Who doesnʼt love a good road trip every now and then? In fact, theyʼve been popular ever since rubber tires first kissed pavement. There are the ever-popular road trips youʼve no doubt heard of (good olʼ Route 66, anyone?) and those youʼve probably never heard of, like the incredible roads in the Midwest calling your name. Start off by roadtripping through Minnesota.
There are Scenic Byways throughout the nation (like Pend Oreille Scenic Byway in Washington State), but the Great River Road Scenic Byway is one of the longest, stretching 3,000 iconic miles from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico. The northern portion is some of the most beautiful country you have never seen.
Like any grand adventure, start at the beginning. Start your trek at the Headwaters – the spot where the Mississippi River begins in earnest. Itʼs just 18-feet-wide here and only up to your knees, making it perfect for wading. The river starts in Ithaca State Park, which also houses Douglas Lodge from 1905, making it the park system’s oldest building that still stands today.
From there, head to Bemidji, the place where Paul Bunyan was born. Thereʼs a larger-than-life statue of him and his Blue Ox you can snap a few photos of. There are other sculptures along the famed Sculpture Walk and if you feel like getting in the water once more, Lake Bemidji is there for the laps. Thereʼs also a hiking/biking trail to wander and stretch your legs.
Head just a little north to Northwoods where you can take part in an authentic powwow hosted by the Ojibwe natives and learn more about their tribeʼs culture. There are a host of other activities, as well, such as fishing, camping, swimming, and biking – all of which can be found at the Norway Beach Center.
If you prefer a bit of city in your epic roadtrip, take to the part of the Mississippi that literally cuts Minneapolis and St. Paul in half. Depending on when you visit, you may even be able to attend a professional sports team game, as there are plenty in the Twin Cities region.
If youʼre staying in the area for any length of time, check out the boutique hotel, Celeste of St. Paul, which is in walking distance to everything charming about the region.
You won’t be disappointed roadtripping through Minnesota, so get moving!