A day trip guide to the waterfalls in MN + WI

Make the most of those hot final weekends with day trips dedicated to Minnesota’s most distinct thing: water (falling, specifically). Whether it’s bison, beers, and two-story waterfalls at Mankato, an underground waterfall paired with fine dining and handcrafted quilts in the Driftless, or Hastings Falls with a side of the mill ruins and main pedestrian streets, we have planned the next weekend for you. And if you only have an hour or two, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered, too.

Willow Falls in Hudson, WI

You’ll have to cross state borders – into the wild woods of Wisconsin – to reach Willow River State Park. Less than 45 minutes east of Minneapolis on I-94 is one of Twin Cities’ largest subway waterfalls, and it’s more than worthy of a mini road trip. Once you’ve paid your $ 13 out-of-state entrance fee, go for a hike, take a dip (if you dare to brave the freezing waters), climb a giant staircase for the perfect photoshoot, and learn all about the glacial region formed history. And on your way (or as a last stop), head to Hudson for some craft cocktails, shopping, and a monster ice cream cone – you’ll definitely win a scoop or two. Learn more “

Cascade Falls in Hudson, WI

We know what you are thinking: Really, a trip to Wisconsin? Listen to us. A historic downtown, great restaurants, craft breweries, shops, river views, nature walks and most importantly waterfalls make Osceola a day trip for the whole family. . Among the bucket list sites? Wilke Glen and Cascade Falls. Learn more “

Vermillion Falls in Hastings, MN

When you live in cities like Rome or Athens, the constant presence of ruins and history gives you the opportunity to think about your life in the long arc: things like what you do has virtue and will last. . In America, we prioritize novelty and the future, and fill our ruins and our history. Fortunately, this is not the case in Hastings, where you will find the towering and spooky ruins of Ramsey Mill and Vermillion Falls, the waterfall that gave birth to the town. To get there, drive half an hour southeast of the airport on either the 55 or 61 from St. Paul. Walk down to the river promenade and, as you stroll, think back to the decades when Mark Twain-era paddle boats passed under the same stars peeking through the mill’s missing roof for a bit. further downstream. Then return to the city’s main street to eat, shop, and more. Learn more “

Niagara Cave Falls in Harmony, MN

As the penultimate scene of The Goonies proves that not all stunt travel has to happen on the surface. And nowhere is this more evident than the myriad caves of southeastern Minnesota. Indeed, a trip to the Driftless Zone – that bluff slice of country left untouched by pesky glaciers – finds such a waterfall in the farming town of Harmony. The fact that you also find bike trails, a chef-run restaurant, and a distillery, all among Minnesota’s largest Amish settlement, makes a trip to Niagara Cave even better. Learn more “

Minneopa Falls in Mankato, MN

“Get in the car, we’re going to Mankato!” Is probably not a phrase that crossed your lips. But there’s actually one hell of a reason to slow down this 169 hour: Minneopa Falls and all the awesome things that come with visiting. Talking statues, pristine small town co-ops, real bison herds, Wonka-style candy shops and the waterfalls themselves await those who do. Learn more “

Minnehaha Falls

Going to the very popular Twin Cities urban waterfall (and the very popular seafood restaurant adjacent to it) is not as difficult as many people seem to think. Here’s what you need to know to do Minnehaha Falls on even the busiest days while maintaining your sanity. Learn more “

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