The Quintessential Minnesota Bucket List

Minnesota Bucket List by Season

Minnesota: Land of 4 very distinct seasons, 10,000 lakes, and more to do and see than you could possibly imagine. Included in this Minnesota bucket list is just a small sample of all the wonderful and exotic things you can do in Minnesota. This is meant to get you started on some of those key experiences everyone should try at least once.

Share your Minnesota Bucket List with me in the comments!

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Minnesota Bucket List by Season

Spring Bucket List

Gooseberry Falls in Northern MN

Pick morel mushrooms. Make a morel mushroom and asparagus omelet.

Be at Gooseberry Falls on the day that the ice breaks on the lakes to hear the roar of the crashing water, end out the day with dinner at New Scenic Cafe.

Kayak on the Blue Earth River with Bent River Outfitters.

Visit the baby animals at the Minnesota Zoo.

Go to the Twins season opener game. Don’t forget your blankets!

Try visiting all 70+ of Minnesota’s State Parks!

Summer Bucket List

the state fair mascot

Walk across the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca.

Visit the Jeffers Petroglyphs, bring a picnic and stay until sunset, when the petroglyphs really shine. Or head over to Pipestone National Monument for a gorgeous walk through the prairie (and to get another stamp in your National Parks Passport book!)

Stuff your face with fried food and food on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair.

Spend the weekend at someone’s cabinUp North” doing water sports from skiing to fishing to kayaking to tanning.

Don’t know someone with a cabin? Bring 13 of your best friends and stay at this gorgeous home on Whitefish lake near Pequot Lakes.

Try and find all the dinosaur and Snoopy sculptures spread across the Twin Cities.

Go golfing anywhere and everywhere- remember, it’s a short season in Minnesota!

Fall Bucket Listfall walks

Drive Highway 61 for breathtaking reds, oranges and yellows. Drive from Red Wing to Winona along the Mississippi River. Stay at a Mansion in Red Wing to really complete the bucket list.

Pick apples at a Minnesota Grown apple farm. In a hurry? Try Jim’s apple barn (grab a candy bar at the candy store while you’re at it!)

Oktoberfest in New Ulm. Drink beer at Schell’s Brewery, Wine at Morgan Creek and dance like a local!

Watch the raptors migrate south for the winter from Hawk Ridge bird observatory in Duluth.

Attend the Governor’s Pheasant Opener and learn all about prairie and pheasant conservation in southern and central Minnesota!

Winter Bucket List

ice fishing on Lake Washington

Cross country skiing at Como Park, Saint Paul, followed up by piping hot apple cider or hot toddies.

Ice Fishing– Do not do this until the city or county has deemed the ice on the lake of your choosing to be solid enough for walking. Definitely don’t drive on it until they deem it suitable for driving.

Ice skate on a frozen lake. Allergic to the cold? Try ice skiing at the Depot Rink in downtown Minneapolis. It’s indoors.

Try Curling. If you practice long enough you might even make the next winter Olympics.

Explore the various Skyway Systems. Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth all have ones that will take you places.


Now let’s hear what’s on your Minnesota Bucket List. Comment below so we can all add it to our list!

Things to do in Minnesota during Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall a MN Bucket List for traveling the state seasonally including ice fishing and the state fair

11 Thoughts on “The Quintessential Minnesota Bucket List

  1. Oh this reminds me so much of Canada! Which obviously is normal since it’s just across the border from you guys :) I hate to say that my favourite season here is autumn to be able to see the trees change into those gorgeous hues of orange, red and yellow!

    • Greta AlmsNo Gravatar on September 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm said:

      I couldn’t agree more with you- fall is definitely my favorite season as well- nothing beats those gorgeous colors! It won’t be long now until they’re back… :-)

    • KarenNo Gravatar on May 18, 2019 at 4:50 am said:

      Nothing wrong with loving fall, I love the North Shore at that time. Spring is a mighty close second (mud).

      • GretaNo Gravatar on May 18, 2019 at 8:14 am said:

        Agreed! Honestly all the seasons in Minnesota are incredible, I think summer may actually be my least favorite- if you can believe that! Of course North Shore any time of year is AH-MAZING!

  2. Wow what an amazing range of activities – now I want to visit in EVERY season! Seeing the falls when the ice breaks must be incredible.

    • Greta AlmsNo Gravatar on September 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm said:

      Thanks Jessi-
      The great thing about having such distinct seasons is that every season is truly different! Ice breaking on the waterfalls is hard to plan for, but ridiculously amazing- especially this year after Lake Superior actually completely froze over for the first time in a long time!

  3. Suzanne HoltNo Gravatar on June 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm said:

    On my own blog lately, some of my themed post have been on free Minnesota events this summer. I really like how you organized the ideas by season. Obviously our weather does affect travel plans!

    • Greta AlmsNo Gravatar on June 8, 2015 at 7:48 am said:

      Thanks Suzanne! I figure that when it comes to Minnesota the weather affects everything, so it needs to be part of the bucket list :-) Free MN events is also such a great theme! It’s hard to keep them straight this time of year.

  4. Liz ZarnNo Gravatar on June 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm said:

    Hey! I just found your blog and am going to bookmark it for further use.
    I am a Minnesota History teacher (Best Job Ever!) and love to share places for my students and families to visit.
    FYI : Every 6th grader in MN gets in free to MN Historical Sites for 1 year.

    • Greta AlmsNo Gravatar on June 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm said:

      Thank you so much Liz! That is fantastic information- I had no idea that the MN Historical Society did that for 6th graders! I always learn so much from my readers and really appreciate you sharing that with me. Enjoy your summer!

  5. Pingback: JORD Wood Watch Review and $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway • Pickles Travel Blog for Food and Family Travel

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