linking them together and forming a new word, Itasca. Itasca State Park, MN is located west of Highway 371 near Leech Lake, and offers many things to do such as camping, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and hiking.
Bear Head Lake State Park:
Bear Head Lake State Park, though little known outside of Minnesota, was voted as America's Favorite Park in 2010. In a contest designed by a major soft drink company in which 5.7 million votes were cast, Bear Head Lake State Park beat out of the likes of Yellowstone and Yosemite to take the title. The park is located just south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota and is home to black bears, wolves, deer, and moose. Things to see and do in Bear Head Lake State Park include tent and RV camping, fishing, 17 miles of hiking trails, and lakes with sand beaches and boat and canoe access.
If you love landscapes as a subject to your photography, here are some places that you may want to pay a visit to on your next trip to Minnesota.
The Jay Cooke State Park or Lake Superior State Parks:
This nature park is situated approximately 10 miles in the southwestern part of Duluth. You can try your luck by trying to capture photos of the following animal species: 46 mammal species (including black bears, timberwolves, and coyotes), 173 bird species, and 16 reptile species that are non-poisonous.
Moreover, if rock formations are your thing, then you might enjoy the slate and greywacke bedrock of the St. Louis River that is adorned with several shale protrusions.
Super Hiking Trail (SHT):
Do you enjoy mountain climbing as much as you love photography? If you do, then the SHT is for you. If you are up to it, you can enjoy the 244 mile trail alongside the Lake Superior. While enjoying the hike, you can take snapshots of the lake and some breathtaking sights of the trail itself.
Voyageurs National Park:
The name came from the initial French-Canadian tourists who frequent this place via canoes. This national park boasts 30 or so lakes that are adorned with approximately 1000 islands. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are among the activities you can enjoy. Of course, on the way, you can take snapshots of the islands as a souvenir of your trip.
Minnehaha (Laughing) Falls:
This unassuming waterfall can be found in the southeastern part of Minneapolis. However, the Minnehaha Falls is not the only attraction that is "photo" worthy. Tourists and locals alike have found themselves posing beside the statues of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, both of which are famous because of Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha".
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory:
If you are looking for a haven in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory can be your best bet. The park is not only a sanctuary to big cats, other mammals and birds, but in its midst, you can also find a Japanese garden where you can take photographs of manicured Zen gardens and bonsais. If you are looking for color in your photographs and the flowers and orchids are not enough, you can visit the Enchanted Garden filled with all sorts of butterflies.