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Minnesota

Beautiful Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, is filled with variety. From the farmlands of the south to the quirky city sights of the Twin Cities and the rugged wilderness of Voyageurs National Park in the north, Minnesota has adventures to spare. This is the land of year-round fishing (in the winter, ice fishing is a popular sport), of ice cream in the summertime, and winter camping in the snowy season. You can visit the Mississippi River headlands, step into Canada, or catch a live taping of A Prairie Home Companion, all in this charming, friendly state.

Southern Minnesota has a relaxed attitude that's mirrored by its endless waves of cornfields and the bright, blue sky overhead. This is the land of the Mayo Clinic, winding rivers, and gorgeous forests for hiking, biking, and winter snowmobiling. Visit roadside highlights like the SPAM museum in Austin, Red Wing (home of Red Wing shoes), and Belle Plaine, where you can catch the Great Scarecrow Festival between September and October each year.

The vibrant Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are an exciting place to explore. Cut by the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, these two cities represent Minnesotaís past, through historic Saint Paul, and its future, through lively Minneapolis. You can swing by the University of Minnesota for a campus tour or sporting event, tour the jazz clubs of Minneapolis, or view the historic buildings of old Saint Paul. You'll find art galleries, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and sculpture gardens in addition to parks, lakes, and rivers to stroll along. The Twin Cities, or ìthe cities,î as theyíre locally known, include historic mills, the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, and scenic walkways along the riverfronts.

History buffs will enjoy tours of the Alexander Ramsey House, Historic Fort Snelling, the Minnesota History Center, and Historic Murphy's Landing. The cities offer incredible shopping along the Mississippi Mile or at Nicollet Mall, over 300 downtown restaurants, and a hot live music scene. And if you're visiting with the kids, you won't want to miss a stop at the Minnesota Zoo to see the moose, wolves, lynx, and lemurs.

Northern Minnesota is famous for its incredible canoeing lakes, hiking trails, and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails. The charming lakeshore town of Duluth offers fabulous fishing, gaming at the Fond-du-Luth Casino, and boating history at the Great Lakes Floating Maritime Museum. This is a perfect place to sit outside in the summer, soaking in the views of Lake Superior.

Further north, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, visitors can hike, portage, and canoe through a string of lakes that skirt the border with Canada. And nearby Voyageurs National Park is all about being on the water. A network of roads and trails connect waterways, lakes, bays, and coves that are just waiting to be explored. Discover the Oberholtzer Trail, the Echo Bay Trail, Blind Ash Bay, and the Kab-Ash Trail system. Put your canoe or kayak in the water, listen for the distant howl of wolves, and admire the beauty of this star of the north.
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