Come to Minnesota and you'll quickly understand why its citizens are some of the healthiest people in the U.S. The northernmost state in the lower 48 is the ultimate outdoor playground, beckoning outdoor enthusiasts to frolic among the prairies, forests, lakes and streams.
Famously known as the "land of 10,000 lakes," Minnesota offers water activities at every turn. During the summer months, you can strap on the water skis (some say water skiing was invented here), hop aboard a canoe or grab a fishing pole (more than one third of Minnesotans are avid anglers). Away from the water, Minnesota offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails as well as golf courses designed by the game's legends.
Colder weather calls for ice skates, but the fishing poles still apply. And miles of groomed snowmobile trails make getting around a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Of course, just because you're in the great outdoors doesn't mean you'll have to rough it. Endless Vacation Rentals properties in Minnesota offer many resort-like amenities and provide the kind of spacious and well-equipped accommodations you can only get at home.
Anywhere in Dorset. This vacation destination boast having more restaurants per capita than anywhere in the world. Of course, it helps when your town only has a population of 22. Among the more popular places to eat: La Pasta Italian Eatery.
Zorbaz on the Lake (Detroit Lakes). The folks at Zorbaz see themselves as a "Mexican and Pizza joint," which means this restaurant is one of the few places you can order up a pizza and sample fresh salsa at the same time.
Golf Brainerd. The Brainerd Lakes area is home to courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, and other top designers - 450 glorious holes in all.
Walk across the Mississippi headwaters (Itasca State Park). Take a walk in, around and across the Mississippi river as it begins its 2,500-mile journey south to the Gulf of Mexico at Itasca State Park, the oldest park in Minnesota. Other park activities include hiking, biking, canoeing and swimming.
Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis). Minnesota claims to rank right behind New York City in theater seats per capita, and the twilight blue Guthrie in downtown Minneapolis is one of the best places to catch a show.
Heartland Trail (Park Rapids).This 49-mile multiple use trail winds between Park Rapids and Cass Lake and offers amazing views of the Minnesota countryside. The entire trail is groomed for snowmobiling in the winter. Parts of the trail are also used for mountain biking and horseback riding in the summer.
See the state by bicycle. Perhaps the reason Minnesotans are among America's healthiest has something to do with the fact that they enjoy more bike paths than any other state.
Ski where (water) skiing started. Minnesota is credited with being the state where water skiing was born. Pick a lake, rent a boat and hit the water.
Weisman Art Museum. This stunning, stainless steel coated structure on the University of Minnesota campus holds works from 20th century masters such as Georgia O'Keeffe. Another option: the popular Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which houses more than 80,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of world history.
Mall of America (Bloomington). The nation's largest retail and entertainment complex offers everything from upscale shopping to an indoor theme park (the Nickelodeon Universe).