Last updated on August 16th, 2019
My bookshelf is filled with all kinds of Minnesota Travel Guide Books giving me tons of ideas on what do to around the state. I’ve learned that not all books are created equal. But a few have become my favorites that go with me wherever I go. Here are a few that you can’t afford to NOT have on your shelf.
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10 Of the Best Minnesota Travel Guide Books
1. Hiking the North Shore: 50 Fabulous Day Hikes in Minnesota’s Spectacular Lake Superior Region by Andrew Slade
If you are planning on going to the North Shore, you need this book. The author has found every single hiking trail, including all the MN State Park hiking trails. The describe the difficulty and exactly how to find each of the entry points. Along the way, he’ll point out different points of interest on the trail you don’t want to miss. The book covers all locations from Duluth all the way to Grand Portage.
2. North Shore Camping (There and Back Guides) by Andrew Slade
Brought to you by the same author of North Shore Hikes, this book does the same but with campsites. They have found all the hidden locations beyond the State Parks. The author has the details on over 60 different campgrounds along the north shore. He knows which ones work best for the big rig RVs and those that prefer to tent. He also goes into the details of great things to do in the area. It’s the prefect companion for your car.
3. Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore by Eve Wallinga
If you love waterfalls, you need this book. While there are some waterfalls in the Twin Cities to explore, the biggest and most abundant source for them is along Minnesota’s North Shore. The Author starts at Jay Cooke State Park and heads north through Canada. The book gives you the details on where to park, and how far away the fall is with a hiking difficulty rating. What was so amazing, was the number of falls that don’t require much hiking at all.
4. Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, Eighth Edition
If you are planning a trip on the Superior Hiking trail, you can’t do it without a copy of this book. You’ll find out where all the campsites and watering holes are. What the mileage is between points and difficulty. All the hikers swear by this. To lighten your load, consider getting a digital version of the book, or take a few pictures of the pages you need on your phone.
5. Best Hikes Near Minneapolis and Saint Paul by David and Joe Baur
This book changed my life. Filled with over 40 different hikes, they give you detailed info on how to get to these locations. With more than just a map to navigate some of the best places in the Twin Cities to hike. Trust me, some maps get complicated with multiple routes all coming out of one location, and a little extra guidance is needed. You get detailed info on terrain, hiking times, and points of interest along the way. You’ll find enough hikes to keep you busy for years.
6. Walking Twin Cities by Holly Day and Sherman Wick
This book is perfect for those that love history and architecture. They have laid out 34 different tours around Minneapolis and Saint Paul. You’ll see lakeside parks, gangster hangouts and gorgeous mansions. On your walk, the author will give you some ideas on things to do, like paddle boating. They also give you a little history of the area. What’s great about this guide, is the tours are all free to do.
7. Day Trips from the Twin Cities by Lisa Meyers
This is the book that got it all started for me. The author sends you to all different regions of Minnesota and into Wisconsin. Each of her trips gives you details on the location and what are the not to miss things to see. The book isn’t limited to the Day Trip either. They provide great recommendations day by day to keep you busy all weekend long.
8. WECK Small-Batch Preserving by Stephanie Thurow
One of my favorite Minnesota bloggers, Stephanie Thurow from Minnesota From Scratch just released her second book. She is a master at canning. Her latest book starts with a step by steps on how to can. Then she gets into the good stuff, the canning recipes. She even has an entire section on Boozy Infusions. This perfect for the home gardener or Farmers Market Fans.
9. Minnesota Curiosities by Russ Ringsack and Debbie Remick
If you like roadside curiosities and quirky parks of Minnesota, this is your book. Broken up by region, you’ll find a bunch of locations you can’t miss it. From an 8-foot iron man statue to babe the blue ox for your selfie collection. There is even a Wiener dog hurdles race hiding in the book somewhere. This is a different type of book that will round out your collection and give you a new reason to get out on the road.
10. How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr
Any transplant to Minnesota needs this book. This book gets Minnesota culture. Things like how we love to talk in negatives, like “It could be worse” and when best to use the phrase “You Bet” or even better “You Betcha”. As a native to Minnesota, I found this book to be hilarious. I love it when people can make fun of themselves a little.
I hope you found at least one book in this collection to spark an interest for you. IF you are taking your Toddler with you on your next trip, make sure to check out: 10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Toddlers. With so many different ways to explore, there is no way you should get bored. Enjoy exploring the with these Minnesota travel guidebooks in hand.
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