Minnesota Bucket List ~ Minneapolis/St. Paul Region

Today we travel to a popular Midwest vacation spot: The Twin Cities. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area has so much to offer for both indoor and outdoor activities!

Apple Valley

  • Minnesota Zoo: Fun zoo with unique exhibits.


  • Mall of America: America’s largest mall that includes an amusement park and mini golf! Filled with all your favorite shops, including many specialty options and restaurants.
  • Normandale Japanese Garden: Located on the Normandale campus, this little park is nice to stroll through.

Brooklyn Park

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (future Mississippi Gateway Regional Park: Offers several trails along the river.

Center City

  • Wild River State Park: Long, narrow, secluded park along the river.


  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Largest and most diverse horticultural site in the state.


  • Lebanon Hills Regional Park: Hike through forests, marshes, wetlands, and grasslands.
  • Vikings Museum: Museum dedicated to the Minnesota Vikings football team.


  • Springbrook Nature Center: Offers three miles of hiking trails through woodlands and wetlands.


  • Afton State Park: Park located along the bluffs of the St. Croix River.


  • Battle Creek Regional Park: Hike paved trails in this popular park.

Marine on St. Croix

  • William O’Brien State Park: Hike various trails in this park located along the banks of the St. Croix river.


  • Foshay Museum and Observation Deck: Tour this iconic skyscraper in the downtown area.
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Park: Fun outdoor sculpture park area known for it’s famous “Spoonbridge.”
  • Mill Ruins Park and Mill Museum: Explore the old ruins of the mill in the park area before heading to the museum that focuses on flour milling.
  • Minnehaha Falls: See the gorgeous Minnehaha Falls located within this regional park. Lots of nice paved walking trails.
  • Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam: Explore the only natural falls located on the Upper Mississippi River.
  • Wells Fargo History Museum: Explore the history of this well known bank.


  • Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park: Park contains 4 miles of hiking trails and a swimming beach.
  • Lake Maria State Park: Created to provide a wilderness area for the nearby cities.
  • Swan Park-Mississippi Drive: Home to a winter location of Trumpeter swans.


  • French Regional Park: Lake based park with boat access, hiking, swimming, and lighted trails.

St. Paul

  • Cathedral of Saint Paul: This is the third largest Catholic cathedral in the United States.
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Free zoo and garden area in the Twin Cities area.
  • Crosby Farm/Hidden Falls Park: Both parks are located on the banks of the Mississippi River. Hidden Falls is just north of the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. Crosby Farm is located for the historic farmstead that used to occupy that space.
  • Fort Snelling State Park: Park located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.
  • Historic Fort Snelling: Tour the old military fort that sits on the bluff overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.
  • Minnesota State Capitol: Visit this gorgeous recently refurbished state capitol.
  • Minnesota History Center: Fun hands on history museum.
  • Minnesota Science Museum: Explore science in a hands on way, from dinos to the human body and so much more!
  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area: Lots to explore along the Mississippi River Greenway. The visitor center is located in the lobby of the Science Museum.


  • Wardens House Museum: Explore the history of the official warden house of the Minnesota Territorial Prison.

Taylors Falls

  • Interstate Park: Located between two states (Minnesota and Wisconsin), this park is filled with geological wonders of potholes and a deep basalt gorge.
  • St Croix National Scenic Riverway: While the visitor center is located in Wisconsin, portions of the river are protected on both sides of the river.

All attractions found on exploreminnesota.com


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