As I slowly weeded through 252,000 people at the Minnesota State Fair (Saturday’s crowd of 252,092 people set a record for single-day attendance) to ride the Sky Glider, I remembered how much I love the land of 11,842 lakes.
YEAH, I should have picked a different day to go the Great Minnesota Get-Together but regardless it’s something I look forward to every year.
It got me thinking of all the other things I enjoy about Minnesota. Yes, every Minnesotan knows how TERRIBLE our winters are, we live here. But year after year, we survive and continue to live and raise families here because Minnesota is truly a great place to live.
See my list below for why Minnesota is an amazing state to grow up and live in – and let me know if I missed anything!
[The photos used for this post are ones I have personally taken, unless otherwise noted]
1. Craft Beer Industry
Minnesota has been exploding with craft breweries over the last few years, and each one is unique and delicious in its own way. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites: Surly, Finnegans, Fulton, Third Street, 612 Brew, the Freehouse, Day Block Brewing Company… the list goes on. There’s really nothing’s better than enjoying a local craft beer on a beautiful summer day.
See the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild for the full list of registered members/breweries.
2. Fall (and the fact Minnesota has seasons!)
Fall is a favorite among seasoned Minnesotans (pun intended). The dog days of summer are over but we still get to enjoy relatively warm days, and get the added bonus of cool nights. Fall is the best time to practice your Instagram skills – beautiful fall leaves, apple picking, and who could forget the basic white girl staple: Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
Grab the riding boots out of the closet, dig out a pair of leggings and an infinity scarf and get your Fall on while it lasts!
Best. Season. Ever.
3. Uptown & rooftop bars
photo credit: my friend and old college roommate took this – but I was with her that day 🙂
If you have never had the pleasure of visiting Uptown, do it right now! It’s a great part of Minneapolis filled with vibrant shops and entertainment, Lake Calhoun, and some of the best rooftop bars in Minnesota. The small window of spring/summer/fall should be spent overlooking the Minneapolis skyline sipping on a local craft beer. Seriously, nothing’s better. I promise. (#4 may counter this statement… I can’t decide! Keep reading to find out more)
If you haven’t already, go to Stella’s Fish Cafe and get the Mac & Cheese or the Hot Crab & Spinach Dip as an appetizer or side-order, you’ll be in heaven.
4. Lake/Pool Life
photo credit: my dad took this photo of Lake Minnetonka this summer
A Minnesota summer spent on the boat or at the beach is simply the best. Quench your thirst with a cold Summer Shandy and soak up the hot Minnesota sun. Cruising the lake with your friends blasting the songs of summer – it reminds you why you love living in Minnesota.
5. The Great Minnesota Get-Together
Arguably one of the best people-watching locations in all of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Fair is full of everything deep-fried you can imagine, fun attractions (like the Sky Rider – where this photo was taken) and local beer/food.
Best food to try: Turkey To Go turkey sandwich – you’ll fall in love, seriously!
Best drink to try: Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer and a Bloody Mary in International Baazarr (but bring your own Vodka, they are virgin Bloody Mary’s) 🙂
6. Ice Fishing
I tried to find someone great about each season. When the weather is not a piercing -30, it’s actually very pleasant being out on the lake ice fishing in the winter (which mostly consists of playing cards and drinking beer)
If you have any other Minnesota favorites to add that I may have missed – let me know via Twitter or comment below!