Minnesota is an amazing destination, and no matter what time of year you go there you will find something to do.
From strolling along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, to lounging on the beach at Lake Superior, there are countless activities and attractions to explore during your stay.
But if you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Minnesota for ideal weather conditions and fewer crowds, well look no further.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the perfect times to experience this beautiful destination – so get ready for an unforgettable journey.
- 1 What’s the best time to visit Minnesota?
- 2 What are the best things to do in Minnesota?
- 2.1 Explore the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul):
- 2.2 Visit the North Shore of Lake Superior:
- 2.3 Discover the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness:
- 2.4 Visit Voyageurs National Park:
- 2.5 Explore the Minnesota State Parks:
- 2.6 Arts and culture of Minneapolis:
- 2.7 Experience the charm of Duluth:
- 2.8 Visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum:
- 2.9 Explore the Minnesota Zoo:
- 2.10 Enjoy outdoor activities in the Boundary Waters:
- 3 What are the best hiking trails in Minnesota?
- 4 Final Verdict
- 5 FAQs
What’s the best time to visit Minnesota?
However, if you are looking to visit and experience the best of this state, the summer months of July and August are undoubtedly the best time to do so.
During this time, Minnesota enjoys warm and pleasant weather, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s°F to mid-80s°F.
This makes it a perfect time to explore the beautiful national parks, such as Voyageurs National Park, or enjoy a refreshing swim in the many lakes and streams that dot the state.
Minnesota is known for its many festivals and events that take place in these summer months, including the Minnesota State Fair, which is one of the largest state fairs in the country, attracting millions of visitors each year.
What are the best things to do in Minnesota?
If you are a fan of the outdoors, then Minnesota is definitely the place for you. Here are several things to do:
Explore the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul):
- Visit the iconic Mall of America, one of the largest shopping malls in the world.
- Explore the Minneapolis Institute of Art, featuring an extensive collection of artworks.
- Enjoy a walk around Lake Calhoun or Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.
- Attend a live performance at the historic Guthrie Theater or Orpheum Theatre.
- Visit the Science Museum of Minnesota and discover interactive exhibits.
- Explore the historic Cathedral of Saint Paul and its stunning architecture.
- Take a stroll along the Mississippi Riverfront in both cities.
- Experience the vibrant food scene with diverse culinary options.
- Explore the Mill City Museum and learn about Minneapolis’ flour milling history.
- Visit the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul and take a guided tour.
- Attend a professional sports game, such as a Minnesota Twins baseball game or Minnesota Vikings football game.
- Explore the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul.
- Enjoy shopping and dining at the trendy neighborhoods of Uptown and Northeast Minneapolis.
- Attend the Minnesota State Fair, a beloved annual event.
- Explore the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis for outdoor activities like biking, boating, and picnicking.
- Discover the Minnesota History Center and learn about the state’s rich heritage.
Visit the North Shore of Lake Superior:
- Explore Gooseberry Falls State Park and witness stunning waterfalls.
- Hike along the Superior Hiking Trail, offering breathtaking views.
- Visit Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and tour the historic lighthouse.
- Enjoy scenic drives along Highway 61 with panoramic views of the lake.
- Discover the charming town of Grand Marais and its art galleries.
- Experience the beauty of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
- Go fishing or kayaking on Lake Superior.
- Visit Tettegouche State Park and hike to High Falls, the tallest waterfall entirely within Minnesota.
- Explore the Gunflint Trail for outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.
- Take a scenic boat tour or paddleboarding excursion on Lake Superior.
- Enjoy beachcombing and rock skipping along the shoreline.
- Experience the magic of the northern lights (aurora borealis) in the dark night skies.
- Attend the annual Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth.
- Visit the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and learn about the region’s maritime history.
- Sample local cuisine, including fresh-caught fish and wild berry treats.
Discover the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness:
- Embark on a canoeing or kayaking adventure through pristine lakes and rivers.
- Camp in the wilderness and experience the serenity of nature.
- Go fishing for walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass.
- Spot wildlife such as moose, black bears, and bald eagles.
- Explore the hiking trails and portage between lakes.
- Take in the stunning views and breathtaking sunsets.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the wilderness.
- Enjoy stargazing and the tranquil sounds of nature.
- Experience solitude and disconnect from the outside world.
- Hire a guide for a safe and educational trip.
- Capture beautiful photographs of the wilderness scenery.
- Swim or take a refreshing dip in the clear lakes.
- Listen to the haunting calls of loons echoing across the water.
- Pack lightweight and portable camping gear.
- Plan for multiple days to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness experience.
Visit Voyageurs National Park:
- Explore the interconnected waterways by boat or kayak.
- Go fishing for walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge.
- Discover the unique rock formations and ancient pictographs.
- Take a guided boat tour to learn about the park’s history and wildlife.
- Enjoy camping and stargazing in the remote wilderness.
- Spot wildlife such as bald eagles, loons, and beavers.
- Explore the hiking trails and observe diverse flora and fauna.
- Experience the tranquility of the park’s pristine lakes and forests.
- Enjoy water activities like swimming, boating, and water skiing.
- Capture stunning photographs of the park’s natural beauty.
- Attend ranger-led programs and learn about the park’s ecosystems.
- Enjoy birdwatching and try to spot a variety of avian species.
- Pack insect repellent and protective clothing for outdoor activities.
- Plan a winter visit for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing.
- Rent a houseboat for a unique and adventurous stay.
- Respect the park’s regulations and practice responsible outdoor ethics.
Explore the Minnesota State Parks:
- Visit Itasca State Park, where the Mississippi River begins.
- Hike to the top of the majestic Gooseberry Falls in Gooseberry Falls State Park.
- Discover the unique red rock formations in Jay Cooke State Park.
- Explore the caves and cliffs of Blue Mounds State Park.
- Enjoy swimming and water activities in Lake Carlos State Park.
- Take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of Whitewater State Park.
- Camp in the wilderness and enjoy the serenity of Afton State Park.
- Go birdwatching in the diverse habitats of Lake Maria State Park.
- Discover the ancient glacial features in Glacial Lakes State Park.
- Enjoy winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park.
- Hike along the rugged trails of Temperance River State Park.
- Camp in the backcountry and spot wildlife in Wild River State Park.
- Explore the unique sand dunes of Lake Maria State Park.
- Attend interpretive programs and learn about the parks’ natural and cultural history.
- Enjoy picnicking and BBQs in the designated areas.
Arts and culture of Minneapolis:
- Visit the Walker Art Center, known for contemporary art and sculpture gardens.
- Explore the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and take a picture with the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.
- Attend a performance at the historic Guthrie Theater.
- Discover the Minneapolis Institute of Art and its diverse collection.
- Experience the music scene by attending a concert at First Avenue, a renowned live music venue.
- Visit the Weisman Art Museum and admire its distinctive stainless steel architecture.
- Explore the American Swedish Institute and learn about Swedish culture and history.
- Attend the Minnesota Fringe Festival for a diverse showcase of performing arts.
- Enjoy theater performances at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
- Discover local art galleries and studios in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
- Experience the vibrant street art scene throughout the city.
- Attend the Holidazzle Winter Festival, featuring holiday lights, parades, and ice skating.
- Explore the Minnesota Street Market, a cooperative grocery store focusing on local and organic products.
- Visit the Minnesota History Center and learn about the state’s past.
- Attend the Minnesota Orchestra or the Minnesota Opera for a world-class performance.
- Explore the cultural events and exhibits at the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis.
Experience the charm of Duluth:
- Visit Canal Park and enjoy scenic views of Lake Superior and the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge.
- Explore the Great Lakes Aquarium and learn about the region’s aquatic life.
- Take a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad for breathtaking views of the lake.
- Visit the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center and discover the area’s maritime history.
- Explore the historic Glensheen Mansion and its beautiful grounds.
- Experience the natural beauty of Jay Cooke State Park and its swinging bridge.
- Stroll along the Lakewalk and enjoy the picturesque shoreline.
- Take a boat tour or kayak excursion on Lake Superior.
- Visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and learn about the region’s railway history.
- Explore the shops, galleries, and restaurants in Downtown Duluth.
- Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and skiing on the nearby trails.
- Attend the annual Bayfront Blues Festival for a weekend of live music.
- Visit the Duluth Children’s Museum for interactive exhibits.
- Explore the William A. Irvin Museum, a retired ore boat turned museum.
- Enjoy fishing and water sports on Lake Superior.
- Take a scenic drive along the North Shore Scenic Byway and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum:
- Explore over 1,200 acres of gardens, prairies, and woodlands.
- Discover the extensive collection of plants and flowers from around the world.
- Enjoy walking or biking on the picturesque trails.
- Attend educational programs and workshops on gardening and horticulture.
- Visit the Japanese Garden and experience its tranquility.
- Explore the Tree-Mendous Tree Houses exhibit for a unique perspective.
- Enjoy seasonal events like the Spring Flower Show and Fall Harvest Festival.
- Take a guided tour to learn about the arboretum’s history and conservation efforts.
- Visit the Snyder Building for rotating art exhibitions.
- Attend a concert or musical performance at the Oswald Visitor Center.
- Enjoy birdwatching and spot a variety of avian species.
- Explore the Bee Center and learn about the importance of pollinators.
- Take children to the Marion Andrus Learning Center for interactive exhibits and activities.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely day in the beautiful surroundings.
- Take photographs of the vibrant blooms and natural landscapes.
- Shop for unique plants and gardening accessories at the gift shop.
Explore the Minnesota Zoo:
- Discover a wide range of animals from around the world in naturalistic habitats.
- Visit the Tropics Trail and observe tropical species like lemurs and monkeys.
- Explore the Minnesota Trail and learn about the state’s native wildlife.
- Enjoy the Wells Fargo Family Farm and interact with farm animals.
- Attend animal feedings and educational presentations.
- Take a ride on the Zoo Monorail for an elevated view of the zoo.
- Visit the Russia’s Grizzly Coast exhibit and see bears and other Russian wildlife.
- Explore the Discovery Bay and see marine animals like seals and sea otters.
- Attend special events like ZooBoo and Music in the Zoo.
- Enjoy the Butterfly Garden during the summer months.
- Participate in behind-the-scenes experiences and animal encounters.
- Take children to the outdoor and indoor play areas.
- Enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas.
- Visit the Minnesota Zoo’s conservation programs and learn about their efforts.
- Take photographs of the unique and endangered animals.
- Support the zoo by becoming a member or adopting an animal.
Enjoy outdoor activities in the Boundary Waters:
- Go camping and immerse yourself in the wilderness.
- Canoe or kayak through the pristine lakes and rivers.
- Fish for a variety of species including walleye and smallmouth bass.
- Hike the scenic trails and enjoy breathtaking views.
- Spot wildlife such as moose, beavers, and bald eagles.
- Swim and relax on the sandy beaches.
- Experience the solitude and peacefulness of the wilderness.
- Enjoy birdwatching and try to identify different species.
- Practice responsible outdoor ethics and leave no trace.
- Take a photography expedition to capture the stunning landscapes.
- Enjoy stargazing on clear nights and marvel at the night sky.
- Take a day trip to nearby scenic spots like Basswood Falls or Angleworm Lake.
- Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the area’s rapids.
- Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter months.
- Participate in guided wilderness tours for a safe and informative experience.
- Disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature.
What are the best hiking trails in Minnesota?
Here are some of the best hiking trails in the state:
Superior Hiking Trail:
- A renowned trail along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
- Expansive views of Lake Superior, waterfalls, and forests.
- Multiple access points and trailheads for various hiking options.
- Diverse terrain with challenging sections and gentle stretches.
- Opportunities for backcountry camping and backpacking.
- Abundance of wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
- Well-maintained trail with designated campsites and amenities.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness:
- A vast wilderness area with numerous hiking trails.
- Scenic trails through forests, along lakeshores, and over portages.
- Opportunities for multi-day hiking trips or combined with canoeing.
- Remote and pristine wilderness experience.
- Abundance of wildlife sightings, including moose and bald eagles.
- Accessible from multiple entry points throughout the area.
- Camping options in designated campsites or backcountry camping.
Gooseberry Falls State Park:
- Scenic trails along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
- Spectacular waterfalls, including the iconic Gooseberry Falls.
- Trails that offer both short and longer loop options.
- Views of Lake Superior and the Gooseberry River.
- Picnic areas and facilities available for visitors.
- Interpretive signs providing information on the area’s geology and history.
- Accessible trails for all levels of hikers.
Itasca State Park:
- Home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
- Trails that explore the park’s diverse ecosystems and lakes.
- Highlights include the Wilderness Drive, Preacher’s Grove, and Douglas Lodge Loop.
- Opportunities for wildlife spotting, including white-tailed deer and bald eagles.
- Interpretive centers providing educational information.
- Well-marked trails with varying lengths and difficulty levels.
- Camping options available within the park.
Jay Cooke State Park:
- Stunning trails along the St. Louis River and through the park’s rugged terrain.
- Scenic views of the river, waterfalls, and dramatic rocky cliffs.
- Suspension bridge over the river providing a unique experience.
- Opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife sightings.
- Trails suitable for different skill levels and lengths.
- Campground and picnic areas available for visitors.
- Interpretive signs sharing information about the park’s natural and cultural history.
Tettegouche State Park:
- Hiking trails offering breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains.
- Highlights include the Baptism River, High Falls, and Shovel Point trails.
- Challenging terrain with steep sections and rocky cliffs.
- Accessible trails for those seeking an easier hike.
- Abundant wildlife and birdwatching opportunities.
- Campground and picnic areas available within the park.
- Waterfalls and cascades adding to the scenic beauty.
Temperance River State Park:
- Trails that wind along the Temperance River, leading to stunning waterfalls and gorges.
- Scenic views of Lake Superior and the surrounding North Shore.
- Opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering.
- Picnic areas and campgrounds for visitors.
- Diverse flora and fauna, including wildflowers and songbirds.
- Well-maintained trails suitable for various skill levels.
- Interpretive signs providing information about the area’s geology and natural features.
Whitewater State Park:
- Hiking trails through hardwood forests, valleys, and along the Whitewater River.
- Views of limestone bluffs and scenic landscapes.
- Opportunities for trout fishing and wildlife sightings.
- Well-marked trails with varying lengths and difficulties.
- Picnic areas, campgrounds, and visitor center available.
- Birdwatching opportunities, including the chance to see the rare cerulean warbler.
- Interpretive programs and educational exhibits.
Afton State Park:
- Trails that meander through rolling hills, prairies, and along the St. Croix River.
- Scenic views of the river valley and surrounding landscapes.
- Options for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
- Picnic areas and campsites available for visitors.
- Wildlife sightings, including deer, foxes, and eagles.
- Well-maintained trails suitable for different skill levels.
- Interpretive signs sharing information about the park’s natural features.
Banning State Park:
- Hiking trails along the Kettle River, through forests, and past sandstone cliffs.
- Views of the river’s rapids and waterfalls.
- Unique experiences, including the Hell’s Gate overlook and the Quarry Loop Trail.
- Opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and rock climbing.
- Campground and picnic areas within the park.
- Abundant wildlife, including white-tailed deer and beavers.
- Interpretive center providing information about the park’s history and geology.
These hiking trails offer a range of experiences, from scenic river views to breathtaking waterfalls, and from challenging terrain to accessible paths.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to explore Minnesota at its fullest, summer is the best time to visit.
During this period, temperatures remain moderate, and most of Minnesota’s parks and recreational activities become available for visitors to take part in.
Clear waters with low-levels of humidity makes it an ideal climate to enjoy camping trips or a weekend getaway with family and friends.
Even the vibrant city life has a bit more color during the summer months thanks to outdoor adventures like swimming in Lake Superior and city block festivals that feature unique arts & crafts from around the state as well as live music for added entertainment.
If you opt to take a trip to Minnesota during July or August, you’ll be able to reap all the benefits that come along with Minnesota’s summertime scenery: stunning landscapes, beautiful rivers and lakes, interesting wildlife encounters and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever witness in your lifetime.
What are the best months to visit Minnesota?
The best months to visit Minnesota are July and August, when you can enjoy warm weather and a variety of festivals and events. You can also explore the many national parks in the area such as Voyageurs National Park.
What are the average temperatures in Minnesota?
The average temperature in Minnesota from July to August ranges from the mid-70s°F to mid-80s°F. During these months, you can enjoy pleasant weather and perfect conditions for outdoor activities.
What is the best weather in Minnesota?
The best weather in Minnesota is during the summer months, when temperatures are comfortable and sunny days are abundant. You can also enjoy stunning sunsets and explore the many national parks located throughout the state. The autumn season is also a great time to visit as the leaves begin to change colors, creating a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities.
Are there hiking trails in Minnesota?
Yes, there are several hiking trails in Minnesota. Voyageurs National Park offers many trails along the waterways and through its forests. Other popular spots include Jay Cooke State Park (St. Louis River), Tettegouche State Park (Lake Superior), Temperance River State Park (Temperance River), Whitewater State Park (Whitewater River), Afton State Park (St. Croix River), and Banning State Park (Kettle River).