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Wander Minnesota: The Start of Summer

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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By Amy Rea, Flyover Land

It may not feel like it, but with Memorial Day this weekend, summer is (un)officially here. Time to think about getting back outdoors after a lengthy winter and draggy spring. But where to go?

Last week I wrote about the gorgeous spring flowers out at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Besides bulbs, the Arboretum’s latest exhibition, Steelroots: Touching Earth and Sky, is open for exploration.

One of spring’s early arrivals was the seasonal opening of Sea Salt Eatery, where you can get some topnotch seafood, then explore the always beautiful Minnehaha Park and Falls.

There are numerous ways to explore the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, ranging from walking to biking to inline skating to canoeing, even golfing. Pack a picnic and you’re set for hours of fun and sun (well, fun anyway).

If the weather looks dicey, head over to St. Paul’s Como Park and Conservatory. Here you can get the best of both worlds: if the weather cooperates, you can visit the Zoo and the Japanese Garden before enjoying a picnic, but if the weather isn’t on your side, the Conservatory is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon.

The Minnesota Historical Society offers some outdoor plans with an educational twist. Historic Fort Snelling opens for the season with a packed roster of activities, including period games and a History Hunt. It’s easy to combine a trip to the historic fort with a stop at Fort Snelling State Park, where you can bike, hike and fish, and on Saturday, learn about turtles.

Over at the State Capitol, weekend events include an Art Treasures Hunt, a Capitol Mall walking tour (which, if you’ve never done it, is highly recommended) and even a LEGO State Capitol on display.

The Three Rivers Park District has a bunch of activities going on across its networks of parks, including the chance to help get the Butterfly Garden cleaned up and ready for summer, experience pioneer days at The Landing and canoe rides down Minnehaha Creek with lunch at the Burwell House in Minnetonka.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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