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Must-See Stops: 8 Charming Minnesota Towns for Your Next Road Trip Adventure!


Minnesota is a treasure trove for weekend getaways. With the help of WorldAtlas we've compiled a fantastic list of small towns perfect for a refreshing escape. Let's dive into the top picks!






Ely: Gateway to Wilderness Adventure

Ely, a true gem with just over 3,000 residents, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the renowned Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a perfect place to reconnect with nature. Adventure awaits at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, over a million acres. Downtown Ely offers a glimpse into history with the Pioneer Hotel, built in 1887.



Crosby: A charming town reborn from its iron mining roots. Immerse yourself in history at the Soo Line Depot Museum or explore the scenic trails transformed from the former mining landscape. Adventure awaits at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, with opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and paddling on sparkling lakes. Downtown Crosby offers a delightful surprise with trendy shops and delicious local restaurants. Whether you seek outdoor thrills, historical intrigue, or small-town charm, Crosby's warm welcome and unexpected delights will leave you wanting to extend your weekend getaway.



Mankato: Where History Meets Outdoors

With a population of over 45,000, Mankato pushes the limits of a "small town" definition. However, its charm remains undeniable. Immerse yourself in stunning architecture at the R.D. Hubbard House and Betsy-Tacy House. Nature lovers will find solace in Red Jacket Valley Park, a former gravel pit transformed into a recreational haven.



Stillwater: Summertime Fun & Wintery Delights

Stillwater, a town of over 19,000 residents, sits picturesquely along the St. Croix River bordering Wisconsin. During the summer, the city comes alive with riverside activities. Winter brings a festive touch with a traditional Christmas market. Did you know? According to WorldAtlas, the pop-up toaster, a breakfast staple, was invented in Stillwater in 1921!



Northfield: College Town Steeped in History

Northfield, located south of the Twin Cities, is home to St. Olaf and Carleton colleges. This vibrant town boasts over 400 acres of green space within its city limits, including the college campuses. History comes alive during the Defeat of Jesse James Days in September, where a famous 1876 bank robbery is reenacted near the original bank.



Grand Marais: Artistic Escape on Lake Superior

Grand Marais, a vibrant town with only 1,400 residents, offers a unique blend of artistic energy and natural beauty. Situated on the shores of Lake Superior, it boasts a "free-spirited vibe," according to WorldAtlas. Unwind on one of the five beaches or cast a line and enjoy some fishing, including fly-fishing opportunities!



Red Wing: History & Mississippi River Views

Red Wing, nestled on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, boasts a population of nearly 17,000. Take in breathtaking views of the Mississippi River from the hikable bluffs. History buffs will love exploring the numerous museums and the historic St. James Hotel, dating back to 1875.


Winona: Fall Foliage Paradise & Cultural Gem

Winona, much like Northfield, is a college town with Winona State University and St. Mary's University. This town takes immense pride in its fall season, calling itself the "Midwest's best autumn playground." Immerse yourself in the vibrant fall foliage or explore the rich cultural heritage at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum.


So, pack your bags and choose your Minnesota adventure! From historic towns to artistic escapes and outdoor paradises, these charming destinations offer the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration for your weekend getaway.

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The Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center provides a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, while the Boundary Waters Canoe Area offers over a million acres of adventure. snake game

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