It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all 50 states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 23rd to visit is none other than Michigan, abbreviated MN. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes, is super friendly and fun!
Visit state # 23 – Minnesota
|State Motto||L’Étoile du Nord (The star of the North)|
|State Flower||Pink and white lady slipper|
|State Bird||The loon, Gavia immer|
|State Gemstone||The Lake Superior agate|
|State Capital||Saint Paul|
|Famous Foods||Wild rice, sweet corn, blueberries, Bent River, Cookie salad, Morcella, Glorified rice, Walleye sandwich, Honeycrisp apples, Strawberry delight, Juicy Lucy, and more.|
Minnesota is in the western part of the Great Lakes region. It borders the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba to the north, North and South Dakota to the west, Iowa south, and Wisconsin to the southeast. The land of 10,000 lakes shares a water border with Michigan in Lake Superior and has a total of 87 counties.
The Dakota and Ojibwe were Minnesota’s first residents of the state and today share their enduring presence. To learn more about native Minnesota, a visit to the Minnesota History Center is a must for all visitors to the state. Folks can explore a wide range of historical objects to learn the stories of the region’s indigenous peoples throughout various time periods.
Minnesota was acquired by the US in 1783, 20 years after being ceded to Britain by the French. The state joined the Union in May of 1858 as the 32nd state. The topography of the land is rich and diverse. The mountain ranges consist of the Arrowhead Region, the Sawtooth Mountains, and the Mesabi Range, the largest of three iron ranges in northern Mississippi.
Among its nicknames is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” for the state’s whopping 11,842 lakes that measure larger than ten acres. Though a small glacial lake, Itasca is the source of North America’s longest river, the Mississippi. Other major rivers include the Red River, the Rainy River, the Minnesota River, and the St. Croix, the latter two being tributaries of the Mississippi.
Though the capital city is Saint Paul, the largest city is Minneapolis. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan areas are called the Twin Cities, and together they possess more than half of the state’s entire population. There are many top attractions in Minneapolis and the surrounding area, from cultural and historical tours to art and specialty museums, special landmarks, parks, and more. Visitors are encouraged to take a self-guided audio or group tour to stroll along the Mississippi River, crossing on the famed Stone Arch Bridge. End the evening winding down on Nicollet Island overlooking St. Anthony Falls.
Voyageurs National Park, in northern Minnesota, is close to the Canadian border. The park covers a vast area and is beloved for its immense waterways and rich forests. The park was established in 1975 and is currently managed by the National Park Service. VNP is filled with evidence of over 10,000 years of human life and use. The park protects and shares the rich and unique cultural heritage of the land and water and features historical sites and cultural landscapes. The park is best described as a nature wonderland and boasts over 218,000 acres to explore. It is considered a place of transition between southern boreal and northern hardwood forests, making this area truly unique for exploration.
Fortunately, like many other wonderful states of the U.S., there is an immense variety of activities in which to partake. Whether you visit the cities that gave us singers like Bob Dylan and Prince to the state’s wonderful art venues such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center, it’s easy to get lost in the thrill. Other notable places to discover include the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Mississippi National River, Recreation Area, Guthrie Theatre, Minnehaha Regional Park, Weisman Art Museum, Science Museum of Minnesota, and more. Should you come to town for a concert or a baseball game at Target Field, you will not be disappointed. Excitement is to be had at every turn.
Up next: Mississippi