Minnesota Zoo


You'll have to travel a ways to get to this respected zoo in suburban Apple Valley, which is 20 miles south of Minneapolis. It has naturalistic habitats for its 400-plus species, with an emphasis on cold-climate creatures. Parking is $7.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Minneapolis attractions

1. Sea Life Minnesota

6.45 MILES

The state's largest aquarium – brimming with sharks, jellyfish and stingrays – is in the Mall of America. Combination passes with the Nickelodeon Universe…

2. Nickelodeon Universe

6.46 MILES

The amusement park in the Mall of America offers around 28 rides, including a couple of scream-inducing roller coasters. To walk through will cost you…

3. Fort Snelling


Fort Snelling is the state's oldest structure, established in 1820 as a frontier outpost in the remote Northwest Territory. Guides in period dress show…

4. F Scott Fitzgerald Birthplace

12.89 MILES

The Great Gatsby author F Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) is St Paul's most celebrated literary son. This Pullman-style apartment on Laurel Ave is his…

5. James J Hill House

13.03 MILES

Tour the palatial stone mansion of railroad magnate James J Hill. It's a Gilded Age beauty, with five floors and 22 fireplaces. On Monday and Tuesday…

6. Science Museum of Minnesota

13.05 MILES

Even adults will be entertained by the wacky quackery of the 4th floor's 'questionable medical devices.' Has the usual hands-on kids' exhibits and Omnimax…

7. Harriet Island

13.06 MILES

South of downtown and connected via Wabasha St, Harriet Island is a lovely place to meander. It has a river walk, paddle wheel steamboat cruises, concert…

8. Cathedral of St Paul

13.16 MILES

Modeled on St Peter's Basilica in Rome, the cathedral presides over the city from its hilltop perch. Guided tours (suggested donation $2) are available at…