An Awesome Minnesota Bucket List: 30 Things to Do in Minnesota


I realize that Minnesota isn’t exactly a premiere travel destination for many. That being said, there are many great sites in the state that visitors and long-time resident should checkout. Like any list my particular one is slanted towards those activities that I find the most meaningful. I have a preference for all things history, art and natural wonders.

And I need to fully disclose that there are likely some very awesome Minnesota sites on this list that are not included, the sheer reason for this is that I limited myself to those places that I’ve actually visited. I didn’t want to promote some place I’ve heard is great, but that I actually haven’t seen myself. I guess I need to pull together my own personal list of must-see destinations that I still need to checkout. 

Here is the ultimate Minnesota bucket list, in no particular order. 

1. State Capitol

Our impressive state capitol building went through an impressive touchup. I haven’t had a chance to visit since it’s been reopened, but even before the fixes it was worth a visit! 

2. Fort Snelling

Plan a visit to historic Fort Snelling

3. Mill City Museum

The Mill City Museum area includes some iconic site of Minneapolis. Checkout the area

4. Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry State Park is definitely one of the most beloved places in the state and without a doubt is a must-see. 

5. Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse has such an amazing story. Take a drive up the North Shore and learn more about this unique lighthouse. 

6. James J. Hill House

Peering at the immense homes on Summit Avenue is an event within itself, but step inside the largest on the street by checking out the James J. Hill house

7. Minneapolis Art Institute

Plan a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and see Lucretia by Rembrandt! 

8. Minnesota Historical Museum

Learn more about the Minnesota Historical Museum in St. Paul! 

9. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture is definitely one of the most iconic spots in Minneapolis. 

10. Swedish American Institute

Get the details on the American Swedish Institute

11. Aerial Lift Bridge

The Aerial Lift Bridge is synonymous with Duluth. Watching a ship travel underneath this bridge is fascinating.  

12. Betty’s Pies

Any visit to the North Shore of Lake Superior isn’t complete unless you’ve visited Betty’s Pies. I actually prefer the pasties over the pie, but regardless this has become something of an iconic restaurant in the area. 

13. Canal Park

Canal Park is a perfect way to spend a beautiful summer day. Checkout the stores nearby or completely embrace the lake and walk on the boardwalk instead! 

14. Itasca State Park

I haven’t visited Itasca State Park since before the advent of the modern day cell phone, yikes! But seeing the meager start of the mighty Mississippi River is a must-see. 

15. Enger Tower

Enger Tower is the best place to view the Duluth Harbor. Stately rising over the area this tower has a beautiful park and stunning views. 

16. Glensheen

Seeped in history Glensheen is one of the most beautiful estates on Minnesota. Take a tour and learn more! 

17. Mystery Cave

Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of impressive caves, but the Mystery Cave at the Forestville State Park is arguably the best in the state. 

18. Mall of America

I cringe to place this on this list, but since I’ve had out of town guests I’ve come to understand the Mall of America is a site to behold, at least once. There is fun to be had within it’s mighty walls, don’t forget about Flyover America. 

19. Little Log House Pioneer Village

Antique cars and really antique everything galore! Learn more about when the Little Log House Pioneer Village is open. 

20. Jay Cooke State Park

One of the best places to camp in Minnesota. Learn more about Jay Cooke State Park

21. Basilica of St. Mary

Learn more about the beauty of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. 

22. Northfield

Northfield is a distinct historic town in the Minnesota and not just because of Jesse James. Learn more about Northfield

23. The Depot in Duluth

The Depot in Duluth is a hodgepodge of various historical artifacts and art. This distinct building and it’s contents make for a nice Sunday stroll. 

24. Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls can be spectacular frozen in the winter, but it’s also a site in the summer sun. 

25. Normandale Japanese Garden

Normandale Japanese Garden is a hidden gem in the Cities and well worth a quick visit. 

26. Minnesota Marine Art Museum

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is another hidden gem in the state. Full of well-known artists, including Monet, the plethora of stunning art tucked away here is astounding. 

27. Como Conservatory

There is nothing better than in the midst of winter than to visit the gorgeous flowers and orchid show at the Como Conservatory. Learn more

28. Landmark Center

Checkout the beautiful Landmark Center and learn about the history of this stately St. Paul building! 

29. Cathedral of St. Paul 

Sitting ever so stately over St. Paul this cathedral is hard to miss. Learn more

30. St. Anthony Falls & the Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge and the St. Anthony Falls area is a great example of how Minnesotan’s love being outside in an urban setting. 

So what’s missing from this list? Any must-see destinations that I should add to the list and checkout myself? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 


  1. Barbara Montag says

    I live in MN and didn’t know about a lot of these places!
    Thanks so much for the info.

  2. Goosberry falls look beautiful! Recently a fellow traveler told me to look into Glacier National Park in Montana as it was one of his favorite places he’d ever visited. It is on my travel bucket list.

  3. Linh Chin-Lai says

    I have a friend who invites me to visit her in MN and I’ll share this bucket list with her and maybe we’ll catch some of them one day.

  4. Cathy diesem says

    Minnesota has a ton of marvelous places to enjoy

  5. Eileen Greene says

    A bucket list trip to Minnesota to see my son and to visit the haunts of my all time favorite singer! Stayed in Minneapolis first, then visited Duluth to see where he spent his very early years. Next stop was Hibbing, the site of his teenage, high school days. Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman) is absolutely the best💕😘❤️

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