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Minneapolis, MN, USA

Visit the Land of 10,000+ Lakes: Minnesota

Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but there are actually 11,842 according to the Department of Natural Resources. Visit this state and you might come out with a bit of an accent. The locals put a little extra stress on their vowels. Residents refer to the Twin Cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis, as "The Cities" because it's the most populous urban area in the state. Wherever you visit this beautiful Midwestern locale, you are sure to find friendly people and clear blue freshwater.

Target Field
The Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team calls this recently-built facility home. The stadium opened in 2010 after a decade of talk about the creation of a new Twins field. The park cost $350 million to construct, including the entrance through Target Plaza. Located outside of the gate in right field, this area hosts statues of Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew, along with a 1,500-pound bronze statue of a baseball glove. There are nearly 40,000 seats in this facility spread across the lower deck and tiered grandstands. When a Twins player hits a home run, the "Shaking Hands" logo in center field lights up. It features the Twins team characters Minnie and Paul congratulating one another. You'll want to bring sunscreen when you drive your Minneapolis rental car to this ball field, as it can get pretty sunny! Don your navy and red and head to 353 North 5th Street in Minneapolis to see the Twins in action.

Minneapolis Queen
Take a ride down the Mississippi on the Minneapolis Queen. This historic paddle boat takes visitors out on cruises along the Grand Round Scenic Byway and Heritage Trail. You'll follow the University of Minnesota campus and float under the newly built I-35W Mississippi River Bridge, past St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. All the while, you'll take in the colorful Minneapolis skyline. Reserve ahead of time to take a specialty dinner, pizza or brunch cruise or a cocktail cruise. Public cruises fill up on a first-come, first-serve basis, but you can make reservations on the Twin Cities Cruises website to ensure your spot.

Minnesota State Fair
This great gathering has been going on since 1859. It found a permanent spot in 1885, where it currently resides at 1265 Snelling Avenue South in St. Paul. The fair has occurred every year except five since then. It skipped years during the Civil War, when the World's Columbian Exposition was in Chicago, because of fuel shortages caused by World War 2 and most recently in 1946 when there was a polio epidemic. There's plenty of delicious food at this fair, and a lot of it comes on a stick. They've got fried Twinkies, alligator, cinnamon buns, pretzels, cotton candy and even milk fresh from the cows in the dairy barn. Drive your Minneapolis rental car here to visit with local National Public Radio disc jockeys from 89.3 The Current, and meet Kare 11 TV personalities at their booths. Enjoy views of the entire fair from the Skyride, a ski-lift that take visitors from one end of the fair to the other. Don't forget to grab a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies before heading home. You'll likely have a tan and a sugar buzz after visiting this Minnesota staple. The fair starts the last week of August and goes into the first week of September. It is a two-week affair of food, family and fun. On the off-season, the fairgrounds hosts many other events, from 4-H shows and conventions to massive classic car shows.