Minnesota (MN)

When Is the Best Time to Visit Minnesota?

Did you know that around 40% of respondents in a survey on Minnesota’s hospitality and tourism industry said that customer traffic and revenue were better than they’d been a year ago? Additionally, around 60% of them said that demand and revenue were better or equal than they’d been pre-pandemic.

If you’ve been thinking of visiting Minnesota, something you might be wondering about is when the best time to visit Minnesota is.

However, if you don’t have enough information, you might feel stressed. After all, how do you know when it’s best for you to go to this Midwestern state?

In this article, we’ll go over when it’s best for you to visit Minnesota. Finally, you can explore the Land of 10,000 Lakes, enjoying your visit to the fullest. Read on to learn more.

The Best Time to Visit Minnesota

The best time to visit Minnesota has a lot to do with Minnesota weather. It’s best to go between June and August. This is because the highs of the temperature in Minnesota tend to be somewhere around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

During this time, residents and visitors alike go outdoors and to the lakes. There are many farmers’ markets and festivals in the summer.

The weather is so lovely that you can wear short sleeves in the daytime and, at night, a light jacket. This is perfect for enjoying a journey through the Chain of Lakes.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (Photo Credit: Sky View Photography 878 / Shutterstock

Because it’s such a popular time for people to enjoy the region, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul will buzz with tourists and activity.

However do keep in mind that though it’s usually the sunniest month, July is also prone to high humidity and occasional thunderstorms. Also, hotel prices can be pricier between June and August.

For this reason, to lock in the best price possible, you should make your hotel room booking between two and three months before you visit.

Key Events

Key events in June include the Northern Spark Festival, Juneteenth, Rock the Garden, and Stone Arch Bridge Festival. In July, they include the Loring Park Art Festival, Twin Cities LGBTQ+, and the Basilica Block Party.

In July, they also include Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest and the Minneapolis Aquatennial. In August, they include the Minnesota Rennaissance Fair, Powderhorn Art Fair, Uptown Art Fair, and Mill City Live Concerts.

Additionally, if you’re a fan of fairs, there’s the Minnesota State Fair in August.

September Through November

If you’re more of a fan of autumnal weather, however, you might be interested in visiting during this time. Early fall can be especially pleasant, as it brings with it comfortable temperatures and changing leaves. As college students return to Minneapolis-St. Paul, they bring some energy to the cities.

As a result, the cities will still have a bit of vigor, even after the buzz of summer fades away.

Keep in mind, however, that in late fall, things get a bit chillier. By November, average highs are around 40 degrees and lows are in the mid-20s.

Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota
Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota (Photo Credit: Becca in Colorado / Shutterstock)

Key events in September include the Minnesota Rennaissance Renaissance Fair, Minnesota State Fair, and the beginning of football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Minnesota Vikings.

In October, the key events are the Zombie Pub Crawl and the Twin Cities Marathon. In November, they include the Art Attack and Holidazzle Festival.

December Through February

Winters in Minnesota tend to be frosty, withing the temperature raising above freezing rarely. In fact, between November and April, there’s a lot of snowfall. The average amount of snowfall per year is 50 inches.

That said, there’s still a lot you can do and see during that time. Additionally, airfare and hotel deals will be better then.

Key events during December include New Year’s Eve and the Holidazzle Festival. In January, they include the Polar Dash, Lake Harriet Kite Festival, US Pond Hockey Championships, and the City of Lakes Loppet.

In February, they include the St. Paul Winter Carnival, International Motorcycle Show, and Restaurant Week.

March Through May

Minnesota warms up slowly in spring; sometimes, there are blizzards in April. Additionally, the weather can be unpredictable. One week can bring 60-degree, sunny days, while the next can bring days of blizzard weather. If you’re looking to visit in spring, it’s best to go in May instead of April or March.

By the middle of May, temperatures tend to go up to the 60s. Hotel prices can be quite reasonable in the spring—except around the time when college graduations are occurring in late May.

Bloomington Skyline over Lake Normandale
Bloomington Skyline over Lake Normandale (Photo Credit: Sam Wagner / Shutterstock)

In March, the key events include the Twin Cities Auto Show and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In April, they include the Minnesota Twins Home Opener, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, and Art in Bloom.

In May, they include the Festival of Nations, May Day Parade, and Northeast Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl Festival.

Travel Tips for Choosing the Best Time to Visit Minnesota

In addition to considering the weather, there are other things you should consider when choosing the best time to visit Minnesota for you. One of these is tourism. If you don’t like being surrounded by a large number of people, you should avoid coming in the summer.

Instead of going during the tourist seasons in Minnesota, you should go during the shoulder seasons. These are spring and fall.

You should also think about what types of activities you like to take part in when you’re traveling. In the fall and summer, popular activities include fishing, camping, hiking, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

In winter, popular activities include cross-country or downhill skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.

Additionally, you should think about the price. During the summer, Minnesota attractions, guided tourism, and accommodation are more expensive, as are flights.

If price is something you’re concerned about, you might want to consider visiting during a time that isn’t the summer.

Travel Tips for Visiting Minnesota

Now that you know when the best time to visit Minnesota is for you, we’ll provide you with travel tips for visiting this state. These include visiting the Twin Cities, going to the Arrowhead, and exploring the Central Lakes.

Visiting the Twin Cities

With their rich cultural heritage and internationally-renowned art museums, the Twin Cities are a must-see if you’re going to visit Minnesota. If you enjoy art festivals and amazing nightlife, spend some time in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Spring
Minneapolis Spring (Photo Credit: Marcel Doe / Shutterstock)

If you enjoy laid-back activities in cities, and you’re interested in history, you should also go to St. Paul. There, you can visit the city’s historic buildings.

Don’t forget, when you’re visiting these cities, to get food at the restaurants. They’ve had 12 finalists for the James Beard Award, so you’ll be able to enjoy fine fare during your visit.

Going to the Arrowhead

The Arrowhead is located on Lake Superior’s North Shore, and it offers many adventurous, family-friendly activities as well as a beautiful landscape. The Arrowhead is one of Michigan’s 150 unique state treasures, and it starts at Duluth, a port.

One activity we’d recommend in the Arrowhead is going to the Voyageurs National Park and hiking through.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, we’d recommend going to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. There, you can enjoy water sports.

Exploring the Central Lakes

When you go to Minnesota, it’s essential that you explore the Central Lakes area. After all, Minnesota is famous for its many lakes! One great place to go in this area is the Chippewa National Forest, which offers an escape into the great outdoors.

Within the Central Lakes area, there are also many additional state parks, amusement parks, and luxurious resorts.

Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota
Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota (Photo Credit: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock)

For this reason, we recommend putting together an itinerary. This way, you can combine your exploration of nature with the activities of your choosing.

Additional notable attractions in the Central Lakes area include the summer destinations of St. Croix Valley and Bluff Country, as well as the farms of Prairieland and Red River Valley.

Need More Information?

Now that you’ve learned about the best time to visit Minnesota and what activities we recommend, you might need more information. Maybe you want to learn more about the fine dining available in the city or you want to figure out which hotels fit your budget.

Whatever information you need, we can help. At Tourist Hive, we’re experts when it comes to travel. We also have many travel guides available covering a variety of places, including Jamestown, ND, Rapid City, SD, Brainerd, MN, and more.

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