Senior Travel to Minnesota

Apr 11th, 2011 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Every state has a nickname. The name Minnesota comes from a Dakota indian word for “sky-tinted water”.  If you know the derivation of this one, then you may know the legend of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.  The Giant Lumberjack was huge. It took five giant storks, working overtime, to deliver him to his parents. He cut his teeth on a peavy pole and grew so fast the after one week he had to wear his father’s clothes. His lungs were so strong that he could empty a whole pond of frogs with one “holler”. Paul’s clothing was so large they had to use wagon wheels for buttons.

Now Babe was another story.  The ox grew to be seven axehandles and a plug of tobacco wide between the eyes and as a snack would eat thirty bales of hay…wire and all. And all those Minnesota lakes… Paul and Babe were so large, the tracks they made galavanting around Minnesota filled up and made the 10,000 lakes. The official count of lakes more than ten acres (40,000 m²) in size is approximately 11,842. Want to check them out?  This listing has all the information.  Over 25 are called “Long Lake.” 

I know about lakes as I had a cabin in northern Minnesota for a number of years.  Minnesota is well-known for good fishing and plenty of walleye and northern pike.  But the state has plenty to offer for those who don’t even own a fishing pole.  First of all Minneapolis and St. Paul will keep you busy as they are located on the Mississippi. More than half of Minnesota’s hardy inhabitants, who endure some of the fiercest winters in the nation, live in the southeast, around this area so-called Twin Cities. Forbes Magazine recently named the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul as “the most relaxing” cities in the country.

And winter in Minnesota is just a welcome as summer with their Winter Carnival. In 1885, a New York reporter wrote that Saint Paul was “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation” in winter. Offended by this attack on their Capital City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that Saint Paul was habitable but that its citizens were very much alive during winter, the most dominant season. Thus was born the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.  

If you wish to explore the state you can start with this link that encourages seniors to check out places to stay, things to do, where to go, events, deals and travel ideas. This beautiful guide will be your tour as you wind through northern and west central Minnesota including the scenic lakes, rivers and woods of Alexandria, Wadena, New York Mills, Perham, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Ottertail and Bemidji.  You might start your plans via online vacation planning by choosing a destination.  

Another vacation planner will provide lots of history as well as suggested sites to take in on your visit. Though Minnesota is more than a thousand miles from either coast, it’s virtually a seaboard state, thanks to Lake Superior , connected to the Atlantic via the St Lawrence Seaway. The glaciers that, millions of years ago, flattened all but its southeast corner gouged out more than 15,000 lakes , and major rivers run along the eastern and western borders. Ninety-five percent of the population lives within ten minutes of a body of water.  That’s impressive isn’t it? If you are looking for exciting outdoor activities and adventures, beautiful scenery, famous lakes and rivers, and abundant Minnesota wildlife then head for one of the Minnesota state parks.  

If your goal is to “get away from it all” then you might want to plan a wilderness excursion to places like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or plan a family vacation at one of these beautiful Minnesota resorts and lodges. If you are a history buff, check out this sites that focus on the many indian tribes that live in the state. Minnesota abounds in sports.  The Minnesota Twins, the Vikings, the Timberwolves, the Wild, the Stars, the Swarm plus many non-professional teams. 

Lastly five places to visit in Minnesota include the Itasca State Park where you can walk across the Mississippi River at its starting point, the  Boundary Waters located in the arrowhead region of Minnesota bordering Canada, the Mall of America is the second largest mall in the United States (I can’t imagine one larger) yet it is by far the most popular. It is located in Bloomington, Minnesota just 10 minutes south of the Twin Cities. There are 520 stores throughout the enormous three level mall. Lake Minnetonka is a 14,528 acre lake located in the West suburbs of the Twin Cities containing 125 miles of shoreline. It is a very popular destination for young and old. Gooseberry Falls is located by Two Harbors, Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior. Here one can also walk along Lake Superior’s soothing shoreline. Bring a camera because you are guaranteed to see some amazing sights.  So while tracing around the state, keep your eye peeled for Paul and Babe. As you pass by Bemidji you will see both in person so enjoy “Minnesnowda” as I call it, having lived there for three years. jeb



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