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Visiting Minnesota

Embrace winter in the North Star State at a 2012 Minnesota Polar Bear Plunge. Locations including Rochester, Duluth, Saint Cloud and Alexandria host this winter tradition benefiting the Special Olympics. Perhaps Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival is more to your liking, celebrating its 125th anniversary as the nation’s oldest and longest winter festival. With over 22,000 miles of snowmobile trails groomed for action, moonlight snowshoeing, and the Lutsen Mountains, home of the Midwest’s largest ski destination, it is time to enjoy winter in Minnesota. Pick up “The Great Minnesota Ski Pass” and head for the cross–country ski trails at Gooseberry Falls, Wild River State Park or Flandrau.

Minnesota’s Polar Bear Plunge marks its 15th year in 2012 with thousands of participants joining in the fun. Rochester hosts the plunge on February 11th at Foster Arend Park, with Duluth joining the fun on February 18th and Alexandria on February 24th. Enjoy, or at least watch the fun in Duluth Lakeside at Canal Park or Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. If you are taking the plunge, bring warm clothes and friendsto witness, the more the merrier, and all for a great cause.

Sportsmen mark your calendar for Alexandria’s Ice Fishing Challenge 2012 at Lake Le’Homme Dieu. The Viking Sportsmen and Seratoma Club hosts this annual challenge February 11th. Recognized as the second largest ice fishing tournament in Minnesota, the $20,000 grand prize is worth sitting on frozen Lake Le’Homme Dieu for an afternoon. Enjoy the fun of Minnesota ice fishing in Alexandria.

Duluth has a full calendar of winter fun, take your pick indoors or out. Positive Energy Outdoors hosts the Geehaw Jaunt January 22nd to kick off their 2012 events. The Geehaw Jaunt is a Skijoring Race featuring beginner, advanced and pro categories with one dog per team. Join the fun at the Boulder Lake Warming Shack – both classic and skate techniques are allowed.

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra fills 2012 winter nights with beautiful music. At home at Symphony Hall in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, DSSO performs the Classical Concert Delicate Grace in January. The Callaway sisters join the symphony February 11th for Sibling Revelry and Defiant Moments is performed March 24th. Mark April 14th on the calendar for Endless Summer - an evening of Beach Boy Favorites sponsored by Duluth News Tribune.

Whitewater State Park offers winter visitors to Rochester fantastic outdoor activities. A half-hour east of Rochester, Whitewater State Park hosts Beavers in Winter, on February 26th. After a short indoor presentation, visitors don their snowshoes for a guided-tour to a nearby beaver lodge. On February 26th, Whitewater State Park introduces the use of GPS devices for a treasure hunt on snowshoes. GPS units are available at the park if you don’t have one of your own.

Home of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, Rochester is dedicated to making visitors feel welcome during their stay. If you have time, check out the calendar for current performances at the Hill Theater at Rochester Community and Technical College, the Rochester Art Center or Rochester Chamber musical performances at Christ United Methodist Church.

Best Western Rewards

13 Best Western Hotels
in Minnesota

  • Best Western Plus Albert Lea I-90/I-35 Hotel

    Albert Lea

  • Best Western Alexandria Inn


  • Best Western Bemidji


  • Best Western Plus Holland House

    Detroit Lakes

  • Best Western Premier The Lodge on Lake Detroit

  • Best Western Plus Spirit Mountain Duluth


  • Best Western Plus Dakota Ridge


  • Best Western Eden Prairie Inn

    Eden Prairie

  • Best Western Plus Superior Inn

    Grand Marais

  • Best Western Hotel & Restaurant


  • Best Western Rivertown Hotel & Suites

    Red Wing

  • Best Western Shakopee Inn


  • Best Western Plus Willmar


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