The state of Minnesota is the twelfth largest area in the United States of America, spanning 86,939 square miles. It is one of the healthiest states, and also has one of the highest literacy rates in the country. The twin cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis are home to more than half the state’s population, thus leaving the sparsely populated countryside available for suburban lifestyles, and more importantly, the state’s agriculture.
Minnesota is also home to a wide host of activities, and has a healthy tourist industry. First and foremost, the state is known for its affinity with sports. Minnesota has men’s teams in all major sports. The metro is especially famous for at least three of its sports stadiums: Target Field, Target Center, and Xcel Energy Center. A new stadium is also currently under construction to replace the old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
Minnesotans have a reputation as outdoorsmen, and this part of their culture is obvious in their weekend activities. The northern half of Minnesota in particular attracts many fitness enthusiasts, as the region is largely dedicated to recreation. The state is dotted with good places for boaters, canoeists, kayakers, and fishermen. One of the most popular water activities is water skiing; a sport which originated in Minnesota. It shouldn’t be surprising that Minnesota is fond of water sports however, as there are over 11,000 lakes dotting the territory.
Come winter, many Minnesotans do not cease their outdoor spirit. Even tourists who come in the summer have reason to return in the winter, when lakes freeze over and the people turn to ice hockey, ice skiing, and ice fishing. Some facilities even sport snowboarding equipment and snow tubes for extreme sports athletes.
The intimacy between Minnesotans and the outdoors has also turned much of the population into environmentalists in their own right. Surroundings are almost always spotless, allowing even busier parts of the metro to look pleasing to the eyes. The state is also proud of its natural parks such as Niagara Cave; located in Harmony, and sporting a sixty-foot waterfall, a diverse collection of fossils, and even a wedding chapel. Larger parks include forest reserves such as the Superior Natural Forest, the Chippewa Natural Forest, and the Hill River State Forest. The southern half of the state boasts Amish communities that are always welcome to tourists.
Of course, not everyone is as capable as others of staying outdoors for too long. Minnesota is a great place to unwind as well, taking things indoors at the Mall of America. This massive complex hosts hundreds of stores and entertainment sections including an indoor theme park. A number of zoos and wildlife exhibits are open to the public in many of the cities as well, and art centers such as Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis or the Graffiti Graveyard in Duluth serve to please the more aesthetic personality.
After a day of adventuring and touring, sometimes, it is nice to just unwind and relax. A nice bike ride through the city can cool even the hottest heads in the summer. Some may even take their bikes out at night, or for real enthusiasts, along with them for their tours. Provided the rider follows regulations, Minnesota is one of the safest places in the United States to ride a bicycle.
Minnesota is a place where anyone can literally enjoy anything. Whether one is a rugged outdoor junkie, or a relaxed indoors person more interested in arts and exhibits, the state has something to offer. The only real danger is never wanting to leave again.