Get ready to soak up the sun and make some unforgettable memories this summer in the Land of 10,000 Lakes! This is your Minnesota summer fun guide.

Minnesota is home to some of the most exciting and unique summer activities in the country, from hiking and biking trails to charming state fairs and stunning lakeside beaches. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best of what Minnesota has to offer during the summer months, so you can plan your perfect summer adventure in this beautiful state.

Scroll to the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE to watch our travel video “Minnesota Summer Fun Guide – 2023: Best Activities in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!!”

Are you looking for fun things to do in Minnesota in the Summer? Well we’ve got you covered in this Guide for Summer Fun under the Minnesotan Sun!!

We are lifelong Minnesota residents and we can honestly say that summer in Minnesota is pretty much heaven on earth, so if you’re visiting the Land of 10,000 Lakes in the summer…you’re in for a real treat!

Minnesota Summer Fun Guide
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Fun Things To Do In Minnesota This Summer…

Minnesota is known for its beautiful lakes, lush forests, and vibrant cities. Summer is a great time to explore all that Minnesota has to offer. Here are some things you can do in Minnesota during the summer:

1. Visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

First, I’d suggest a visit to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Boundary Waters is a wilderness area with over 1,000 lakes and 1,500 miles of canoe routes. It’s a great place to go camping, hiking, and fishing.

2. Explore the North Shore

You could explore the North Shore. The North Shore of Lake Superior is a scenic drive that takes you through charming small towns, waterfalls, and rocky cliffs. It’s also a great place to hike, bike, and kayak.

3. Explore the Twin Cities

You’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring the Twin Cities. Minneapolis and St. Paul are vibrant cities with plenty of museums, galleries, and restaurants to explore. You can also visit the Mississippi River, which flows through both cities. Heck, if you wanna travel south on the Mississippi follow historic Highway 61 and come visit us here in Winona. It’s hailed as the “Miami of Minnesota” because of our (slightly) warmer weather (than the rest of the state), our carefree attitude and laidback party atmosphere. 

4. Go to a Minnesota Twins Game

If you find yourself in Minnesota in the summertime, you must go to a Minnesota Twins game! Baseball season runs from April to October, and the Minnesota Twins play at Target Field in Minneapolis. It’s a great way to spend a summer evening.

5. Attend a Music Festival

Another recommendation for summer fun is to attend a Music Festival: There are many music festivals throughout Minnesota during the summer, including the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth and the Minnesota Bluegrass August Festival in Richmond…they usually have great bluegrass groups playing…but one time they made the mistake of having Jack’s band play there! Hehe.

Do you ever find yourself wondering…is Minnesota a good place to live? Read our pros and cons post from a local and find out now:

Minnesota Summer Fun Guide
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Summer attractions in Minnesota with less tourists?

If you’re looking for summer attractions in Minnesota with fewer tourists, here are some options to consider:

1. Explore the State Parks

You can’t go wrong by exploring our State Parks. Minnesota has over 70 state parks, many of which are less crowded than the popular attractions. You can go hiking and camping in these parks all while enjoying the natural beauty of the state.

2. Visit the Mississippi Headwaters

Consider a visit to the Mississippi Headwaters. See where the Mississippi River starts by visiting Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota. Kids can walk across the river…and go back home and tell their friends they crossed the Mississippi River by foot!

3. Attend a County Fair in a Smaller Town

If you have the time, you’ll definitely want to attend a County Fair in a smaller town, While some of the larger county fairs can be crowded, there are many smaller county fairs throughout Minnesota that offer a more relaxed atmosphere. You can enjoy carnival rides, livestock shows, and live music while experiencing the local “culture”. Which is my nice way of saying fried food on a stick.

Speaking of fried food on a stick…let’s talk about our State Fair!

Make the most of your time in Minnesota! Click here for a FREE COPY of our new eBook, or you can support us by purchasing it on Amazon.

Minnesota Summer Fun Guide
The Minnesota State Fair is always super fun!!

Best summer attractions in Minnesota for kids?

Minnesota is a great place to visit with kids in the summer, with many family-friendly attractions and activities. Here are some of the best summer attractions in Minnesota for kids:

1. Go to the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the country. It’s held in late August and early September and is a great place for kids to experience agriculture and learn about Minnesota’s history and culture. It features everything from farm animals to carnival rides and live music. We have performed there many times and it’s always a lot of fun.

2. Visit the Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe

The Mall of America is the largest mall in the country, with over 500 stores, an aquarium, and an indoor amusement park. It’s a great place to spend a day shopping and exploring. Now that I think about it, we’ve also performed at the Mall several times too! If you’re visiting with the kiddos, plan on spending some time at Nickelodeon Universe. This indoor amusement park features over 25 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and a zipline.

3. Valleyfair

If you want to take the fun back outdoors, then a great destination the whole family can enjoy is Valleyfair. It’s an amusement park in the Twin Cities suburb of Shakopee that offers over 75 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and a dinosaur exhibit.

Love Minnesota? You betcha!

If you love Minnesota as much as we do, you’ll probably love these cute items. They’ll definitely have you saying, “oh for cute”! Hehe…

Minnesota Summer Fun Guide
These overly happy stock photo models want you to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, they do.


So there you have it! Our ultimate guide for having fun in Minnesota this summer. We hope you found this blog useful. We’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you like to do in Minnesota? Have a tip for your fellow travelers…be sure to let us know! Thanks for reading.

Have a super day!

Want a short video to see more of Minnesota? Just watch this!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more travel tips, hidden gems and more. We typically make a lot of content about fun and quirky spots to visit in Minnesota and the upper Midwest…you betcha!

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About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog ( and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.

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