Minnesota is a midwestern state famed for its natural beauty. The state neighbours Canada and is home to the largest of the American Great Lakes, Lake Superior. Minnesota was named after the Dakota Indian words for "cloudy water" or "sky-blue water".
Nature is the true celebrity of this state, which has 11,842 lakes stretching over 10 acres or more, giving it the nickname of the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". The largest of the lakes, Lake Superior, is the largest freshwater lake in the world. However, it is not just lakes that give the state its watery heritage, as its rivers and streams cover 69,200 miles (111,136km). Therefore, water sports are popular within the state, with many families owning boats to take to the lakes and rivers.
St Paul is the state capitol, while Minneapolis is the largest city. Within its cities, there is plenty to keep visitors occupied. In Bloomington is the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the US, covering 78 football fields worth of space.
Minnesota also has significant ties to medicine, with the first open-heart surgery performed at its university. The Mayo Clinic, a key centre for medical research and discoveries, is in Rochester. There are so many intriguing, awe-inspiring and beautiful landmarks in Minnesota for everyone to enjoy.
FORT SNELLING. Designed by Colonel Josiah Snelling, Fort Snelling overlooks both the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. The fort was built by the United States Army and completed in 1819. Fort Snelling was a key training post for soldiers and recruits during the American Civil War. The fort was also used and fought in during both the Indian Wars and the Spanish-American war.
SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE. Split Rock Lighthouse was constructed in 1905 when a freak storm destroyed several boats, wrecked many ships, and crew members died. The lighthouse rises for 54 feet(16.46m) above its 130 ft(40m) cliff base. Following many years of active service, the authorities turned the lighthouse into a historical sight in 1982. Today the lighthouse and surrounding area cover 80 acres of parkland and visitor centre, and the lighthouse is no longer currently in use.
CATHEDRAL OF ST PAUL. Sitting on a hill above the eponymous city, the Cathedral of St Paul is one of the most impressive USA cathedrals. French Architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, famed for the French Beaux-Arts style, designed the cathedral, and construction began in 1906. The cathedral's interior is open, allowing worshippers and visitors an opportunity to see the pulpit and altar clearly and free from obstruction. The cathedral is famed for its distinctive copper dome, 24 intricate stained glass windows, and marble statues of the four evangelists.
MINNESOTA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING. The Minnesota State Capitol Building is a must-visit historical landmark when in the state. Cass Gilbert designed the current building, with work beginning in 1896, and the Capitol opened in 1905. The building features the second largest self-supported marble dome in the world. Its interior is adorned with ornate artworks and murals dating back to the buildings inception in 1905.
VISION OF PEACE. Vision of Peace is a three-story high memorial dedicated to the Indian God of Peace. Carl Milles, a Swedish sculptor, sculpted the statue in memory of those who died at war during the 20th century. The statue is carved from Mexican white onyx and sits atop a revolving base. The statue depicts five Native Americans sitting around a fire holding sacred pipes.