Minnesota is the "Land of 10000 Lakes," with fabulous riverfronts and rolling hills for sights and adventures. The state's big and small cities match nature's appeal with vibrant history and attractions. These seven most beautiful cities offer urban views in a natural embrace to discover the best of "The North Star State."
The major seaport city on Lake Superior is home to a rich nautical history that lent a hand in shaping Duluth into a grand tourist destination. It is known for its dramatically-varying climate and scenery, with vibrantly-diverse sights and activities each season. The enticing city boasts rich past and modern attractions and regular year-round events. The University of Minnesota runs the famous Historic Congdon Estate, housing a museum, Glensheen, worthy of discovering.
The breathtakingly-immense Lake Superior is the ultimate natural getaway and recreation galore for any taste. One can join on a popular ride aboard the iconic SS William A. Irvin, the flagship of US Steel's Great Lakes Fleet, taking off from the picturesque Lake Superior's waterfront. It offers views of the cityscape from a whole other perspective, along with tours of the beautiful ship's insides and the steam turbine engine. One can watch the hypnotizing spectacle of large ships in and out of the canal, followed by a relaxing afternoon at the atmospheric Canal Park in the city's heart, and catch an evening show at the renowned Duluth Playhouse.
The beautiful Eden Prairie is a highly sought-after city with a welcoming appeal and a small-town atmosphere. It was purposefully designed to meet any budget, offering many free and easily attainable amenities and attractions. Eden Prairie boasts a wide array of wholesome dining and shopping experiences to satisfy any taste, including patios for lovely summertime afternoons. The family-friendly city also hosts tons of annual events and festivities, like the impending Halloween Spectacular, the fabulous Frozen Experience, and Arts in the Park, among others.
Eden Prairie spreads scenically atop rolling hills and bluffs with incredible views overlooking the Minnesota River. The cozy city is surrounded by vast, paradise-like prairies and many lakes and forest trails for bountiful activities, relaxation, and recreation within sights. Its immensely diverse outdoors and in-city attractions consistently turn tourists into residents. The laidback streets with down-to-Earth appeal entice for strolls, while big city entertainment is only half an hour away in the capital.
Edina is a scenically-desirable city that grew from a small rural community of farmers and mill workers in the 1860s. It bounds Minnehaha Creek with large and diverse neighborhoods and is only twenty minutes from Minneapolis. The historic Edina Cinema, with a recent million-dollar renovation to its original old Hollywood glamor, is a hit spot with locals and tourists. It is a great way to diversify a cold winter's evening watching a new Christmas release or beat the summer's heat over a flick with a chilled drink.
The affluent city is known for its high quality of life, immaculate appeal, and natural surroundings. Edina's streets-lined by parks and lakes, offers a natural respite right off the road, while the vibrant shopping areas include Southdale, Galleria Edina, and 50th & France. There are many cafes and restaurant patios, along with plentiful outdoor activities, such as golf and lake recreation, to spend days in the fresh air. One can also take advantage of The Westin's fabulous personalized "outdoor living" package, including sleeping bags for a one-on-one with nature, or make a quick drive to the Minnesota Zoo and the Mall of America.
The "louder" Twin [City], nicknamed "Mill City," spreads scenically amidst fertile farms, forests, and rolling hills, bisected by the Mississippi River. The beautiful city is a must-see for sights and attractions during the day and a renowned, hopping live music scene by night. Minneapolis boasts exquisite parks, stroll-worthy river-fronts, and glistening waterfalls right in the city. There are many surrounding lakes, and the Chain of Lakes Regional Park hosts vibrant outdoor performances and fests during summer. The park is just southwest of the center, with five distinctively-charming lakes. Harriet lake is adorned with gardens for relaxation and beaches, while Lake Calhoun is popular for boating.
Minneapolis is also a thriving city of arts, culture, and music and is a host to professional sports teams. Minneapolis boasts vibrant, multicultural neighborhoods with discoveries around each turn, including artistic and architectural marvels and fine dining galore with sublime views. The streets brim with fine art galleries, museums, performance venues, and shopping galore at the nearby Mall of America. The staggering size of Minneapolis offers a proportionate food lover's paradise through countless restaurants, varied cuisine, corner-street cafes, and stalls at every step.
Rochester is the renowned home to award-winning facilities of the nation's highest-rated Mayo Clinic hospital. Its vibrant downtown boasts a growers-only farmers market with year-round seasonal produce, the popular Rochester Art Center, and the Plummer Building icon of the Mayo Clinic, a national historic landmark. It is also home to an impressive number of hotels and restaurants in-between innumerable eateries and shops for all tastes and styles. Other cultural attractions include the Quarry Hill Nature Center, Mayowood Mansion, Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, and the History Center of Olmsted County.
The city of medicine, high infrastructure, lovely theaters, and other amenities comes together with natural appeal. It is an aesthetically-pleasing cityscape adorned with parks and only a quick drive-out for plentiful fishing, hiking, skiing, and hunting in the surroundings. The historic city offers many attractions to discover its deep heritage, like the historic trolley company for city rides and tours to the Amish regions on the outskirts, with visits to farms and shops that feel like a whole century back in time.
St. Cloud is an immensely-scenic central city in the state, straddling the enormous Mississippi River. Despite the smaller area, it boasts Minnesota's largest population that enjoys easy outings into nature with surrounding lush forests and crystal blue lakes. The brilliant city with an inspiring name is home to numerous colleges and the state university, with a sizable student body and laid-back streets that ring of youth.
Its amenities and opportunities can rival big cities, with manufacturing, finance, and retail companies lending a hand to students looking for jobs and visitors on a quaint shopping spree. There are also various attractions geared to the studious, including thriving arts and culture scenes along with a vibrant nightlife. The city is also home to fantastic waterways and wilderness for hikes, bike rides, and kayaking.
The subdued Twin City and the state capital of Minnesota, St. Paul, has several wholesome attractions to "art and culture" one's heart out. St. Paul's food galore is unrivaled for a spectacular twist on the traditional culinary delights, served in a complementing bougie way. The Juicy Lucy burger is a must-visit for the original that one can wash down at one of the city's many outside beer gardens. There are numerous fun festivals during summertime and a city walking tour to get acquainted with the layout, see sites, and note hotspots for later visits. In wintertime, the shimmering capital comes alive with outdoor skating rinks adorned in lights for a chilly evening out.Just ten miles out in Bloomington, the Mall of America is a dream come true for families headed by shopaholics. There are thrilling roller coaster rides, a rainforest setting for dinner, a shark tank, and over 500 stores, including a four-story Lego store.
Minnesota is a naturally-endowed treasure cove of history for wholesome year-round visits. These beautiful cities will entice you with scenic surroundings and tons of attractions to discover Minnesota's beauty through intriguing sights and activities.