Best Minnesota Winter Vacation Destinations

Steve Schmitz


Minnesota is a marvelous midwestern state in the U.S. Bordering Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, and the gorgeous country of Canada, the Minnesota region is famous for its lush landscapes and natural beauty. While it attracts water sports enthusiasts from all over the country during the summertime, it offers endless opportunities for adventure during all seasons. Minnesota transforms into a winter wonderland as the snow falls and the lakes freeze over.
From skiing to snowmobiling to ice fishing, Minnesota has it all. There is no limit to the outdoor excursions vacationers can embark on during winter. Days on the scenic slopes lead to nights cozying up by a fireplace, and many upscale establishments can be found throughout the region to book a stay in.
With years of professional experience working in the real estate industry in Minnesota, Steve Schmitz and his team know all the best places to go. Using his vast knowledge of the communities he serves, including those in the Edina real estate, Eden Prairie real estate, and Minnetonka real estate markets, Steve Schmitz has assembled this list of some of the most magical winter vacation destinations in the state.
When planning your next winter getaway in Minnesota, check out some of these top picks by Steve Schmitz when browsing through vacation destinations in the state. By visiting a few of the destinations on the Steve Schmitz list, you’ll be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime during your next Minnesota winter vacation.

Lutsen Mountains

There is no better place for skiers and snowboarders to plan a winter vacation in Minnesota than the Lutsen Mountains. Nestled on the North Shore of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota, the Lutsen Mountains are an alpine paradise with miles of trails and slopes. Four interconnected mountain peaks with breathtaking views of Lake Superior offer a magical landscape with abundant activities for visitors to make memories that will last a lifetime. Some of the most popular activities include cruising down the slopes in the powdery snow, hopping on the back of a snowmobile or dogsled, and gliding through the forested terrain.
The Lutsen Mountains can be reached in approximately four hours from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.


For a peaceful winter getaway, head to Ely. Situated in Saint Louis County, Ely has a tranquil atmosphere and plenty of places for outdoor activities. Some of the most popular things to do in the community include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. There is also a great selection of vibrant establishments to dine in and trendy stores to shop at.
It is a fascinating place to visit for animal lovers with its many wildlife species in the region. It hosts the North American Bear Center, where fascinating exhibits on black bears are held. It is also home to the International Wolf Center, which advances wolf survival by educating people about wolves. Visiting while the Ely Winter Festival is taking place offers a memorable experience. Known for its unique features, such as the Snow Sculpting Symposium and the Ely Art Walk, it attracts guests from all over the state and guarantees a good time for all ages.
Ely can be reached in approximately four hours from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.

Detroit Lakes

The Detroit Lakes is a vibrant place to be during the winter season. Located in Becker County, the Detroit Lakes are bursting with things to do. The region spans thousands of acres and has miles of trails and lakes for lovers of the great outdoors. It hosts the incredible Polar Fest each year in February, which brings days of fun and laughter to the neighborhood for people of all ages. It is an absolute blast to attend with plenty of activities, social events, and even a spectacular firework display. For those looking to make a splash, running into the icy waters during the annual Polar Bear Plunge is a favorite pastime for locals.
The Detroit Lakes can be reached in approximately three hours from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.

Saint Paul

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Those looking to bask in the holiday spirit often head to Saint Paul. As the capital of Minnesota, forming the “Twin Cities” with the neighboring city of Minneapolis, Saint Paul is a charming winter destination with a quaint setting reminiscent of a scene taken out of a Charles Dickens novel. Holiday lights glisten through each street as seasonal tunes play in its many restaurants, shops, and attractions. Ice skating is a lovely way to spend a day in the sun or an evening under the stars when the water freezes over. For an exceptional experience, visitors can even book a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the region.
Saint Paul can be reached in approximately 30 minutes from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.

Park Rapids

Lovers of nature adore a winter getaway in Park Rapids. In the Heartland Lakes region of Hubbard County, Park Rapids is known for its magnificent landscape and has no shortage of beautiful places to spend time outdoors. It hosts the famous Itasca State Park, the oldest park in Minnesota, which spans an astonishing 32,000 acres. It offers many exciting nature programs year-round for those interested in learning about the region's history, wildlife, and environment. During the winter, visitors can snowshoe anywhere in the park. It also offers miles of groomed ski trails and miles of trails for snowmobiling. There are campsites available year-round for those who wish to spend a night in nature.
Park Rapids can be reached in approximately three hours from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.

Grand Marais

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Grand Marais is an ideal place to unwind for those in search of serenity. On the North Shore of Lake Superior in Cook County, the Grand Marais community has breathtaking views of the lake and a calm ambiance. Once the waters freeze over in the winter, ice skating or ice fishing are two of the best ways to spend a day. There are also miles of cross-country skiing trails for those looking to wander through the winter wilderness. The small-town charm of the neighborhood, combined with its commercial conveniences, makes it a destination that offers something for everyone while still feeling like a world away. It has plenty of restaurants, shops, and luxury accommodations to enjoy during a stay.
Grand Marais can be reached in approximately four hours and 30 minutes from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.


Duluth is a wonderful port city with a hip atmosphere and breathtaking scenery. Resting on the Arrowhead Region of Lake Superior in Saint Louis County, this lively city is a pleasure to visit during the winter. Spirit Mountain has magnificent downhill skiing for those of all levels. Strolling through the Bentleyville Tour of Lights is an absolute delight with its colorful decorations and sparkling arrangements. Ice skating in Bayfront Festival Park on Lake Superior is always a joy and has stunning scenery. With all the trendy shops and boutiques in the region, holiday shopping here is also amazing. The neighborhood truly has something for everyone and offers an excellent selection of activities, no matter what type of winter vacation experience a traveler is seeking.
Duluth can be reached in approximately two hours and 30 minutes from Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka.
With its otherworldly landscape and exciting activities, Minnesota is magical during the winter season. When planning a vacation to Minnesota, visiting any destination on this list is a sure way to have a trip you’ll never forget. Whether you’re seeking an adventure or longing for relaxation, you’ll be able to find it in Minnesota during the winter.
If you’re a current resident in Minnesota looking to sell your home or if you’re interested in moving into the community and are looking at properties, Steve Schmitz and his team can happily assist you with all of your real estate needs. Steve Schmitz works within the competitive markets of several highly sought-after communities in Minnesota, such as the Edina real estate, Eden Prairie real estate, and Minnetonka real estate markets. He has years of experience navigating the Minnesota real estate industry.
Having handled the transactions on countless properties in Minnesota, including many homes for sale in Edina, homes for sale in Eden Prairie, and homes for sale in Minnetonka, Steve Schmitz has assisted many buyers and sellers throughout the sales process. When working with Steve Schmitz as your real estate agent, you’ll have the expert guidance and insight you need to list your current home or find your dream property.
For more information, Steve Schmitz can be reached by phone at (953) 484-6045, by email at [email protected], or by visiting the contact form on his website.


Clients will have real estate experience, not just a transaction. This unique experience will be something that causes them to hope for their friends and family to share in that same experience and therefore direct business my way, not just to help me but to help their peers, knowing that they, too, will receive outstanding service and care. We looks forward to earning your family’s trust and leveraging our success for your benefit for generations to come.

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