2022 Summer Destinations Close to Minnesota

From Wisconsin to Canada, Minnesotans can easily plan these trips for the warm weather ahead
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Photo by Erica Wacker

Minnesota State Fair

For a typical state fair, 1.3 million attendees is huge. For the Great Minnesota Get-Together, that number from 2021 was well below the record due to COVID-19 woes. Whether the pandemic will cast a shadow over the 2022 State Fair (Aug. 25-Sept. 5) remains to be seen, but Fair fans are gearing up for another year of live music, fried foods, fast rides, and heaps of family fun. mnstatefair.org

Pepin, Wisconsin

Laura Ingalls Wilder is many travelers’ first reason to take a pilgrimage to Pepin, but there’s so much more to discover. In addition to the downtown Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and replica “Big Woods” cabin north of town, visitors will find a public beach, winery, and stunning views of Lake Pepin from Buena Vista Park. For a memorable evening, head to the Stone Barn in Nelson for fresh pizza on the farm. visitpepin.com

Badlands, South Dakota

South Dakota’s second-most famous rock formations can be found spanning 244,000 acres in Badlands National Park. Encounters with wildlife and fossilized species alike are among the park’s many draws. Take your time driving the 39-mile Loop Road, stopping for hikes, photo ops, and simply staring off into the sunset. Take the gravel Sage Creek Rim Road for your best chance at spotting buffalo. nps.gov/badl

Omaha, Nebraska

Is a zoo really worth a 375-mile drive? If it’s Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the answer is a resounding yes. The zoo is a daylong adventure, with the world’s largest indoor desert as one of many highlights. Add the free Joslyn Art Museum, “Bob the Bridge” straddling Nebraska and Iowa, and the historic Old Market neighborhood, and Omaha is a worthy weekend getaway. visitomaha.com

Montreal Jazz Fest, Montreal, Canada

After being postponed until September in 2021, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is back to its usual timeline (June 30-July 9) for its 42nd year. The largest jazz festival in the world features hundreds of acts on dozens of indoor and outdoor stages scattered across Canada’s second-largest city. This year’s headliners include Jesse Cook, Ludovico Einaudi, Woodkid, and Melody Gardot. montrealjazzfest.com

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