Staycations have become popular among those who wish to save a few dollars while having fun with family and friends. Minnesotans are no different. Below are a few staycations suggested by local travel agents. Each destination is within three hours of the Twin Cities metro area, and each destination promises good times and many new memories. Perhaps your family or friends can even make a new tradition!

pool, generic, swimming

(credit: Sam Diephuis/Getty Images)

Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center
2100 Arrowwood Lane N.W.
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 762-1124

Located about two hours northwest of Minneapolis, Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center sits on more than 450 acres on the edge of Lake Darling. The resort has plenty of things to do for those wishing to experience an exciting staycation. Visitors can ride horses from the horse stables, play golf on the golf course or putting greens, walk along the paths or play tennis and basketball on the indoor courts. In addition, the resort has a large water park and plenty of indoor pools for use by guests. Because there are so many activities for guests, the resort is considered by many travel agents to be an ideal location for a staycation.

Related: Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Stillwater, MN

Minnesota Centennial Showboat
200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55107
(612) 625-4001

The Minnesota Centennial Showboat, docked in the Mississippi River, is rich with historical and cultural significance. The boat transports visitors back to the Victorian era, and the performances put on by University of Minnesota students ignite the mind. Stop by to catch performances of shows such as “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Stop by for a matinee performance to save a little cash, or cap off a day in St. Paul with an evening performance. The showboat can be seen from downtown St. Paul and is easily accessible by car, bike or boat. For more information on current shows, visit the University of Minnesota website.

(credit: Minnesota Zoo)

(credit: Minnesota Zoo)

Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd.

Apple Valley, MN 55124
(952) 431-9200

Turn your visit to the Minnesota Zoo into a two-day adventure. Check out one of the many shows and exhibits offered at the zoo, including the World of Birds Show, Shark Feeding or the Tropical Reef Dive Show. Take your time as you mosey through the park and observe the monkeys, lemurs and Komodo dragons. The zoo is a particularly educational option for a local staycation, and it’s an option that nearly everyone in the family can enjoy. Choose from one of the many local hotels, including Holiday Inn Express or Hilton Garden Inn.

Treasure Island Resort & Casino
5734 Sturgeon Lake Road
Welch, MN 55089
(800) 222-7077

Treasure Island Resort and Casino is more than just a casino. With activities such as bowling, golfing and an arcade center, the resort has something for everyone to do. If you don’t want to partake in any of the previously mentioned activities, consider taking a short ride on the resort’s own cruise boat. The resort even has a staycation package, which includes a $250 credit toward the buffet, arcade, bowling alley, golfing, bars, lounges or gift shops. Check out the various packages to find one right for you.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Duluth

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Water Park of America
1700 American Blvd. E., Building B
Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 229-5753

The Water Park of America is one of the largest water parks in the Twin Cities area. It features an indoor-outdoor water slide, a lazy river and a plethora of other waterpark features. The water park is paired with a Radisson hotel, so accommodations are just a few hundred feet away. In addition, the Water Park of America is conveniently located less than half a mile from the Mall of America. Several other attractions, such as the Minnesota Zoo, Fort Snelling and the Minnesota Wild Life Refuge are close by as well.

Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on