One of my favorite memories as a kid (and adult!) is spending my Minnesota summers by the lake, tubing with friends behind the speedboat, relaxing on the pontoon, and watching the incredible sunsets. No doubt, summer in Minnesota is better than any other state — and here are 15 reasons to prove it!
I have to admit it… I’m one of those obnoxiously proud Minnesotans.
While our winters are nothing to brag about (okay, okay we still brag about those! Usually about how terrible they are.), summers in Minnesota are complete bliss. Once the bitter-cold, frostbite-inducing winter weather subsides, the warm rolls in and bonfire-filled nights begin.
It’s my favorite time of the year.
Spending the days chill-axing on the pontoon with a cold beer in hand, soaking up some vitamin D, diving into the refreshing lake, and road tripping through the many beautiful Minnesota landscapes.
Summer nights are spent with family around a blazing bonfire, star gazing and counting the shooting stars, admiring the northern lights (if you’re lucky!), and sipping on some Leinenkugel Summer Shandy.
Sounds like bliss, right? Well, truth is…
Summer in Minnesota totally is.
Need a few more reasons to convince you? Don’t worry! I’ve got 15 for you.
15 REASONS WHY SUMMER IN MINNESOTA CAN’T BE BEAT:
1. Incredible sunsets.
I’ve traveled all over the world and I have to admit… I still miss the Minnesota sunsets no matter where I go. They just cannot be beat.
The gorgeous array of colors which paint the sky with hues of orange, red, yellows, blues, purples, and pinks is breathtaking!
2. Thousands of lakes.
If you haven’t heard, the state of Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes. But in fact… Minnesota actually has around 13,000 lakes! And it’s awesome.
Whether you want to just chill out in the middle of a lake on a floaty, swim to your heart’s desire, go tubing behind a speedboat, or just sit with your feet in the water, one of Minnesota’s lakes is the place to be.
3. Bonfire nights.
Seriously… I think I’ve mentioned this more than a couple times now. But that’s because when the cover of darkness rolls around, sitting around a blazing bonfire is one of the main ways Minnesotans spend their summer nights.
We break out the — vegan 😉 — marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers to make award-winning s’mores and crack open a few cold beers, only to do again the next night — and we’re happy about it!
4. Perfect weather.
While Minnesota winters are brutal, summers in Minnesota have some of the best weather ever. Imagine long sunny days, not a cloud in the sky, and a slight breeze to keep you cool. What’s that I hear? Why, yes, there absolutely is nothing better!
Minnesota summer weather is what brings all those snow birds back from Texas and Arizona — and once you’re here, you can see (and feel) why.
5. Spectacular small towns.
While the cities in Minnesota are awesome, the small towns are where it’s at. Small Minnesota towns have personality, with awesome wide-open spaces and welcoming communities, just waiting to be visited.
Typically packed with cool gift and specialty shops, delicious local eateries, and unique attractions, small town summers in Minnesota are filled with fun and memories you won’t forget.
6. Sweet summer foraging.
When the summer heat rolls around and the sun shines down everyday, sweet summer foraging begins. One of the greatest reasons why summer in Minnesota is better than anywhere else, heading to a fruit farm to pick fresh blueberries, strawberries, and more is the best way to spend a warm summer afternoon.
So next time you’re wondering what you can do on a free day, head to a local fruit farm to identify, pick, and snack on fresh berries — just remember to save some for delicious recipes like homemade jam!
Read more about berry picking here!
7. Unique attractions.
Ever heard of Paul Bunyan, giant lawn chairs, the Renaissance Festival, the enormous Spoonbridge and Cherry, the largest freshwater lake in the world, Devil’s Kettle, world’s largest twine ball, or the Mall of America?
All of those things (and much more!) are unique attractions in Minnesota. The variety strange, unique, and unusual things to do and things to see make summers in Minnesota incredible. You’ll never be bored!
8. Cool craft beer.
While Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, it might as well be known as the land of 10,000 beers. When it comes to craft breweries, they’re spreading like crazy across MN and I’m all for it! I love a good, cold pint of craft beer, especially if it’s a shandy of sorts.
With more than 100 craft breweries — and counting! — spending an afternoon, or weekend, in the summer exploring the state while sipping on some craft brews is easy! I think we can both agree hitting up all the cool and unusual craft breweries is one of the best ways to spend a summer day in Minnesota.
9. The Crazy Minnesota State Fair.
Imagine it… a crazy atmosphere, fun games surrounding you, families having a good time, the sweet sound of kids laughing, and fried food — everywhere. That’s the Minnesota State Fair! And it is awesome.
If you’ve ever wanted to try vegan BBQ wings while simultaneously snacking on some fried Oreos, you can most definitely do it here. And when you’re done eating your weight in fried junk food and Sweet Martha’s Cookie’s, you can go win yourself a giant stuffed animal at one of the many game stands!
10. Summer sports.
When it comes to summer in Minnesota, summer sports reign king of things to do on a hot sunny day! Whether it’s skiing, playing baseball, wake boarding, soccer, tubing, jet skiing, or pontoon chilling (okay okay, so maybe this isn’t a sport, but it’s still fun!), there’s so much to do here.
No doubt, when the sun comes out and the clouds clear up, you’ll find a fun summer sport to keep yourself occupied! Hint: with Minnesota’s hundreds of lakes, the best ways to spend a day is out on the water!
11. Relaxing patio evenings.
Who else loves chilling on the patio or deck, sipping on a cold beer (or if you’re me, gin and lemonade 😉), watching the sun sink behind the trees?
As you relax with friends and family, the sky lights up in a kaleidoscope of red, orange, yellow, purple, and blues… taking your breath away. That’s what evenings are like in Minnesota! And there’s nothing better.
12. Camping getaways.
If you’re a camping fanatic, or just someone who likes to slip away to nature, camping in Minnesota is incredible! With Voyageurs National Park and a variety of state parks, you have so many options to choose from.
If you don’t spend at least one summer day in Minnesota camping, you’ve totally missed out! Sleeping under the stars (which you can actually see, as light pollution is minimal here!), sitting by a warm bonfire cooking up some vegan hotdogs, and making memories with friends and family is a great way to spend a day or a weekend.
13. Fantastic festivals.
The Minnesota State Fair has already been mentioned (and it’s enough of a reason on its own for visiting Minnesota in the summer!), but did you know there are waaaay more festivals than just that? We have the Renaissance Festival, Wizard of Oz Festival, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Aquatennial, Stillwater Lumberjack Days, and many, many more!
Take a look at the many Minnesota Summer Festivals the state has here.
14. Outdoor life.
If you’re looking to spend some time in nature, northern Minnesota is the place to do it! Especially around the area of Duluth.
You’ll find an array of hiking, water activities like white water rafting and even surfing on Lake Superior; cruising the North Shore, exploring the state parks, uncovering Minnesota wild life, kayaking near the boundary waters, and hunting waterfalls away from the crowds!
15. The locals.
If you’ve ever visited Minnesota or come across a Minnesotan in your travels, you might have noticed something… we’re extremely courteous and nice! In fact, there’s a little joke that goes around dubbing everyone in Minnesota, “Minnesota Nice.” There’s even a dedicated Wikipedia page for it!
And when you spend a summer in Minnesota, you’ll see it for yourself! Every small town you visit, every cafe you eat in, every coffee shop you grab a cup of joe at, and every local shop you browse in, you’ll find each and every one of us are kind, courteous, and super welcoming!
So, after giving you 15 reasons on why summers in Minnesota are the best, have I convinced you? If I’ve failed of doing my Minnesotan duty of promoting this great state, I think there’s only one solution to remedy this…
You’re just going to have to visit and experience a Minnesota summer for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever visited Minnesota in the summer? If so, what were your favorite things to do?! Let me know in the comments!
Not sure what to check out next? Readers love these posts:
- Experiencing Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota (aka the most underrated national park in the USA)
- Best places for vegan food in Minneapolis & St. Paul
- The ultimate 1-month USA West Coast road trip itinerary that’ll blow your mind
- Visiting San Haven Sanitorium – an abandoned asylum in middle-of-nowhere North Dakota
- Falling in love with Port Townsend – Washington State