The best place to visit in Minnesota
Tourist Attractions

12 Best Places to Visit in Minnesota

Minnesota is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. With so many amazing places to choose from, it can be hard to know where to go. To help make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Minnesota based on traveler ratings and reviews. So whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway spot or an adventure playground, there’s something for everyone in this metropolis!

The Best Place to Visit in Minnesota

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

  • Address: 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (14374)
  • Phone: +1 651-487-8201
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The best place to visit in Minnesota
The best place to visit in Minnesota

5 Replies to 12 Best Places to Visit in Minnesota

  1. Worth the the visit for the conservatory alone. The gardens were well laid out and the signs identifying the plants were actually helpful and very well done. The seasonal flower garden was incredibly beautiful and a special feast for the eyes after quite a long winter.
    Make sur enough reserve your spot in advance by a few hours or you won’t be able to access the zoo or conservatory when you want. Parking near is limited so arrive early or plan to walk.
    The zoo itself is well laid out and there is a good sizes picnic area if you bring your own lunch.

  2. There are quite a few empty exhibits right now, which is a little sad. But the zoo is free, so you certainly can’t complain. The animals we did see were fun! They have a big cat spot, a primate house, and a seal/arctic area. The animals were feisty, especially that dang ostrich who kept biting the giraffe’s tail. Definitely a quick walk zoo. (We went in an hour and a half before closing and still had time to see everything.) Lots of fun!

  3. Genuinely loved that this zoo and conservatory is FREE. We needed to kill some time on our visit and were shocked that this location was free.
    The park is a decent size, pretty small zoo portion but great size plant conservatory that’s very well maintained.
    Because COVID is still very much alive, I would’ve been happier to see more staff wearing masks or some sort of mask regulations on indoor portions of the park as it does get really crowded.
    Book a reservation online in advance or you will have to wait.

  4. Free and amazing! Small enough to enjoy in a few hours, yet big enough to take your time and enjoy the whole day. Plenty to do and enjoy in that area. Great for the whole family. Wonderful exhibits that provide nice views of the animals. Chances are excellent that you will see all of the animals there.

  5. Como zoo is really an incredible family destination for those living in, or visiting the Twin Cities. Somehow the zoo remains free (although they do have donation boxes around and I highly encourage dropping something in). They have a wonderful range of animals and even some shows and encounters. I cannot say enough great things about this magnificent place – my parents brought me here as a child numerous times, I’ve taken my children here multiple times, and I can’t wait to show my grandchildren someday.

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Top 12 Tourist Attractions in Minnesota

The best place to visit in Minnesota
The best place to visit in Minnesota

Minnesota Zoo

  • Address: 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN 55124, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (12161)
  • Phone: +1 952-431-9200
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Very nice zoo. The animals appear well cared for. Lots of places for children to play. Decent options for lunch or a snack. Some nice touches, like the Llama trail, where you can walk around with the animals. My favorite was probably the Tropics trail with a number of beautiful birds. Can’t wait to go back later in July when the tiger cubs are old enough for their debut!
    ✭✭✭✭ By Kimberlyn Bauhs (6 months ago)
    Minnesota Zoo is a wonderful experience for adults and youngsters.

    We enjoyed the scenic walk by the lakes and all the wildlife along with the exotic animals from around the world.

    It was fun to see the baby animals especially the prairie dogs, goats, chicks and little bison.

    A carousel ride costs only $2 per person. You do need to purchase it on a machine next to the ride. You will get a coin to use for the ride. The carousel is gorgeous and ornate with beautiful artwork of nature and animals. What a lovely memory!

    The aquariums were amazing! The shark tank was really cool. The smaller tanks were neat as well. There was a large variety of sea creatures including sea otters, a seal, sharks, a spot fin porcupine fish, a sting ray, sea horses, clown fish, leafy sea dragon, sea turtle, eels and many more. There are two areas you are able to touch the creatures if you like. In one pool there are small sharks.
    In the other area there are anemones and star fish.

    All the exhibits give you the opportunity to read about the creatures and the habitats they come from.

    The restrooms are family friendly with baby changing stations and step stools for the little ones. Thank you for being prepared for families!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Tina Xinastle (7 months ago)
    Such an awesome zoo. It’s obvious that the animals are well taken care of. It would be nicer if there were more maps along the way (we got pretty lost) or even an app with the map. But still a fun time. The tropical exhibit is AMAZING! The primate house is a little underwhelming. It’s really awesome that they have an exhibit dedicated to Minnesota plants and animals. Definitely a great place to learn!
    ✭✭✭✭ By Laura Bruns (7 months ago)
    **Tickets must be purchased online, according to what we saw on website**
    I’d give this zoo 3.5 stars, so I’m rounding it up to 4 stars. It’s quite large, so one can definitely spend several hours walking around, observing animals, and purchasing food and souvenirs.
    This isn’t the cleanest zoo I’ve been to, and it has a somewhat limited variety of animals (if you’re looking for giraffes, elephants, pandas, etc., you won’t find them here). But the animals we did see were mesmerizing to watch.
    The animals seem to be well taken care of, but it seems like some have rather small enclosures. While some, like the buffaloes and the tiger, have a lot of room to roam, others, like the puma and the tapir, don’t. Perhaps that is what they prefer; in which case, I take back my concern.
    I wasn’t a big fan of the food court. The food isn’t great and costs a fair amount. So I would definitely not come back for that, but I’d definitely come back to see the animals!
    ✭✭✭✭ By Peter Mathys (6 months ago)
    We own a yearly pass for family plus. It is well worth it. Spent 3 hours walking around. Even if some of the animals are not close, the park itself is beautiful enough to enjoy on its own. We packed a small lunch and found plenty of places for a picnic. Great way to enjoy the day and experience the outdoors while seeing some happily adjusted animals.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jessie Sweet (a month ago)

Nickelodeon Universe

  • Address: 5000 Center Ct, Bloomington, MN 55425, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (10269)
  • Phone: +1 952-883-8800
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Sunday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Definitely fun for everyone. We went on a Monday and got there basically as they opened. For about an hour lines were very short but around 11:30 the crowds started picking up. Even though some lines were longer we got through them pretty quickly. Surprisingly the restrooms were still pretty clean throughout the day considering how busy it was. Definitely recommend if you have the time for it.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Maura L (7 months ago)
    Visited all the way from Texas. Inside the Mall of America ( largest mall in the US) I loved it was free parking. Price for park was affordable. $40 a ticket for an all day pass. Visited on a Tuesday ( had Toddler prices for my 3 yr old) only downside was not all rides were open. Park is a Lil small but the kids enjoyed it . It really does have great rides for the small area. I enjoyed the rides too.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Jesseka ALMANZA (7 months ago)
    We were entertained. It’s definitely worth arriving early as it got busy fast. We were all surprised that they didn’t have any in person kiosks open to sell points. The automated kiosks’ lines were super long. It would have been nice to have at least double the number of automated kiosks given the demand.

    The lines were reasonable, but it did get busy fast. You almost need a few more maps around as there are a number of dead ends. We enjoyed ourselves but left before it got too busy. We will be back again.

    ✭✭✭✭ By Ry An (9 months ago)
    I came here at around 7:30 with my sister and bought tickets. The tickets are very expensive per person. We started riding the rides and realized how short the rides really were. Typical ride time was maybe 2 minutes. That felt like a scam when I was giving up 3-6 points per ride out of my 30 dollar 30 pt. Wrist band. Other than that the park was cool. Some of the rides were worth the money and I recommend trying the bigger ones if you aren’t too scared. I don’t recommend if you have motion sickness though. I am still sick 2 hours later.
    ✭✭✭ By Sascha Jameson (4 months ago)
    Overall, a great time for the whole family. We paid $45 per ticket x 6 people. After the fact, we found that a 2 pack of tickets at Costco was $69.99! If you’re a member, definitely go to Costco & pre-pay to save $$$! They have a wide variety of attractions for the little ones on up to the thrill seekers. If you’re at Mall of America & enjoy amusement parks, make sure you plan a visit!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By C S (11 months ago)

Gooseberry Falls State Park

  • Address: 3206 MN-61, Two Harbors, MN 55616, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (8136)
  • Phone: +1 218-595-7100
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    We had great weather to enjoy the scenery. There are quite a few steps, but the trail around the falls levels out the ascent along the way so it is very hikeable.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Pauline (a year ago)
    My spouse and I were pleasantly surprised to find so many folks visiting Gooseberry Falls on a cold October morning. Just goes to show the lure of this state park!

    Excellent trails and an overall fun experience to walk around the river and the surrounding paths and campground. Parking at the visitor center is also free. Great for my dog as well. Highly recommend!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Ronald Dixon (3 months ago)
    Wow! I love this place so much. The walk is short and they’ve got a great shop with really some of the nicest shirts and sweatshirts and t-shirts and trinkets I have ever seen. It was my birthday so my husband bought me a beautiful rust color North shore sweatshirt and a burgundy gooseberry Falls sweater that was stunning and I’ve gotten compliments on it since. We walked all around the falls got in 17,000 steps It is beautiful. You can walk as hard and long as you want but plan on taking a lot of pictures. There was a lot of people there so you have to take your time and be patient to get pictures without a lot of other people in the background. I highly recommend it I would love to come back here once every few years as it is beautiful and different in each time of the year. The last time we were here my son was in UMD and it was winter. Totally different experience this time. I will say the waterfalls are much more beautiful this time of year They get rusty color from the leaves in early winter.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kim K (3 months ago)
    Stunning! I’ve been to Gooseberry Falls many times and every time I am just blown away at how beautiful it is. I’ve seen the falls at different times of the year and keep in mind that sometimes there is much more water then other times. But even when the water is low, it’s still pretty. There’s other areas you can walk to and another waterfall too nearby. The best part? It’s just a short walk from the parking lot! This is nice when you’re traveling with someone who can’t walk too much. You do have to walk more to get to other areas but to see the main waterfall is not far. There are stairs as well so keep that in mind. There’s also nice restrooms and a very sweet gift shop inside with a mini museum which is fun for kids and adults. The worst part? I hope you have a lot of phone storage because you won’t be able to stop taking pictures! Now, a side note, the falls when it’s at its max is very loud. This isn’t a problem for me but can be for others who are sensitive to noise. We also try to find times to go when it’s not super busy and full of people.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lizsandra Edwards (10 months ago)
    This was a beautiful place and I went on a beautiful day. Even though it rained the night before, the paths were not very muddy. And there are plenty of wood and paved paths. The falls are not that far from the parking lot and you can get to him completely on paved paths. There are stairs that you can go down but there’s also a paved path that’s exact down for people who don’t want to do the stairs. And with the rains the few days before the water was roaring. I’ll definitely come back next year when I’m here
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Daniel Koehler (7 months ago)

Minneapolis Institute of Art

  • Address: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (7673)
  • Phone: +1 888-642-2787
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Incredible, huge, three-story, free art museum with ongoing exhibits as well as various rotating and traveling special exhibits that have a fee (however, those exhibits usually offer free days as well). I have spent many hours over many days over many years and yet I STILL haven’t seen everything even in the ongoing exhibits. You should make a reservation for tickets for special events but usually you can walk-in and still get a ticket, even for those. They have a fun, free Family Day event the second weekend of every month with fun activities and a take-home tote. You can also get a free or paid membership (different levels have different benefits). Definitely donate if you can as well, to help support the museum. There is a gift shop as well as a couple restaurants on site. They offer a free coat check and self-service lockers, which is great for winter when you don’t want to lug your coat around. The museum is located on the bus route and there is free on-street and some paid parking lots available. Sometimes they offer free shuttles as well. The museum is accessible with ramps and elevators and offer free wheelchairs for use (which was so helpful when I was there while on crutches). We love the fun, family-friendly Rock the Cradle event they host with the Children’s Theatre Company in March and the beautiful Art in Bloom event in the spring.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Samara Bilyeu-Anderson (4 months ago)
    Absolutely insanely amazing… Literally filled with wonders. The Mia is huge and has an INCREDIBLE amount of wonderful art. I was there 3 hours and didn’t even get through one floor. I think I spent two hours just in the Asia exhibits and I didn’t even see everything in there. Time flies by when there’s so much to get immersed in. I think it would take me days to truly appreciate all of the art.

    If you like to sketch, definitely bring your materials! I had a blast 😀

    And Mia is completely free!!! (Although everyone should make a donation to this wonderful place). I would put this at the top of the to-do list when in the Twin Cities. Hopefully I’m back in Minneapolis soon so I can designate a few full days to the Mia:)

    The facilities were very clean and there is plenty of room to social distance even with a good amount of people visiting (I was there on a Wednesday 11am-2pm). Lovely staff as well and they do have a self-service coat check with lockers. As of 4/27/22, masks are optional although many guests still masking when I was there:)

    Very accessible by bus too!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Stella Chen (9 months ago)
    This completely FREE museum offers so much for the visitors to see and learn that one visit is simply not enough! I visited for the first time today on a Wednesday, and I loved every minute of my visit. I spent most of my time perusing arts from Europe and America between 1600s to modern times on the third floor. I saw one painting from Monet’s later years and it was interesting to see the transformation of his artistic style. The second floor displays artifacts, paintings and other artworks from various parts of the world. A cafe and a gift shop can be found on the main floor. I will for sure return!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By messa litle (4 months ago)
    It was my first time. I was very impressed. Very very very large building. Three Floors. I was there 3 hours and I didn’t even see everything. They have one or two sections where it cost money to get in but those are like for specialty exhibits like Van Gogh and they had some Japanese textiles thing that was like 20 bucks to get in. They have a coffee shop and a gift store on the first floor. All the art was really interesting. I highly recommend reading the plaques, some really funny stuff. I should have taken more photos. I can’t wait to go back. In the African art section on the first floor, if you read the plaques it’s almost comical they tell stories of how they have no idea where the art came from or who made it and it was donated by some white guy. I think an effort should be made to return some of that stuff, especially stuff within the last century.for example there was several spiritual artifacts that were so sacred they should be returned. They have a really great Mediterranean section as well, one thing was an urn. That should be returned and put in an intentional resting place that isn’t to be gawked at by tourists.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jacob Johnston (4 months ago)
    I went to a special exhibit here. As I understand that if you want to just see the regular collection there is no cost. The building is beautiful the art is beautiful and it is quite. Staff members are friendly and helpful. This is well worth a visit
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By April H (6 months ago)

SEA LIFE at Mall of America

  • Address: Level One, Mall of America, 120 East Broadway East Side, Bloomington, MN 55425, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (7547)

Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

  • Address: 120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (6899)

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

  • Address: 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (5791)

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Advance Reservations/Tickets Required

  • Address: 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska, MN 55318, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (5112)

Tettegouche State Park

  • Address: 5702 MN-61, Silver Bay, MN 55614, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (3499)

Itasca State Park

  • Address: 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (3011)

Mill Ruins Park

  • Address: 102 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (2593)

Stone Arch Bridge

  • Address: 100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2571)

Minnesota is a world-famous tourist destination, and it’s no wonder why. Here is our list of the top 12 best place to visit in Minnesota – based on expert opinions and customer reviews. Did your favorite spot make the cut? Let us know in the comments above!