The 17 Best Museums in Minnesota

Minneapolis

Minnesota is Rich in Culture

Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, we also boast stunning murals, world-class museums, incredible art fairs, and unbelievable live shows and concerts. Minnesota’s art and culture scene is not to be underestimated. Read on for 17 of my favorite museums around Minnesota!

Minneapolis Museum
Minneapolis Museum

1. Minneapolis Institute of Art

City: Minneapolis

Cost: Many exhibitions are free, some require tickets for about $20

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is one of my favorite museums, so much so that my husband and I took our engagement photos here. You’ll find 90,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history. There are paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, Frank Lloyd Wright furniture, a jade carving from the 1780s, and everything in between.

Minneapolis
Minneapolis

2. Foshay Museum and Observation Deck

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $10/adults, $6/kids 4-14, free/children 3 and under

Looking for a unique view of the Minneapolis skyline? Check out the Foshay Tower observation deck in downtown Minneapolis for incredible views. Learn about the builder, Wilbur Foshay, and the building’s interesting history during the roaring 1920s. Then head out to the observation deck and walk around for a complete 360 view of Minneapolis.

Russian Museum

3. The Museum of Russian Art

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $14/adults, $12/seniors $5/students and active military, free/children 0-13

The Museum of Russian Art is devoted entirely to Russian people, culture, and art. You’ll find incredible exhibitions, cultural presentations, and educational programs across the museum’s three-story building.

4. Minnesota African American Heritage Museum

City: Minneapolis

Cost: Free

Founded in 2018, the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery is dedicated to the art, history, and culture of African Americas in Minnesota. Enjoy furniture, photography, paintings, and more.

Winona, Minnesota
Winona Museum

5. Minnesota Marine Art Museum

City: Winona

Cost: $10/adults, $8/seniors, $5/students, free/children 0-5

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is a gorgeous building next to the Mississippi River with vibrant gardens in the spring and summer. The museum has many exhibitions including a chair from the Titanic as well as handwritten letters from a survivor. You’ll also see photographs of animals underwater, like alligators, sharks, and whales, and paintings by Picasso, Mattise, Renoir, Degas, Monet, and Van Gogh.

6. The Somali Museum of Minnesota

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $11/adults, $8/seniors, $8/children 5-17

Founded in 2011, the Somali Museum of Minnesota is devoted to Somali culture and is focused on advancing and elevating the traditional and contemporary work of Somali artists.

things to do in Alexandria
things to do in Alexandria

7. Runestone Museum

City: Alexandria

Cost: $8/adults, $7/seniors and veterans, $5/students and youth, free/children under 5

The Runestone Museum first opened in 1958, and the Kensington Runestone was the only artifact at that time. Now, there are more than 40 items with some dating back to Middle-Age Nordic explorers.

Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do
Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do
Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do

8. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

City: Minneapolis

Cost: Free

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is 11 acres with beautifully landscaped gardens and 40 sculptures. This park is free for everyone to enjoy year-round. You can also find free yoga classes in the garden during the summer.

Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do
Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do
Minneapolis Museum Twin Cities Things to do

9. Walker Art Center

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $15/adults, $13/seniors, $10/students, $7.50/active military

Next to the Sculpture Garden is the Walker Art Museum. Located in the center of the Lowry Hill neighborhood, this museum offers world-class modern and contemporary art. 

Faribault
Faribault

10. Faribault Mill

City: Faribault

Cost: $10/adults, $5/students, and children 5-18

The Faribault Mill “endures as one of the last vertical woolen mills in America. Here, fifth-generation craftspeople take raw wool and create blankets, throws, scarves, and accessories of remarkable comfort and quality. Irreplaceable century-old machinery stands side by side with modern technology in our new mill, which was built in 1892.” The “new” mill of 1892 was built after a fire destroyed the original mill of 1865.

Minneapolis Museum
Minneapolis Museum

11. Weisman Art Museum

City: Minneapolis

Cost: Free

Located on the University of Minnesota campus, the Weisman Art Museum offers a wide variety of ceramics, paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, and furniture.

Great Things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota
Great Things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota

12. Science Museum of Minnesota

City: St. Paul

Cost: $10-35/adults, $10-25/youth ages 4-17

At the Science Museum, you’ll find dinosaur bones, sand from beaches all around the world, a section on human anatomy, exhibits on Minnesota animals and geography, and a five-story-tall giant astronaut! You can easily spend several hours exploring this great museum.

St. Paul

13. Landmark Center

City: St. Paul

Cost: Free

The Landmark Center, completed in 1902, was once a courthouse and US Post Office. Today, it has a museum and gift shop and can be rented for private events and weddings.

Minneapolis
Minneapolis

14. Mill City Museum

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $12/adults, $10/seniors, veterans, active military and college students, $8/children 5-17, free/children 4 and under

The Mill City Museum is a Minnesota Historical Society museum that opened in 2003. In addition to the museum, there is an observation deck, and a courtyard surrounded by ruins that were caused by a 1991 fire. After visiting the museum, walk across the Stone Arch Bridge and enjoy the view of the downtown skyline.

15. American Swedish Institute

City: Minneapolis

Cost: $13/adults, $10/seniors, $6/youth and students, free/children 0-5

The American Swedish Institute is an upscale museum inside a mansion that features Swedish history and art classes. It’s also a pretty incredible wedding venue!

Things to do in Red Wing Minnesota

16. Pottery Museum of Red Wing

City: Red Wing

Cost: Free

Red Wing has a historic clay industry and the wonderful Pottery Museum does a great job of showcasing it. There are more than 6,000 vintage pieces of stoneware, art pottery, dinnerware, and folk art, and some of the pottery dates back to the 1800s.

Red Wing
Red Wing

17. Red Wing Shoe Company Museum

City: Red Wing

Cost: Free

Visit the Red Wing Shoe Company flagship store and museum to snap a photo with the world’s largest boot, which is a size 638 ½ D (US)! It was built with the same style and process as their original boot, which they identify as classic style number 877. Head upstairs to the museum and learn about the history of the company and how it’s grown over the years. Then finish up with some shopping on the main level.

Minnesota’s Incredible Art Scene

Minnesota has an incredible art scene with impressive museums and art shows. While these are 17 great options, there are many more scattered all over Minnesota. Looking for more inspiration? Check out my blog posts on 18 free things to do in the Twin Cities, 20 must-do things along the North Shore, and 10 great reasons to visit Cook County

2 Comments

  • steven s

    The Kittson County Museum in Lake Bronson is the best county museum in Minnesota. The museum is huge and very well organized with lots of description of the artifacts.

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