10 Places to Travel on a Budget: Minnesota
Whether you are looking to relax or party, check out these 10 places to travel on a budget in Minnesota. You don't have to be wealthy to enjoy the natural riches of the state. Minnesota is a great place to travel, and not just if you're on a budget. Check out these great locales in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
- Ely is pronounced like “freely.” Ely, Minnesota, was recently voted the “Coolest Small Town in America”, and for good reason. This extreme northern town has fewer than 4,000 residents, yet can rightfully claim to do the most wilderness canoeing outfitting of any town in the world. At the same time, it does a great job of keeping the wilderness wild, even for tourists. No motorboats are allowed on the waters, except for emergency vehicles, and only a small number of tourists are allowed in each portion of the wilderness at a time.
- Check out the rocks. Some of the oldest rocks on Earth can be found in Minnesota. Gneiss rocks in different regions throughout the area have been dated at 3.6 billion years old, which is 80 percent as old as the Earth itself. You'll be most likely to find such rocks in the Minnesota portion of the Canadian Shield. If you do find one of the older gneiss rocks, realize that you are witnessing the oldest rocks we have access to today, other than meteorites and moon rocks.
- Count the lakes. Calling Minnesota the Land of 10,000 Lakes is no exaggeration. Even if you only count large lakes more than ten acres in size, there are 11,842 of them throughout the state. A few intrepid tourists have tried visiting each one; those who succeed only did so over a number of years.
- Search for timber wolves. Nowhere else in the lower 48 states is the population of timber wolves great enough to allow tourists a chance to see one. The wolves usually portrayed in TV and film are timber wolves. They used to roam across the United States in great numbers, but now only range in limited areas. The timber wold is the species from which the domestic dog was first differentiated.
- Explore the infamous Walnut Grove. Bonnet-heads, rejoice! You, too, can relive the Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" days by visiting the very area where the book and television series was set. Just don't be surprised when you realize 40 percent of the children immigrants in the area are culturally Hmong, hailing from the mountains of Thailand.
- Go shopping at the Mall of America. The largest mall in the United States is in Bloomington, Minnesota. Maybe it's not a good idea to list it here if you're on a budget, but there are some nice deals. If you can keep yourself from over-purchasing, it is certainly a sight to be seen.
- Explore St. Paul. Have you ever wanted to sit in at a live show of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion"? Well, this is your chance! Just head over to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul and you, too, can visit Lake Wobegon.
- Attend the Minnesota State Fair. Actually, you've probably already been there. With two million attendees each year among a state population of only six million people, it's pretty certain that if you've ever been in Minnesota, you've already checked out The Great Minnesota Get-Together.
- Visit the Mayo Clinic. While hospitals generally don't warrant tours by the healthy, Minnesota's Mayo Clinic is world-renowned, and it's a bio-nerd's paradise.
- Visit Public Radio International. No, you won't find Ira Glass in Minnesota, as he runs his show out of Chicago. However, you will find his boss, along with a slew of other famous radio programs, such as "Marketplace."