Wander Minnesota: The Start of Summer

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.

More from Amy Rea
  • We

    Summer has been canceled this year,fall is starting on Tuesday!

  • Sarah in Outstate MN

    If the name of the artice is Wander Minnesota why are all th attractions in the Twin Cities area? There are some very nice state parks and recreation sites outside the TC area.

    Why doesn’t WCCO write an online article about how beautiful our State Parks are?

  • Donna

    I agree with Sarah. Greater Minnesota has Lakes, trails, nature and culture. Hey WCCO get out of the metro and you’ll discover ‘There’s more to explore in Minnesota…’

  • Predicable again!

    I agree with Sarah and Donna. Once again these places are predictable from WCCO and probably within 15 miles of the authors home. BORING. Come up with something original for once and possibly outside the metro area. There is much more to Minnesota than the Twin Cities area, Duluth and Brainerd.

    I am seriously beginning to wonder if the author (or authors) of this column just cut and paste from other columns.

    Sarah, my family enjoys the state parks as well. There are some beautiful ones in Western Minnesota (Glacial Lakes, Minneopa, Kilen Woods) but WCCO only believes that Minnesota is the Twin Cities.

    Donna, you mentioned trails. The Root River state Trail is beautiful and we also enjoy Sakatah Lake State Trail and biking the Casey Jones State trail near Pipestone. I am thinking if we ladies got together maybe we could write a column about Wandering Minnesota instead of WCCO’s Wander Twin Cities.

  • MAJ

    Think WCCO needs new writers who don’t come from the East Coast. The last place I’d go on a holiday weekend would be to the T.C. area.

    • Sarah in Outstate MN

      MAJ, I completely agree with you. My idea of a weekend getaway is not the TC area. Traffic, overcrowding, pollution and daily muggings, shooting, stabbings, etc… is not my idea of a nice relaxing weekend. Plus, the hotel prices are sky high.

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  • Get out of Murderapolis

    I agree with most of the comments on here. Go to a state park, walk some trails and get out of the Twin Cities area. The Twin Cities area is crowded, trash on sidewalks, and several people were just shot overnight.

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