The Spoon Bridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

5 Fun Minnesota Spring Break Trip Ideas

The best time to visit Minneapolis is in the spring when the city is coming to life after a long winter. Minnesota has so many cute small towns to explore.

As a lifelong Minnestoan native, I really love the spring time. It’s when I start getting out more, and for some reason, this year we’ve had an exceptionally long spring.

If you live nearby and want to go somewhere new or if you’re visiting from out of town, I can recommend some great places to visit. Here is your ultimate guide to planning your Minnesota Spring Break.

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What are the top Spring Break Destinations?

Let’s cut right to the chase: here are my favorite locations for spring break in Minneasota:

  • Minneapolis/St Paul – Tons to see and explore. Plus close to lots of indoor attractions if things get icky out.
  • Redwing – Beautiful river front town with history and outdoor areas to explore.
  • Duluth – On the shores of Lake Superior, with a gateway to the north shore. Museums, shipping, shopping, outdoors, plus you might get a bit of snow!
  • Stillwater – Great river town. Walkable historic downtown wtih music, restaurants and more.
  • St Cloud – Another great town to explore. It’s a mini version of Minneapolis with parks, history, shopping and more. Everything is spread out, so you don’t have to deal with city craziness.

Why You Should Consider A Minnesota Spring Break

The state has tons to do. Most popular are the Twin Cities. They have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and activities. The Twin Cities are home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country, and we have a thriving art scene, too. Not to mention all the great food!

Outside the cities are some great locations that make a great spring break or staycation for those itching to stay closer to home this year.

The Best Places To Stay at for Spring Break in Minnesota

Spring break is a time of year when you can take a break from the usual and do something different.

I’m sharing with you some of the best places to stay for Spring Break in Minnesota. If you are looking for something new to do this Spring Break, then check out our list!

Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Minneapolis is a great destination for people who want to experience the best of the Midwest. The city offers a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor activities. You can visit one of the many museums or go for a hike in one of the many parks. I’m a huge fan of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Bonus because it’s free. But there are many more.

Start off your mornings by taking a hike and exploring the town. In the afternoon, find a historical property, or play at the Ordway Theater.

For an urban adventure, visit the Mall of America. Stay there and have fun at Nickelodeon Universe in the evening. Go on a Gangster Tour of St Paul and find out our crazy past. Spend the day in uptown and walk around the lakes.

TIP: Locals, if you haven’t done a Gangster Tour, I highly recommend it. I didn’t go until I had family come to visit, and it was amazing.

Where to eat in Minneapolis/St Paul

The Twin Cities are home to several great restaurants. Our favorite place to get steak is Manny’s Steakhouse. For a good lunch, head over to Red Cow North Loop.

Where to stay in Minneapolis/St Paul

A good place to stay is The Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis. The hotel has been around since 1928 and has hosted many famous people, like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The Ivy offers guests an upscale experience with its modern design and luxurious amenities.

Next up is The W Minneapolis. The hotel was originally an office building, but now it’s one of Minnesota’s most popular hotels.

For a family-friendly option, stay at The Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington. It’s a little way outside Downtown Minneapolis but right to the Mall of America. The hotel has a water park inside and the kids will never want to leave. For something more secluded, consider renting an Airbnb downtown.

Minneapolis Hotels

Minneapolis has some amazing hotels at all budgets. In addition to the options above, I have a full breakdown of great hotels you can stay at. Best Hotels to Stay at in Minneapolis

How To Get Around Minneapolis?

Minneapolis and St Paul are the most visited of all Spring Break destinations in Minnesota. Most people will drive their car around downtown and park at some of the pay parking lots. It’s typically what I do.

But what makes the cities unique is the Skyway system. It connects the buildings together, meaning you don’t have to worry about wet streets, snow or rain. I have a full guide on how to use them: Navigating the MPLS Skyways Like a Local.

Another option is to take the light rail. The light rail has free parking at different parts of the track, like the Mall of America. For a few dollars, you can jump on the train and get to many places downtown. It’s safe and easy to use. The afortability goes down when you travel with a family.

Minneapolis Park - Spring Break in MN

Red Wing

The town of Red Wing is home to one of the most beautiful hiking spots, Barn Bluff. The trails are all over Barn Bluff, with some for experienced hikers only. Take advantage of the great biking trails. See the Giant Red Wing Boot.

Visit the Anderson Center Sculpture Garden. Climb to the top of the Water Tower and see some inspiring pieces of art. Find out how Red Wing Pottery has become so popular.

A few minutes south of Red Wing is Frontenac State Park. It is one of the best places in the country to watch birds migrating in the spring. More than 260 bird species have been seen there.

I’ve Day Tripped to Red Wing multiple times. I recommend staying overnight there to take in all the sights. Plus, it’s a great home base if you want to see some of the other river towns further south.

If you want to explore more, head south on Highway 61 and make your way to Wabasha’s National Eagle Center.

It’s another great small town. Wabasha is the actual town that was home to the Grumpy Old Men series. You can go a little further down all the way to Winona, too.

Where to eat in Red Wing

Eat downtown in Red Wing’s great restaurants. Have breakfast at Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop. Have dinner at Kelly’s Tap House Bar & Grill. Stop into the Red Wing Barrel House for some great drinks and pizza.

Where to stay in Red Wing

Stay at the St James Hotel, rumored to be haunted. Or check out the town’s great bed and breakfasts. The town is filled with great opportunities.

Red WinG Adventures

Red Wing is a great destination to explore. Between the Giant Boot, Boutique Shopping and great places to stay. Make sure to check out: 24 Entertaining Things To Do in Red Wing MN

Red Wing MN

Duluth Minnesota

Duluth is another great Spring Break destination in Minnesota. The town of Duluth has countless places to explore, like Canal Street and Superior Street. There are plenty of waterfalls around Lester Park. Most are reachable on foot.

You can also explore Enger Park Tower or the Glensheen Mansion. Walk on to the S.S. William A Irving Museum or go into the Great Lakes Aquarium. Visit a brewery or track down the three lighthouses in downtown.

Once you get your fill of Duluth, get in the car and take a drive along Minnesota’s North Shore. There are so many fun places to explore, like Two Harbors and Gooseberry Falls. Keep going north and you’ll get to Two Harbors and Tettegouche State Park or go to Grand Marais.It’s about two hours from Duluth.

If you really want an adventure, drive to the tallest waterfall in MN, Grand Portage.

Where to eat in Duluth

Great restaurants to check out include Grandma’s on Canal Street, Coney Dogs for lunch or Tavern on the Hill.

Where to stay in Duluth

Duluth has accommodations at all price points. It’s part of why I love the town so much. Pier B Resort Hotel is a favorite because of its view of the Life Bridge. Another splendid hotel is the Comfort Suites Canal Park.

On Canal Street, you’ll be within walking distance to great restaurants and shopping, as well as Lake Superior views. If you are looking for a different type of trip, consider renting a cabin along MN’s North Shore. There are so many options for a remote trip. They book up fast.

Where to Stay in Duluth

Duluth is one of those towns you won’t want to leave. Partly because of their great accommodations. Before making a decision, make sure to check out: 14 Best Places to stay in Duluth MN

Keep Smiling Falls Duluth

Stillwater Minnesota

Stillwater is another great Spring Break destination in Minnesota. You can spend a whole week exploring there or use it as a base camp for other amazing adventures along the St Croix River. Stillwater is a charming town with great river views. They have a rich history.

It’s a favorite location for many Minneapolis residents to day trip to. Take a Trolley Ride, visit the old county jail, go to a winery, enjoy hidden caves and waterfalls. Bring your bike and go over the historical lift bridge.

You can spend a whole week there doing lots of fun activities like exploring the rich history, hiking, eating, and more.

It’s just an hour from my house, and I’ve done many day trips here. Even fi you plan on doing a Minneapolis trip, I’d recommend doing a quick day trip, it’s that much fun.

Where to eat in Stillwater

One thing Stillwater is known for is its great dining options. Start at the Oasis Cafe for breakfast.

Have a drink at the Water Street Inn’s Charlie’s Restaurant and Irish Pub, or the Freight House.

For dinner, there are so many great options like Mama Nacho Tacos or Tiki Lounge.

They have Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop for desert. Nelson’s Ice Cream is still serving ice cream out of their original shack used in 1923. You can also try MN Ice Cream for Instagrammable treats.

Where to stay in Stillwater

Stillwater has great options for spending the night. To fully understand the rich history and the best way to see it is in one of their bed and breakfasts. There are many to choose from. If you don’t want the bed and breakfast, try the the Lora. They built the hotel into the cliffside on the site of the old Wolf Brewery.

Where to Stay

Stillwater is a dream destination. With the stunning St Croix River, you’ll want to spend a couple of days close by to take it all in. From bed and breakfast to family and pet friendly accommodations. Find the perfect place to stay in Stillwater.

Stillwater Lift Bridge in MN during Spring

St Cloud Minnesota

St. Cloud is a miniature metropolis, similar to the Twin Cities. While there is much to do in St. Cloud, many consider the neighboring towns all part of the package. The town is great for those that like to be outdoors.

There are great bike paths, hiking trails, and more. I personally love to visit the Quarry Park and Nature Preserve. There are adventure parks, gardens, and even Hemker Park & Zoo.

Where to eat in St Cloud

When it comes to bakeries, St Cloud has some amazing options. First is Dutch Maid Bakery. The second is Cold Springs Bakery. They have amazing donuts and rolls! Lunch at the BoHo Café is amazing with locally sourced foods.  

Where to stay in St Cloud

St Cloud has some great hotel options. First is the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn. With an indoor pool and hot tub, the kids will be happy. The adults will love the view of the Mississippi River out their window. The hotel is stunning. Another great option is the Holiday Inn Express and Suites.

For more on St Cloud MN visit: The Top Things to do in St Cloud MN | Day Trip

Quarry Park in St Cloud

Why do you need a spring break?

We can’t deny the fact that we all need a break from our jobs now and then. It is not only good for our mental health but also for the physical one.

Early morning wake-up calls are never fun and a good way to mentally decompress is to get out for a walk in the fresh air.

Traveling and relaxation are both effective ways to reduce stress. Traveling, in particular, is one of the most effective ways to recuperate from stress.

Spring Break allows you to do all three: travel, travel, and relax – something that many startups struggle with.

What to Know About the Weather in Minnesota

Minnesota’s climate is known for its extreme weather. The state is usually colder in the winter and warmer in the summer. The average temperature in Minnesota ranges from -13°F to +91°F. So what does that mean for Spring? Your guess is as good as mine.

Spring Break normally happens in late March. If you are coming in 2024, if it continues the way it has been, it will probably be warm.

There is usually a layer of snow on the ground. Sometimes you might be snow-free, but the ground is wet and mushy. That being said, I recommend planning a MN Spring break near a big city to make sure you have a great time.

Have you done a Minnesota Spring Break yet?

Minnesota has such a diverse landscape it’s no wonder so many people enjoy living here. Spring Break is the perfect reason for you to see it yourself.

Even if you’ve lived in Minnesota your whole life and are looking to escape, check out a new part of the state at one of these great destinations.

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