My first memories of this place are primal – the rhythmic splash of our paddles among the reeds, the smell of wood smoke, the full body jolt of plunging into an icy lake. I can still feel it in my chest when I close my eyes.
It’s true that winters are cold in Minnesota. But we make up for it by maximizing every single second of sunshine.
Paddling the mighty Mississippi? Sure — canoe or kayak? Jumping into a swimming hole after cycling all day? Bring it on. Taking a long walk along the lakeshore with the family after dinner and a local pint? Of course! That’s just a normal Saturday night.
I was born and raised here and I can assure you that even the most sedentary among us are holding court on a rooftop patio and strolling to the shops in shorts and sunglasses when our neighbors down south are still rocking winter coats. It’s like a switch flips on in our heads 10 minutes into the first warm spring day and we want to maximize every minute of warm weather.
Make the most of your summer with these eight weekend getaways in Minnesota. They’ll take you from the lighthouses of Lake Superior to the Mississippi River and the cities, lakes, and forests in between.