30 Famous Historical Sites And Landmarks In Minnesota

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If you want to explore a new part of the United States, visiting the many famous landmarks in Minnesota is worth every effort. Even though Minnesota is renowned for its 10,000 lakes and snowy winters, the state has plenty more to offer.

In this article, we will explore famous cities in three different cities: Minneapolis, Duluth, and St. Paul. From the historical sites in Minnesota to its myriad of natural parks, no site should be overlooked. Each of them offers some meaningful insights into the state’s history and culture.

So, let’s dive in and start with some famous Minneapolis landmarks!

Most Famous Landmark In Minnesota

Mall Of America

One of the most interesting facts about Minnesota is that it is home to the largest mall in the country. And it’s aptly named the the Mall of America. This mall provides an authentic, yet unparalleled experience for all you shopaholics out there!

It boasts over 5.6 million square feet of retail space with almost a thousand stores to peruse through. From quirky boutiques to worldwide brands, this isn’t the only thing the mall offers. You will also get to enjoy a theme park, SEA Life aquarium, and indoor miniature golf course.

There is no doubt that you will get a bit of a workout if you visit! But fret not, as there are also cafes and restaurants for you to catch a break from your shopping spree. It comes as no surprise that this is one of the famous places in Minnesota.

>Check Tickets to SEA Life Aquarium

Minneapolis, Minnesota Landmarks

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Minnesota is definitely a natural state and Minneapolis is the heart of it. When you visit this city, stopping by the well known Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a no-brainer.

This serene landmark in Minnesota contains 11+ acres of beautiful sculptures, flowers, and other garden features. You will be able to examine fascinating art pieces like a standing glass fish or the famous spoon with a cherry sculpture. There is no doubt that you will be amazed at some very creative masterpieces.

Plus it is a budget-friendly activity. The sculpture garden offers free admission to all, so there is no excuse not to visit!

minnehaha-falls-in-minnesota

Minnehaha Falls

If you are interested in natural wonders, then taking a trip to the Minnehaha Falls is an obvious choice. It is one of the immaculate Minnesota landmarks located right out of the suburbs.

You will get to take a peaceful getaway from downtown and explore one of mother nature’s fascinating creations. With over 53 feet of lush water falling down, there are also trails that you can hike along the way.

We even suggest taking the time to have a picnic or swim in the nearby creek while you stroll! Nothing better than packing some snacks and dining in nature.

Foshay Tower

For those that aren’t afraid of heights, the Foshay Tower is a great way to see Minneapolis. A famous place in Minnesota, the Foshay possesses an antiquated art deco design and soaring height.

At the top of the tower, you can snap a great photo of downtown and the rest of the city. In addition, it represents many decades of history that are shared in the museum.

The tower was built in 1929 as a homage to the Washington monument. Needless to say, you can educate yourself and find out more about its origins when you visit. A trip up is only $10.

Mary Tyler Moore Statue

Those looking to see a meaningful monument in Minnesota should visit the Mary Tyler Moore Statue. This statue pays tribute to a legendary actress. Aside from her own show, you might know her for being a figure in Dick Van Dyke.

When you observe, you will get to see a life-size bronze sculpture with many details. One of the few monumental landmarks in Minnesota, it showcases her in a happy, go-lucky manner with her pose, as if she was tossing her hat in the air.

mill-city-ruins-and-park

Mill City Ruins And Park

An important historic site in Minnesota is the Mill City Ruins and Park. Located in the heart of downtown, this area is known for many things ever since its beginnings.

It was home to an old flour mill, several canals, and old bridge ways. Therefore, it can be a great way to experience what the urban midwest was like in the 1900s. Plus, it has retained much of its original motif, so it will feel like you have transported back in time.

weisman-art-museum

Weisman Art Museum

The Frederick R Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis is a renowned art museum that houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary artwork.

Located on the University of Minnesota campus, this museum is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting artwork from around the world. Even the exterior architecture of the steel and brick building designed by Frank Gehry is distinctive and some might say quirky.

The museum showcases over 20,000 works from many different countries and cultures, including pieces from internationally recognized artists.

Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries to learn about different styles of artwork, from painting, sculpture, photography, and multimedia. With an ever-evolving collection, there is always something interesting to experience at the Weisman.

Plus, it makes for a great way to spend an afternoon in the Twin Cities. So, if you’re looking for a unique and educational experience, this is one of the great Minnesota landmarks to visit.

Stone Arch Bridge

stone-arch-bridge-in-minnesota

Right next to the Mill City ruins is the Stone Arch Bridge. A preeminent landmark in Minneapolis, this bridge is not just a historical structure but also serves a functional purpose day-to-day.

You can walk or bike across it; it is a great way to get exercise in addition to experiencing the city’s older characteristics.

Completed in 1883, this bridge has a rich history that is intertwined with the development of the city. It was originally constructed as part of a transportation network spanning the Mississippi River, connecting Saint Anthony and Minneapolis.

As the city grew and prospered, the bridge became the symbol of the city’s growth and prosperity. Regardless of when you visit, you will feel inspired by the views, architecture, and general surroundings.

guthrie-theater
Photo Credit: klevit.shaw.ca /Depositphotos.com

Guthrie Theater

Theatergoers and fans of performing arts are bound to like the Guthrie Theater. This theater is a popular historical site in Minnesota because of its inclusive experience.

The theater embodies the design commonly seen in the 1960s and 1970s. And since, it has been home to many concerts, musicals, and other artistic performances.

Rather than just stopping by, you can better appreciate this venue by enjoying the entertainment it offers. So before you go, visit their website and see if there are any upcoming shows!

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

The grand Rounds Scenic Byway is a great way to see the city of Minneapolis. Circling the outskirts, this byway contains 50+ miles of paved trails. In addition, the trails traverse lush greenery so it’s a great way to soak in the natural surroundings.

If you visit, there are many activities to do throughout. You can either walk, run, or ride a bike. Or rather, you can even have a picnic, go fishing, and enjoy a treetop obstacle course! It’s a popular spot not just for tourists, but a regular getaway for locals too.

Duluth, Minnesota Landmarks

Bob Dylan Way

Our music buffs will love Bob Dylan Way. The famous singer-songwriter has his own street in the heart of Duluth. This Minnesota landmark is also home to his first-ever show!

Throughout the street, you will be able to walk along and see many cool murals and sculptures. In addition, there are vintage record stores and other shops that love playing his music. If you visit, you are definitely going to encounter an authentic ambiance.

famous-canal-park
Photo Credit: mkopka /Depositphotos.com

Canal Park

When visiting the Midwest of the United States, you will come to know that the region is known for its historical canals. It is no exception in Minnesota. At Canal Park in Duluth, you will get exposure to different scenic canals that Minnesota is known for.

As one of the popular destinations in the city, it is no surprise that the area also offers tons of entertainment and activities. The park provides boating explorations, restaurants, and even shopping opportunities for those interested.

It is situated right on Lake Superior, so throughout your visit, you will also have stunning water views as well.

aerial-lift bridge

Aerial Lift Bridge

If you are an engineer at heart, then you cannot miss this famous landmark in Minnesota. In Lake Superior itself, you will be able to observe the Aerial Lift Bridge.

The Aerial Lift Bridge is cool to see because it has a 100-year history. This automatic and mechanical fixture is responsible for letting boats pass throughout the waterway.

There is no direct way to see this fixture up close as it’s in the middle of the lake. However, you can get a great sight of it at any restaurant or park on the beachside.

Minnesota’s North Shore

The North Shore is a great place to visit when you’re in Minnesota. Located along the shore of Lake Superior, this area contains tons of sights and attractions that you can explore. It is filled with charming little towns, walking trails, and views of the lake.

You will be able to check out many lighthouses, waterfalls, and recreational parks while here. But one of the most popular activities is visiting the numerous state parks that reside here.

For instance, you can go to Grand Portage State Park and enjoy its many trails and campgrounds. Or visit the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse. Sitting on the cliff edge, this landmark in Minnesota is one of the most photographed sites in the state and offers great views of the surrounding.

From these unique attractions and amazing Minnesota foods, the North Shore is an excellent place to visit when traveling around the state. Nature lovers will feel right at home with the opportunity to participate in a scenic adventure.

If you want to really soak in the views, you can even do a North Shore Helicopter Tour that brings you 30 miles along the lake area. There is no better experience than getting a bird’s eye view of the surrounding beauty.

Enger Tower

The Enger Tower is a national monument in Minnesota. Sitting at a high vantage point, the Enger Tower overlooks much of Lake Superior and downtown. Its primary appeal is the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking, panoramic views of Duluth.

Since it sits at the top of a hill, you can either drive or walk to the site. If you walk, you will be able to follow hiking trails and see a Japanese Garden along the way. Additionally, if you are interested, you can even play their disc golf course nearby!

Glensheen Mansion

Glensheen Mansion is one of the prominent historic residential landmarks in Minnesota. This Mansion was home to the influential Congdon Family who resided here in the early 1900s.

The Mansion has been carefully preserved and open to the public as a museum for many years now. The architecture alone is an impressive sight with an imposing grandeur.

Inside, you will have the opportunity to tour 39 rooms that are filled with rare furniture and art. Plus, you will be able to take a walk through the Glensheen Garden situated out back.

Tickets to this secluded mansion in the woods start at $20 per person.

Lakewalk

Another notable walking path in Duluth is Lakewalk. This is the premier trail that surrounds Lake Superior and the city itself. With the surrounding beautiful scenery, there is no surprise that it is constantly buzzing with locals and sports enthusiasts.

There is no doubt that this is a relaxing outdoor activity enjoyed by many. So, if you need a breath of fresh air during your stay, step outside and visit Lakewalk!

skyline-parkway-view

Skyline Parkway

Throughout Skyline Parkway is a scenic drive through the hills and forests of Duluth. It is over 25 miles long and surrounds Lake Superior and the St. Louis River Bay. Thus, it covers the city from end-to-end.

The parkway not only boasts eye-catching Midwest greenery, but it is also the parkway up to Enger Tower. Therefore, you can stop and enjoy the many activities along the Enger hiking trail as well.

St. Paul, Minnesota Landmarks

Summit Avenue

In St. Paul, you will find a historical place in Minnesota called Summit Avenue. This avenue is known as a neighborhood full of stunning mansions. Each with its own unique story and architectural structure.

If you visit this neighborhood you will get to see the Governor’s Mansion and James J. Hill House. Aside from these two premier mansions, there are dozens of others to explore as well. If you want to dive deeper into the history of the area and each landmark, you can join a guided tour for a more informative experience.

Fort Snelling

For our history buffs out there, this landmark of Minnesota will not let you down. Fort Snelling is located in St. Paul and is home to an 1820s army post right on the Mississippi.

Inside the outpost, you will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of many things. From military history to Native American culture, the educational experience here is top-notch.

The site offers many exhibits, homes, and a museum that showcases unique artifacts of the past. These immersive displays just reinforce how awesome this historical site really is.

Alexander Ramsey House

Another prominent mansion located within the fine Summit Avenue is the Alexander Ramsey House. This Minnesota landmark is a victorian mansion originally constructed in the 1870s. With a Victorian style, there are definitely tons of artistic styles to explore inside.

When you visit, you will get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Ramseys with a guided tour. They were one of Minnesota’s wealthiest families back in the day.

cathedral-of-st.-paul

Cathedral Of St. Paul

Minnesota boasts a rich Catholic heritage. And a prominent location that represents the significance of catholicism is the Cathedral of St. Paul.

This Cathedral is a historic site in Minnesota that is consumed with building styles inspired by the roman era. It boasts a massive dome with a needle, white marbling walls, and stained glass walls to name a few.

So, if you are looking to further understand the most prevalent religious affiliation in Minnesota, this place is it.

James J. Hill House

Another example of a mansion found on Summit Avenue is the James J. Hill House. A historical site in Minnesota, this mansion embodies a lot of artistic style from the gilded age.

It contains very delicate woodwork and opulent furnishings that exaggerate luxury. Aside from that, the mansion also details the familial life of the Hills. So, you can definitely learn about the original owners and their contributions to the railroad industry.

F. Scott Fitzgerald House

The F. Scott Fitzgerald House is another iconic mansion in Summit Avenue. This historic house was the former home of one of the most iconic American novelists and short story writers of all time.

It features Victorian-style architecture that blends in well with the surrounding building. This is the house where he was born, and also wrote his acclaimed novel “This Side of Paradise”

Despite its importance, this house is not open for tours and you can only admire the charmingly ancient exterior from the outside. Nonetheless, this is a Registered National Historic Landmark in Minnesota.

Como Regional Park

A premier park in St. Paul is the Como Regional Park located just 10 minutes from downtown. This famous landmark in Minnesota is home to dozens of outdoor activities, offering an escape from the concrete and steel of urban life.

The park encompasses nearly 500 acres of green space, offering a variety of recreational activities such as hiking trails, a carousel, a mini golf course, and even a ropes course. In addition, there is even the Como Zoo, so families can enjoy sites of many animals.

The park also features some architecture that dates back to the early 20th century. The Como Lakeside Pavilion is one of the most prominent landmarks in the area and serves as a great spot for people to take photos or simply relax with nature.

Consider visiting the Como Regional Park and spending a day with family and friends! It is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Science Museum Of Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota is another fun family activity to do in St. Paul. This museum contains tons of hands-on exhibits for kids to dive into science and technology.

With activities such as exploring dinosaur bones, experiencing outer space in their digital dome theater, or learning about our environment through interactive displays – this museum is sure to capture everyone’s interest.

Not only does it provide a unique and educational experience, but it also gives visitors an inside look into the amazing world of science, natural disasters, and the environment.

This renowned and popular landmark in Minnesota is a great place to take your children, and help them develop their inner curiosity. Tickets cost around $9.95-$34.90, with prices depending on age and the time of day you visit.

Other Natural Landmarks In Minnesota

Devil’s Kettle Falls

Devil’s Kettle Falls is a unique and remarkable landmark located in Minnesota. Situated within Judge C.R. Magney State Park, this natural wonder is one of the most visited sites in the region.

The falls are believed to be formed from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. It is composed of two main sections – the upper and lower falls. The most impressive feature of the Devil’s Kettle Falls is a small cave that seems to disappear into the earth, with water flowing into it from both sides, never to be seen again.

No one has ever been able to locate where this mysterious waterfall leads to; however, this only adds to its mysterious and awe-inspiring charm. Visitors to this site can explore the surrounding area and take in the beautiful views of Lake Superior.

Niagara Cave

Niagara Cave is a remarkable landmark in Minnesota and one of the most unique natural wonders in the state. Located near Harmony, it has been an attraction since 1934 and remains one of the top educational sites for visitors. This remarkable cavern has several distinct features that set it apart from other caves in the area, including its rich history and geological makeup.

The cave is home to a large variety of minerals and fossils, including some dating back millions of years. The guided tour also provides a glimpse into the environment in which these ancient creatures lived. Aside from that, you can witness several unique rock formations that form the walls and ceilings of the cave.

Thanks to its educational tours, Niagara Cave is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience.

Peacebunny Island

Peacebunny Island is a unique destination in Minnesota that has become a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. With its serene setting, this island serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

This place was founded by animal-lover Caleb Smith when he bought this island on the Mississippi River to train comfort rabbits.

Located on the Mississippi River, Peacebunny Island offers a variety of activities to keep visitors entertained. The most attractive of which is watching the bunnies roaming freely around the nature scape. These adorable creatures are an obvious draw for anyone.

In addition, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the island’s walking path and admire stunning views of the Mississippi River.

With its amazing views and calming atmosphere, it is no wonder why this destination has become one of the popular natural landmarks in Minnesota.

Discovering Famous Landmarks In Minnesota

There is truly an impressive collection of Minnesota landmarks to visit while you stay. From the buzzing cities to the tranquil nature, there are many sites that offer a glimpse of the state’s beauty and culture.

The monuments and historical sites in Minnesota all have a story to tell of this great state, so be sure to plan ahead when visiting. Make the most out of all that Minnesota has to offer.


PIN THESE FAMOUS LANDMARKS IN MINNESOTA FOR LATER!

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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