Things to Do in Northeast Minnesota

March 8, 2023

things to do in northeast minnesota

Whether you’re visiting Northeast Minnesota for the first time or looking to experience the state for a second time, there are plenty of amazing things to do.

The great outdoors is a huge draw here, with a paved multi-use trail system and a lakefront tavern where you can watch free outdoor movies every Friday night. You’ll also find a vibrant arts scene, a farmers market and a professional theater.

1. Hike the Bruce Vento Regional Trail

The Bruce Vento Regional Trail is a paved path that starts in downtown St. Paul and runs along an abandoned railroad right-of-way through neighborhoods and communities in Saint Paul and White Bear Lake.

The route goes through an old rail corridor that is primarily off the road and offers views of Lake Phalen. It also passes through Swede Hollow and features the Seventh Street Improvement Arches, a historic bridge that was built to carry the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad underneath Seventh Street.

2. Explore the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

There is a reason that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, located in northeast Minnesota, is one of America’s most visited wilderness areas. This federally designated wilderness area encompasses 1.1 million acres, extending nearly 200 miles along the U.S.-Canada border adjacent to Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park.

This is one of the largest protected wilderness areas in the United States. Visitors come here to canoe, fish, camp and hike in a place where nature still thrives, and civilization is largely absent.

The wilderness area is one of the world’s great natural wonders and a jewel of the National Wilderness Preservation System. However, its watershed is in danger of being negatively affected by proposed sulfide-ore copper mining. The Center is working to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness and surrounding watershed from this threat.

3. Take a Tour of Duluth

Located on the pristine shores of Lake Superior, Duluth is one of Minnesota’s most popular destinations. This waterfront city offers panoramic views, sophisticated four-season attractions, a thriving local arts scene, and plenty of outdoor adventures for all ages.

For a truly unique experience, take a tour of Duluth. You can do this on your own or with friends and family!

Get a taste of Duluth’s history on a walking tour along the Lakewalk and pier. You’ll learn about the city’s architecture, the paranormal, and much more.

4. See the World’s Largest Fishing Bobber in Pequot Lakes

In the small Minnesota town of Pequot Lakes, a water tower is decorated to look like a fishing bobber. It’s a bit of a marketing gimmick, but it’s also one of the best-known landmarks in the area.

It started in 1987 when the Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce held a competition to design a bobber for the tower. A local art teacher, Dave Guenther, was behind the idea.

5. Visit a Farmers Market

Farmers markets are a great way to support local farmers and get fresh produce. They are also a fun way to spend time with friends and family.

Often located in downtown areas, farmers markets provide an alternative to crowded supermarkets and provide shoppers with high-quality produce. They also increase activity in public spaces.

When planning a farmers market, be sure to research the potential market location and decide on a day and time that will best fit your community needs. You should also consider traffic patterns and parking.

6. Visit a Museum

A museum is a place where people learn about different subjects like culture, history, science, and nature. It is a great way to spend a day with your family and friends.

A good way to find the right museum for you is to ask what types of exhibits they have and which ones are most interesting. Then, you can plan your visit based on that information.

If you are a history enthusiast, then you’ll want to check out the Minnesota History Center. This museum will help you learn all about the history of this incredible state.

7. Take a Tour of Nicollet Island

The Nicollet Island area is a historic neighborhood with roots dating back to the early settlement of Minneapolis. It has been redeveloped and revitalized by the city over the last several decades.

The neighborhood boasts some of the best views of downtown Minneapolis, as well as park land, trails, and iconic buildings.

Originally named after cartographer Joseph Nicollet, the island is now a popular destination for people who want to explore nature and enjoy stunning views of the Mississippi River.

You can access Nicollet Island by the Hennepin Avenue Bridge that connects downtown and Northeast Minneapolis. Take a tour to learn more about the history of this special area.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram