Minnesota  is a state in the Midwest of the USA. Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it technically has well over 15,000. The northern tip of Minnesota that juts into Lake of the Woods is the most northern point in the lower 48 states of the United States.
- Mall of America in Bloomington
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum  in Chaska
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area
- Flandrau State Park
- Itasca State Park
- Lake Superior
- Minnesota Zoo
- Pipestone National Monument
- Voyageurs National Park
Minnesotans generally present a cheery, genial attitude and may be caught off-guard when people don't react in the same manner. This is what is meant by "Minnesota nice."
The stereotypical Minnesotan dialect as popularized in the film Fargo is more prevalent in northern (Iron Range) and rural parts of the state than it is in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, but it is by no means non-existant even there. In fact, in the metropolitan area, it's hardly even noticed by most visitors, much less the locals. The dialect is characterized by long vowels (especially Os as found in the word "boat"). The sing-songy intonation is less common with each generation removed from the Scandinavian ancestors. Typically words ending with 'ag' have a long 'a', eg. 'bag' rhymes with 'bake' not 'back'. Other vowels are sometimes affected as well. Native Americans (primarily Ojibwe) have an accent of their own.
In addition to a unique dialect, Minnesota also has several phrases and colloquial expressions that can be overheard somewhat frequently. These include:
- Uff-da (Norwegian exclamation meaning "Off it!" Typically used as a response to surprising or exasperating circumstances.
- You betcha (You bet/of course)
- Hot dish (Casserole)
- Oh yah (Yes)
- Lutefisk (A traditional Scandinavian food of dried white fish soaked in lye.)
- Choppers (leather mittens with wool inserts, used for the really cold days)
- Twenty below (shorthand for 20 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), or -30'C (without windchill), which is when choppers start becoming necessary)
- Sorels (brand name of preferred winter boots, leather/rubber exterior, felt inserts)
- boughten (adjective for a store-bought item, as opposed to home-made, as in 'boughten bread')
- sled (slang term for a snowmobile)
- popple (aspen or poplar tree, one of the most common trees in northern Minnesota and important part of the logging industry)
- a forty (40 acres (about 16 hectares), or quarter-mile by quarter-mile of land, a derivative of the Public Land Survey (PLS) system)
- Acrost (Scandinavian influenced regional pronunciation of "across")
- Up north (Usually refers to anywhere that is north of the twin cities or where the person is at that time. ex.- Up north to Ely [while in Duluth])
- Parka (A very warm winter coat)
A soft drink is typically called 'pop, never soda. Even in newspaper advertisements. Much of the time in restaurants, if you ask for a "coke" you will receive a regular Coca-Cola, you will not be asked "What kind?".
Sentences frequently end with a preposition, such as "Are you coming with?". If the sentence doesn't end with a preposition, the filler word 'then' may be appended, as in "So how's the car been running then?" Pronouns are dropped when assumed to be understood, "Took the car to the dealer, told me it just needed a new battery". People tend to speak modestly without extra superlatives or direct commands "Most folks turn off their cell phones before church starts, you know." Garrison Keillor, a radio personality and humorist, often plays this up in his "Prairie Home Companion" which takes place in the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, somewhere near St. Cloud.
Locals also tend to softly "hum" before saying goodbye in informal conversation. "Bye" is commonly pronounced "mmmbye", with the second syllable much shorter than the first.
Three Interstate Highways travel through Minnesota. I-90 and I-94 travel East-West, while I-35 travels North-South. Several other national and state highways also travel through the state.
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP - the Lindbergh Terminal or HHH - the Hubert H. Humphrey terminal) a major hub for Northwest Airlines , while regional airports exist in Duluth (DLH), Rochester (RST), Saint Cloud (STC), Brainerd (BRD), Bemidji (BJI), Thief River Falls (TRF), Hibbing (HIB), and International Falls (INL).
For rail travel, there are Amtrak stations in La Crosse (Wisconsin), Winona, Red Wing, Saint Paul, Saint Cloud, Staples, Detroit Lakes, Fargo (North Dakota), and Grand Forks (North Dakota). These are served by the Empire Builder daily, which runs from Chicago to Seattle/Portland.
For bus travel, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are served by Greyhound and Jefferson Buslines (popular for intrastate travel). Megabus also stops at the University of Minnesota East Bank Campus and downtown Minneapolis, with direct fares to Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee.
The Metro Transit  offers bus and light rail services to the Twin Cities and their surrounding suburbs. Average fare for either service is typically $1.75 ($2.25 for the peak times of 6:00-9:00 am and 3:00-6:30 pm.) The fare buys the rider a pass that can be used to ride on or transfer to any Metro Transit bus or train for 150 minutes.
The relatively new light rail service offers a visitor-friendly line that connects the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the Mall of America, the Warehouse District, and downtown Minneapolis among other places.
The I-35W bridge which collapsed in August 2007 over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis is now rebuilt and open to traffic ahead of schedule.
If your vehicle can run on E85, you can save money by using E85 instead of gas. There are over 350 stations that sell E85.
- Walker Art Center  and adjacent Sculpture Garden, near downtown Minneapolis.
- Science Museum of Minnesota , in downtown Saint Paul.
- Guthrie Theater, newly opened, June 2006
- Mayo Clinic , an internationally-known hospital.
- Itasca State Park , home to the Mississippi River headwaters.
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) , part of the Superior National Forest.
- Pipestone National Monument , home to Native American petroglyphs.
- Tenney, the smallest incorporated city in America, with a population of 6.
- Grand Marais,, a small town on the upper tip of the Arrow Head of Minnesota, Grand Marais is about 2.4 hours northeast of Duluth by car. Not only is the lake-front drive beautful, but many refurbished portions of Highway 61 make the drive a breeze. Grand Marais is located on Lake Superior and is a port for tourist boats and those interested in open water kayaking. While visiting, make sure to stop in at World's Famous Donuts for a snack, Sivertson's Gallery for a peek at local artists, shop for gifts and outdoors gear at the Trading Post and eat dinner at the Angry Trout, a great place for a fresh caught meal and even a shot of maple syrup for dessert. During the day tourists enjoy walking around town and experiencing the north wood's culture as well as walking out on the old rock formations that create the semi-natural harbor, skip a few of the perfect gray stones and live the true north life.
- Minneapolis Aquatennial 
- St. Paul Winter Carnival 
- Minnesota Irish Fair 
- Svenskarnas Dag , one of the biggest Swedish festivals in the US, Svenskarnas Dag is held on the 4th Sunday in June at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The day includes many traditional Swedish events such as the raising of the Midsommer Pole, singing and dancing, a morning church service and the crowning of Queen Midsommer. Authentic Scandinavian gifts and food are available for purchase.
- State Fair , probably the biggest and best attraction is the annual state fair. Twelve days ending Labor Day includes such notable moments as the crowning of Princess Kay of the Milky Way (who, along with her court of runners up, will become busts carved out of a life size block of butter), farm animals of all kinds, any kind of food on a stick (make sure to try a Pronto Pup corn dog) as well as evening concerts from well known bands. Tickets cost $11 for adults and $8 for kids at the gate. It opens at 6 am and closes at 12; 10 pm on Labor Day.
- Minnesota Renaissance Festival , running weekends and Labor Day in August and September, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival boasts the highest attendance of all Renaissance festivals in the Midwest. Like most Renaissance festivals, it is host to a myriad of stage and street acts, jousting events, and vendors of period and non-period goods.
- Twins Baseball  The Minnesota Twins currently play in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located at 900 S. 5th Street in Minneapolis. This is easily accessed by one of numerous bus lines, on foot, or on the Hiawatha light rail line. Tickets cost anything from $7 or so on family night to $50+ for better seats.
- Vikings American Football 
- Wild Ice Hockey 
- Timberwolves Men's Basketball 
- Swarm Men's Lacrosse 
- Saints Baseball 
- Eat Street Minneapolis  17 blocks of ethnic restaurants in Minneapolis on Nicollet from Grant to 29th Street
As in the rest of the United States, the drinking age is 21. Minnesota has an ingrained drinking culture that is prevalent even in rural areas. Bars and restaurants that serve liquor may do so until 2am, although not all do (especially on Sunday through Thursday), and some municipalities may enforce an earlier closing time. Unlike most other states, you cannot buy alcohol in a grocery store or convenience store, unless it is "3.2 beer", which is a low-alcohol beer containing only 3.2% alcohol by weight (4% alcohol by volume). Some grocery stores don't even bother selling 3.2 beer even though they are allowed to, a testament to the state's rather prevalent drinking culture. If you want regular beer, wine, or liquor, but don't want to drink it at a restaurant or bar, then you must go to a liquor store. Although liquor stores are plentiful, they have uncommon hours that visitors should be aware of: First, liquor stores are closed on Sundays in accordance with the law, meaning that you cannot purchase any alcohol for home consumption on that day (bars and restaurants can serve alcohol on Sundays). Also, liquor stores are generally required to close fairly early (10pm or earlier). Unlike some states, the bars here generally won't sell liquor "to go". This is less of a problem if you are near the border of a neighboring state with less restrictive liquor laws. Residents of the Twin Cities region have been known to make the short drive to Wisconsin on Sundays to purchase alcohol. Despite this puritanical approach to alcohol sales, even rural towns have a fairly active drinking culture (the cliche of "more bars than churches"). Identification is checked less often than in other states, though it happens more frequently in areas with a high amount of college students or tourists.
In summer months, Minnesota (particularly the south) can experience somewhat violent storms and tornadoes. Minnesota also can have very cold winters and very hot summers. Be sure to pack accordingly
In winter months, make sure to check the ice thickness before going out on a frozen lake or pond. Do not park your vehicle on a lake or pond unless it is deemed safe by the local DNR officers. Never walk on river ice. It may appear safe but may not be thick enough to support your weight, due to the river current flowing underneath.
- North Dakota - Minnesota's western neighbor is America's least visited state, but its isolation provides opportunities for uncrowded visits to the state's hills and lakes, badlands, plains, and old frontier forts.
- South Dakota - Home to such natural and cultural wonders as Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park and Mount Rushmore, Minnesota's neighbor to the southwest offers a surprising amount for travelers to see and do.
- Iowa - Rural Iowa is Minnesota's southern neighbor and provides the opportunity to explore America's agricultural heartland.
- Wisconsin - The Cheese State borders Minnesota to the east.
- Michigan - The Upper Peninsula offer wilderness areas similar to those found in Northeastern Minnesota and can be reached by heading east across Lake Superior.
- Ontario - Located northeast of Minnesota, Northern Ontario covers 90% of the actual land mass of Ontario but only holds 6% of its population.
- Manitoba - Minnesota's northwestern neighbor is known for its prairies, agriculture, culture and history.
This page was last edited at 22:05, on 27 March 2009 by Ryan Holliday. Based on work by Jani Patokallio and Marc Heiden, Wikitravel user(s) (Bala Cynwydd), Episteme, MMKK and Eisnel, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.