Plan Your Summer Vacation to Our Favorite Minnesota Road Trip Spots

family on summer vacation road trip looking at the ocean

Image credit: estradaanton/Adobe Stock

While beaches and theme parks may be popular summer vacation destinations, we think some of the best family fun can be had right here in our home state of Minnesota. A road trip around the North Star State offers countless activities for every interest, whether you’re into great music, outdoor activities, or delicious food (although we may be biased about that last one!).

Even if you’re a Minnesota native, there’s so much to explore in your own backyard -- and summer is the perfect season for day trips and weekend getaways.

If you’re looking for summer vacation ideas, we suggest making plans to check out one of our favorite Minnesota road trip spots. As a bonus, you’ll be supporting local small businesses along the way!

1. Check out a festival in Duluth

Bayfront Festival Park always has something going on, and summer is festival season. There’s something for everyone at this outdoor event center in Duluth. In the next few months, the park will be hosting an animal walk, concerts, tasting events, and the annual Art in Bayfront Park art fair.

2. Keep cool with Adele’s Frozen Custard

Some of the best homemade ice cream you’ll ever have is at Adele’s Frozen Custard on Lake Minnetonka. Vanilla and chocolate are always available, but you can check out their calendar for the flavor of the day. Adele’s is only open during the summer, so don’t miss your window of opportunity to enjoy this sweet treat.

3. Enjoy the great outdoors on Lake Superior

One of our founders’ favorite spots for a weekend getaway is Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior. This family-owned vacation destination offers a variety of lakeside lodging, just steps from the gorgeous North Shore. The views are unbeatable and there’s no shortage of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. After an action-packed day of swimming, cycling, kayaking, fishing, or hiking, you can cozy up next to a campfire before you turn in for the night.

4. Grab a slice of Betty’s famous pies

The only excuse you’ll need to take a trip to Betty’s Pies is having a bit of a sweet tooth. This family restaurant in Two Harbors is well known for its breakfast and other diner foods. What makes it famous, though, are the pies. Try their best-selling five-layer chocolate pie, or give the Great Lakes crunch pie or caramel apple crunch pie a taste.

5. Get your grill on and indulge in some BBQ

At Vandy’s Grille in Waconia, you’ll find more than a tasty, modern take on classic barbeque. The restaurant itself is situated on the edge of Lake Waconia and offers views of the Island View golf course. The food is delicious and well worth the drive. From creative BBQ-inspired appetizers and juicy burgers to smokehouse meats and homemade sauces, you’re likely to find a dish you love!

6. Take a cooking class at The Cookie Cups

Get a taste of adventure — in the kitchen! A cooking class at our Wayzata bakery can be a fun way to spend an afternoon with the family when you’re visiting the Minneapolis area. You’ll make a variety of sweet and savory cups during your time here, and everyone gets a pack of cookie cups for the road to enjoy later.

We are always adding classes to the calendar, so you can pick one to fit your schedule and your taste buds. You can also pick up a gift certificate to redeem for a future cooking class or for more cookie cups later. Check out this blog post about our cooking classes, so you’ll know what to expect!

Want to reserve a class or redeem a gift certificate at The Cookie Cups? Stop by the bakery or contact us with any questions about our upcoming cooking classes and in-store events.

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