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29 Minnesota Facts: Fun Facts About Minnesota You Should Know

Liam Carter

The Land of the 10,000 Lakes is nestled in the heart of the United States. It holds some interesting Minnesota facts that are as vibrant as its changing seasons.

I’ll take you on a journey to explore some fun facts about Minnesota and enthrall you with its captivating stories. In this article, I open a world of hidden gems and unique aspects of this interesting state.

I promise to take you through the lesser-known marvels of Minnesota. 

Delve into the remarkable anecdotes and intriguing trivia that will expand your knowledge and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the state’s diverse heritage.

29 Minnesota Facts: Fun Facts About Minnesota You Should Know

1. It’s The Most Northern State

Here are interesting facts about Minnesota and its claim to being the most northern State of the contiguous United States; this location is known as the Northwest Angle, which is a small area of land jutting out the 49th parallel into Canada.

This small piece of land is totally disconnected from the United States. It is only accessible by boat or crossing the Canadian border and re-entering the small Angle Inlet of the Northern State.

2. The Loon Is The Iconic State Bird

The Loon is a beloved symbol of Minnesota and is the city’s State bird; what with the state having so many lakes, it seems quite fitting. 

The city holds the second-largest Loon population in the United States, with about 12,000 loons migrating to the Northern State each year for summer.

These types of birds are well known for their eerie wails, cries, yodel calls, black and white plumage, and striking red eyes.

3. The Largest Population Of Bald Eagles Are In Minnesota

The bald eagle has been a national state symbol since 1782 in the United States. 

Minnesotans are proud to host the largest population of Bald Eagle in the contiguous United States. 

4. Minnesota Has French Roots

The French Roots throughout the State provide interesting facts about Minnesota and can be seen in the names of towns, cultural heritage, and the connection to the fur trading era.

Daniel Greysolon, Siuer du Lhut, is said to be the first explorer to visit the area in 1679 and set up fur trading routes; the city was later named Duluth in his honor in 1856.

5. It Has The Biggest Lifting Bridge In The World

Staying in Duluth, where the city’s aerial bridge is the biggest and quickest lifting bridge in the world, lifting 138 feet in 55 seconds.

It was constructed from 1901 to 1905 and modified in 1929; today, it is designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. 

There is a customary horn-blowing salute, a long-short-long sequence, from the bridge and reciprocated as ships pass underneath it. 

The Bridges horn is made by two Westinghouse airbrake locomotive horns. 

6. Minnesota Has The Second Largest Population Of Gray Wolfs

Minnesota has about 2,500 gray wolves, the second-largest population of gray wolves found in the United States.

They are on the threatened species list and protected under the Endangered Species Act. 

7. Minnesota Had The First Fully Enclosed Mall

Southdale Mall in Edina holds a special place in historic trailblazing in the retail industry.

It was the first fully enclosed and climate-controlled shopping center in the United States to be built and opened its doors to the public in 1956. 

8. The Largest Mall In America Is In MN

More Minnesota facts is the Bloomington Mall of America (MOA). This is the largest shopping complex in the United States. 

It spans a colossal 5.6 million square feet with 520 shops, 50 restaurants, and the largest indoor theme park, 7 acres of rides and attractions at the Nickelodeon Universe. 

The Mall of America brings in 40 million visitors annually. To put its size into perspective, you can fit 9 Yankee stadiums into the MOA. It’s so big that they even granted it its own zip code, 55425.

9. Minnesota Has A Number Of Nicknames

Other Minnesota facts are all its nicknames. The State has many different nicknames. Its official nickname is The North Star State, adapted from the French state motto in 1861, l’Etoile du Nord.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is its unofficial nickname due to the numerous lakes in the State. There are 11,842 lakes in MN that are over 10 acres in size.

10. It Has A Self-Guided Trail With Towering Pines

One of the Minnesota fun facts that is unique and intriguing is the 144 acres of red and white pines that went untouched due to a cartographic error in 1882 when the area was marked as part of the Coddington Lake and was bypassed during the logging boom in the late 19th century.

Today, the Lost 40 is a captivating one-mile, self-guided trail in the Chippewa National Forest where you can stand in awe of these towering pines that are between 300 and 400 years old.

11. The Minnesotans Have Their Own Slang Word

One of Minnesota’s fun facts is the endearing linguistic quirks in using the word ope, which is very much a Midwestern slang word.

It’s a versatile term often employed instead of excuse me or oops when someone accidentally bumps into another person or makes a small mistake. 

12. North Wild Rice Is The State Grain Of The Bread & Butter State

The Bread and Butter State is known for its abundant wild rice, although not technically related to rice.

In addition to Minnesota facts, this plant has been a staple in indigenous diets for centuries. 

Wild rice is not only a nutritious food source but also a cultural symbol of the State’s Native American heritage and the State’s official grain.

The wild rice is native to MN and has more acres of natural wild rice than any other state.

13. Minneapolis Has An Extensive Network Of Skyway Systems

The Skyway system is another known part of Minnesota facts that helps Minnesotans combat the harsh winters.

Minneapolis has developed an extensive network of skyways that connect major buildings downtown on the second level, allowing people to navigate the city without facing the cold and snowy winters.

Although it’s a great way to get around and avoid unpleasant weather, it was initially built to ease pedestrian traffic on the streets, making it safer for pedestrians during the automobile boom.

Watch the times as the skyways are not open 24 hours a day. A building owns each skyway but connects you to the city’s multitude of shopping, restaurants, and hotels without stepping onto the busy streets.

14. Famous People Were Born And Bred In Minnesota

The State boasts a remarkable roster of famous individuals born within its borders. Icons like Bob Dylan, Prince, and Judy Garland all hail from the Northern State, contributing to the State’s artistic and cultural legacy.

Some silver screen heartthrobs have also hailed from North Star State, such as Sean Willen Scott, famous as Stifler in the American Pie franchise.

Other great actors that graced the movie scene from MN are Winona Ryder, Chris Pratt, Vince Vaughn, and Josh Harnett, to name a few. 

15. Juicy Lucy Is The Iconic Minnesota Burger

The Juicy Lucy is a uniquely Minnesotan burger. It’s made by stuffing cheese inside the patty before cooking, producing a molten core of deliciousness.

This culinary invention has become a beloved regional delicacy that should be on your bucket list of things to try when visiting this intriguing State. 

16. Milk Is The State Drink

Here is a Minnesota fun fact: The State has officially declared milk as its state drink. Considered the perfect food, this fits in well with the State’s healthiest people.

This recognition highlights the State’s strong agricultural roots and contributions to the dairy industry.

They produce around 9.6 million pounds of milk yearly, about 6% of the nation’s total milk supply. The bread and butter state is ranked 6th in dairy production in the States. 

17. The State Had The First Air Conditioned Home In The US

The Gates Mansion is an architectural marvel located in Minneapolis. This historic mansion was once the home of Charles Gilbert Gates.

He was the first homeowner to own the first house in the United States to have air conditioning. 

This mansion was also the largest home in MN then, with a roomy size of 38,000 square feet.

The air conditioner has to be placed in the basement as the unit was 6 feet wide, 7 feet tall, and 20 feet wide. 

18. One Of Its Cities Has A Beloved Sculpture Garden

This iconic 11-acre urban park is home to a diverse collection of sculptures, including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry.

It’s a beloved public space where art and nature harmoniously coexist. It consists of 40 permanent sculptures and some contemporary sculptures that change periodically. 

19. Minnesota has A Grumpy Old Men Legacy

Another quirky part of Minnesota facts is the story of the Grumpy Old Men, a classic comedy film released in 1993 that was filmed not far from where the stories’ location is set.

Several locations around MN State were used as settings for the film. 

Lake Rebecca was the scene for the ice fishing, Chisago Lake Lutheran Church was the setting for the wedding scene, and the houses were all located on Hyacinth Avenue in St. Paul.

20. The State Has A Legendary Hockey Heritage

The Gopher State’s deep-rooted passion for hockey runs through its veins.

As part of Minnesota facts in sports, the State is often referred to as the State of Hockey; the sport is a fundamental part of the culture, from its frozen ponds and bustling rinks, which have served as breeding grounds for skill and camaraderie, shaping a hockey culture that remains unparalleled and etched in history. 

21. It’s The State Of Innovation

Minnesota’s legacy of innovation extends beyond its natural beauty. The State is a hub for technological advancement and creative problem-solving.

Home to companies like 3M and Medtronic, it showcases the State’s commitment to innovation, which has led to breakthroughs in healthcare, manufacturing, and more, leaving an undeniable mark on the global stage.

A few fun facts about Minnesota’s other innovative inventions include the grocery bag with handles invented in 1912. 

The water skis were invented by 18-year-old daredevil Ralph Samuelson. The 1950s brought us the Bundt pan, which is still made in MN today. 

22. The Dala Horse Is A Swedish Tradition

The Northern State cultural tapestry includes a significant Swedish influence, evident in the cherished tradition of the Dala horse. 

This intricately carved, brightly painted wooden horse is a symbol of heritage and craftsmanship, reflecting the State’s connection to its Scandinavian roots. 

A popular attraction you can’t miss is the replica of the Dalecarlian horse standing at 22 feet in height and weighing in at a whopping 3,000 pounds.

23. They Invented The Honeycrisp Apple

A delicious tale of innovation in agriculture, the Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota.

This mouthwatering variety is a testament to the State’s dedication to research and horticultural excellence, becoming a global favorite for its crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor. 

The development of the apple in 1960 in the University’s breeding program was to cross with Macoun and Honeygold apples to create a winter hardy tree that could produce quality fruit, which has been a cherished part of Minnesota facts.

24. Minnesota Has The Largest Fresh Water Lake

The shores of Lake Superior are grounds for some Minnesota fun facts. The largest of the Great Lakes offers breathtaking vistas and serene landscapes. 

Its crystal-clear waters and rugged beauty provide a backdrop for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and sailing, making it a cherished destination for nature enthusiasts. 

It is the largest freshwater lake found in the world, measuring 31,700 square miles. In the Ojibwe language, it is known as gichi-gami, great see. 

To get a perspective of the size, Lake Superior is slightly larger than South Carolina and holds 10% of the Earth’s fresh surface water. 

With 300 known shipwrecks found in the lake, it’s a captivating part of Minnesota facts that is a divers paradise for exploration; you can even explore the wreck site of the infamous Edmund Fitzgerald ship.

25. Lake Superior Is Home To A Natural Treasure Of Agates

Lake Superior is also home to a fascinating natural treasure of agates. These semi-precious gemstones, often resembling colorful marbles, can be found along the beaches. 

The mystery lies in their origin and formation, sparking the curiosity of geologists and rock enthusiasts alike. 

These agates are different from other agates around the world. They are characterized by rich red, bright orange, and yellow colors due to the oxidization of the iron in the water.

26. The State Holds The Earth’s Oldest Rocks

Some of the Earth’s oldest rocks lie deep within the state landscape, revealing the secrets of our planet’s distant past. 

The State’s northern region is home to ancient rock formations, Morton Gneiss, which is about 3.6 billion years old, giving scientists a glimpse into the geological history that shaped our world. Know that’s old Minnesota facts. 

27. It’s The Source Of The Mississippi River

In a quiet corner of northern MN, Lake Itasca gives birth to one of the world’s most iconic rivers, the Mississippi

The humble beginnings of this mighty waterway offer a serene contrast to its sprawling journey through the heart of the continent. 

28. They Have A Celebration Of Jesse James Days

The town of Northfield commemorates its history in a unique and lively way with the Jesse James Day celebration

This annual event harkens back to a historic 1876 attempted bank robbery by the infamous outlaw and his gang. 

This celebration started in 1948 to commemorate the people who saved the town. It marks the start of the Fall festival and is the largest outdoor celebration in the Gopher State.

29. The Mesabi Range Is Rich In Iron Ore Deposits

The Mesabi Iron Range, the largest of the three iron ranges in Minnesota, played a pivotal role in the country’s industrialization. 

This region, stretching across northern MN, is rich in iron ore deposits, fueling the growth of the steel industry and leaving an indelible mark on the State’s economy and culture. 

The Mesabi Range, a 3-mile wide and 120-mile-long iron ore-rich region, produces 75% of the United States’ demand.

Quick Fun Facts About Minnesota

Great Lakes, a chain of deep freshwater lakes in east-central North America, comprises Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

The word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River, which got its name from one of two words in Dakota: “mní sóta,” which means “clear blue water,” or “Mníssota,” which means “cloudy water.”

Minnesota borders North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Canada.

Saint Paul is the capital city of Minnesota, however, it’s not the largest city in the state. That would be Minneapolis.

The Native American population in Minnesota is mostly Ojibwa, and about half of them live in the Twin Cities area, while most of the remainder live on reservations in rural Minnesota.

With a continental climate, Minnesota has hot summers and cold winters.

That concludes our post for today! I hope you enjoyed exploring these fascinating details about Minnesota. Remember to spread the word about this article on your social media. Also, if you’re aware of any other intriguing facts about Minnesota, feel free to share them in the comments. I’m eager to hear from you!