Northern Minnesota is a veritable outdoor playground. The immense Boundary Waters wilderness is the main draw, and from May through September, kayaks and canoes ply the state’s many fabled lakes, though the area is big enough to still feel as if you have the place to yourself. The red-cliffed Lake Superior shoreline and watery Voyageurs National Park are also popular seasonal destinations.
The north has a compelling heritage story to tell as well. The region’s biggest city and port, Duluth, for decades, shipped the iron ore that fueled mills throughout the Midwest. You can see the old ships and catch some of the city’s revivalist spirit, this time centered around craft beer. The old mining town of Hibbing, at the heart of the Iron Range District, is home to an iron-ore mine so vast, it’s referred to as Minnesota’s ‘Grand Canyon.’