We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, is surrounded by scenic routes that make for an unforgettable road trip. Taking some of these great road trips from Minneapolis can provide you with some of the best views, things to do, and fun times, right from the Twin Cities.While some are further away and others are just an hour or so away, you can experience a whole new world from Minneapolis. From winding country roads to awe-inspiring waterfalls and charming small towns, there is so much more to see outside of the Twin Cities!No matter which of these routes you choose, all of them are sure to provide plenty of adventure and beautiful scenery to explore.Best Road Trips from MinneapolisBelow you’ll find the very best road trips that can be done from Minneapolis. They are all under 9 hours away and can be done in a long weekend, or in just a day or two!Photo by Kassidy1. The North Shore – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 160 miles; 2.5 hoursTime Recommended: 5+ daysOne of the very best places to visit in the state of Minnesota is the North Shore, which runs along the shore of Lake Superior.The North Shore starts in Duluth, where you can wander around Canal Park, shop in local boutiques, eat at great restaurants, stay in beautiful hotels, and enjoy the views of Lake Superior and the Aerial Lift Bridge.As you start to make your way further up the shore, you’ll come across a few small towns, starting with Two Harbors. Here you’ll find Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Both are worth a stop!Next is Silver Bay, which is home to Tettegouche State Park. Within this park is the state’s tallest waterfall and several hiking trails.Soon you’ll come to Lutsen and Grand Marais, both popular for their fall foliage and the hiking, skiing, and great food to eat.Lastly, you’ll come into Grand Portage, which also has a great waterfall and provides access to Isle Royale National Park.Other must-see stops along the North Shore include Palisade Head, Black Beach, Iona’s Beach, and Caribou Falls.The North Shore is packed with opportunities for hiking, exploring the outdoors, and escaping the big city.Photo by Tony L on Unsplash2. Red Wing – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 60 miles; 1 hourTime Recommended: 2+ daysRed Wing is a small town located along the banks of the Mississippi River in southern Minnesota.It’s well known for being the birthplace of the classic Red Wing Shoes and having some pretty fantastic views of the river.Within the city, you can hike along the river bluffs, which put you up and over the river to take in the amazing views.You can also spend some time kayaking or canoeing down the mighty Mississippi.Of course during your time in Red Wing, you’ll want to visit the Red Wing Shoe Store and Museum, where you can find a massive hiking boot.Another great stop to make in Red Wing is at the Red Wing Brewery, where you can find local brews and good times.Although Red Wing is a smaller town, it still provides you with great, fun activities to do on a road trip, and is a must-see on the Mississippi River.Photo by Aubree Herrick on Unsplash3. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore – WisconsinDistance from Minneapolis: 230 miles; 4 hoursTime Recommended: 3+ daysSituated just off of the rugged shores of Lake Superior are the Apostle Islands. There are 22 of them, and they can only be reached by sea kayak or boat.There are tours that will take you out to the islands to explore, or you can take your own sea kayak.But you can also explore the lakeshore near Bayfield if you don’t want to go into the choppy waters of Lake Superior. Along the shore, you’ll find miles of hiking trails that follow the shoreline and provide amazing views of the steep cliffs that drop into the lake.In the winter months, if the conditions are just right, you can actually walk onto the lake and explore the sea caves that form underneath the cliffs.Inside the small town of Bayfield, you can visit the Bayfield Maritime Museum to learn even more about these beautiful islands and cliffside. Photo by Kassidy4. Taylors Falls – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 55 miles; 1 hourTime Recommended: 1+ daysA visit to Taylors Falls is great year-round, as there are so many amazing things to do for the entire family!For outdoors lovers, head into Interstate State Park and check out the historical glacial potholes and learned how they formed, thousands of years ago. Many hiking trails line the St. Croix River, and you can enjoy the overlooks of the river. You can also take a ride on the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat, which gives even more great views and a relaxing ride.For families, head to Wild Mountain, where in the summer, you’ll find an amazing outdoor waterpark, an alpine slide, and go-karts. During the winter months, the destination turns into a ski resort.You can also head into town and explore the small shops and great restaurants. One of the most popular places to eat is the Taylors Falls Drive-In, which can’t be missed by the giant root beer barrel outside.And being so close to Minneapolis, Taylors Falls makes the perfect day trip!Photo by Krista Jerzyk on Unsplash5. Wisconsin Dells – WisconsinDistance from Minneapolis: 220 miles; 3.5 hoursTime Recommended: 3+ daysIf you’re taking a road trip from Minneapolis and are bringing kids along, then a visit to Wisconsin Dells is the perfect place to go!Known as the Waterpark Capital of the World, there are so many great indoor and outdoor waterparks to splash around in.The most popular are Noah’s Ark, Mt. Olympus, Wild West, and Kalahari Waterparks. All of which have tons of waterslides, splash pools, wave pools, lazy rivers, and more to enjoy during your visit!Aside from all of the waterpark fun, Wisconsin Dells has so much more to explore. From a trip to Ripley’s Believe it or Not to ziplining at Bigfoot Zipline Tours and racing at Big Chief Go-Karts, there’s something for everyone.You can also explore the nature of the area at Witches Gulch, which can only be reached on an Upper Dells boat tour. This is one of the most unique places in Wisconsin!For kids and adults, Wisconsin Dells is a great place to visit!Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash6. Chicago, IllinoisDistance from Minneapolis: 400 miles; 6.5 hoursTime Recommended: 3+ daysWhile a bit further of a drive than some of the other locations, a trip to Chicago is a worthwhile visit for anyone and one of the most perfect weekend road trips from Minneapolis! The Windy City is packed with things to do, places to eat, and stores to shop in.Once you’ve arrived in Chicago, one of the very things to do is visit Millenium Park and see The Bean. You’ve probably seen it in movies before, but now go check it out in person!Take a stroll along the famous Magnificent Mile, where you can shop, dine, and soak up the sights and sounds of the city. And be sure to stop at Navy Pier, the waterfront destination on Lake Michigan. And when it comes to food, Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza, so be sure to grab a slice or two.Another popular attraction is the Willis Tower, where you can step out onto the glass sky deck and The Ledge and see the city over 100 floors below you.If you’re interested in sports or theater, you can catch a game at Wrigley Field or watch a Broadway production at one of the five theaters. No matter what you like to do, Chicago will leave you with unforgettable memories from your trip from Minneapolis!7. Brainerd – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 130 miles; 2.5 hoursTime Recommended: 1+ daysBeing well known for its thousands of lakes, a trip to Brainerd will really allow you to explore Minnesota’s most famous natural features.The Brainerd Lakes Area has over 400 lakes to explore, including some of the best lakes for fishing like Mille Lacs, Gull Lake, and Leech Lake.Spending a weekend at one of the many fantastic resorts in the area will allow you to fully experience the beauty of Minnesota’s nature. Most resorts allow access to things like boats, kayaks, paddleboards, a sandy beach, and campfire pits.Or, you can just head up for the day and spend time boating, swimming, and wandering around the area. This is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation or day trip.A few other fun activities in the area include visiting Paul Bunyan and Babe, golfing at the world glass courses, biking on the Paul Bunyan State Trail, and visiting one of the few local waterparks.Photo by Kassidy8. Stillwater – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 25 miles; 35 minutesTime Recommended: 1+ daysThe adorable small town of Stillwater makes for a perfect getaway and offers plenty to do, whether you’re visiting for just a few hours or an entire weekend.Start off by viewing the beautiful St. Croix River from along the river banks or by going up to the Stillwater Overlook. You can also walk across the historic lift bridge into Wisconsin and enjoy the views right on the water.With Stillwater River Boats, you can take a dinner cruise along the river and enjoy a relaxing or romantic evening out. Stillwater makes for one of the best places for a romantic getaway in Minnesota!Lining the river are plenty of restaurants, from a tiki-themed bar to a rooftop bar and hole-in-the-wall diners, you’ll find somewhere great to eat. There are also several small local shops to stop into and see what souvenirs you can find. A unique ice cream store, MN Nice Cream is also found along the river.From romantic getaways to family day trips, Stillwater is a great choice.Photo by Kassidy9. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness – MichiganDistance from Minneapolis: 270 miles; 5.5 hoursTime Recommended: 3+ daysMichigan’s Upper Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the Midwest and makes for the perfect weekend road trip from Minneapolis, especially to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness.There are so many great places in the UP to travel to, but the closest and one of the best is the Porcupine Mountains, where you’ll find hiking trails, waterfalls, lake views, and rolling hills.One of the most popular hikes is to the Lake of the Clouds, which is phenomenal year-round, and even better during the fall months. Other hikes include to waterfalls like Manabezho Falls and Nawadaha Falls.Even just wandering around the shores of Lake Superior make this trip worthwhile. During the winter months, snowmobilers love to visit the UP for their “lake effect” snow, which is powdery and deep.Overall, the Porkies, as they’re nicknamed, are a beautiful destination just a short drive from Minneapolis.Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash10. Door County – WisconsinDistance from Minneapolis: 350 miles; 6 hoursTime Recommended: 4+ daysIf you’re looking for a charming and picturesque getaway, Door County, Wisconsin is a must-visit destination. Located on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan, Door County is known for its stunning natural beauty, quaint small towns, and abundant outdoor activities.A visit to Cave Point County Park allows you to take in the beautiful views of Lake Michigan and watch as the waves crash into the shore. Whitefish Dunes State Park is another beautiful area to get outside and explore. At the state parks, you can get out and hike or kayak on the water.The small shops in Door County are perfect for wandering into and finding souvenirs to take home. Door County is also famous for its cherry orchards, and you can indulge in fresh cherry pie and other delicious treats while you’re there.With its friendly locals, beautiful scenery, and endless opportunities for adventure, Door County is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life from Minneapolis.Photo by Kassidy11. Badlands National Park – South DakotaDistance from Minneapolis: 570 miles ;8.5 hoursTime Recommended: 4+ daysA visit to Badlands National Park will take you the furthest away from Minneapolis, but provides you with some of the most beautiful views around! It’s best done on a long weekend when you have an extra day to drive and explore to account for the drive time.Once you’ve arrived in the national park, you’ll immediately see why this is so popular. The amazing Badlands are rock formations that roll through the land, creating incredible views. Staring out into the distance, you can see for miles!Watch for wildlife roaming in the park, as the Badlands are home to bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and more. You can see all of these creatures by getting out on the trails and hiking. You can also take the scenic road through the park and enjoy the amazing views from your car!If you have some extra time, consider adding on Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park, which are just about another hour west of Badlands National Park. You can also visit Wall Drug in the town of Wall, which was made famous for its free ice water.Hitting all of these destinations is one of the best ways to see all that beautiful South Dakota has to offer.12. Great River Road – WisconsinDistance from Minneapolis: 30 miles; 35 minutesTime Recommended: 3+ daysThis road trip destination isn’t just to one town, but instead follows a nearly 250 mile stretch of road along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.From Prescott in the north (just 30 minutes from Minneapolis!) and down to Kieler in the south, this road provides phenomenal views of the Mississippi River Valley and gives plenty of opportunities for you to pull off and enjoy the scenic views.There are scenic overlooks in towns like La Crosse and Bagley that are right off the road and make for the perfect spots to stretch your legs. Along with the overlooks, the many small towns offer places to try something new to eat or stop into a local store.You can continue along this route for as long or little as you like, depending on how much time you have!Photo by adrian korpal on Unsplash13. Winona – MinnesotaDistance from Minneapolis: 120 miles; 2.5 hoursTime Recommended: 1+ daysWinona is a small town along the Mississippi River that provides similar views to that of Stillwater and Taylors Falls, just a bit further south.In this small town, you’ll find hiking trails galore that bring you to the top of the river bluffs, where you can overlook the beautiful Mississippi River Valley. Among the most popular is the Sugar Loaf Bluff trail.While in town, stop at a few of the breweries that add to the great brewery scene that you’ll find in the Twin Cities. You can also check out Garvin Heights City Park, which offers more beautiful views of the river.For art lovers, stop into the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and for those who love food, grab a bite to eat at the Winona Sandwich Company or the Winona Family Restaurant.Wrap-Up: Road Trips from MinneapolisWhile the city of Minneapolis is a great place to be, sometimes it’s nice to escape and visit somewhere new for a change. So whether you’re a local looking to get away, or are a visitor looking for places to go for the day or weekend, these great road trips from Minneapolis will be perfect for you.It’s an excellent way to explore the beauty and diversity of the Midwest, whether you stick in the state or you travel to the surrounding areas.From scenic drives along the shores of Lake Superior to traversing the rugged Badlands of South Dakota, there is no shortage of adventure and excitement to be found on the open road!About the Author:Kassidy is a Minnesota native who enjoys spending her time exploring her home state and the surrounding areas. Her favorite part of Minnesota is the North Shore, and she loves sharing her adventures on her blog, Kassidy’s Journey.Check out more Midwest content:Have you visited any of these? What was your favorite?Save this “13 Best Road Trips from Minneapolis” for later – pin it and share it!Related

Source: www.thecommontraveler.net