If you choose Minneapolis as the starting point of your trip, you are lucky to get lots of interesting destinations around the city. You can explore them in a single weekend or have a longer journey renting passenger van rentals in MN for your family. Minneapolis is a city where there are many things to do as well, but if you live there your entire life it may become mundane and ordinary. That is why many families venture off to unknown locations to avoid boredom. Minneapolis is luckily surrounded by wonderful small towns, outdoorsy getaways, and other big cities to explore. If you are tourist, you can get international drivers license for USA here.
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This marvelous city combines attractions for all types of travelers. You can enjoy this idyllic port city with its breweries, local shops, and impressive restaurants in the Lakewalk area and Canal Park. It is a rather old city, so the historic sights can also impress you. Take time to explore the Aerial Lift Bridge that is 115 years old and the Glensheen Mansion. If you prefer natural surroundings to test your 12 passenger van rental and to observe nature, follow the Superior Hiking Trail that takes 310 miles of the rugged coastline along the lake. The sweeping views from the bluffs of the Enger Tower also attract visitors.
Red Wing, Minnesota
Red Wing with its sheer number of sights is located on the Mississippi River to the southeast of the city. It does not take much time to come there and explore outdoor adventures, delicious restaurants, and local music festivals. It would be great to rent a van and spend a day with a family in the stunning Frontenac State Park. The Falconer Vineyards offer incredible local drinks, Pottery and Stoneware Museum provides going deep into the pottery history of the first inhabitants and Indian tribes. You can play golf or go hiking around Sorin’s Bluff to the Barn Bluff Trail.
Madison is also known as the City of Lakes as it is surrounded by four of them. The largest state university of Wisconsin is located there, so it creates an atmosphere that follows all college cities. You can find various activities, but what is a must, is to visit the Farmers Market on Saturday morning around Capitol square. It is a place to taste farm-fresh and handmade products. After the market, we recommend having lunch in delicious restaurants owned by chef Tory Miller, either Graze or L’Etoile. If you are a beer fan, the Union Terrace brewery offers fantastic sunset views.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
The waters of Lake Superior contain a gorgeous string of islands known as the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. When you rent a car at the passenger van rental app, remember that you will have to drive to Bayfield, Wisconsin first, and take a ferry to Madeline island there. This is the only chance to get there by car. You can also park in Bayfield and rent kayaks or a boat cruise to get to the sandstone shores of the islands. you will find there historic lighthouses, unique hiking trails, and camping places. It is better to visit them in summer or early fall. If you want to see frozen caves, you can come there in winter and reach the islands by the surface of the frozen lake.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Brainerd is the center of the Brainerd lakes Area that includes over 500 lakes of different sizes. The best ones are Whipple Lake and Gull Lake, which have wonderful sandy beaches. It is a summertime destination, obviously, so plan your vacations, take a rental van in Minneapolis and rush to explore nature. This district also offers the amusement park Paul Bunyan land with a 25-feet-tall speaking lumberjack and lots of carnival rides. Other famous tourist sights include a race at the Brainerd International Raceway, a tour at the Brainerd Zip Line, and a ride on a Gull lake Cruise.
Des Moines, Iowa
Hidden in the sea of cornfields, Des Moines is 3 hours to the south from Minneapolis. This small city offers unique activities and sights. The state of Iowa presents numerous artistic events, lively fairs, and pretty gardens. We recommend starting the visit from the Iowa State Fair and the Des Moines Botanical Garden. The best time is August. If you feel hungry, take your family to any restaurant to try local famous fried catfish or the Iowan Steak de Burgo.
Bemidji is considered to be the birthplace of well-known lumberjack Paul Bunyan and the center of Scandinavian and Native American cultures. Tourists can take a picture of Paul with his blue ox which towers at the center of the city. If you arrive there in winter, it is the right season to explore the slopes and trails using snowmobiles on Buena Vista Ski Area. In summer it is the time to enjoy activities at Lake Bemidji or in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. If you cannot stay in overcrowded places, Bemidji can surprise you.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is located right over the Wisconsin state border along the Mississippi River. It is a small college town that provides numerous outdoor activities, including hiking and mountain biking. You can explore acres of public land using the Great River State Trail, observe nature and the town from the Grandad Bluff, and wander Hixon Forest. The town has tons of small breweries that support that tradition of La Crosse brewing for years. The most well-known are Turtle Stack, 608 Brewing, and Pearl Street. The World’s largest six-pack is a place to take pics as well. it is a town where you can touch the atmosphere of the 1930s eating juicy burgers on skates at Rudy’s and enjoying sodas and cream at Pearl’s Ice Cream Parlor.