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Overview

Virginia ranks as one of Minnesota’s prime destinations for people in search of small town leisure-time experiences. Walking paths circle the city’s two lakes. Outdoor and indoor skating rinks, 11 outdoor tennis courts, four racquetball and 12 bocce ball courts are only a few of the available recreational facilities. Five golf courses, including the 18-hole Municipal Course, are either in the city or only a few miles away. Baseball fields and curling clubs, trap and skeet shooting provide still more options.

Centerpiece of the city’s open space is 40-acre Olcott Park. The park’s 4,500-square-foot, three-room greenhouse dates from the ...

Virginia ranks as one of Minnesota’s prime destinations for people in search of small town leisure-time experiences. Walking paths circle the city’s two lakes. Outdoor and indoor skating rinks, 11 outdoor tennis courts, four racquetball and 12 bocce ball courts are only a few of the available recreational facilities. Five golf courses, including the 18-hole Municipal Course, are either in the city or only a few miles away. Baseball fields and curling clubs, trap and skeet shooting provide still more options.

Centerpiece of the city’s open space is 40-acre Olcott Park. The park’s 4,500-square-foot, three-room greenhouse dates from the 1930s. Its central room contains a collection of exotic plants ranging in size from small specimens to mature Ponderosa Lemon trees bearing fruit. Another park attraction, the Historical Society Museum. tells the stories of the area’s logging and lumbering past, the city’s interurban electric railway and the fires of 1893 and 1900. Olcott Park is also the setting for Virginia’s largest annual event – the Land of the Loon Ethnic Arts and Crafts Festival. The festival celebrates the city’s ethnic diversity — the 1910 census identified more than 20 different nationalities represented in Iron Range populations — by featuring some 300 crafts vendors, ethnic foods, music and dance.

Just outside Virginia, hiking trails include the 1.5-mile Laurentian Fitness Trail, with exercise stations along the way and the 15-mile Lookout Mountain trail, which serves both hikers and cross country skiers. The Giants Ridge Recreational Facility, designated as an official training location for Olympic athletes, offers some of the finest cross-country and downhill slopes in the Midwest. Hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails that traverse the Iron Range are also easily accessible from Virginia. Other attractions include Mineview in the Sky on the southern edge of town, with its platform looking out on various open pit iron mines, and The United States Hockey Hall of Fame in nearby Eveleth. A half-hour drive away, the Fortune Bay Casino Complex with its hotel, marina, golf course and Heritage Museum, is one of the finest Native American casinos in the United States.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Virginia is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range. Virginia is part of the Quad Cities of Eveleth, Gilbert, and Mountain Iron.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through mid-September