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Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

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Annapolis, Maryland
posts: 17
reviews: 7
Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

We are planning 2 days in early August to visit Minneapolis and would like to use a 3rd day for an overnight trip to somewhere else in Minnesota, before heading back to Milwaukee airport (will have 2 days to drive back to Milwaukee). We have never been to Minnesota and would like to see some of the highlights of the state in the short time we have. Our group is 2 adults and 2 young teen boys. We will have a car. We like hikes (easy ones), animals, nature activities; kids also like video arcades/amusement parks. Thank you for any suggestions. This is the first time we have posted a question, though we go to Tripadvisor for helpful suggestions before every trip.

Oronoco, Minnesota
posts: 1
1. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

You should check out the Nisswa, Walker area. It is only about 1 1/2 north of Minneapolis but it seems that you are in the great northern woods. The town is so adorable and has that small town rustic feel. You can rent a cabin or stay in a log resort. There are many lakes and hiking trails. A old fashion A&W drive in and a candy store with all the classics (plus ice cream) It would be easy to access a highway from that area so you can get to the airport.

Take care

With Love from Minnesota

Annapolis, Maryland
posts: 17
reviews: 7
2. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

Thank you for your quick reply, I will look into it! Would the scenery there be different or similar to that of Taylors Falls or Lake Itasca?

Edited: 5:12 pm, July 19, 2013
Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 228
reviews: 2
3. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

I consider Minnesota's quantity of lake country to be one of its main highlights.

Lake Itasca would be a more protected wooded area (though somewhat far for a 1 night stay, maybe 4 hours from Minneapolis, and in the opposite direction of Milwaukee).

Nisswa (the Brainerd lakes area) is a popular 'weekend getaway at the lake' area, that I would describe as known for cabins, resorts, golf courses, etc.

The Walker area is similar but much further north from the city of Brainerd and thus a little more secluded (again getting fairly far from Minneapolis though just to stay there for 1 night).

Taylor Falls on the other end is a charming small town in a fairly scenic river valley (it's much closer to Minneapolis, and a bit less out of your way for heading to Milwaukee the next day).

I'd maybe recommend Taylor Falls if you think those are the areas you've narrowed it down to, largely just because of its location. If you were looking for somewhere to go for 2 or 3 nights rather than 1 that might be different. Another place to consider maybe looking into might be the area of Lake City or Pepin, both on Lake Pepin.

Minneapolis...
posts: 52
reviews: 4
4. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

Taylor's Falls is an easy drive and Interstate Park has some great scenery and easy hikes. There are some cute little towns in the area too (Litchfield). It's a favorite and close enough that I usually do this as a day trip from the cities, but overnight would give you plenty of time to relax.

If you want a more "Northwoods" experience (or "Up North" as we say), then I would go with the Brainerd area.

Edited: 1:38 am, July 22, 2013
Minnesota
posts: 366
reviews: 4
5. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

IMO, the scenery around Taylors Falls in the Dalles area is only beat by the North Shore in Minnesota. There are great hikes in both the Minnesota and Wisconsin side of Interstate Park. With two teen-age boys there is canoeing, rock climbing, and swimming available in the park. In addition, Wild Mountain Ski Area has a pretty good water park as well as an Alpine slide. It's seven miles north of Taylors Falls. Trollhaugen Ski Area, five miles south in Wisconsin, has a zip line and a ropes course. The area has three wineries and several decent restaurants. St. Croix Falls, Wi, has a Holiday Inn Express. With the much shorter drive for the time you have, I think this area would suit your trip just fine.

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
posts: 4,212
reviews: 18
6. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

A matter of preference and I think the posters above summed it up well for you. But I wanted to make sure you knew it was not all that far of a drive to Milwaukee to require two days. From Minneapolis I can get there in about 5 1/2 hours.

Minneapolis
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
posts: 2,968
reviews: 17
7. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

Hands down ... Lake Itaska !

Annapolis, Maryland
posts: 17
reviews: 7
8. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

Thank you all for your replies and helpful feedback. We are looking forward to visiting and hope for good weather to do all these great outdoor things!

Minneapolis...
posts: 38
9. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

Please be aware the Litchfield is nowhere near Taylor's Falls.

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
posts: 4,212
reviews: 18
10. Re: Lake Itasca,Taylors Falls or other overnight trip from MSP?

i can nly guess msp223 meant Lindstrom and not Litchfield. Good catch!