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Minnesota Beaches

I grew up in the Red River Valley. Nothing but flat farmland as far as the eye could see. However, on weekends we piled everything in the car and headed for the cabin on the lake. Along with everyone else in the Red River Valley. With well over 10 thousand lakes (officially there are 11,842) in Minnesota, there are many options to choose from. But if you want a good beach, you have to know where to go.

Lake Calhoun is one of largest and most popular beaches in Minnesota. It can be found immediately west of the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis. The beach only has one restaurant nearby, so you might want to pack a picnic if you plan on spending the day. There are several beaches around the lake.

Fort Snelling Beach in St. Paul is attached to Snelling Island. It’s known for its amazing sandy beaches, swimming, seasoned lifeguards and other activities.  A parking permit is expensive, but it’s worth it to spend the whole day.

Lake Harriet in Minneapolis is one of the most picturesque and beautiful lakes in  Minnesota. It has two supervised beaches, watersport activities and watercraft rentals. Plus, you can catch a live performance at the bandshell.

Zippel Bay on Lake of the Woods. At the top of Minnesota, visitors can look across 80 miles of inland sea toward Kenora, Ontario. The park’s centerpiece is two miles of white sand lined with wildflowers, including lady’s slippers and many other orchids.

Father Hennepin State Park on Mille Lacs in Minnesota. It’s small but pretty. and includes prime beachfront on big Mille Lacs Lake. On a summer or fall day, it’s a particularly nice destination for bicyclists on the paved Soo Line Trail, which stretches 11 miles between Onamia and Isle.

Big Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes. Some of my old stomping grounds. The mile-long white sand beach attracts sunbathers every day. And on the 4th of July, this is the place to be!

Tell us about YOUR favorite beach in Minnesota!


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