53 days in Minnesota Itinerary

53 days in Minnesota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Minnesota sightseeing planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Minneapolis
— 10 nights
Drive
2
Rochester
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Mankato
— 6 nights
Drive
4
Alexandria
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Saint Cloud
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Duluth
— 7 nights
Drive
7
Grand Marais
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Ely
— 7 nights
Fly

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Minneapolis

— 10 nights

The City of Lakes

Located on both banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis salutes the state's love of the outdoors with numerous lakes, wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls--many connected to one another by a national scenic byway great for sightseeing.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Minneapolis: Escape MSP - Lakeville (in Lakeville), Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (in Chanhassen) and Sand Creek Adventures (in Jordan). Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Minneapolis Institute of Art, take in nature's colorful creations at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, buy something for everyone on your list at Mall of America, and get engrossed in the history at Mill City Museum.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Minneapolis route app.

Philadelphia to Minneapolis is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Philadelphia in December, plan for colder days in Minneapolis, with highs around 28°F, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 16°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Rochester.

Things to do in Minneapolis

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Rochester

— 6 nights
Rochester is a city in the U.S. State of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Explore Rochester's surroundings by going to National Eagle Center (in Wabasha), LARK Toys (in Kellogg) and Winona (Old Hwy 61, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, &more). There's lots more to do: deepen your understanding at Quarry Hill Nature Center, get to know the resident critters at Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo, sample the tasty concoctions at LTS Brewing Company, and admire the striking features of Gonda Building.

For photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Rochester road trip planning tool.

Drive from Minneapolis to Rochester in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Rochester are 23°F, while nighttime lows are 9°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can travel to Mankato.

Things to do in Rochester

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Mankato

— 6 nights
Mankato is a city in Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur counties in the state of Minnesota. Change things up with these side-trips from Mankato: Green Giant Statue Park (in Blue Earth), Montgomery Brewing (in Montgomery) and Cabela's (in Owatonna). There's still lots to do: get to know the resident critters at Sibley Park Zoo, get engrossed in the history at Betsy & Tacy's House Tours & Gift Shop, fly down the slopes at Mount Kato Ski Area, and explore the engaging exhibits at Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Mankato itinerary planner.

You can drive from Rochester to Mankato in 1.5 hours. January in Mankato sees daily highs of 24°F and lows of 8°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel to Alexandria.

Things to do in Mankato

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Alexandria

— 6 nights
Alexandria is a city and the county seat of Douglas County, Minnesota. Explore Alexandria's surroundings by going to Character Challenge Course (in Park Rapids), World's Largest Muskie (in Nevis) and Mississippi Headwaters (in Lake Itasca). There's still lots to do: test your team's savvy at Escape Room Alexandria, learn about winemaking at Carlos Creek Winery, cast your line with a fishing tour, and stop by Redhead Creamery.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Alexandria day trip planner.

You can drive from Mankato to Alexandria in 3.5 hours. In January in Alexandria, expect temperatures between 20°F during the day and 4°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to drive to Saint Cloud.

Things to do in Alexandria

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Shopping

Side Trips

Saint Cloud

— 5 nights
St. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Saint Cloud: Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery (in Little Falls), The Meeker County Museum at the G.A.R Hall (in Litchfield) and Veit Automotive Foundation Educational Museum (in Buffalo). The adventure continues: test your problem-solving skills at Riddler's Escape, hit the slopes at Powder Ridge, sample the tasty concoctions at Goat Ridge Brewing Company, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Ski Gull.

To find out how to plan a trip to Saint Cloud, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Alexandria to Saint Cloud in 1.5 hours. In January in Saint Cloud, expect temperatures between 22°F during the day and 4°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Duluth.

Things to do in Saint Cloud

Parks · Breweries & Distilleries · Outdoors · Winter Sports

Side Trips

Duluth

— 7 nights

Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas

Situated on the westernmost point of the Lake Superior, Duluth represents a booming port city.
Change things up with these side-trips from Duluth: Tettegouche Trail (in Silver Bay), Two Harbors (Split Rock Lighthouse, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, &more) and Beaver Bay Agate Shop (in Beaver Bay). Next up on the itinerary: stroll around Canal Park, contemplate the long history of Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate, gain insight at Hartley Nature Center, and hit the slopes at Spirit Mountain.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our Duluth trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Saint Cloud to Duluth takes 2.5 hours. In January in Duluth, expect temperatures between 22°F during the day and 7°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel to Grand Marais.

Things to do in Duluth

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Grand Marais

— 5 nights
Grand Marais is a city in Cook County, Minnesota, United States. Get out of town with these interesting Grand Marais side-trips: Grand Portage (Grand Portage National Monument, High Falls, &more) and North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum (in Tofte). There's still lots to do: take a peaceful walk through Grand Portage State Forest, immerse yourself in nature at Cascade River State Park, hike along Honeymoon Bluff, and don't miss a visit to Beaver House.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Grand Marais journey planner.

Traveling by car from Duluth to Grand Marais takes 2.5 hours. In February, daytime highs in Grand Marais are 22°F, while nighttime lows are 7°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can go by car to Ely.

Things to do in Grand Marais

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trips

Ely

— 7 nights
Ely is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. Explore Ely's surroundings by going to Flathorn - Gegoka Cross Country Ski Trails (in Isabella), Giants Ridge Recreation Area (in Biwabik) and Virginia (Olcott Park, Iron Range Veterans Memorial, &more). And it doesn't end there: trek along Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Kabetogama, surround yourself with nature on White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Bass Lake Trail.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Ely tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Grand Marais to Ely in 3 hours. Traveling from Grand Marais in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Ely, with lows of -4°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Thu) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in Ely

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Trails

Side Trips

Minnesota travel guide

4.4
Shopping Malls · Room Escape Games · Entertainment Centers
The Land of 10,000 Lakes
Deriving its name from the Dakota word for "land of sky-tinted water," Minnesota is a land of pristine lakes, pockets of dense green forests, and sprawling prairieland. Spend your vacation exploring the state's diverse landscape for endless outdoor activity and a chance to see some of the area's national monuments, or take a trip to the bustling St. Paul-Minneapolis area, a network of commerce and cultural attractions, including the famous Mall of America.