Category Archives: Greater Minnesota

Top Corn Mazes in the Country, From Family Friendly to Super Scary

Fall is upon us, which means pumpkin spice and flannel is bound to be everywhere soon. But while those two trends may not be for everyone, there is an autumnal activity that all can enjoy: corn mazes! With hundreds of mazes available across the country, there’s something to please families, brainiacs, and thrill-seekers alike. Read on for our list of America’s most a-maize-ing corn mazes!

Family Fun


1. Sever’s Corn Maze (Shakopee, MN; Sept. 9th-Oct. 30th)

Part of Sever’s beloved Fall Festival – now in its 20th year – the corn maze is fun for all ages. Navigate through the winding stalks as a family, and read fun facts about the 19 previous mazes along the way. Those who participate in this year’s Maze Challenge will be entered into a grand prize drawing, and the winner will be chosen at the end of the season. Past maze designs include the state of Minnesota, the Vikings logo, and a world map.

2. Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Corn Maze (Brooklyn Park, MN; Sept. 24th-Oct. 30th)

Of course we couldn’t forget to mention Minnesota’s largest corn maze. This year, locals will love tackling the Vikings-themed maze, which celebrates the team’s inaugural season at U.S. Bank Stadium. The maze has a sporty history, having previously been designed to honor the Wild and the Twins. Other activities at the festival include a straw bale maze (perfect for kids!), petting zoo, and hayride (of the non-haunted variety).

3. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm (Ronks, PA; July 2nd-Oct. 30th)

You can tell by the farm’s website alone that this corn maze will be an adventure the whole family can enjoy (just check out that smiling corn cob!). You never have to worry about getting lost in this five-acre field, as there are friendly “Maze Masters” positioned throughout to help you on your way. The color-coordinated challenges along the way help encourage teamwork, making this a perfect activity for families and school field trips alike.

Challenging, Not Creepy

1. Great Vermont Corn Maze (Danville, VT; Aug. 1st-mid Oct.)

The largest maze in New England, the Great Vermont Corn Maze has been called one of the top 10 of its kind in America (and you can vote now to make sure it keeps that title). In fact, it’s so challenging, that organizers encourage participants to arrive as early as possible and bring lunch since most maze-goers spend between two to five hours in the maze and checking out the adjoining attractions. They even discourage most teenagers from entering the maze without adult supervision, since they feel they won’t be able to complete it on their own without giving up!


Photo Credit: “Corn Mazin” by Mark Smithivas © 2008 (CC BY-SA 2.0; Edited)

2. Richardson Farm (Spring Grove, IL; Sept. 3rd-Oct. 30th)

Calling all maze (and maize) aficionados – here’s one you don’t want to miss since it happens to be the self-proclaimed largest and most intricate corn maze in the world. This year, the 33-acre maze pays tribute to Star Trek for its 50th anniversary. If you think you can “live long and prosper” in this tough but fun course, then make the trek (see what we did there?) to Illinois and beam on over to Richardson Farm asap!

3. Cool Patch Pumpkins (Dixon, CA; Sept. 17th-Oct. 31st)

Founded in 2001, this maze has been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest (at 40 acres in 2007 and, again, at 60 acres in 2014). Bigger isn’t always better, though, as many challengers have discovered by getting lost among the tall stalks…and then proceeding to call 911 for help (a practice local sheriffs discourage, by the way). To avoid the commotion and potential panic, heed the map given to you at the maze’s entrance and plan to be in there for at least a couple hours.

This year’s design was inspired by the farm’s logo, and last year’s pattern was the emblem of nearby Sacramento Kings. The grounds also feature a world-renowned pumpkin patch (of course!), where the youngsters can partake in picking their own pumpkin from a field of thousands. More fun activities include the pumpkin cannon, a corn bath, and hay rides.

Terrifically Terrifying


We wonder what’s lurking around those corners in the darkness… Photo Credit: “so scary” by Lindsey Turner © 2007 (CC BY 2.0)

1. Ludicrous Labyrinth at Scream Town (Chaska, MN; Sept. 30th-Oct. 30th)

Ready for some crazy thrills around every corner? Then enter the Twin Cities’ scariest labyrinth, and get ready to run for your life. Not only will you have to navigate the twists and turns of a typical corn maze, but you’ll also be combating fog, flashing lights, and creepy characters chasing you through the corn. Enter only if you’ve got nerves of steel (and a good pair of running shoes).

2. Haunted Carter Farms (Princeton, IA; Sept. 30th-Oct. 31st)

Touted as America’s original haunted corn maze, the only clue given by the creators here is where to begin – getting out of “the place where corn and nightmares grow” is entirely up to you. While they are all about unabashedly scaring the bejeezus out of you, there is a bit of good in their wicked hearts – if you bring two non-perishable food items, you’ll get $2 off admission and the items will be donated to The Hunger Drive. That, however, is where the kindness ends. Also, be sure to arrive on time – as they say, the last “victims” enter the gates at 10:30pm.

3. Dark Harvest Corn Maze (Ulster Park, NY; Sept. 17th-Nov. 5th)

Just one of many terror-inducing attractions at the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, New York, the corn maze will surely fulfill your need to scream this Halloween season. Based on a chilling story, the maze is a dark, daunting labyrinth…with no emergency exits. This is definitely an enter-at-your-own-risk situation. Each attraction (including a hayride, several haunted houses, and the corn maze) leads to the next, so be prepared to be scared straight silly for at least three hours. If you can’t handle chainsaws, crazy clowns, or crowds, then we’d advise skipping this one altogether. May we suggest a visit to Cherry Crest Adventure Farm instead?

Have you ever ventured into a corn maze? Where? Do you prefer family friendly or freakishly frightening? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Photo Credit: “UFV corn maze media day 01” by University of the Fraser Valley © 2014 (CC BY 2.0)

Minnesota Universities Rank Highly on U.S. News Best Colleges List

It’s back to school for most of us, and that means one thing: school ratings are here. U.S. News just released its annual rankings of the best national colleges, and two Minnesota universities have scored coveted spots on the highly regarded list.


Photo Credit: “Pillsbury Hall” by Mulad (Public Domain)

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities made the top 100 at #71 overall and #26 among public schools. With campuses in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, students are just minutes away from either downtown and the urban amenities that entails. Likewise, students who make the short trek to Stadium Village get to watch the NCAA Div. I Gophers play at TCF Bank Stadium. Location and camaraderie are just two factors that contribute to the school’s 92% freshman retention rate. Another noteworthy accomplishment? The U has the nation’s #4 best undergraduate chemical engineering program among schools whose highest degree is a doctorate. Also impressive are the school’s top-ranking graduate programs: #9 for best medical school (primary care) and #27 for best business school (the Carlson School of Management).


Photo Credit: “St. Thomas Campus” by Mulad (Public Domain)

Coming in at a respectable #118 is the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. An 84% acceptance rate and low student to instructor ratio help make all Tommies feel welcome, aiding the high retention rate (currently at 88%). St. Thomas also notably tied as the 78th best college for veterans in the country.

Schools on U.S. News’ list are ranked on various indicators, including graduation and retention rates, academic reputation, and financial resources (see complete methodology here). Other Midwest universities on the list include University of Chicago (#3), Northwestern University (#11), and University of Notre Dame (#15). The full rankings can be found here.

Fun Facts about the Minnesota State Fair

As soon as August arrives, all Minnesotans have just one thing on their mind: the Minnesota State Fair. It’s a time for folks statewide (and even from across the nation) to flock to the Twin Cities and enjoy the best days of summer. What began as an event in the early 1850’s to showcase crops, livestock, produce, and handiwork of Minnesota residents, has since become a cultural phenomenon beloved by all Minnesotans, regardless of their involvement with agriculture or farming.

In anticipation of August 25th (the event’s first of 12 days), we put together a list of some of the most interesting facts about “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” Take a look:

1.It is the largest state fair in the U.S. by average daily attendance.

2. It is the 2nd largest state fair in the U.S. by total annual attendance (the largest is Texas, which runs about twice as long).

3. The highest annual attendance occurred in 2014, with 1,824,830 fairgoers.

4. The single day record was set on August 30, 2014, with 252,092 attendants.

5. It was named the best state fair in the nation by USA Today readers.

6. Theodore Roosevelt first uttered his famous line “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the state fair in 1901.

7. Since it began more than 150 years ago, the state fair has only not been held five times (see the reasons why here).

8. The current site is not the fair’s original home. Before 1885 when it settled permanently in Falcon Heights (adjacent to St. Paul neighborhoods Como & St. Anthony Park), the fair jumped from city to city, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Red Wing, Owatonna, and Winona.


Photo Credit: “PrincessKay” by Jonathunder © 2010 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

9. Each year, the newly crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her royal court have their likenesses carved out of a 90 lb. block of butter. Each sculpture takes about 6-8 hours to complete.

10. For several decades, the soon-to-be-renovated Machinery Hill housed the largest annual display of farm equipment in the world.

11. Before moving to the Walker Art Center and eventually to CHS Field (its current venue), the Cat Video Festival was held at the State Fair Grandstand.

12. Owatonna native Lillian Colton created Crop Art for the fair for over 40 years, winning nine purple ribbons in all. Her work included portraits of celebrities ranging from Prince to Princess Diana.

13. The oldest amusement ride at the fair is Ye Old Mill, which just celebrated its 100th birthday last year. 

14. Meanwhile, the Hamline Church Dining Hall is the longest running concession stand, having been open since 1897.

15. Pronto Pups, a highlight of the fair for many, were first introduced to fairgoers in 1947.

16. New food offerings this year include spam sushi and macaroni & cheese curds. Talk about decadent!

17. Perennial favorite Sweet Martha’s Cookies (soon to have a third location in the north end), serves over 1 million warm chocolate chip cookies per day.

18. What goes better with cookies than milk? Nothing! To satisfy your dairy craving, head on over to the All-You-Can Drink milk booth, where approximately 26,000 gallons of the creamy stuff is served per year (in both white and chocolate varieties). If that sounds like a bit too much lactose for you, consider participating in the Milk Run instead – all participants receive a Milk Run T-shirt, fair admission, and a malt coupon.

19. If walking is more your speed, there is a year-round Fair Walking & Cell Phone Tour, which was created in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society to provide a more detailed guide of the fairgrounds.


Photo Credit: “Fairchild” by Jonathunder © 2009 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

20. You know those gopher mascots you immediately identify with the fair? Believe it or not, they actually have names (Fairchild and his nephew Fairborne) and backstories.

Were you surprised by any of these facts? What are your favorite State Fair traditions? What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Get Together? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Photo Credit: “2010 MN State Fair crowd” by Anndelion © 2010 (CC BY 3.0)

Five Traditional Summer Events in Minnesota That Are Too Fun to Miss

The Fourth of July has passed, the dog days of summer have arrived, and Minnesotans across the state are eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Great Minnesota Get-Together. But before you begin counting down the days until the end of August, make sure you enjoy all the other fun activities our state has to offer this month. With nice weather only sticking around for a couple more months, you have to savor every beautiful warm day while it’s here. What better way to celebrate the joys of summer than by checking out some of Minnesota’s longstanding traditions, beloved by local residents and visitors alike? Here are a few (among many) of our favorite upcoming happenings:

Photo Credit: "kids turtle race Nisswa Mn" by Ken Ratcliff © 2006 (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: “kids turtle race Nisswa Mn” by Ken Ratcliff © 2006 (CC BY 2.0)

1. Turtle Races (Longville, MN; June 8 – August 24)

Each Wednesday during this two-and-a-half month stretch, traffic on the streets of Longville slows to a snail’s pace – well, actually, a turtle’s pace. For fifty years, the now-iconic Turtle Races have yielded tons of fun for children and adults of all ages. The event is even drawing international fans now! Though not quite as lively as, say, the Running of the Bulls in Spain, we’d bet on these adorable racers any day. Prizes are even awarded to each heat’s “Slow Poke,” and we definitely can’t get mad at rooting for the underdog.

Photo Credit: "$200 worth of marbles" by cursed thing © 2007 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Photo Credit: “$200 worth of marbles” by cursed thing © 2007 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

2. Agate Days (Moose Lake, MN; July 16-17)

In case you’re not from Moose Lake and you’re wondering what exactly agate is, don’t worry; we had to look it up too. Agates are actually semi-precious stones typically found in igneous (volcanic) rocks, known for their fine grains and vibrant colors (those found along Lake Superior are designated as the official state gemstone). For 47 years, Moose Lake has dedicated a weekend to these pretty gems, and each year thousands of visitors descend upon the area hoping to claim an agate for themselves. If you happen to be feeling a bit competitive this weekend, then make sure to roll up your sleeves for the Clark-Olsen Agate Stampede and get ready for an epic game of finders keepers. If you don’t feel like getting dirty, no worries; there’s also a gem show, car show, pancake breakfast, and a steak fry to enjoy. Good food and the possibility of going home with your very own piece of history? Sounds like a win-win to us. The only downside to this event? You’ve only got two days to enjoy it!

3. Waterama (Glenwood, MN; July 26-31)

The largest community celebration of its kind in West Central Minnesota, Waterama is now in its 61st year. With events ranging from the Midwest’s only Lighted Pontoon Parade on Lake Minnewaska to a Cornhole Tournament to a Tractor Pull, Waterama couldn’t really get more “Minnesotan”…or more fun. The six days of festivities really do have something for everyone; we can totally understand why Waterama has been a favorite for more than six decades!

Photo Credit: "Blueberries!" by FromSandToGlass © 2013 (CC BY 2.0)

Photo Credit: “Blueberries!” by FromSandToGlass © 2013 (CC BY 2.0)

4. Blueberry Festival (Lake George, MN; July 28-31)

If there’s one berry that screams summer in Minnesota, it would have to be the blueberry. Reminiscent of both the clear blue sky on a perfect summer evening as well as the pristine waters of one of the state’s many lakes, it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t enjoy the beautiful bursting berries. And with summer blueberries at their peak, there’s no mistaking these for strawberries that have turned blue from the cold. Lake Georgians have been paying homage to blueberries for many years with their annual four-day festival, which includes activities such as a blueberry pancake breakfast, a pie sale, a pig roast, and the Fireman’s Bean Feed (no word on whether the beans contain blueberries as well). Our mouths are seriously watering already.

Photo Credit: "Vintage cars" by Maciej Lewandowski © 2008 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit: “Vintage cars” by Maciej Lewandowski © 2008 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

5. Northern Minnesota Car Show & Swap Meet (Grand Rapids, MN; July 29-31)

Auto lovers, start your engines and hightail it up the road to Grand Rapids for the annual Car Show & Swap Meet. This year will mark the 45th show, which has now grown to be the largest event of its kind in Northern Minnesota. Check out vintage cruisers, hot rods, roadsters, muscle cars, and much more! Grab a bite to eat, listen to some live music, close your eyes, and picture yourself owning one of the many shiny cars on display. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming, okay?

What are some of your favorite summer traditions? Share in the comments!

Find a Lake Home Bargain in One of These Six Minnesota Towns

While the Twin Cities metro area’s real estate market is hot, hot, hot (and only getting hotter this summer), the same can’t be said for some of Minnesota’s waterfront cities. Slower to recover than much of the state, lake homes are remaining on the market longer and selling for less than the original list price (whereas it’s a general trend that homes are going for more than asking in the Twin Cities). With that in mind, if you’re on the hunt for a vacation home on one of Minnesota’s more than 10,000 lakes, you can’t go wrong looking in one of the six cities on this list. These cities currently have more inventory of single-family seasonal homes (everything from mobile homes to luxurious log cabins), which are selling for around 90% of the original asking price. Check them out, and let us know if you’re interested in more information.

1. Aitkin (Aitkin Co.)

#  of active homes*: 17 | Price Range: $75,000 – $414,000 | Median Sale Price: $209,000 |Median DOM: 217

Aitkin is a historic Mississippi Riverboat Town, about two hours from Minneapolis, known for hunting, fishing, and their annual Riverboat Scramble. While the largest local lake is Mille Lacs Lake, there are plenty of smaller bodies of water (365, in fact) nearby that would make for the perfect summer getaway retreat.

2. McGregor (Aitkin Co.)

#  of active homes: 12 | Price Range: $84,000 – $229,900 | Median Sale Price: $209,000 |Median DOM: 217

A city with less than 400 full-time residents, McGregor is great for vacations and visitors – it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise! Most of the current seasonal inventory in McGregor can be found by the Big Sandy Lake Reservoir or on Lake Minnewawa. This city is also home to the Minnesota National Golf Course.

3. Crosslake (Crow Wing Co.)

#  of active homes: 12 | Price Range: $47,000 – $535,000 | Median Sale Price: $385,000 |Median DOM: 253

Crosslake has the highest median sale price for vacation homes on this list for a reason. Spacious log cabins and other seasonal homes with majestic waterfront views dot the city’s more than 121 miles of shoreline. Permanent and seasonal residents enjoy the wonderful small town charm while maintaining convenient access to the Lakes Area amenities.

4. Longville (Cass Co.)

#  of active homes: 12 | Price Range: $79,900 – $377,900 | Median Sale Price: $234,250 |Median DOM: 242

Home to no more than 200 full-time residents at the moment, you’ll certainly get to know your neighbors in Longville. From charming cottages to dockside dream homes, there’s a summer house to fit any of your needs. While you’re in town for the summer, you might also want to check out one of the city’s iconic Turtle Races.

5. Hackensack (Cass Co.)

#  of active homes: 11 | Price Range: $99,900 – $359,000 | Median Sale Price: $232,000 |Median DOM: 183

Less than an hour north of Brainerd, Hackensack is a small town known for one big resident (the statue of Paul Bunyan’s girlfriend, Lucette, to be exact). With inventory ranging from mobile homes to cabins on notable lakes including Big Deep Lake, Ten Mile Lake, and Kid Lake, it’s not too hard to find your ideal family vacation spot.

6. Park Rapids (Hubbard Co.)

#  of active homes: 11 | Price Range: $87,500 – $399,900 | Median Sale Price: $287,250 |Median DOM: 247

One of the larger city’s on this list, Park Rapids has a population of almost 4,000. Many of the vacation homes currently for sale can be found along the shores of Potato Lake. Probably most famous for being home to the Mississippi River Headwaters, residents choose to call this city home for many other reasons too, such as quality fishing, water sports, and a scenic downtown area. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cabin in the woods or new construction, you can probably find it in Park Rapids.

*All data sourced from NorthstarMLS on 6/14/16.

Photo Source: “Cabin in the Trees, Lake Tahoe, CA 8-10” by Don Graham © 2010 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How Important Are School Districts When Purchasing a Home

If you are in the process of buying a house, there are many things to consider such as price, size, neighborhood, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of a backyard, etc. Many families with kids put the school district as the most important factor when deciding on location. It is important for them to know their child will be attending a good and safe school. On the other hand, for the buyers who do not have kids it is a concern because of the higher prices and taxes. So, what role does a school district play in the home buying process. Good school district equals good location.

Many parents are willing to pay extra per square footage to be close to schools that rank high. Whether you have children or don’t, buying a home in a good school district has it’s advantages. As we all know, real estate market has it’s ups and downs, and being in a good school district can protect you from that and your home value might not be as affected. Also, when purchasing a home, it is important to keep in mind the resale value. According to, buyers will spend 6% to 10% more to be in a good school district.

As you can see, being in a good school district has it’s advantages, but despite all the factors, when you make your buying decision and deciding on the location, make sure you are choosing the house that is right for you!



Flickr Creative Commons: Bruce Washburn (CC BY 2.0)
All photos used under this license.

Minnesota Cabin Culture

Minnesota is a beautiful place to live. Minnesotans are known for loving the outdoors and with over 10,000 lakes it is a popular place for boaters and fishermen.  In fact, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there are approximately 800,000 boats registered in Minnesota. This is one of the reasons Minnesota is considered to have a significant cabin culture. Every native Minnesotan knows what “let’s go to the lake” or “up North” means. About 20% of Minnesota residents have a “cabin” where they escape their busy lives to enjoy boating, fishing and the quietness and nature. Minnesotans are always eager to pack up their cars and go to a cabin even for a couple of days.

Cabins are a place where happy memories are made over generations. This is the place where you can slow down, have a cup of coffee in the morning and enjoy star-gazing at night. Cabins are great for family gatherings; it’s where you set your phones down to watch movies and play board games. Such gatherings contribute to family bonding. Also, many recent articles discuss the importance of escaping our busy world and spending some time in green space to help our bodies to revitalize and rejuvenate.

So if you ever wonder what is it about Minnesota cabin culture, you should take some time and experience it for yourself! Also, if you already own a cabin or thinking of buying one, you should stop by the annual Lake Home & Cabin Show where you can attend educational seminars, talk to builders, and get great ideas. The show starts on February 19th and ends on February 21st. Don’t miss it!

Share with us if you own a cabin and why you decided to buy?


Flickr Creative Commons: Gerry (CC BY 2.0)
All photos used under this license.

Why Minnesota Is The Best State To Live In


Flickr Creative Commons: Greg Gjerdingen (CC BY 2.0)

There are definitely times we forget just how much we love our state – when we’re sitting in traffic from road construction, or perhaps standing in below freezing weather. So, here are 10 reason for you to live in Minnesota or move here or remind you that where your living is the best.

1. All Four seasons.


Flickr Creative Commons: Kris Arnold (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We may only know Minnesota as a very cold state, but there are definitely four-season weather patterns. Most times the winter tends to stretch for six months in a year and Minnesotans explore outdoor activities like snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing and skiing. Even though Minnesotans experience thunderstorms in spring, it is still a very beautiful time of the year. Summers are quick, sometimes with heavy rainfalls, but it is the best time to go to the lakes and enjoy sun. Fall is a good time to go for walks or cabins and watch the change in colors.

2. The Twin cites has the best hiking trails in the nation.

From long treks along the rugged coast of Lake Superior to wandering the open spaces of the Minnesota River Prairie, you’ll find plenty of hiking opportunities in Minnesota.

3. Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The state does not actually have 10,000 lakes, it has more. The official number is 11,842 lakes. Minnesota is a giant aquatic play area not only for summer but winter as well.

4. Brewing Breweries.


Flickr Creative Commons: Elisa Self (CC BY 2.0)

Minnesota has a diverse range of craft breweries and brewpubs to explore.

5. Education with affordability.

Here are a few of Minnesota’s top performing schools/universities throughout the state:

6. Food.

Lots of different types of food/cuisines to eat around in restaurants as well as an option to eat at some food trucks in the summer.

7. Let’s go to the Mall.

The Mall of America (MoA) is the largest shopping in the Unites States, and its owned by the Triple Five Group.

8. Land of many headquarters of fortune 500 companies.

9. Skyways.

Most of the building are connected by skyways in the downtown Minneapolis, you can walk nearly five miles without going outside.

10. Minnesota has the best fairs & festivals.


Flickr Creative Commons: m01229 (CC BY 2.0)

The Minnesota State Fair’s slogan is “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” It is one of the largest state fair in the United States by average daily attendance.


All photos are used under this license.

Great Places to Enjoy Fall in Minnesota

Let’s not think about Winter and cold weather just yet; we still have Fall weather to enjoy. And who doesn’t love the most colorful season in Minnesota? It is the season of pumpkin spice and apple picking, Oktoberfest, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  It is the time to watch trees turn colors and the best places to do that are outside of Twin Cities.

1. St. Croix River. This is a great place to see Minnesota colors in full. Located between Minnesota and Wisconsin, it offers great views, as well as boating, camping, and fishing. The best way to enjoy the colors is the Scenic Cruise along the River.

2. The North Shore. 

There are several places to visit in the North Shore, including eight state parks, waterfalls, and historic sites. One of the most breathtaking adventures is the North Shore Scenic Drive (highway 61). You can enjoy the spectacular views of cliffs, rivers, and streams, not to mention all the fall colored trees.

View From Hawk Ridge

Flickr Creative Commons: Randen Pederson

3. Split Rock.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior. There were so manh shipwrecks during the shipping season in the late 1800’s, that it prompted the Lighthouse construction. As to the lighthouse keepers, they lived there with their families, they functioned as night watchers, administrators; also, they had to know how to repair equipment since It was very difficult to access the Lighthouse until the highway was built.


Flickr Creative Commons: Anita Ritenour

4. Gooseberry Falls.

It is located on scenic Highway 61 and is known for its beautiful waterfalls, camping sites, hiking and biking trails. Stunning place to see golden leaves of birch and aspen, and beautiful red and orange maple trees.


Flickr Creative Commons: Anita Ritenour

5. Mississippi River Bluffs

Now, we’ll move away from the North Shore and Highway 61 and go to southeast of Winona. This breathtaking state park offers great views of Mississippi river and is known for its great variety of flora and fauna. In fact, some areas are restricted for visitors due to the rare plants. It is also a great place for wildlife viewing, so don’t forget your binoculars!

Mississipi river bluffs

Flickr Creative Commons: Mara




Eight Things Minnesotans Take for Granted

It is a well known fact that Minnesotans tend to complain about their home state. It’s too humid, the mosquitoes are awful, the roads are too icy.. it seems endless. However all these negative phenomenon are not without their upsides! Despite what you might hear, Minnesota is a wonderful place to live. This northern land offers residents and visitors a unique set of activities, and a convenient lifestyle. Here are eight things Minnesotans take for granted about living in this great state.

Flickr Creative Commons: xmith xmith

Flickr Creative Commons: xmith xmith


1. Lakes

Why are there so many mosquitoes? Well, it’s because there are so many lakes for them to grow in! Lakes offer fishing, boating, tubing, swimming, ice skating, and many more activities. Did you know that numerous lakes are something that most states lack? Minnesota has over 7,000 sq. miles of water! We are lucky; there are twenty states in the USA have less than 1000 sq. miles of water.


2. Quality of Life

In Minnesota, you are never too far away from a grocery store, a biking trail, or a gas station. The cost of living is lower than the national average, and so is the unemployment rate. Relaxing is serious business – it is practically required to spend your summer doing whatever you please in the radiant sunshine. These factors allow for a superb quality of life, and make Minnesota a great place to raise a family.

Flickr Creative Commons: Richie Diesterheft

Flickr Creative Commons: Richie Diesterheft


3. White Winters

Snow is something Minnesotans complain about on a regular basis. But can you imagine having a snow-less holiday season every year? No sledding, no hot cocoa, no snowmen, no fireplaces; it would be a sad sight. Other states have to make fake snow just to make it feel like the holiday season. Next time you want to mention how much you hate the snow, try to remember that many people wish for it!


4. Entertainment Options

Minneapolis and St. Paul are notoriously busy with concerts, art exhibits, parades, and other activities. Minnesotans aren’t always aware that many other states lack this type of culture. People from the Dakotas, Illinois, and Wisconsin often must travel to Minnesota to see their favorite bands and shows.


5. Minnesota Nice

People in Minnesota are genuinely friendly. If someone is lost or needs advice, Minnesotans do not hesitate to ask each other for help, and give warm replies. Unless you have traveled to other states, you might not know that people do not behave this way everywhere. In many other states, if you get lost, you are on your own!

Flickr Creative Commons: Randen Pederson

Flickr Creative Commons: Randen Pederson


6. Fall Colors

The four seasons of Minnesota offer year-round beauty, but the fall is a special time of year. Many southern states are the same colors all year round – green and brown. Fall in Minnesota means vistas spattered with red, gold, yellow, purple, and orange.


7. Education

Minnesota has a great education system. In a study done by WalletHub, Minnesota was ranked as the eighth best state to get an education. Additionally, we have the University of Minnesota – one of the top and most affordable Big Ten schools.

Flickr Creative Commons:  m01229

Flickr Creative Commons: m01229


8. Safety

Overall, Minnesota is a very safe place to live; TheStreet ranked Minnesota as the 5th safest state to live it. With only 0.02437 crimes per capita, and  only .69 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, you and your family can feel safe living in this great state.


Know of any other things Minnesotans take for granted about their state? Let us know!


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