Your True North isn’t on a map. There’s no simple way to find it, no compass to lead the way. Because your True North isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. A state of mind filled with adventure, culture and curiosity. It’s the spark of adventure you feel at the end of the road, when the asphalt ends but you keep going. It’s the unexpected joys of an unscripted journey. It’s leaving behind all the familiar landmarks to head into the unknown and discover something truly awe-inspiring: Yourself. Minnesota invites you to discover something new in the world and in yourself. Somewhere that still feels wild and pure, where your story can flow like the Mississippi River and shine like the northern lights. No matter which route you take, they can all lead to your True North.
Minnesota offers myriad ways to find your True North, but here are five surefire bets that are truly #OnlyinMN.
Find Your True North in the Twin Cities
Renowned theaters, museums, clubs and professional sports stadiums make the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul an arts and entertainment hub for people who live and work and visit the Downtowns. The Twin Cities are often among America’s healthiest cities because of all they have to offer for recreation and living a healthy lifestyle.
When the weather warms, flock to one of the many metro farmers markets. The Nicollet Mall Farmer’s Market sprawls along the city sidewalks where local farmers sell freshly picked produce, flowers and other homemade goods. After connecting with the local growers, you just might find yourself tossing your hat in the air, like Mary Tyler Moore.
Find Your True North in Bemidji
Between Lake Irving and where the Mississippi River meets Lake Bemidji is the northwest Minnesota cultural city of the same name. Ojibwe for lake with crossing waters, Bemidji is home to the Red Lake, White Earth and Leech Lake Indian Reservations and a State University.
While statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are fixtures here, every year, a new outdoor sculpture gallery appears. The Bemidji Sculpture Walk boasts more than 25 works of art created by local artists. 2019 marks the 20th year of this annual changing exhibit.
Stroll through the curated collection of sculptures along downtown’s quaint streets reflecting Minnesota’s wildlife and natural beauty and you’ll discover more in Bemidji.
Find Your True North in Red Wing
Follow State Highway 61, over the Mississippi River Bluffs to Red Wing, Minnesota. Among its many attractions, Red Wing is home to Red Wing Shoes. Manufacturing 5000 boots a day, the footwear giant has been in business since the early 1900s. And the Red Wing Shoe Company Museum showcases the world’s largest boot, a replica of the classic style 875.
While you’re there, check out the Wall of Honor, original Norman Rockwell illustrations and a virtual tour through the factory. A new pair of shoes will be perfect for walking through out the historic Mississippi River town.
Find Your True North at Split Rock Lighthouse
Cruise along Minnesota State Highway 61 and you’re destined to discover a beacon along Lake Superior’s North Shore. Split Rock Lighthouse attracts more than 160 thousand visitors every year to tour the light station and fog signal building and explore the State Park.
Historic shipwrecks brought about construction of the lighthouse where it has stood on a 130-foot cliff since 1910. Split Rock and its stunning views are among the most photographed subjects in the state.
Find Your True North in Central Minnesota
What is the perfect drive? It’s a road trip to a classic Minnesota resort, that great golf swing and views along of any one of the more than 500 lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area where for generations, families have made it a tradition to vacation.
Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge welcomed its first guest in 1898. And in 1921, Ruttger’s was Minnesota’s first resort to offer golf. Now with dozens of golf courses, tennis, swimming, fishing and other land and water sports abound in this community where family-owned resorts continue to be big business. Come to relax, enjoy lakeshore dining and make memories with the hospitality Minnesota resorts are known for in the Brainerd Lakes area.
How do you find your True North? Only in Minnesota.
Special Thanks: Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge, Split Rock Lighthouse, Red Wing Shoes, Bemidji Sculpture Art Walk, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Minneapolis Farmers Market
Additional Media:Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge, Mark Hentges, Minnesota Historical Society, Sarah White
Production Team: Ezra Gold, Joe Demko, Mark Hentges, Brennan Vance, Ryan Klabunde, Sherece Lamke, Deborah Larson, Ashleigh V. Rowe ________________________________________________________________________
This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.