79 Fun & Interesting Facts About Minnesota

Are you ready to explore a place known for its sparkling lakes, snowy winters, and friendly people? Let’s take a trip to Minnesota, a state in the northern part of the United States that’s packed with fun and fascinating things. So, grab your map, and let’s start our journey to learn some cool facts about Minnesota!

Did you know that Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”? Well, guess what? It actually has even more than that – about 11,842 lakes! These beautiful lakes are everywhere, making Minnesota a perfect spot for swimming, fishing, and boating. Imagine spending your summer jumping into cool, clear water or ice skating on frozen lakes in the winter.

Minnesota is also famous for its freezing cold winters. But the cool thing is that Minnesotans know how to make the most of it! They have lots of winter festivals with ice sculptures, hockey games, and even ice fishing. It’s like a winter wonderland where the snow and ice bring everyone together for fun and games.

And here’s a fun fact about Minnesota: the Mall of America, one of the biggest shopping malls in the world, is located in this great state. It’s so big that it has an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and hundreds of stores. You could spend days exploring and still find new things to see and do.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Minnesota? From its thousands of lakes to its gigantic mall and cozy winter activities, Minnesota is full of interesting stories and surprises. Let’s keep our adventure going and discover all the amazing things that make Minnesota a special place to visit and learn about!

Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about Nebraska and our Facts about Montana.

Facts about Minnesota

  1. The U.S. can thank Minnesota for the following foods: bundt cake, corn dogs, wild rice soup, hotdish (a kind of casserole that often includes tater tots), spam, Ojibwe fry bread, and Cheerios.
  2. The Port of Duluth is the world’s most inland port accessible by ocean ships and the largest port on the Great Lakes.
  3. Minnesota is bordered by Manitoba and Ontario in Canada to the north, Lake Superior and Wisconsin to the east, Iowa to the south, and South Dakota and North Dakota to the west.
  4. Minnesota has 24 Fortune 500 companies, one of the highest numbers of any US state.
  5. In 1762, the western part of the state became part of the Spanish-owned Louisiana Territory.
  6. Minnesota gets its name from the Minnesota River. The word “Minnesota” is an Anglicized form of the Sioux Indian word, “Minisota,” which means “sky tinted” or “cloudy water.” 
  7. Valleyfair is the largest amusement park in the Midwest area of the United States. It has over 75 rides and attractions including eight roller coasters.. There is also an area called “Route 76” dedicated to the classic attractions with which the park originally started in 1976.
  8. Minnesota is considered to be one of the healthiest and most peaceful states in the entire Union.
  9. Eagle Mountain, at 2,301 feet of elevation, is the highest natural point in the state. While the name might be impressive, don’t let it fool you. Eagle Mountain is more of a big hill in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of the Superior National Forest.
  10. Minnesota state parks occupy almost 500 thousand acres. Many of its lakes and rivers allow locals and visitors to enjoy various activities, including sailing, fishing, boating, swimming, and walking on foot through forests, marshes, grasslands, rivers, and lakes.
  11. “L’Étoile du Nord” means “Star of the North”, and it’s been the Minnesota motto since 1861. It’s the only state motto to be written in the French language.
  12. Three million cows live in Minnesota.
  13. The Mall of America in Bloomington is big enough to hold 32 Boeing 747 airplanes. 
  14. The two main Native American groups that lived in Minnesota before the Europeans arrived were the Dakota and Ojibwe. The latter are otherwise known as Ojibway, Ojibwa, or Chippewa.
  15. St. Paul was once known as Pig’s Eye, after the French-Canadian whiskey trader Pierre Parrant, nicknamed Pig’s Eye. He played a role in the founding of the settlement.
  16. The Mall of America in Bloomington, a suburb of Minnesota, has been the largest mall in the Western Hemisphere ever since it surpassed West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta (fun fact: both malls are owned by the Ghermezian family).
  17. A recent study found that Minnesota has more exercise facilities per capita than any other state.
  18. Minnesota has some of the Earth’s oldest rocks, dating to 3.6 billion years ago.
  19. Minnesota was the first place to host a successful open-heart surgery back in 1952. 
  20. The official Minnesota state nickname you’ll find on license plates and tourist information might surprise you. Minnesota is also called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” That number isn’t exact; it’s just to show that there are a lot of water bodies in the territory. The actual number of registered lakes in the state is almost 12,000.
  1. Before becoming a state in 1858, Minnesota was a Union territory. Ownership of Minnesota was transferred to the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. However, it wasn’t officially deemed an official federal territory until 1849.
  2. Minnesota is home to First Avenue, one of the oldest independently owned entertainment and music venues in the United States. The building originally served as a Northland-Greyhound Bus Depot.
  3.  Lake Leech is the third-largest lake in Minnesota.
  4. No water flows into the state from other parts of the U.S. Typically, water flows downstream. Since Minnesota is a northern border state, it’s upstream of every U.S. river.
  5. Minnesota is known as the “North Star State.” It’s been a moniker since the late 1800s when it first joined the Union. 
  6. Minnesota stocks its waters with 256,259,500 fish on average per year. That’s enough to give 4 out of 5 people in the U.S. a fish.
  7. Minnesota is famous for many inventions that are used daily, including grocery bags with handles, scotch tape, in-the-ear hearing aids, water skis, and pop-up toasters.
  8. Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota’s northland is considered one of the top canoeing destinations in the country and is one of the country’s most protected areas.
  9. The flag of Minnesota shows a version of the state seal on a blue background. The seal shows a white settler plowing a field and a Native American passing by on a horse. It has been criticized as racist, and a new design is underway.
  10. Even though the state is known for its Germanic and Scandinavian heritage, Minnesota has the largest Somali population outside of Africa, as well as one of the largest Hmong populations in the U.S.
  11. It is the northernmost of the Lower 48 States and the only contiguous state with a piece of land north of the 49th parallel called the Northwest Angle, which is physically cut off from the rest of the U.S.
  12. Minnesota is known as the “Gopher State”.
  13. The Mall of America contains a memorial for the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC.
  14. One major Minnesota company is Green Giant, formerly the Minnesota Valley Canning Company.
  15. French explorer Daniel Greysolon claimed the Minnesota region in 1679 on behalf of France.
  16. Long before it aired on Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel, the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered on Minneapolis public access television in the late 1980s.
  17. The clear adhesive has become an essential part of daily life. In 1930, 3M’s engineer Richard Drew used cellophane to create the prototype of Scotch Transparent Tape. 
  18. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports in 2020, Minnesota came in third for the highest life expectancy with an average of 79.1 years. Spot number one was given to Hawaii at 80.7 years, followed by Washington at 79.2 years.
  19. After the American Revolution in 1783, the U.S. took control of the part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi.
  20. The Minnesota State Fair at Falcon Heights is the largest in the U.S. by average daily attendance (only the State Fair of Texas has a larger total attendance because it runs longer). It is nicknamed “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.”
  1. Minnesota has been dubbed “The State of Hockey”. It has produced some of the best American hockey players in history.
  2. The population of Minnesota is over 5.7 million, making it the 22nd most populous state, between Colorado and South Carolina in terms of population.
  3. The Mall of America houses an indoor amusement park called Nickelodeon Universe as well as the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium.
  4. Minnesota is the only state that is the source of three major rivers: the Mississippi, the Red River of the North, and the St. Louis River.
  5. The state contains the largest copper-nickel deposits in the world and provides over 80% of the nation’s iron ore.
  6. The state has eleven Native American nations: the Upper Sioux, Leech Lake, Prairie Island, Lower Sioux, Shakopee, Mille Lacs, Bois Forte, Grand Portage, Red Lake, Fond du Lac, and White Earth. Today they make up only 1% of the state’s population.
  7. Minnesota is located in the upper part of the Midwestern United States, also called the North Central region. It is also part of the Great Lakes region.
  8. The Minnesota Territory was formed in 1849.
  9. Scotch tape, the bundt pan, rollerblades, Milky Way candy bars, and the world’s first practical pair of water skies were all invented in Minnesota.
  10. Fort San Antonio (later called Fort Snelling) is Minnesota’s first military installation. It was built in 1819 and, Mendota, the first large settlement was developed in its vicinity. 
  11. The state name Minnesota comes from a Sioux word that means “sky-tinted water” or “cloudy water”.
  12. Besides its major rivers, Minnesota has some 6564 streams. In total, they would circle the Earth two and a half times.
  13. Charles Shulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic, was born in Minneapolis.
  14. Minnesota produces more turkeys each year than there are people in California.
  15. Former Vice President Theodore Roosevelt gave his now-famous “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” speech at the 1901 Minnesota State Fair.
  16. The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team is called the “Lakers” because they were originally from Minnesota – the land of lakes! 
  17. Minnesota has a zero tax on the sale of clothing or footwear, so it is a shopping paradise.
  18. Fort Snelling, founded in 1819, is a historic Minnesota landmark that was crucial to U.S. westward expansion. Initially a military outpost, it evolved into a Civil War training ground and World War II internment camp. 
  19. Around 3000 years ago, Plains Indians started using the stone at Pipestone National Monument to make their pipes.
  20. Minnesota is the only state that water only flows out from, and not into. It has been called the “Center of the water universe of North America.” Its waters flow to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Arctic Ocean.
  1. St. Paul, together with Minneapolis, the state’s largest city (population 430,000), forms the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, often called the “Twin Cities”.
  2. It is said that Minnesota is shaped like an anvil.
  3. The Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical center worth $15 billion, is headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota.
  4. In 2014, Minnesota produced 1.18 billion bushels of corn, the weight of over 90 Empire State Buildings
  5. It is a law in Minnesota that a person may not cross state lines with a duck atop his/her head. 
  6. Minneapolis Skyway System stands out as the largest network of skyways globally. It links 80 blocks contiguously for a distance of up to 9.5 miles. The very first skyway opened in 1962.
  7. Lake Mille Lacs is home to the best smallmouth fish. It has been reported that some weigh up to a little more than three kilograms.
  8. Minnesota has over 3 times more white-tailed deer than college students.
  9. Minnesota has one recreational boat per six people; that’s 909,528 boats, which is more than the population of South and North Dakota. 
  10. Minnesota spans 86,936 mi², making it the 12th largest state of America, right between Michigan and Utah in terms of size.
  11. The name Minneapolis comes from mníȟaȟa, meaning waterfall in the Dakota language, and polis, meaning city in Greek. It was founded at Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi River, which became a source of power for the city’s flour mills.
  12. Tourism slogans for Minnesota have included “Explore Minnesota”, “Land of Sky-Blue Water”, and “Find Your True North.”
  13. Split Rock Lighthouse, on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior, is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the United States. It even appeared in the 2013 movie The Great Gatsby.
  14. Metropolitan Stadium, or “The Met”, once stood where the Mall of America now is. A home plate still stands at its original spot in the mall, with a stadium seat that marks the landing spot of the longest home run hit ever made in the stadium.
  15. In 2015, the Minnesota State Fair logged 1,779,738 visitors, enough to fill the new Vikings stadium more than 24 times!
  16. The oldest human remains found in the region date back to 7,000 BC. These remains were found in 1933 near Browns Valley, east of the state of Minnesota
  17. In the period when the first European explorers arrived in Minnesota, the region was inhabited by the Dakota tribe. Other tribes, such as the Ojibwa (also called Chippewa or Anishinaabe) began emigrating to the west of the state around 1700. 
  18. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is considered one of the best contemporary art galleries in the United States.
  19. Minnesota also has 25 National Historic Landmarks, which include churches, forts, mines, grain elevators, flour mills, and several historic homes.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Minnesota? Share them with us in the comments! 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: