Minnesota Bucket List ~ Southern Region

Final Minnesota Bucket List region today….the area that takes us out of the Northwoods and into the rolling prairies! Tomorrow we move on into Iowa.


  • Whitewater State Park: This park surrounds the Whitewater River and is filled with trails along the bluffs.


  • Hormel Historic Home: Historic home of the Hormel family that started Hormel Foods.
  • SPAM Museum: Delightful little museum that details out the history of SPAM and offers free samples!

Blue Earth

  • Jolly Green Giant Museum: Museum dedicated to the Jolly Green Giant and the canned veggies he is known for. Take photos with the Giant himself in the adjacent park.


  • Beaver Creek Valley State Park: Park features a narrow, steep valley created by Beaver Creek.


  • Jeffers Petroglyphs: Outcrop filled with Pre-Native American petroglyphs.


  • Fort Ridgely State Park: Site of the Battle of Fort Ridgely in the Dakota War of 1862.


  • Frontenac State Park: Park located along the Mississippi River known for birdwatching.

Granite Falls

  • Gneiss Outcrops SRA: Beautiful rocky area filled with very old rocks.
  • Upper Sioux Agency State Park: Park sits on the Minnesota River and is the site of the Historic Sioux Agency which was destroyed in the Dakota War of 1862.


  • Como Falls: Falls hidden away behind the local fire station.


  • Fort Belmont Civilian Fort Replica and Museum: An 1862 civilian fort built to protect settlers.


  • Split Rock Creek State Park: Popular water recreation area located near Pipestone.


  • Blue Mounds State Park: One of the state’s largest prairie remnants, it also protects a bison herd.


  • Camden State Park: Filled with 15 miles of hiking trails along the Redwood River.


  • Minnemishinona Falls: Overlook of the 42 foot falls.
  • Minneopa State Park: Scenic area with waterfall and trails.


  • Lac Qui Parle Mission: Site of a pre-territorial mission in the county.


  • Birch Coulee Battlefield: Site of the Birch Coulee Battle during the Dakota War of 1862.

New Ulm

  • Flandrau State Park: Park located along the Cottonwood River.


  • Big Stone Lake State Park: Located on the shores of Big Stone Lake, the headwaters of the Minnesota River.


  • Pipestone National Monument: Hike along the red pipestone that was quarried for years by Native Americas and carved into pipes used for prayer.


  • Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park: Park contains the historic village of Forestville as well as the longest known cave in Minnesota.

Red Wing

  • Red Wing Shoe Company Museum: The museum is home to the World’s Largest Boot!

Walnut Grove

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Info Center: Setting and home of Laura Ingalls’ “On the Banks of Plum Creek.”


  • Great River Bluffs State Park: Gorgeous park perched high above the Mississippi River.
  • John A. Latsch State Park: Another park located along the bluffs of the Mississippi River.
  • Historic Pickwick Mill: Historic mill that now operates as a milling museum.

All attractions found on exploreminnesota.com


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