13 Things That Make Minnesota Unique

The Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Mall of America, and outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing and winter sports are just a few of the things that make Minnesota unique. But there's much more to this diverse state than meets the eye. From its rich history and culture to its iconic foods and attractions, here are 13 things that make Minnesota truly one-of-a-kind.

The Mall of America

- The Mall of America is the largest mall in the United States and a major tourist attraction in Minnesota. It's home to over 500 stores, 50 restaurants, an indoor amusement park, and a variety of other entertainment options.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes

- Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes for good reason.

With over 18,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 11,000 lakes, it's no wonder why this state is a popular destination for fishing and other outdoor activities.

Outdoor Activities

- From rolling hills to flat plains, Minnesota offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hiking, camping, fishing, golfing, skiing and snowboarding are just a few of the activities that can be enjoyed in this beautiful state.

Cultural Diversity

- Minnesota is home to people from all walks of life. Numerous festivals and attractions celebrate the many cultures found here, including those of Native Americans, Europeans, and the country's largest Hmong population.

Historical Sites

- Steeped in history and culture, there's always something new to learn about Minnesota. From historic sites like Fort Snelling to museums like the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, there are plenty of places to explore.

Sports Teams

- Minnesota is home to several professional sports teams including the Minnesota Twins (baseball), Minnesota Vikings (football), Minnesota Timberwolves (basketball), and Minnesota Wild (hockey).

There are also numerous college teams that compete in various sports.

Iconic Foods

- The Juicy Lucy is an iconic burger that originated in Minneapolis. It's made with two beef patties stuffed with cheese in the middle and served with various toppings. Other popular foods include wild rice soup, walleye fish sandwiches, and hotdish (a casserole dish made with ground beef or turkey).

Gopher State

- The gopher is the official state animal of Minnesota. These small rodents can be found throughout much of the northern and central regions of the state.

Higher Education

- From one of the largest universities in the Midwest (the University of Minnesota) to dozens of acclaimed liberal arts universities, many campuses offer impressive museums, exhibitions, shows and sporting events.


- Prince was born in Minneapolis and was one of the most influential musicians of all time.

He paid homage to his beloved hometown in some of his favorite places in the Twin Cities such as First Avenue nightclub (immortalized in his 1984 film Purple Rain) and Paisley Park.

Golf Courses

- With nearly 500 courses catering to golfers of all levels, Minnesota is the only state to have hosted all 13 USGA championships.

Bald Eagles

- In winter months you can spot bald eagles along the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota where water doesn't freeze.

Erica Wacker

- Erica Wacker is a head-to-toe Midwesterner who grew up in Illinois, went to college in Wisconsin and settled in Minnesota. She's an avid traveler who loves exploring her home state.