Get away for a weekend of rest and relaxation surrounded by scenic lake views, plush accommodations and massages at the spa. Our list includes great places to visit, from romantic getaways in MN for couples to large resorts for families, with both luxury and affordable options. Most properties are open year-round and offer a choice of summer and winter activities. We've included driving times from Minneapolis, Minnesota to help you decide where to go.
1. St. James Hotel in Red Wing - 1 hour
2.Archer House River Inn - 45 minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul
3.Northern Rail Traincar Inn - 3 hours
4.Romantic Getaways in MN: Grand Ely Lodge - 4 hours from MSP
5.The Water Street Inn - 35 minutes
6.Romantic Getaways in MN: Cedar Valley Resort - 2 hours 20 minutes
7.Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark - 2 hours 15 minutes
8.Siskiwit Bay Lodge Bed & Breakfast - 3 hours 30 minutes
9.Romantic Getaways in MN: Hawksview - 2 hours from MSP
10.Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort - 3 hours 30 minutes
11.Alexander Mansion Bed and Breakfast - 2 hours
10 Best Weekend Getaways from Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St. James Hotel in Red Wing - 1 hour, Photo: St. James Hotel
- Archer House River Inn - 45 minutes from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Photo: Archer House River Inn
- Northern Rail Traincar Inn - 3 hours, Photo: Northern Rail Traincar Inn
- Romantic Getaways in MN: Grand Ely Lodge - 4 hours from MSP, Photo: Grand Ely Lodge
- The Water Street Inn - 35 minutes, Photo: The Water Street Inn
- Romantic Getaways in MN: Cedar Valley Resort - 2 hours 20 minutes, Photo: Cedar Valley Resort
- Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark - 2 hours 15 minutes, Photo: Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark
- Siskiwit Bay Lodge Bed & Breakfast - 3 hours 30 minutes, Photo: Siskiwit Bay Lodge
- Romantic Getaways in MN: Hawksview - 2 hours from MSP, Photo: Hawksview
- Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort - 3 hours 30 minutes, Photo: Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort
- Alexander Mansion Bed and Breakfast - 2 hours, Photo: Alexander Mansion
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of snehit/Fotolia
More Minnesota Weekend Destinations
Minneapolis is a vibrant, modern, fun city with beautiful nature, a rich art scene and activities for all ages and interests. Enjoy the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ rich collection from all over the world displayed through 80,000 objects.
Another great place to take in art is the Walker Art Center, which showcases modern artists of Minneapolis. Those looking for beautiful scenery should check out the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in the lovely park across the street. Kids will love Minnesota Zoo where animals are housed by habitats and not by species, and the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium where they can feed seahorses, stingrays and rainbow reef fish.
Try to catch a performance at the Guthrie Theater or at the Children's Theatre Company, ride a bike along the 13-mile path around the picturesque Chain of Lakes or paddle a kayak on the calm waters. Let the guides of the Mississippi River Adventures take you on an exploration of the Mississippi River and show you the spectacular Minneapolis skyline from the water.
There is a lot to do in Duluth and much of it happens outdoors on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior or in the city’s magnificent parks.
Take a stroll through Canal Park on the waterfront and enjoy the view of the imposing Aerial Lift Bridge, quaint art galleries, shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels. Learn more about the bridge and shipping on the lake at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. Enjoy a tour of the imposing early 20th century mansion Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate, with its 39 rooms and magnificent English gardens.
Take the kids to the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium, where they can enjoy an education program complete with a dark sky show. At the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, not only can you observe these magnificent birds, but you can also enjoy the large unspoiled wilderness reserve.
Grand Marais is a quaint, picturesque harbor village situated between the mighty Sawtooth Mountains and the banks of the vast Lake Superior. Its breathtaking beauty has been attracting artists, musicians, photographers and artisans for decades, some of whom come to create and end up making Grand Marais their home.
Start your exploration of the harbor by sipping coffee at one of the many charming cafes where you can watch the beautiful sailboats go by, the adorable otters playing in the waters by the dock or the creative artists capturing the magical beauty of the lake.
Nature lovers should take the scenic Gunflint Trail between Lake Superior and the wild, unspoiled Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. To learn about the local history, visit the Cross River Heritage Center, and those looking to take an art course should visit the renowned Grand Marais Art Colony or North House Folk School.
St. Paul has many faces: It is known as the craft beer capital of the country, for its prohibition-era gangster past and for its vast natural beauty created by the confluence of the majestic Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
Get a feel for this modern, lively city by strolling through its busy downtown with the Minnesota State Capitol building and the imposing Cathedral of Saint Paul. Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring the renowned hundred year old Science Museum of Minnesota and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, where there is a zoo and a number of fun rides.
Take the tour of the historic 1891 James J. Hill House to get a glimpse into the life of a prominent St. Paul family, or take one of the Gangster Tours organized by the Landmark Center and visit the spots that gave St. Paul such a bad reputation during the prohibition. A picnic on Raspberry Island is the perfect setting to watch the water of the mighty Mississippi flow towards the ocean.
Walnut Grove, Immortalized in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novel Little House on the Prairie, is a tiny town in Redwood County, Minnesota, surrounded by fertile land and rich agriculture. Known for the black walnuts planted in the town at the end of 19th century when the city was established, Walnut Grove has a surprising number of interesting attractions and activities such as the fascinating Currie End-O-Line Railroad Museum, where kids can ride a miniature train.
History buffs will want to see the unique Jeffers Petroglyphs exhibition of more than 2,000 ancient carvings on enormous slabs of red quartzite created by American Indians. For a beautiful day out, visit the Alexander Ramsey Park with rock cliffs, winding streams waterfalls and a zoo, or, if you’re feeling lucky, take a trip to the Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel, where you can even play a round of golf.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Created by glaciers almost ten thousand years ago, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a unique region in northeast Minnesota near Grand Marais. This million acre area consists of scenic rugged cliffs, canyons, hills, rock formations, sandy beaches, rocky shores, lakes, streams, small islands and dense forest, creating a unique and spectacular recreation area.
It has more than 1,200 miles of marked canoe routes, 12 paved and unpaved hiking trails and more than 2,000 campsites. It is an enormous wilderness area that is meant to stay wild and unchanged, offering solitude and a closeness to nature not easily found elsewhere.
Voyageurs National Park
Named after the French Canadian voyageurs who paddled through on their birch bark canoes trading fur in the late 18th century, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota is a verdant wonderland. More than a third of it lakes, with about 200 campsites, can be reached only by boat. About 900 islands are scattered over 30 lakes, shared between the USA and Canada, a border hidden among reeds and dense boreal forest groves.
Motorboats, canoes and kayaks can often be seen exploring the hidden narrow waterways, while walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass are hiding from the patient fishermen who have as much of a chance of catching fish as spotting a loon or bald eagle that soar the skies over the park. You can spend time alone, communing with nature, take a tour and hear stories from the local naturalists, tour historic sites with a park ranger or take a boat trip on the Rainy and Kabetogama lakes.
The International Wolf Center
The International Wolf Center is a research and educational organization and interpretative center based in Ely, Minnesota. The Wolf Center occupies a 17,000 square foot space, with a 1.25 acre enclosure where four Northwestern ‘ambassador’ wolfs can be seen by visitors through large windows as they communicate, play, eat and hunt.
Visitors can also see film presentations in the Interpretative Center Theater. The center organizes fascinating Learning Adventures such as Wolves After Dark or Mush with Dogs, Howl with Wolves. The center’s goal is to improve the survival of wolf populations through educating visitors about wolves and the role humans play in their future.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is a 2,260 acre park located on the north shore of Lake Superior in Beaver Bay, best known for its fascinating historic lighthouse built in 1910, perched high up on the cliff, which is now a museum. Original red and white pine that used to cover the park have been heavily logged or burnt in forest fires, so today’s vegetation cover consists of birch, spruce, fir and ash.
White-tailed deer, black bears, moose, raccoons, red foxes, snowshoe hares, lynxes and bobcats live in the park but are rarely seen, and peregrine falcons live and nest on the cliffs at the coast. Hiking trails in the park link to the popular Superior Hiking Trail, which meanders along the Lake Superior coastline. The trail passes by several beautiful waterfalls and forest stands, and in the winter, the park is popular for cross-country skiing.
St Cloud Clemens Gardens
Clemens Gardens is a beautiful seven acre garden designed in the tradition of the great European gardens and gifted to the city of St. Cloud by William and Virginia Clemens. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Clemens Gardens consist of six thematic gardens that include the Formal Garden, built around the Windsor Court fountain, and the Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, which has about 1,100 roses of 70 varieties, and where something is always in bloom between June and September. The "Jenny Crane" fountain is located in its center.
Driving Distances from Minneapolis
|Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota To||Driving Time|
|Red Wing, MN||1 hours 10 minutes|
|Two Harbors, MN, USA||2 hours 45 min|
|Shagawa Lake||5 hours 45 min|
|Stillwater, Minnesota||33 min|
|Whalan, MN||2 hours and 20 minutes|
|Duluth||2 hours 15 minutes|
|Cornucopia, Wisconsin||3 hours 25 min|
|Fountain City, Wisconsin||2 hours|