The Gopher State; The North Star State; The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota‘s nicknames point to the state’s affinity with nature. Towns often lie beside lakes or national parks and architecturally, are a mixture of Colonial America, Scandinavia and Germany. We check out 10 towns which showcase this Midwestern state.
With of population skirting around 1000 and one-tenth of the land area being covered by water, Biwabik is a great place to get away from the bustle of the big city. The majority of the buildings take inspiration from Bavaria and Scandinavia, with the original settlers having predominantly come from Finland and Germany. This, combined with the nearby mountains, may fool you into thinking that you are in an Alpine town.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Ely has stunning natural scenery, outdoor activities and its fair share of independent pubs and bars. It is the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a 4,400-square-meterwilderness area, which is one of the most visited in the country and particularly for watersports as it is one of the world’s foremost canoeing destinations.
With its year-round festivals, close proximity to the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior, and nearby Gunflint Trail with its copious outdoor activity options, it is no wonder that Grand Marais is a popular tourist destination in all seasons.
The bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota also serves as a prominent arts and culture destination and outdoor adventure haven. Lanesboro’s historic district is a testament to local living and the slower pace of life from days gone by, with no chain stores or fast food outlets, and a notable absence of stop lights. State parks, fish hatcheries, the National Scenic Byway, and over 60 miles of the Root River Trail provide insight into the different natural elements that Minnesota has to offer.
Taking its name from Swedish settler Daniel Lindstrom, who arrived in the city in 1853, Lindstrom retains much of its Scandinavian charm in its architecture, culture and language, with the town still having close connections with its sister towns in Sweden. There are a number of novel features throughout the town, including antique stores, log houses and lodges, the Lutheran churches and, most notably, the Swedish Coffee Pot Tower.
Evidence of Pipestone’s history and natural surroundings can be found across the town, from its architecture to its popular visitor attractions. Many of the buildings are made from locally quarried rock, making the town’s façade one that is deeply rooted in the area. The Pipestone National Monument, with its historic quarries, Prairies and the Winnewissa Waterfall, is the town’s biggest attraction.
Red Wing has become listed as a distinctive destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation due to its ‘impressive architecture and enviable natural environment’. The downtown Main Street area retains much of the charms of the town’s 19th century origins. Red Wing is also home to a prominent shoe company and, fittingly, the World’s Largest Boot.
The birthplace of Minnesota. Stillwater was first established in 1848, nestled in one of the bluffs of the St Croix river and within throwing distance of Wisconsin. It is just outside the Twin Cities, so attracts many visitors who are looking for a quick jaunt to historic surroundings; many are taken aback by the dramatic river views to one side and rocky outcrops on the other. The historic downtown district, with the courthouse, lift bridge and Main Street, takes you back through Minnesota’s 166-year history.
Taylors Falls is on the Dalles area of the river, with dramatic forested bluffs and high cliffs, so whether you are enjoying the view by boat, canoe, bike or looking up to vantage points, it is definitely worth taking the time to make the most of the views. There are a number of quirky and historic buildings, most notably the oldest public school in Minnesota, first built in 1852, and a former jail house which now serves as a bed and breakfast.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.