Minneapolis and Saint Paul are exciting cities with a unique vibe and a whirlwind of creative energy.
Nearly 40,000 people live in downtown Minneapolis, ensuring that it’s alive ’round the clock. Take it all in: amazing theater, world-class museums, sports galore, picturesque strolls in a green, urban environment. The variety of what Minneapolis Saint Paul has to offer is sure to delight.
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Northeast Minnesota: The beauty of the land is striking: the enticing shoreline of Lake Superior, the serene wilderness lakes of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the expansive waters of Voyageurs National Park, the scenic St. Croix River rushing through tall, rocky cliffs. Pine and hardwoods of the Chippewa and Superior national forests blanket the rolling hills. They are home to moose, wolves, bears, deer, eagles, and loons. Small towns and a major city have grown up at the edge of these woods.
The history here is the story of the Ojibwe Indians, French-Canadian voyageurs, miners, lumberman, and lighthouse keepers. For those who come to fish the waters and hike the trails, there are hundreds of lodges, resorts, and campgrounds. Like adventurers of long ago, today’s explorers are moved by the spirit of this land.
Southern Minnesota: Wooded bluffs tower above the mighty Mississippi River to the east; to the west, patches of virgin prairie and a buffalo herd are remnants of the sea of grass that once covered the plains. Stone etchings and a pipestone quarry are part of the rich heritage of the American Indians who first explored this territory. The productive farms of the area trace their roots to humble sod homes and small fields carved out of the prairie. Dozens of historic sites and museums relay the stories of determined pioneers from Germany, Scandinavia and central Europe. The towns they founded are now noted for their historic architecture, antique shops, inns, and ethnic festivals. In the countryside there are bike trails, canoe rivers, and fishing lakes and streams. This land of quiet charm attracts travelers for peaceful getaways.
The vibrant Minneapolis-St. Paul area is the entertainment and cultural center of the upper Midwest. The scenery of this attractive metropolis includes contemporary skylines, historic architecture, and greenways of parks, lakes and the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
On the eastern edge of the Great Plains, the Red River Valley was once swathed in tall prairie grass as far as the eye could see, and traversed by great herds of buffalo. Today, this rich agricultural region boasts a range of outdoor recreation plus two lively cities on the plains.
Moorhead, home to two colleges, has a wealth of cultural attractions remarkable for a city of 30,000. Art galleries and museums, theater, opera and symphony, science and history exhibits, and even Bohemian coffee houses add to the cosmopolitan flair of Fargo-Moorhead. Especially interesting is the Heritage Hjemkomst Center, home of a replica Viking ship.
Several state parks and nature preserves offer a glimpse of what the land looked like before the first settlers took their plows to the prairie. Buffalo River State Park, along with the adjacent Bluestem Prairie preserve, is one of the largest tracts of native prairie in the state. Birdwatching, naturalist programs and fishing are other park highlights.
The reservoir at Lake Bronson State Park is popular for fishing and swimming, and Old Mill State Park is the site of a pioneer farmstead and grain mill. Near Thief River Falls, the Agassiz and Thief Lake wildlife refuges are good spots to catch a glimpse of a moose in the wild, as well as beaver, deer, elk, bear, and a wide variety of birds (list science & nature centers).
Grand Forks/East Grand Forks is a good base of operations for fishing the Red River of the North, noted for its catfishing. The average Red River catfish runs about five pounds and 15-20 pound fish are not uncommon. Near Red Lake Falls, inner-tubing on the Red Lake River is the summertime cooldown of choice.
When the snow flies, the sport of choice is snowmobiling, and Thief River Falls is the center of action. The machines are even manufactured here, and Articat offers tours of its plant.
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