Road trips can be a little challenging with kids, but if you plan ahead they can be a memory filled vacation. The first thing you need to make a list with everyone’s interests. There are lots of places to see and things to do in Minnesota for a Family Road Trip. Consider things you have never done before, maybe it is a bucket list, or maybe it is inspirational road trip ideas you heard from your neighbors. If you have younger children, parents will need to complete this for them. By including children in the Family Trip planning process, they feel a sense of pride. Kids for the most part like to experience new things.
Once you have your list, now you can start doing some research. You can search online for places that have the things to do and see that align to your interest list. Do you like paddling sports, do you like history, do you like art, do you like to eat, do you like to shop? A great place to start searching online for your Minnesota Family Road Trip ideas, is the state travel association. Explore Minnesota has a wide variety of inspirational ideas for things to do and see in Minnesota while on vacation. When you start here you can see a wide variety of ideas. From places to stay, things to do, historic sites, art and culture, outdoor recreation and place to dine. This will help narrow down to the different communities that you would like to visit along your road trip path.
Once you have narrowed down your search as to where you would like to vacation, then you can get a little bit more specific and start mapping out the drive. Mapquest or Google Map are both good online resources to help map out your road trip. You can start by typing in your home address, and then add the stops that you would like to make along the way until the last stop on your list. This will map your entire trip and Google Map will also include additional things of interested that you might also be interested along the way. Here is a sample itinerary to help get you started:
Family Interests: MN history, family friendly attractions, family friendly outdoor recreation, family friendly lodging, and family friendly dining.
Traveling From Northern Suburbs of Minneapolis
First stop: Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post in Onamia – Tour the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s museum of native american history, culture, and contemporary life, and shop the onsite trading post for the largest selection of traditional and contemporary American Indian arts and crafts.
Second stop: Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Ironton/Crosby– Rent bikes, paddle sports to bicycle and paddling your way around the outdoor recreation area. Rent a yurt to lodge overnight.
Third Stop: Forest History Center in Grand Rapids – Tour the on site interpretive center, take in the Fire in the Forest movie, learn about Minnesota’s logging heritage, and then follow the interpreters will take you back in time to life in a 1900 logging camp.
Final Stop: Paddling the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids – Your final stop on your Minnesota Family Road Trip is to take a family paddle along the Mississippi River. Grand Rapids, Minnesota is located on the Great River Road that is a road map that follows (as close as possible) the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. You can rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards at Paddle Hoppers that is located on the west side of Grand Rapids. Their business is right on the Mississippi and they have direct access to the river. They can give you a river map and tips on things to see along your paddling excursion and paddles that are appropriate for your families ages.
Grand Rapids is a great Minnesota Family Vacation destination. You will find lots of Lodging in Grand Rapids, Minnesota for you to stay for the rest of your vacation. You will find an abundance of outdoor recreation with over 1,000 area lakes, thousands of miles of groomed trails and over a million acres of public accessible forest land to explore. In Grand Rapids you will find historic sites to tour and educational learning centers to discover.