When planning a trip, don’t settle for sixty-mile-an-hour car window scenery. Find a hotel where you can immerse yourself in the splendor of these natural wonders. The Mississippi River, Lake Superior and Minnesota’s glacial lakes are unique geographical wonders not found anywhere else in the world. Find full enjoyment by lodging at any of these five exceptional guesthouses.

Majestic Mississippi River Panoramas
Crowne Plaza Saint Paul – Riverfront
11 E. Kellogg Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 292-1900
www.ihg.com

The mighty Mississippi, the intricate pattern of the railways along the river, the striking architecture of the many bridges, the city lights and the bustle on the streets stimulate your senses as you look out your window of the Crowne Plaza. Every floor from the second to the twenty-second, offers something unique. From the marvelous marble lobby on Kellogg Street, all the way to the inspirational rotating restaurant on the top, the Crowne Plaza is an unforgettable experience.

Related: Wander Minnesota: Summer Day Trips
 

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Historic Mississippi Riverfront
Nicollet Island Inn
95 Merriam St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 331-1800
www.nicolletislandinn.com

As you approach the white stone building with stained-glass windows on East Island Avenue, you know you are in for a delight. Note the hand-carved woodwork, the old-fashioned hand operated elevator and antique furnishings as you enter the building. Clerks issue real keys to access your room. The beautifully appointed rooms offer unique views of the Mississippi River and the city skyline. Be sure to arrive early enough that you can either stroll around the island or take a horse drawn carriage departing from the Nicollet Island Inn for the River Tour down the cobblestones of Main Street. Upon returning, dine under an umbrella on the patio while viewing the mighty river.

Upper North Shore of Lake Superior
Lutsen Resort
5700 W. Highway 61
Lutsen, MN 55612
(800) 258-8736
www.lutsenresort.com

Lutsen Sea Villas provide spectacular views of Lake Superior any time of the year. Take a shuttle to the lodge and ski down the scenic snow-covered slopes in the winter. As the pure-white snow gives way to lush greenery of summer, adventure-seekers can take the Alpine slide down the hill with a magnificent view of the lake. Hikers, bikers, rock climbers and golfers all fill their senses with the wonder of this craggy North Shore Lake Superior landscape located within minutes of the Villas. Light up the night with a campfire by the lake. After a vigorous day in the out-of-doors, relax to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore just outside your window.
 

(credit: beaconpointecondos.com)

(credit: beaconpointecondos.com)

Lower North Shore of Lake Superior
Beacon Pointe Resort
2100 Water St.
Duluth, MN 55812
(218) 724-1100
www.beaconpointeduluth.com

Guests must choose whether to stay in one, two or three bedroom rooms, suites, penthouses or condos. Nevertheless, every room offers the same breath-taking view of the largest freshwater lake in the world. Suite options offer separate bedroom and living areas. Penthouse options offer full kitchens. Better yet, condos offer cool private balconies for outdoor relaxation. Even more thrilling are the one-bedroom penthouse suites offering private space on the rooftop.

Glacial Lake Minnewaska
Peters Sunset Beach Resort
20000 S. Lakeshore Drive
Glenwood, MN 56334-9022
(320) 634-4501
www.petersresort.com

The towering elevation of the hills on the south shore create a great observation point of the beautiful Lake Minnewaska. Most notable is the overview of the lake from the fifteenth hole on the Peters Resort’s Pezhekee National Golf Course.  Hotel-room views are serene if you are staying in the luxurious suites on the second floor of main lodge, but even more picturesque further up the hill in the newer Bonnie Brae Cabin. Also note that a trip to Minnewaska is not complete without lunch on the deck at the historic Lakeview Restaurant on the east end of the lake.

Related: Best Day Trips For Under $100 In The Minnesota Area

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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