Best Minnesota Attraction (2017)


The land of 10,000 lakes actually has more than 11,800, yet aquatic adventure is only one of many draws to Minnesota. The twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul teem with cool cultural attractions, and there's plenty of history to be found along the Mighty Mississippi. 

  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

    Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
    Saint Paul

    Saint Paul's Como Park Zoo & Conservatory features a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces, as well as a stunning tropical conservatory with an always changing display of seasonal plants and flowers.
    Photo courtesy of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

  • National Eagle Center

    National Eagle Center

    The National Eagle Center is an interpretive center on the banks of the Mississippi River, where visitors come to learn more about eagles (particularly bald eagles) and the Mississippi watershed through interaction. 
    Photo courtesy of iStock / cicloco

  • Minnesota Zoo

    Minnesota Zoo
    Apple Valley

    With 485 acres, there's plenty of room for the furry residents of the Minnesota Zoo to spread out. This zoo - with more than 5,300 animals - is recognized for excellence in exhibits and broad community outreach: its Free to Explore program, for example, provided free access to more than 80,000 low income Minnesota residents last year.
    Photo courtesy of Minnesota Zoo

  • Voyageurs National Park

    Voyageurs National Park

    Voyageurs National Park sits at the heart of North America, where visitors enjoy some of the country's darkest skies, rocks half as old as the world itself and serene boreal forests perfect for a natural escape.
    Photo courtesy of NPS/Dimse

  • Minnesota Marine Art Museum

    Minnesota Marine Art Museum

    Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum specializes in marine and maritime art, including works by Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet and van Gogh.
    Photo courtesy of EverettMath / Wikimedia Commons

  • Canal Park

    Canal Park

    Situated on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Canal Park is one of the best places to watch 1,000-foot ships pass beneath the famous Aerial Lift Bridge.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Duluth

  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

    Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

    Situated in the northern third of Superior National Forest, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protects several thousand lakes and streams, all surrounded by forest.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Wildnerdpix

  • Guthrie Theater

    Guthrie Theater

    Founded in 1963, the Guthrie Theater is the shining star of the excellent theater scene in Minneapolis. Three stages set the scene for a mix of both classic and contemporary plays within the state-of-the-art facility.
    Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

  • North Shore Scenic Drive

    North Shore Scenic Drive

    Hugging the shores of the world's largest freshwater lake, North Shore Scenic Drive begins in Duluth and winds its way to Grand Portage over the course of 142 beautiful miles.
    Photo courtesy of Ryan Fonkert / Flickr

  • Lebanon Hills Regional Park

    Lebanon Hills Regional Park

    The largest park in the Dakota County park system, Lebanon Hills Regional Park encompasses 2,000 acres with numerous lakes and miles of recreational trails for exploring.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / megasquib


The top 10 winners in the category Best Minnesota Attraction are as follows:

  1. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory - Saint Paul
  2. National Eagle Center - Wabasha
  3. Minnesota Zoo - Apple Valley
  4. Voyageurs National Park
  5. Minnesota Marine Art Museum - Winona
  6. Canal Park - Duluth
  7. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
  8. Guthrie Theater - Minneapolis
  9. North Shore Scenic Drive
  10. Lebanon Hills Regional Park - Eagan

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Beth Blair ( and Lisa Meyers McClintick were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Minnesota.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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Beth Blair

Beth Blair

Beth Blair

Lisa Meyers McClintick

Lisa Meyers McClintick

Lisa Meyers McClintick