Add a pop of color to your feed with these eye-catching destinations
Minnesota may be known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but it is also the land of 10,000 photo opportunities. Pay a visit to these destinations and take some great photos that will liven your Instagram feed.
SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE
Split Rock Lighthouse was built in 1910, after decades of catastrophic shipwrecks in the notoriously unforgiving Lake Superior. Now preserved in a state park, visiting the lighthouse will give you access to views found nowhere else in the Great Lakes Region.
The historic buildings, including the lighthouse itself, offer up photo ops that will make it look like you stepped back in time and assumed the position as the lighthouse keeper. Along the trails in the state park, there are multiple picture-perfect places to capture an amazing view of the lighthouse and the bluff it sits on during any season. Take a drive down the North Shore Scenic Drive to capture even more amazing natural views to round out your post from this unforgettable trip.
The streets of historic downtown Brainerd have become more colorful with the help of a local artist, a crowdfunding campaign, and a community coming in to fill the spaces in between.
In an effort to increase tourism to the downtown area and restore its historic buildings, officials commissioned local artist Tony Powers to create this eye-catching mural titled You Betcha, a well-loved Minnesotan phrase. As part of this initiative, the community was invited to help paint in the color of this elaborate mural, which was no small task considering it is 20 feet tall and wide. Posting a selfie in front of this vibrant mural, located on the side of The Crossing Arts Alliance building on Laurel Street, will be sure to get your like count up and evoke the curiosity of all your followers. While in Brainerd, there are plenty of attractions to make a full day out of your visit. Outdoorsy activities like zip-lining, boating and swimming are all offered in town or continue your exploration of the local art scene at one of the many community theaters.
Red Wing is, to no surprise, the birthplace of the well-known Red Wing shoe brand. The largest Red Wing store, located in town, also doubles as the company’s museum, taking visitors through over 100 years of shoe-making craftsmanship.
To celebrate Red Wing’s 100th anniversary, the World’s Largest Boot was created. Using the same materials as they use for their iconic work boots, this pair took over 80 leather hides, 1,200 feet of nylon and 80 pounds of brass to complete. But in order to take in the true art of crafting a boot that big, you need to see it for yourself.
ITASCA STATE PARK
In this quaint town, starting with an unassuming stream that flows knee deep at a leisurely pace is the starting place of the mighty Mississippi River.
Within Itasca State Park, visitors enjoy this picturesque river all year round with canoeing, tubing, or wading in the shallow waters safe enough for young kids. Beyond the river, the state park protects acres of indigenous Minnesotan flora and fauna, and many visitors hope to catch a glimpse of a warbler or waterfowl along the countless miles of trails. The opportunities for Instagrammable moments are expansive at these headwaters. The most popular place to pose in front of is at the headwater post, which marks the exact starting place of the river.
PAUL BUNYAN AND BABE THE BLUE OX STATUES
The region surrounding Lake Bemidji was once dominated by the logging industry. Among thousands of lumberjacks that braved this dangerous profession, one stands above them all (literally and figuratively).
Paul Bunyan and his trusted sidekick Babe the Blue Ox are legends of the logging industry, who were said to cut clear across these Minnesotan forests and haul trees down the river faster than any other logger. In order to commemorate these hometown heroes, larger-than-life statues of Paul and Babe were erected in front of the Tourist Information Center to Lake Bemidji. Recognized as a historic site by the National Park Service, these beloved statues have brought pride to this region for over 50 years. So, it’s only expected that these wellloved figures would bring in the likes when featured on your latest Instagram post.
FRANCONIA SCULPTURE PARK
The Franconia Sculpture Park is a Midwestern hub for artistic creation and new ways of expressing ideas through sculpture and physical space. With more than 50 acres of open land to explore and a constant rotation of new showcases, there are limitless photo ops available at this park.
For first-time visitors to Franconia, a guided tour will ensure your group does not miss a single spectacle offered here. What’s unique about these tours is the guides are trained critical thinkers who facilitate open discussions regarding the art throughout your time with them.
If you time it right, there are monthly artmaking workshops offered at Franconia, offered to all skill levels and ages. You can choose to work with an array of media to create your own artwork, like a sculpture or a birdhouse.
MINNEHAHA REGIONAL PARK
Minnehaha Park is a slice of paradise just outside the concrete jungle of Minneapolis. Expanding multiple acres and bordered on one side by the Mississippi River, this park offers visitors a peaceful oasis to take in the views and reconnect with nature.
The park’s most popular attraction is the roaring 53-foot waterfall that crashes over the limestone bluffs characteristic of the region. There are also plenty of gardens that remain popular places to visit throughout the year, like the Longfellow Gardens and the Song of Hiawatha Garden. The beautifully kept historical buildings like the Longfellow House and the Princess Depot are also beautiful backdrops for a selfie or a group photo.
By Isabella Wilkes