Top 5 Best Places to Visit in Winter in Minnesota

best places to visit in winter

The Best Minnesota Towns to Visit During Winter

Just because the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, doesn’t mean our fun has to stop. One of the things I appreciate most about Minnesotans is their hardiness when it comes to the cold. With some warm boots and a great hat, Minnesotans will be outside all winter long. Although I grew up on Long Island where winters are much more mild, my family would go to Vermont every winter for a ski trip. With the right clothing and attitude, nothing is too cold! Read on for the five best places to visit in winter in Minnesota.

best places to visit in winter

Northfield, Minnesota

My husband and I lived in Northfield for three years, and my husband went to St. Olaf College. I love this charming town, it has so many great gift shops, bakeries, and coffee shops. There’s an independently owned bookstore, several breweries, a yoga studio and a great yarn shop I’ve been to many times. There are also many walking paths and parks to enjoy and play in the snow. Click here for my full blog post on Northfield.

best places to visit in winter

Faribault, Minnesota

Faribault is another super cute small town south of the Twin Cities. The Faribault Woolen Mill offers tours, there’s a great craft distillery and a handful of cute coffee shops and bakeries. Be sure to visit Circle Lake for ice fishing and hockey. Plus, the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park is just a short drive from downtown Faribault. It’s a gorgeous hike in the woods with a waterfall at the entrance. Read more about Faribault here.

things to do in red wing minnesota

Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing is a super cute town in any season, but in winter it’s a really charming, romantic escape. Stay at the St. James Hotel, stop by Hanisch Bakery for fresh bread, or the Uffda Shop for Scandinavian gifts. Enjoy beautiful views of the bluffs, stop by the Pottery Museum, the Red Wing Brewery, and more. For more inspiration, read my full blog post on Red Wing here.

Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth is incredible during the winter months and Canal Park is an especially gorgeous place for a winter getaway. Enjoy beautiful views of frozen Lake Superior, then warm up in the breweries, distilleries and bars in town. Visit somewhere cozy to eat like OMC Smokehouse, and do some shopping. Take a tour of the incredible Glensheen, then go snowshoeing around their property. Read my full Duluth blog post here for many more ideas.

things to do in Lutsen
things to do in Lutsen

Lutsen, Minnesota

I love Lutsen, especially Lutsen Mountains for skiing and snowboarding. It’s a great destination for anyone who appreciates the beauty of winter. Go snowshoeing or check out the frozen waterfalls at Cascade State Park. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, just drive to the top of Lutsen Mountain and enjoy the restaurants and outdoor patios with fire pits, all with incredible views of Lake Superior.

Attitude is Everything

We all know winter in Minnesota can be brutal with the cloudy gloomy days, the sun setting early, and the bitter cold temperatures that come in January and February. I think if winter wasn’t so cold here we wouldn’t appreciate the hot summer days we spend swimming in the lakes, or the beautiful fall days we see in September and October.

Over the years I’ve come to make the most of deep snow, strong winds, and slick ice. With the right mindset and proper clothing, winter in Minnesota is actually a pretty spectacular time.

Looking for more winter inspiration? Check out my post on the 12 best places to cross-country ski in the Twin Cities!


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