Minnesota, USA

by: Iyna Bort Caruso

Minnesota is a Dakota Indian word meaning “sky blue waters.” And there are a lot of them. Nearly 12,000 lakes, which contribute heavily to a diverse landscape of rolling hills, wooded bluffs and prairie.

Tourism, health care and technology fuel the economy, supported by a well-educated populace known for its innovation. Some of the country’s largest companies are based here such as Target, Best Buy, 3M and General Mills.

Minnesotans embrace their rugged winters, skiing, boarding, snowshoeing and ice-fishing their way through the season. The state also boasts one of the nation’s largest networks of paved scenic bike trails as well as picturesque highways. The route along the North Shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, wends through seven state parks and is a designated All American-Road by the U.S. Department of Transportation for its intrinsic qualities. The state is also a highly regarded golf destination that counts world-class clubs as well as hidden gems set in deep woods among its hundreds of courses. Perhaps surprisingly for its seven-month season, Minnesota is tops in golfers per capita.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro region is the largest urban area in the Midwest after Chicago and Detroit.

Minneapolis is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Much of Minneapolis was developed around the turn of the 20th century, coinciding with an influx of immigrants from Scandinavia. Although Minneapolis is a diverse city, Scandinavian cultural influences remain strong. The city has noted music and culinary scenes, and its reputation in art is global, led by three major institutions: The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the aluminum-cladded Walker Art Center and the Weismann Art Museum.

Affluent areas include Calhoun-Isles, which includes the popular Uptown commercial district, and the community of Southwest, which includes the coveted neighborhood of Linden Hills noted for its views of the downtown skyline. The suburbs have some of the state’s choicest properties. Edina is a flagship locale with posh shops and cobblestone streets. Wayzata, a jewel on Lake Minnetonka and a focal point of Twin Cities’ lake life along with the lakeshore community of Orono.

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