Minnesota, known as The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is located in the upper mid-west region of the United States. On May 11, 1858, it entered the union as the 32nd state. The state gets its name from the Dakota word “mni sota”, which means sky-tinted water. It is the 12th largest state in area and 21st largest in population. Minnesota is known for its wildlife, environmentalism, forests and prairies. The state’s nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is appropriate as the state is home to 11,842 lakes that are ten acres or greater in size.
The major metropolitan area of Minnesota is known as the Twin Cities and encompasses St. Paul, the capital city, and Minneapolis, the most populous city. Approximately 60% of the state’s residents live in this area. This puts the Twin Cities metro area in the top 20 largest metropolitan areas in the United States at number 16. Other large cities include: Rochester, Duluth, Bloomington, St. Cloud, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Burnsville and Edina. Some popular destinations in the state include the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth and any number of professional sporting events in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul.
There are numerous events to attend in Minnesota. Every summer, the Minnesota Fringe Festival spans eleven days and features 800 performances from musicians, visual artists, dancers, actors, improv acts and more. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is held at the end of each summer and is open for seven weekends. For those who appreciate a more cultural approach to entertainment, the state is home to numerous art museums, arts and crafts festivals, theatre and dance. Those who prefer to spend their time outdoors, Minnesota is a natural choice for hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.