Spring break takes place anytime between the months of March and April, depending on your school. Giving students a well-deserved break from their studies as the weather warms and the cabin fever sets in, spring break can be one of the most memorable weeks of the year. Whereas winter break is based around family and holidays, the vacation during spring is a time to hang with friends, have fun and enjoy being young before the pressures of the working world. While Minnesota doesn’t provide the sandy beaches, wet t-shirt contests and colada-fueled fun often associated with spring break, there is a whole new adventure to be had here. For a different week off and a vacation to really remember, these places make Minnesota a prime destination for spring break.
Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Recently ranked as one of the top hotels in the world, this 100-year-old landmark is the epitome of a luxury. Stay for the week and enjoy two world-class restaurants inside the hotel, Saint Paul Grill and M Street Cafe, as well as jazz music in the lounge. Within a block, there are plenty of other fantastic dining destinations, including Meritage for French, Pazzaluna for Italian, Kincaid’s for American and Sakura for Japanese. Along with shopping at places like Details Boutique and Heimie’s Haberdashery, enjoying live music at Amsterdam and Wild Tymes and taking in shows at multiple theaters including the Ordway and Fitzgerald, the Saint Paul Hotel is your hub for a great spring break in the midst of gorgeous downtown St. Paul.
Mall of America
60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
The largest mall in the country is good for more than just tax-free shopping. A focus on interesting dining destinations, like Masu Sushi and Robata’s second location, makes it a worthwhile dinner destination as well. There is plenty of entertainment, not only the indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe, but also at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, the movie theater, plenty of bars and bowling and arcade at Sky Deck Sports Grille and Lanes. And, if you’re looking to get your swimming fix, take the shuttle to the Water Park of America, right down the street from the mall.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory stands as the crown jewel of a park that includes not only an amusement park, but also beautiful lake
and pavilion, golf course, bonfire pits and plenty of hiking trails weaving in and out of spectacular green space. There is something new to do every day. It doesn’t matter if the weather is beautiful spring bloom or if we’ve gotten hit by one of the spring snowstorms that make the world white one last time because Como Park offers plenty to do. Planning a big spring break party? There is plenty of space to rent, indoor and out, and the catering is top notch.
Minneapolis Downtown Council
81 S. 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Spring break in the big city means there is always something to do. During the day, there is plenty of shopping to be done along Nicollet Mall, and in the skyways, if there happen to be a few April showers. The city really comes alive when the sun goes down. You can catch a different show every night in the Theater District along Hennepin, dine and drink at some of the best restaurants and end the night dancing at one of the wild, flashy nightclubs that define the Warehouse District for the perfect mix of culture and spring break debauchery.
Sightseeing – Explore Minnesota
Explore Minnesota Tourism
121 7th Place E., Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101
From the unparalleled beauty of the Boundary Waters to the awe-inspiring views of the St. Croix River Valley, it’s no secret that Minnesota has some of the best scenery in the world. For an alternative to the sandy beaches and same-temp-everyday weather you find on a stereotypical spring break, Minnesota’s parks and greenery offer serenity and natural beauty you won’t find anywhere else. The mighty Mississippi starts at Lake Itasca, another great park, and you can follow the river with a group of friends on one of the many Mississippi River cruises. There’s far too much to see in this state to waste your week on a beach.
Related: Best Sightseeing Tours in Minnesota
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.