In Love With America // Minnesota

by Au Pair in America

This one goes out to all of our outdoors-fanatics out there! We have a new “In Love With America” instalment in the pipeline for you, and just like last month, we will be focusing on an ENTIRE state rather than just another one of the US’ fascinating cities.

In this series, we’re shedding some light on our au pairs’ favourite spots in the USA. Whether it is a city, a state or just a general area that our au pairs are currently obsessed with – we’ll introduce some of North America’s “places to be” in an entirely new way. Our secret? We get our recommendations right from the source – our lovely au pairs – to ensure that our travel tips cover everything an Au Pair in America needs to know about and more!

Ready or not, let’s dive right into the beautiful depths of the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’: Minnesota 💙

🚌 Buses | Rochester, Winona, Duluth, St. Cloud, East Grand Forks, Mankato, Moorhead, Minneapolis & St. Paul
🚇 Light Rail | Blue Line (Mall of America – Minneapolis) & Green Line (Minneapolis – St. Paul)
🚲 Cycle Lanes | Minnesota is among the states with the most miles of bike lanes

📍 The Twin Cities | Minneapolis & St. Paul
📍 Stone Arch Bridge | Minneapolis
📍 Mall of America | Bloomington
📍 Minnesota Zoo |
Apple Valley
📍 Como Zoo |
St. Paul
📍 Minneapolis Sculpture Garden |
📍 Endless Bridge |
📍 Mary Tyler Moore Statue |
📍 Cathedral of St. Paul |
St. Paul
📍 Landmark Center | 
St. Paul
📍 Harriet Island | St. Paul
📍 Paisley Park | Chanhassen
📍 Taylor Falls
📍 Stillwater
📍 Minnehaha Falls

🏛 Children’s Museum |  St. Paul
🏛 Institute of Arts |  Minneapolis
🏛 Weismar Art Museum | Minneapolis
🏛 Walker Art Center | Minneapolis
🏛 Schubert Museum | St. Paul
🏛 James J Hill House | St. Paul
🏛 Science Museum of Minnesota | St. Paul

🍔 Mat’s Bar | home of the infamous ‘Juicy Lucy’
🍔 Convention Grill | Edina

🍕 Young Joni | Korean fusion pizza, Minneapolis

🍦 Sebastian Joe’s

🍿 Candyland | Try their ChicagoMix Popcorn at one of their Stillwater or St. Paul branches

🍭 Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store | Minneapolis

🍚 Wild Rice Soup | typical Minnesotan dish

🥗 Seven-Layer-Saladtypical Minnesotan dish

🍲 Hotdish | typical Minnesotan dish

🚌 Historic Northeast Food Tour | Minneapolis
🚌 Riverwalk Food Tour | Minneapolis
🚌 Indoor Skyway Food Tour | Minneapolis
🚌 Pizza Bus Tour | Minneapolis

👟 Twin Cities Marathon | 📆 every August, Minneapolis & St. Paul
⛷ City Of Lakes Loppet | 📆 Ski Festival every February, Minneapolis
🌊 Water Ski Days | 📆 Three-day waterskiing festival, Lake City
🚲 X Games | 📆 Four-day extreme sports event, Minneapolis
🌊 New London Water Days | 📆 every July, New London

🍜 Hmong New Year | 📆 Three-Day celebration of the Hmong culture, St. Paul
🐟 International Eelpout Festival | 📆 Minnesotan fish festival every February, Leech Lake
🐟 Preston Trout Days | 📆 trout-themed festival every May, Preston

🎼 Homegrown Music Festival | 📆 music, art, poetry and sports festival every May, Duluth
🎼 The Wizard of Oz Festival | 📆 Judy Garland appreciation festival every June, Grand Rapids
🎼 Nisswa-Stamman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival | 📆 Scandinavian folk music festival every June, Nisswa

🎭 Defeat Of Jesse James Days📆 Bank raid reenactment every September, Northfield

📖 Sinclair Lewis Days | 📆 Five-days celebration every July, Sauk Centre
📖 Wilder Pageant | 📆 three weekends in July, Walnut Grove

🎨 Blueberry Art Festival | 📆 every July, Ely
🎨 Art Along The Lake | 📆 every September, Tofte to Hovland

🎡 Grumpy Old Men Festival | 📆 ice fishing festival every February, all over Minnesota
🎡 Celtic Festival | 📆 every March, Moorhead
🎡 Spring Carnival & Slush Cup | 📆 every March, Biwabik
🎡 World Festival | 📆 every April, Rochester
🎡 Cinco de Mayo | 📆 every May, St. Paul
🎡 Twin Cities Pride Festival | 📆 every June, Minneapolis & St. Paul
🎡 Paul Bunyan Days | 📆 every June, Akeley
🎡 Antique Car Run | 📆 every August, New London to New Brighton (120 miles)
🎡 Heritage Days | 📆 history festival every August, East Grand Forks
🎡 Renaissance Festival | 📆 Seven-week festival every August, Shakopee
🎡 Minnesota State Fair | 📆 every August, St. Paul
🎡 Steam Threshers Reunion | 📆 every Labor day weekend, Rolltag
🎡 Taste Of The Root River Trail | 📆 three Saturdays in September, Root River Trail
🎡 Oktoberfest | 📆 every October, New Ulm

🐶 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon | 📆 sled dog race every January, Duluth
🦉 International Owl Festival | 📆 every March, Houston
🐑 Farm Babies | 📆 family farm & Zoo event every April, Apple Valley
🦅 Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds |  📆spring migration event every May, Detroit Mountain
🐢 Perham Turtle Fest | 📆 every June, Perham
🐖 Nevis Pig Races | 📆 every July, Nevis

❄️ Saint Paul Winter Carnival | 📆 every January, St. Paul
❄️ Winterfest on Lake Bemidji | 📆 family-friendly sports festival on the ice every February, Lake Bemidji
❄️ Bentleyville Tour Of Lights | 📆 Tree-lighting ceremony every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, Duluth
❄️ Night We Light | 📆 Tree-lighting ceremony the day after Thanksgiving, Bemidji
❄️ Frost Fest | 📆 the day after Thanksgiving, Bemidji
❄️ Winterfest📆 first weekend in December, Luverne
❄️ Winter Walk | 📆 every December, Northfield
❄️ Ice Candle Celebration | 📆 Finish tradition every December, Embarrass

More events over on:

👕 Mall of America | Bloomington

🛶 Canoeing / Kayaking

⛵️ Boating / Sailing

🚲 Cycling

⛷ 🏂 Skiiing / Snowboarding

Ice Skating

🎣 Ice Fishing

👟 Running

🎒 Hiking

🏄‍♀️ Stand-Up Paddling

🌳 Minnehaha Falls  | Minneapolis
🌳 Leif Erikson Park | Duluth
🌳 Bde Maka Ska Park | Minneapolis
🌳 Voyageurs National Park |
🌳 Split Rock Lighthouse State Park |
🌳 Tettegouche State Park |
🌳 Mississippi National River & recreation Area |
🌳 Pipestone National Monument |
🌳 Grand Portage National Monument |

👟 North Country National Scenic Trail |

🏞 Mississippi River

The state Minnesota has a reputation for being called ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’ (though technically, they have even more than that – 11,842 to be precise!). Here’s just a selection of a few of the most popular ones amongst Minnesotans:

🌅 Lake Superior
🌅 Boundary Waters Caboe Area | one of the world’s premier paddling regions
🌅 Lake Mille Lacs
🌅 Lake Vermilion
🌅 Lake Nokomis
🌅 Lake of the Woods
🌅 Lake Winnibigoshis

🌅 Deer Lake
🌅 Lakes of the Isles

☄️ Northern Lights | up North, e.g. Duluth

🎤 Bob Dylan’s birthplace | Duluth
🎤 Prince’s birthplace | Paisley Park, Chanhassen

📍 F Scott Fitzgerald’s birthplace | St. Paul

🍂 Tree Color Changes in Fall | “My favorite thing ever, which I can’t wait for, are all the fall colors.  They are the best I’ve ever seen and I love walking through the woods during fall. ” – South African au pair Olyvia

🎡 Community festivals & State Fairs |We have carnivals and festivals all through the summer in every town which at first I thought was crazy, but quickly fell in love with. Duluth by Lake Superior also has a really cool hot air balloon festival each year in September, which I think everybody should see at least once in their life!”

❄️ Bitterly cold winters | “In the winter we have a lot of snow. And I mean a lot. We go ice-skating. Or play in the snow. Or visit the ice castles in Stillwater which are amazing.”

💙 “Minnesota Nice” | “Minnesotans are so friendly! When my host dad came to pick me up from the aiport, I instinctively reached out to shake his hand, as I had been told that Americans don’t hug or kiss to greet one another. But he came towards me with his arms wide open and a big smile on his face. That’s when I knew that I was in good hands. When we arrived at home, my host mom also welcomed me with a big hug and an even bigger smile. Which, in my opinion, is what you wish for the most when you find yourself alone in a new country, thousands of miles away from home.”

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