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Even though approximately seventy-five percent of Minnesota's residents live in the southern third of the state, there's little sense of crowding. Like Minneapolis, Saint Paul and their more than three dozen suburbs, towns and cities are decorated with parks, lakes, rivers and streams. Because of the various waves of European immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries — as well as recent arrivals of Asian and African émigrés — many communities and districts within cities have distinctive ethnic personalities. The first wave resulted in towns like New Ulm, settled by Germans; New Prague by Czechs; and Mountain Lake by ...

Even though approximately seventy-five percent of Minnesota's residents live in the southern third of the state, there's little sense of crowding. Like Minneapolis, Saint Paul and their more than three dozen suburbs, towns and cities are decorated with parks, lakes, rivers and streams. Because of the various waves of European immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries — as well as recent arrivals of Asian and African émigrés — many communities and districts within cities have distinctive ethnic personalities. The first wave resulted in towns like New Ulm, settled by Germans; New Prague by Czechs; and Mountain Lake by Mennonites, who celebrate their heritage with festivals, cookbooks and souvenirs. The most recent arrivals, including Hmong, Hispanics and Africans, have joined earlier arrivals in Twin Cities enclaves.

Each of the larger cities in the south has its own personality as well: Rochester, known worldwide for Mayo Clinic, the university town of Northfield, and Owatonna with its State Orphanage Museum. Just about every city that's a county seat has established a museum or outdoor village chronicling the area's history. Among the more outstanding is the 40-structure Pioneer Village at Worthington and the Freeborn County Historical Village at Albert Lea. Farmland in southern Minnesota is among the richest in the United States, with large fields, large farmhouses, storage bins, and other outbuildings.

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

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May through September; St. Paul Winter Carnival in late January, early February