If the upcoming Super Bowl has lost its appeal after the Vikings’ loss last weekend, or you’re simply not wild about huge crowds, the first weekend in February might be a good time to plan a little getaway outside the Twin Cities metro area. Here are a few suggestions.

(credit: Amy Rea)

READ MORE: 'Don't Look At Me': Armed Robber Casually Walks Into Minneapolis Home In Broad Daylight

Take a drive up to the Taylors Falls area and stop by the Franconia Sculpture Park. It’s open year-round, and you can have plenty of space to explore the new sculptures that appeared last year. Plan ahead, and maybe you can grab a room at the Old Jail Bed and Breakfast.

Amy Rea

Or you could really get out of town and head up to Grand Marais. There’s plenty of winter recreation to be had, whether it’s cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or just find a cozy accommodation to hole up in and relax, far from the madding crowds.

Amy Rea

The Brainerd Lakes area is not short of activities for winter either, and some of the grand resorts, like Grand View Lodge (pictured above) are open all winter. Enjoy your getaway in style.

Amy Rea

READ MORE: Spartans Beat Gophers 75-67 In Big 10 Opener

Heading south is always an option, and you still don’t have to leave Minnesota. The beautiful town of Winona has bed-and-breakfasts, cute cafes, and the Minnesota Museum of Marine Art (pictured above).

Amy Rea


Lanesboro, tucked away in the southeast corner of the state, considers itself the bed-and-breakfast capital of Minnesota. The nearby Root River Trail offers plenty of snowshoe and cross-country ski opportunities.

Amy Rea

Heading southwest rather than southeast will bring you to the charming town of Pipestone, home to Pipestone National Monument (open year-round, depending on weather). There are groomed snowmobile trails nearby, and the Calumet Inn is a great place to stay–it’s beautiful and historic, and is right downtown Pipestone, allowing you to easily visit the historic town.

MORE NEWS: Jazz Shoot Past Wolves 136-104 For 5th Straight Win

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