The Great Minnesota Bucket List

Check out our list of ultimate Minnesota must-sees, and then create your own bucket of fun.

The Great Minnesota Bucket List
Photographs by Bob Firth, Katherine Harris, Layne Kennedy, Doug Ohman, and Rebecca Sabot
Illustrations by Randall Nelson

With one national park, 24 waterfalls, a plethora of Paul Bunyan statues, and countless “capitals of the world,” a single bucket simply isn’t enough to contain Minnesota’s wealth of natural (and delightfully unnatural) resources.

Temperance River State ParkSnap a shot of the falls at Temperance River State Park, just south of Lutsen, then hike upstream and enjoy the river where it’s a little more laid-back.

BUCKET LISTS ARE LIKE SNOWFLAKES, LAKES, AND WALLEYE, in that no two are alike. When we set out to create our own list of the ultimate Minnesota must-sees, the bucket quickly overflowed, spilling forth like the mighty Mississippi or a frozen pipe in January. Clearly, we needed more than one bucket to capture the abundance. So, being good, thrifty Minnesotans, we went to a garage sale and came home with an armful.

To hold our classic PINE-SCENTED GETAWAYS, we found a vintage Minnow Bucket. For fancier folk, we selected a sleek Champagne Bucket to hold our favorite ROMANTIC RENDEZVOUS. For INEXPENSIVE ADVENTURES, nothing beats a good old-fashioned Beer Bucket or a cheap and cheerful Popcorn Bucket spilling over with ENTERTAINING EXCURSIONS for the whole family. Of course, if you’re craving an authentic only-in-Minnesota potluck-style experience, we invite you to dip into each one of the buckets to create your own perfect bucket list.

Woodsy Weekends

Load up on bug spray, bait, and bungee cords, lash the canoe to the car roof, and head into the wild.

Thrifty Travels

No need to break the bank to plan an outing that is fun, fresh, and fabulous.

Amusing Adventures

Load up the car with kids, sunblock, a camera, and binoculars, and go play.

Entertaining Excursions

Leave the household chores for another weekend, and amuse yourself with road trips.

Luxurious Locales

Toast these relaxing getaways with a bottle of wine—no knapsacks, kid packs, or achy backs in sight.