It’s Adventure Time! 22 must-see quirky Minnesota attractions…

Summer is the time in Minnesota to hop in the car, hit the road, roll down the windows, pop in a CD (wait, do people still use those? Am I revealing my age?) and find some adventures!

Minnesota is proudly a treasure trove of unusual and fun roadside attractions. There are many more than 2o, but this list will get you started. You may have heard of some, some may be in your area, or you may learn about some new stuff to check out the next time you have the itch to hit the open road.

  1. World’s Largest Paul Bunyan, Akelely- There are quite a few Paul Bunyans around the state. But THIS guy is kneeling so you can sit in his hand and pose for a photo. If he was standing, he would be over 60 feet tall!
  2. World’s Largest Ball of Twine (rolled by one man.), Darwin. Someone had some time on his hands. And a LOT of twine.
  3. World’s Largest Boot, Red Wing. Red Wing boots have been a beloved made-in-Minnesota staple for many years. Their store contains a size 638DD boot that weighs over a ton and would be too big for the Statue of Liberty! I don’t know about boots and that dress anyway…
  4. Ed’s Museum, Wykoff. Ed Krueger had a general store called Jack Spratts Food Store in South Central MN and he threw NOTHING away. EVER. He died in 1989 and they made it a museum that is a fun blast from the past.
  5. The Jolly Green Giant, Blue Earth. This huge, friendly guy towers 55 feet about I-90 in Southern MN. It marks the halfway point of America’s longest highway. If you’ve ever driven I-90 you absolutely have felt every bit of this fact.
  6. Quietest Place on Earth, Minneapolis. This is an extreme sound proofed room that was designed for testing appliances and machines for noise. It is so quiet, once you adjust to the lack of sound, you can hear the sounds of your heart, lungs, and joints moving inside your body.
  7. World’s Largest Raspberry, Hopkins. A fairly new addition to the World’s Largest club, this half ton fruit was erected in 2017.
  8. World’s Largest Turkey, Frazee. This 22 foot tall bird sits in West Central MN and has had a troubled past. In 1998, while fixing him up for the annual Turkey Days festival, the Frazee maintenance crew accidently lit him on fire. He blazed to the ground but was soon replaced by a new 3 ton Tom that has over 4,000 fiberglass feathers.
  9. Iron Man Statue, Chisolm. As a throw-back to the boom days of mining on the range, Chisolm built a 36 ft tall statue of an 1880’s miner atop a 50 ft. pile of rusted steel and slag. He iron(no pun intended)ically looks down on a McDonalds…
  10. World’s Largest Free Standing Hockey Stick, Eveleth. Also on the Iron Range, where hockey rules, is this 5 ton, 110 ft long stick- poised to slap the world’s largest hockey puck at 700 lbs.
  11. Deepest place you can go in America, the Soudan Mine, Soudan. After no longer being a viable mine, this “Cadillac of Mines” was closed in 1962 and is now open for tours. You can descend 2300 feet below town on a 90 minute tour to be greeted by the World’s Largest Bat colony of over 10,000 bats. Sounds like a double whammy of claustrophobia and terror to me! But you might dig it. (pun intended this time.)
  12. Pierre the Pantsless Warrior, Two Harbors. This guy might not be the biggest statue of an old white man in MN but he has been standing tall and pantsless since 1960 and that deserves a mention.
  13. Big Ole, Alexandria. Hailing from my home area of central MN, this 28 ft tall Viking stands proud and also pantsless (what was it with those guys?? Minnesota is WAY too cold for that business!) over the Runestone Museum that lends him his fame. I have taken many a photo of friends looking up his skirt.
  14. Runestone Museum, Alexandria. In 1898, a farmer found a 200 lb slab of stone that was covered in ancient runes and dated 1362, which would further the claim that Vikings made it to America before Columbus. The stone has endured much testing and is mostly proven to be the real deal. See for yourself!
  15. World’s Largest Crow, Belgrade. Also near my old stomping grounds is the the 43 ft high crow looming over the small town of Belgrade in central MN. If you push a button, it apparently talks to you. I never tested the theory but plan to next time I’m in the area.
  16. Otto the Otter, Fergus Falls. In the lovely Adams Park stands the adorable Otto, stretching 40 feet long and being climbed on by kids (including me!) for photo ops since 1972.
  17. World’s Largest Pelican, Pelican Rapids. Pelicans are pretty cool birds, and the folks in this small town know it. They built a 15 1/2 foot statue in their honor. I’ve seen her, and if my memory is correct (hope so!) there are many smaller pelicans in this town too, live and statues.
  18. World’s Largest Prairie Chicken, Rothsay. On that West Central MN prairie, people love their birds. This small town built a 9000lb, 13ft tall “booming” (look it up) prairie chicken. I’ve yet to see this noble lady but it’s on my bucket list.
  19. World’s Largest Loon, Vergas. Yet, ANOTHER beautiful bird statue in that area! Do I sense a bird statue day trip in your future? This 20 foot bird stands tall over the 330 people of this small town that is happy to have visitors.
  20. Car smashed by UFO, Warren. In 1979, a policeman noticed a bright light and sped down the highway to see what it was. He was blinded and passed out (doctors confirmed his retinas were burned) and woke up 40 minutes later to find his car had traveled 1000 feet and skidded over 100 ft to a stop on it’s own. Both the car clock and his watch were exactly 14 minutes slow. Is it true? See for yourself.

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