Minnesota's 11,842 lakes offer more shoreline than Florida, California, and Hawaii combined. One out of every six people in Minnesota owns a boat, the highest ratio in the country. Minnesota also ranks as number one in the per-capita rate of fishing-license purchases. And fishing isn't just a warm-weather activity, either. Every winter, little heated shacks pop up on thousands of lakes. Inside, you'll find anglers huddling over holes in the ice, hoping to hook a lunker.
While the state's outdoor attractions lure boaters, hikers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul feature a variety of entertainment opportunities, including theater, music, shopping, and spectator sports.
If you travel all of Minnesota’s 406 miles, from Canada to Iowa, you'll see three distinct kinds of terrain. To the west and south you'll find grassland plains and prairies. Much of this land has been converted to agricultural use, but some still remains in its native state. The eastern part of the state, once known as the "Big Woods," is the natural home of hardwood forests.