If you want to walk across the Mississippi, sail round Finland, see Canada for the afternoon, or have a pick of over 10,000 lakes to play on, Minnesota packs all that, and a million other marvels, into family holidays.
The most easterly Midwest state, Minnesota’s the one that shares Lake Superior and Superior National Forest with Ontario, and sits closer to Toronto than New York. Outdoor adventuring’s second nature here, you can be an intrepid urbanite in cultured cities or try a bit of everything, and still have time to stop and stare. Because Minneapolis is as easy to get about as it is to enjoy.
Virgin Atlantic fly direct from London Heathrow to Minneapolis in nine hours, year round.
Spring arrives in April, and Minneapolis can have sunshine and highs of 30˚ from June to September.
Temperatures drop well below freezing from December to February, but Minnesota just stops sailing for the season and goes skiing, skating and sledding instead.
Minnesota has over 20 family ski-resorts, snow-sure from November, and all in spectacularly scenic locations.
Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake, and largest of all the Great Lakes: it’s just one of more than 10,000 in Minnesota.
The North Shore is one of the world’s great road trips. Stretching 150km from Duluth to Ontario along the shores of Lake Superior, it’s reason alone to see Northern Minnesota.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder is the iconic rail journey which follows the early pioneer path from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest. In Minnesota it runs from the south east corner of the state to the western prairies, twice daily, all year round.
Between the lakes, forests, plains, rivers and vast stretches of unspoiled wilderness landscape, Minnesota is a natural for active family holidays. One of its greatest attractions is Route 61, the North Shore highway which runs along the edge of Lake Superior for almost 150 miles. So hiring a car is definitely the way to get most out of this outdoorsy state. Cycling, walking and public transport are all good options in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth.