Minnesota Wonders

St. Urho and Family Fun in Menahga

As you head to the heart of north central Minnesota, you will find the community of Menahga.  Located about three hours north of the Twin Cities, the small town of Menahga (population 1,304) features some great family friendly amenities. From a beautiful beach and city park to an ancient legend that the locals celebrate every year, Menahga’s charm will entice you to visit and explore this lovely area of Minnesota. St. Urho Back in the 1950’s, the legend of St. Urho began […]

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Alexandria’s “Big Ole”

  This week we head to Alexandria, home to the mysterious Runestone and the giant Viking, Big Ole. A great family vacation destination, Alexandria will keep you busy with its beautiful lakes, many museums, and outdoor fun. Standing 28 feet tall and weighing 8,000 pounds, the Viking “Big Ole” protects the city of Alexandria with his shield and sword. Built by artist Gordon Shumaker out of fiberglass, Big Ole represented Minnesota in 1965 as part of a display at the […]

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Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan and Babe

Perhaps the most famous sculptures in all of Minnesota, Paul Bunyan and Babe attract thousands of visitors every year to far northern Minnesota. Bemidji offers loads of family fun with opportunities to learn about science, history, culture, and more! In 1937, the city of Bemidji created the giant sculptures of Paul Bunyan and Babe for their winter carnival celebration. At 18 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, Paul stands on the shore of Lake Bemidji, which is said to be […]

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Big Moose in Moose Lake

This week I feature the city of Moose Lake in northeastern Minnesota. Known for its “Big Moose,” historic fire, and Lake Superior agates, this amazing small town will keep you busy with tons of fun and interesting attractions. Big Moose In 1989, three citizens of the town decided to honor their city by erecting a giant moose sculpture along the shores of Moose Lake. In 2002, the sculpture moved to its current location in front of the Moose Lake Area […]

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Blue Earth’s Green Giant

I love how small towns always surprise me. Just off Interstate 90 in far southern Minnesota, Blue Earth delivers affordable family fun for a day trip or weekend getaway. Blue Earth’s Green Giant Back in 1978, radio host Paul Hedberg interviewed people passing through Blue Earth on their summer vacations. At the end of the interview, he would give them a can of Green Giant vegetables as a thank-you gift. People would always ask him, “Where’s the Green Giant?” This […]

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Akeley’s Paul Bunyan

As I reflect upon my travels across Minnesota, I like to think about all the areas that I look forward to visiting again. Located a few miles apart from each other, the small towns of Akeley, Walker, and Hackensack combine to provide amazing opportunities to view several roadside sculptures and to enjoy the outdoors. I’ll start with the smallest town, the city of Akeley, which is home to one of the most photographed sculptures in the state of Minnesota. Akeley’s […]

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Virginia’s Floating Loon

Visiting Minnesota’s Iron Range left a lasting impression on my family.  Filled with amazing historical places to visit, lots of outdoor things to do, and cities with much to explore, you will enjoy traveling to this amazing part of Minnesota. After driving up the north shore, we headed west to Virginia and stayed overnight for a few days while we explored this area of the Iron Range. Virginia’s Floating Loon Built out of fiberglass by Bill Martin, this giant loon […]

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Otto the Otter in Fergus Falls

Our family vacations every year in Otter Tail County on beautiful Star Lake.  There is no shortage of beautiful lakes in Otter Tail County.  Its home to over 1,100 lakes!  That’s the most lakes in one county in the nation!  Otter Tail County is also a hot spot for roadside sculpture and is where my interest with these giants started. Otto the Otter In 1972, a group of Fergus Falls students from a high school shop class built Otto the […]

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Cloquet Voyageur

Big Voyageur on the St. Louis River As part of a bicentennial celebration in 1976, Cloquet built this 20-foot-tall voyageur made of fiberglass to honor the history of settlement along the St. Louis River. The sculpture is a little tricky to find. It is located on the south side of the St. Louis River in Dunlap Island Park near Broadway and St. Louis Avenue. Outdoor Fun Cloquet has 14 parks loaded with things to do!  We visited Pinehurst Park where […]

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Owatonna’s Flying Jets

South of the Twin Cities on Interstate 35, you will find the charming city of Owatonna. Our family goes to Owatonna quite a bit, as it is just “down the road” from where we live in Faribault. Since my husband’s a fisherman, we visit Cabela’s on a regular basis. My kids, on the other hand, have developed an obsession with eating at the Panda Express, which is located just off the Interstate. Over the years, we’ve made an effort to […]

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