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Trip planning for 2019

Mentor, Ohio
Level Contributor
147 posts
150 reviews
Trip planning for 2019

My wife and I (66 and 69) are planning a trip to Minnesota and North Dakota for next summer. 2 of the remaining 5 stats we have not visited. Will likely spend 4-5 days in each state starting with a flight to Minneapolis. We will mostly be driving for some general site seeing with some hiking/biking as available. Would be interested in getting feed back on sites to visit and best route through Minnesota to get an overview of the state. We will likely fly home from somewhere in North Dakota. Thanks in advance for feedback.

9 replies to this topic
Minnesota
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1. Re: Trip planning for 2019

exploreminnesota.com is a great place to start looking for info. IMO, the gem of Minnesota is the North Shore of Lake Superior. This is a great resource for info for that area: https://www.northshorevisitor.com/ Under the "attractions" tab, the mile by mile tab is great! We visit the north shore often to hike and take in the beautiful scenery.

You could go inland to Ely (a cute tourist town at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area). This bike trail is there and continues down the Iron Range to Grand Rapids. https://www.mesabitrail.com/

We just stayed in Theodore Roosevelt Park in North Dakota in September. In the summer you can visit the park and hike and combine it with the musical and other things in Medora. https://www.medora.com/

Have fun planning!

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2. Re: Trip planning for 2019

Hopefully, I will not start an interstate war, but I would subtract at least one day from North Dakota to spend additional time in Minnesota. As noted, the North Shore is the favorite overall spot for Minnesotans. The resource from the first reply is very good for planning. However, the towns along the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers also have great atmospheres and are in a scenic area. (Winona, Wabasha, Red Wing, Hastings, Stillwater, Taylors Falls) A visit to any of the state parks along the rivers and on the North Shore offers great hiking. Sounds like your are quite outdoors oriented and so you might enjoy renting a canoe or kayaks at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls and doing the 2-3 hour canoe ride down the St. Croix River as an alternative to hiking one day.

As a final stop before heading into North Dakota I'd look into staying at the Douglas Lodge in Itasca State Park or in Bemidji. From there, you could get to the one comparable area in North Dakota for scenery, Teddy Roosevelt National Park, in a long day of driving through some pretty blah country. There's a reason so many people come to Minnesota for vacations. For the record, I grew up about 10 miles from the N.D. border and know the state quite well.

Edited: 29 October 2018, 02:09
Mentor, Ohio
Level Contributor
147 posts
150 reviews
3. Re: Trip planning for 2019

Thank you for the information.

Mentor, Ohio
Level Contributor
147 posts
150 reviews
4. Re: Trip planning for 2019

Thank you for the information.

Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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5. Re: Trip planning for 2019

You might consider posting your request on the Road Trips TA Forum, also.

Minnesota
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6. Re: Trip planning for 2019

I agree with everything Mike says. There is a lot to see in Minnesota. William O'Brien State Park, Jay Cooke State Park, and Duluth would be more suggestions. I saw some sample itineraries on the Explore Minnesota website that might be helpful.

We drive through North Dakota several times a year, but we don't make many stops. A few places that do come to mind there are downtown Fargo, the visitor center in Fargo (has the wood chipper from the Fargo movie), and Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan. There is also the International Peace Garden https://www.peacegarden.com/

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Trip planning for 2019

I'll disagree slightly with Mike C - I love both states & could easily spend two weeks - or more - in both.

The ideas already listed for MN are great - here's an optional itinerary:

Day 1: Minneapolis/St Paul. So many tourist option, including many bike trails mspvacations.com/2018/…

Day 2: Stillwater. I love browsing along all the shops in Historic Downtown Stillwater and eating at any of the fabulous restaurants. If you haven't taken a river boat cruise along the Mississippi, consider one on the St Croix. http://www.stillwaterriverboats.com/. The bike trail option here is Brown's Creek https:/…index.html

Day 3: Duluth. Wind your way back to I-35 and drive north to Duluth. Stop at Tobie's in Hinckley for a cinnamon roll. It's tradition. There is much to see & do in Duluth, & as others have suggested drive further north along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Breathtakingly beautiful. South of Duluth is the Willard Munger bike trail, north of that are numerous biking trails https:/…

Days 4 & 5. this is where it gets fuzzy in my mind. Spend more time on the North Shore, or head to Lake Itasca & check out the Mississippi Headwaters, or drive to the Brainerd Lakes Area. https://www.brainerd.com/bikemaps/

North Dakota: I'm thinking you'll need ot make a loop, as the biggest airports are out of Grand Forks or Fargo.

Day 1. Fargo/Jamestown/Bismarck. Actually, my favorite part of Fargo is in Moorhead, MN. The Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center is really cool, but then I like history & the Vikings. Head over to Jamestown & the National Buffalo Museum, including the buffalo herd with an albino buffalo. Hike or bike along the reservoir http://discoverjamestownnd.com/reservoir/

Bismarck/Mandan - check out the State Capitol building. Ugly & boring, yet fascinating https:/…. If you're into history, there is Fort Abraham Lincoln and On-A-Slant Indian Village. On your way west, detour through the Enchanted Highway. It's ridiculous yet totally amazing.

Days 2&3 Medora /Theodore Roosevelt North and South units. https://www.ndtourism.com/cities/medora

Days 4 & 5 Head back east, then swing north for a stop & free tour at the Garrison Dam and Power Plant. Continue on to Minot, where you can tour the air force base or take a short hike along the riverwalk. If you're interested & not sick of driving yet, continue on to the International Peace Garden. I believe there is a spot where you can stand with one foot in each country https://www.peacegarden.com/

You'd then head south to Devil's Lake (hiking in Sully's Hills or Graham's Island), and continue east to Grand Forks.

https:/…30-must-see-places-north-dakota

Minnesota
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1,078 posts
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8. Re: Trip planning for 2019

There is this missile site in North Dakota: …nd.gov/historicsites/…index.html

You could also check on flights out of Bismarck.

Mentor, Ohio
Level Contributor
147 posts
150 reviews
9. Re: Trip planning for 2019

Nice itinerary. Thanks. Is there a way to save this thread in "My Trips"?

Edited: 30 October 2018, 02:14
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