Feeling a little dehydrated? There’s no better
place to be than Minnesota. Though it’s in the middle of the landlocked Midwest,
Minnesota is awash in water. You might know it as the land of 10,000 lakes
(and that’s not an exaggeration, some counts have it as high as 15,000) but
Minnesota also has four major rivers - the Mississippi, Minnesota, Red and
St. Croix - and buts up against great Lake Superior. Minnesota has a longer
coastline than Florida, California and Hawaii combined. So there’s a lot more
to do than just take a quick dip. Water skis were invented in Minnesota, and
the state has the highest ratio of residents to recreational boats of any
place in the country: one vessel for every six Minnesotans. Even during the
dead depths of winter, you’ll find the truly hearty ice fishing out on frozen
Minnesota has also been a pioneer when it comes
to the great indoors. In 1956, Southdale became the nation’s first enclosed,
climate controlled shopping center; arguably the first mall. Half a century
later, nearby Bloomington, Minnesota has taken the cake with the Mall of America.
Inarguably the biggest mall in the country, the Minnesota landmark holds 520
retailers and an amusement park in a space that could fit 78 football fields.
Now that you’re moving to Minnesota, there are
a couple other things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Minnesota’s population is 4,919,479. The state capital is St. Paul.
- Even Minnesota’s name is tied to the state’s signature natural resource:
in the language of the local Dakota tribe, mini sota means "water
that reflects the sky."
- Most native Minnesotans claim Swedish or Norwegian heritage; during the
19th century waves of Scandinavian immigrants settled in rural Minnesota
and took to farming. To get a hilarious glimpse at their small town Minnesota
life, try listening to Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion show
on National Public Radio.
- Hockey is as big in Minnesota as it is in Canada. Rollerblades were invented
by two Minnesota players who wanted to practice their skating skills during
the off season.
- Make sure to put your duck in the back seat if you’re driving to Wisconsin;
it’s against Minnesota law to cross state lines with waterfowl on one’s