Minnesota’s climate is one of extremes. In winter it is bitterly cold while in summer it can get unbearable hot. In the northeast snowfall averages 178cm (70 inches), and in the south it reaches 101cm (40 inches). Temperatures in January drop below zero (Celsius). May through July in the southern regions is peak tornado season. Summers are humid and temperatures are in the 30s and even higher in southern regions.
When to fly to Minnesota
The high season for flights to Minnesota is in summer and winter. In summer Minnesota draws visitors looking for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and camping while winter sees the arrival of snow-sports enthusiasts.
Autumn is a popular time to visit for the foliage, both in the cities and wilderness.
In the cities winter is the off season, but be prepared to dress for the bitter cold. Although spring isn’t a very busy time to visit, it is a good time to find cheap flights to Minnesota.
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Getting around Minnesota
Trains and bus companies provide transportation in the state. The Twin Cities - Minneapolis and St. Paul - have extensive skyway systems for walking around downtown. Buses and old-style trolleys also reach their downtowns. The Metropolitan Transit Commission provides transportation between the Twin Cities. Minneapolis also has the Hiawatha Light Rail that runs between the Warehouse District, Mall of America, and the airport. Although most attractions in St. Paul can be reached on foot, you will need a car in Minneapolis.
Visitors head to the northern part of the state for its outdoor activities, but driving through some of the region is a wonderful way to experience the wilderness.
Minnesota insider information
- Most of Minnesota's population lives in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St Paul, and this is where a large part of the tourism to the area is also based. However, the rest of the state is worth exploring and has some stunning landscapes including prairies and forests. It’s hard to believe that in the northwest of the state, the Red River Valley was once covered with tall prairie grass and roamed by herds of buffalo. Today, State Parks are needed to preserve the way the countryside once stood naturally. The best ones to visit are Buffalo River State Park and Bluestem Prairie Preserve.
- Minneapolis’s attractions won’t disappoint. The minute you step off your Minneapolis flight shopping, museums, restaurants and theatres await you. While there, don’t miss a visit to Minnehaha Park and the Walker Art Center. Minnehaha Park contains the creek and the Minnehaha Falls, a 53 foot waterfall. There is a statue in the park of Hiawatha carrying Minnehaha, based on Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha. The Walker Art Centre also contains sculptures in its 11-acre sculpture garden, though of a slightly different nature. A symbol of the city is one of the most impressive sculptures by Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen; it’s a giant spoon with a cherry on the top. A fountain flows out of the tip and downtown Minneapolis is the backdrop.
- The capital of the state, St Paul, is a more historic city than adjacent Minneapolis. Cultural attractions are plentiful, including a tour of the Capitol Building. Those visiting with children can’t miss the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, where resident animals include camels, reindeer, giraffes, penguins, cougars, lions and gorillas.
- Duluth, the third-largest city of the state, sits at the top of Lake Superior. The town is focused around the waterfront and harbour. Visit Canal Park for a bird’s eye view of activity on the waterfront. Here an aerial lift bridge connects Canal Park with Minnesota Point, a seven-mile sandbar. From the top of the bridge the views are breathtaking.