Edit ModuleShow Tags

Not Your Typical Postcard


Published:

Stop by any Minnesota gift shop and you will see the most popular postcard images: the Spoon and Cherry sculpture in Minneapolis, a sunset over a lake, the Mall of America, or perhaps Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. These are all accurate representations of Minnesota culture, but there are some lesser-known images and landmarks sprinkled throughout the state that might make you want to stop the car.

The World's Largest Ball of Twine: Beginning in March 1950, Francis A. Johnson spent four hours everyday for 29 years rolling twine. He ended up with the world’s largest ball, measuring about 12 feet in diameter and weighing 17,400 pounds. You can see this big ball protected in a brown gazebo in Darwin. (Interesting fact: In 2009, Martha Stewart named this ball one of her official “Good Things” and Weird Al Yankovic even sang about it in a song appropriately called “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.”)

The Big Otter: If he weren’t made of metal and concrete, you would want to cuddle with this giant cutie. Otto the Otter (150 feet tall and 40 feet long) is perhaps the most adorable statue in Minnesota. He can be found in Adams Park in Fergus Falls, which is part of Otter Tail County.

The World's Largest Loon: Looking over Long Lake in Vergas is the world’s largest loon statue. Vergas uses Minnesota’s state bird as the theme for their yearly celebration they call Loony Daze where there is live music and dances, fishing competitions, bingo and even loon calling contests.

The Giant Mosquito: Sitting by a lake as the sun sets is a common serene image of the perfect Minnesota night. But what you don’t see are people swaying arms and swatting away dozens of blood-sucking mosquitos. In Effie, a 6-foot long statue of this pesky critter sits by the welcome sign, paying homage to the battles Minnesotans endure with mosquitos summer after summer.

The World's Largest Hockey Stick and Puck: Minnesota is the state of hockey, so it makes sense that we have the world’s largest freestanding hockey stick (110 feet long, weighing 10,000 pounds) and hockey puck located in Eveleth, the same town where the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum is located.

The Man With No Pants: Pierre the Voyageur in Two Harbors appears to wear moccasins, leg warmers and a shirt. At 20-feet tall, perhaps he could not find trousers to fit him because Pierre remains pantless. Don’t worry; his shirt is long enough to cover his backside.

The Fishes: In the land of 10,000 lakes a favorite pastime in Minnesota is to fish and this is well represented by the more than 10 fish statues around the state, including walleyes (in Baudette, Rush City, Garrison and Kabetogama), trout (Preston), lutefisk (Madison), muskies (Nevis and Isle) and panfish (New Prague). One of the most famous fish in Minnesota is the 65-foot-long open-mouthed muskie in Bena, next to the Big Fish Supper Club. This was made famous when it appeared in the opening credits of National Lampoon's Vacation.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Minnesota Love in 3 New Books

The Boundary Waters, First Avenue, and fun facts about Minnesota—all highlighted in these recent publications

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Around the Twin Cities

While counting your blessings on Thanksgiving, think ahead to helping others in December by volunteering your time at one of these locations around the Twin Cities metro.

What Else To Do on Black Friday: Alternative Plans across the State

Things to do on Black Friday in Minnesota—other than shop

Where to Run a Turkey Trot in Minnesota This Thanksgiving

Burning off those Thanksgiving Day calories is a great way to start the day before giving thanks for what you have. Join one of these fun (and local) turkey trot races on Thanksgiving morning.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: November

Sue Z.'s ideas for getting charitable this month include baking with North Minneapolis teens and the annual Taste of the NFL

Finding Neverland Brings the Story of Peter Pan to Life

There was never a dull moment during the performance of Finding Neverland, the story of how Peter Pan came to be.

Drag Queens Fill First Ave for Puerto Rico

Flip Phone and drag queen Phi Phi O'Hara team up for a First Avenue show in Minneapolis with all proceeds benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria

Photos from Nigeria: A Series with a Cause by a MN Resident

MN photographer Bre McGee's series "Stolen Lives: The Lost Futures of Nigeria's Trafficked Youth" raises money for victims of child labor and sex trafficking

Calhoun, Mud Lake, and Pig’s Eye: A Brief History of Renaming Minnesota Places

Lake Calhoun is on its way to becoming Bde Maka Ska, but it's only the latest in the history of Minnesota place renamings, which includes N-word lakes, Pig's Eye, and a middle school almost named after Prince

Staging a Magazine: A Storytelling Pop-Up in St. Paul

St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater hosts a "live magazine"—where journalists become performers

What to Do on Halloween around the Twin Cities

Celebrate scariness over the weekend—or on Tuesday,, October 31—with haunted tours, a First Ave monster mash, and the last Zoo Boo

Pumpkin Nights: 3,000 Artful Jack-o'-lanterns

In this photo essay, check out how the MN State Fairgrounds have transformed into a Halloween celebration—and go for yourself this weekend

The Weird Beauty of Scream Town

How the decade-old Minnesota scare fest, in the middle of a Chaska cornfield, has combined today’s "Insidious"-conditioned jump-scare obsession with the dreamlike, strangely touching allure of old-world Disneyland

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. Fall festivals and events brighten up the first chilly months and give life to a city that lives on the lake during summer.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags