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Whether you’re visiting for work or vacation, the “Twin Cities” of Minnesota offer world-class museums, sports events and dining experiences. But if you’re itching to hit the open road, this northern metropolis is also a great place to start an exciting getaway. Here are the best road trips from Minneapolis.

Fabulous Road Trips from Minneapolis

Red Wing

55 miles / 1 hr. 4 mins.

For a quick and relaxing weekend trip from Minneapolis, head an hour southeast to the charming city of Red Wing. Its most well-known attraction is the Red Wing Shoe Company Museum, whose gigantic outdoor boot is the perfect backdrop for a selfie. After learning about the history and techniques used to make these famous boots, stop by the store to take your own pair of locally-made Red Wing boots home. Then hike up to Barn Bluff to take in the city’s scenic views, visit the Pottery Museum of Red Wing or take in a show at the Sheldon Theatre.

Itasca State Park

219 miles / 3 hr. 38 mins.

For an escape into nature, the 32,000-acre Itasca State Park in the northern part of Minnesota provides a welcoming respite from city life. With more than 100 lakes, Itasca is a paradise for kayaking, canoeing and riverside campsites. In the winter, the park boasts snowshoeing, snowmobile trails and cross-country skiing. This road trip offers the opportunity to stop by several charming cities and towns, such as St. Cloud and Little Fallswith, as you work your way up US Route 10.

Fargo, North Dakota

235 miles / 3 hr. 32 mins.

North Dakota’s largest city isn’t just about friendly folks and flat accents. Local museums will please art lovers, children and baseball enthusiasts alike. To understand the local culture, head to the free Plains Art Museum, with over 4,000 works including Native American art. Smack in the heart of downtown Fargo, you can’t miss the giant Art-Deco ‘Fargo’ marquee sign outside the Historic Fargo Theatre. On summer Saturdays, head to the Red River Farmers Market on Broadway Square, with over 90 local farmers and makers. 

Des Moines, Iowa

244 miles / 3 hr. 35 mins.

Des Moines, Iowa mixes bustling capitol city life with sprawling green spaces to enjoy nature. On Saturdays, explore the expansive downtown farmer’s market before heading to the Blank Park Zoo and Science Center of Iowa. Art lovers should stop by the free Des Moines Art Center to take in its impressive contemporary gallery, and then stroll through the adjacent Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Hungry? The Historic East Village neighborhood is the place to eat and drink, with restaurants serving up Lebanese, Italian Greek and Cuban cuisine alongside classic barbecue and diner dishes.

Green Bay, Wisconsin

279 miles / 4 hr. 45 mins.

For dyed-in-the-wool cheeseheads, a pilgrimage to Lambeau Field is a bucket-list trip. The Titletown area that surrounds the legendary stadium of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers is also home to the Packers Hall of Fame as well as restaurants, bars and play areas for kids. Just take note that many of the area’s hotels require a two-night minimum or prepaid bookings during football season. >> Recommended hotels near Lambeau Field

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

337 miles / 5 hr. 8 mins.

Beer may have made Milwaukee famous, but this Midwest city is known for much more than its plentiful breweries. Wisconsin’s largest city is home to several world-class institutions. Stop by the architecturally stunning Milwaukee Art Museum to experience its collection of more than 32,000 pieces, in styles ranging from Egyptian paintings to modern sculptures. Bring the family to the Milwaukee County Zoo to brush elbows with red pandas, or see dinosaur fossils at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Finish out the day in the hip Historic Third Ward neighborhood to grab a bite to eat from one of the area’s many trendy eateries, or take in a theater show.