5 Fascinating Day Trips Within Two Hours of the Twin Cities

May 26, 2015


The Twin Cities provide an endless assortment of urban attractions and entertainment to fill your calendar. When you're ready for a change of pace, you still have easy access to scenic locations, outdoor activities and cultural sites. We've assembled a list of five of the best day trips within two hours of Springs Apartments.

1. Stillwater, MN

Visit "the birthplace of Minnesota" at this charming town that was named on the top-10 list of "Prettiest Towns in America" by Forbes Magazine. The downtown streets are lined with boutiques, art galleries and antique shops in historic buildings that retain their old-time appeal. Enjoy a riverboat cruise or romantic gondola ride on the picturesque St. Croix River.

2. Wildlife Science Center

WSC was founded in 1976 as a federal research facility to study grey wolves. It continues today as a non-profit organization that still conducts animal research while also serving as a resource for education about wildlife and conservation. Animals and birds that live onsite include cougars, black bears, porcupines and owls. Tours are conducted every Saturday and they also have periodic special events like wine tastings and "Howl-O-Ween".

3. Lake Minnetonka

Enjoy unique sightseeing opportunities at this stunning lake aboard the steamboat Minnehaha. After serving as local transportation for 20 years, the Minnehaha was scuttled in 1926. When a salvage team raised her in 1980, the boat was completely restored and returned to service in 1996. In addition to the standard cruises, the Minnehaha hosts a number of special events such as fall color and concert cruises.

4. Franconia Sculpture Park

Every trip to this park is a new experience thanks to the rotating display of 105 sculptures created by artists in its residency program. The oversize scale of the whimsical sculptures invites interaction and provides memorable photo opportunities. Admission is free and the park is open dusk to dawn year-round, including holidays. Leashed dogs are welcome and picnic facilities are available onsite.

5. Quarry Park and Nature Preserve

This 684-acre park gets its name from the 20 abandoned rock quarries that dot its landscape. With activities including hiking, rock climbing, fishing and scuba diving, Quarry Park is an outdoor lover's dream. Cool off with a jump from 20- and 40-foot cliffs into a 116-foot deep swimming hole. Pack a picnic lunch and bring your (leashed) four-legged family members.

Do you have a favorite day trip location to add to the list? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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