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While it's great to pick one destination to enjoy to the fullest, a day trip to a nearby town or attraction can be the icing on the cake of your vacation. ShermansTravel experts have rounded up the top day trips within a few hours' drive so you can experience that must-visit stretch of beach, national park, or under-the-radar city.

Day Trips from Minneapolis


Prince’s home base, often voted among the nation’s most livable places, is also where you’ll find the spectacular Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the largest dinner theaters in the U.S.

20 miles southwest of Minneapolis, MN, www.ci.chanhassen.mn.us
Tags: family | theater | day trip | culinary

Darwin Twine Ball

Darwin houses what is perhaps the most classic of all roadside attractions: The world’s largest twine ball built by one person. Why a large ball of twine? Well, it all began in 1950 when Francis A. Johnson started wrapping twine for four hours each day for 23 weeks. We don’t know what motivated him, but by the end of the fourth month, he needed a crane to lift his creation. The ball eventually ballooned to 40 feet around, weighing 17,400 pounds, and is now on display in a covered gazebo in downtown Darwin.

60 miles west of Minneapolis, 1st St., MN, 320-693-7544, www.darwintwineball.com
Tags: day trip


On the beautiful shores of Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior is home to antique shops, the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, and the Old Log Theater (the country’s oldest continuously running theater).

20 miles west of Minneapolis, MN, www.ci.excelsior.mn.us
Tags: family | theater | day trip

Saint Paul

This too-often-overshadowed twin city of Minneapolis is actually the state’s capital, offering a cornucopia of its own options including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, the Science Museum of Minnesota, historic Fort Snelling, and the unusual Wabasha Street Caves.

Adjacent to and east of Minneapolis, MN, www.stpaul.gov
Tags: family | historic | culture | day trip


This “birthplace of Minnesota” on the picturesque St. Croix River, once a center of lumbering, is now cherished for its antique shops, used bookstores, and historic sites.

30 miles northeast of Minneapolis, MN, www.stillwatertraveler.com
Tags: historic | culture | day trip

Taylors Falls

A prime autumn and winter destination, Taylors Falls sits on the bluffs of the St. Croix River, where boat tours provide breathtaking views of fall foliage; Wild Mountain Recreation Area, meanwhile, offers a plethora of winter sports activities.

40 miles northeast of Minneapolis, MN, www.taylorsfallschamber.org
Tags: family | outdoors | tour | day trip | adventure | sports

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