Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this post, at no extra cost to you.

What Minnesota is Known For & Famous For

Minnesota is located in the northern midwest and just touches Lake Superior. This state is well known throughout the country and the world, but what for?

Minnesota is known for its natural landscapes of forests and thousands of lakes as well as its major corporations such as Pillsbury and 3M. The state is also known for Minneapolis, the Mall of America, fishing, and as the birthplace of Bob Dylan.

Read on to learn more about what Minnesota is known for and famous for.

Forests and lakes 

One of the best-known things about Minnesota is the abundance of natural beauty that is found throughout the state. There is a wide variety of terrain types, which makes the state home to everything from forests and lakes to farms and wetlands. 

The great state of Minnesota is located in the United States and it borders the states of Wisconsin and Iowa. It also touches Lake Superior, one of the five great lakes, and Lake of the Woods, which is another large lake straddling the US-Canada border. This state is called the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Many of these lakes are home to different kinds of fish, which is why fishing is a favorite pastime in the area.

North Star State

Minnesota and the North Star State, Minnesota is widely known for its connection to the North Star. It is after all called the “North Star State.” Well, that is the English translation, the actual motto of Minnesota is in French and is “L’Étoile du Nord.”

The connection to the North Star is deep that it even leads its name to Polaris Inc a company that got its start in Minnesota, they manufacture and sell motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and other motorized vehicles.

Twin Cities Saint-Pauls and Minneapolis 

Saint-Paul’s and Minneapolis are known as twin cities. The two cities make up the largest metropolitan area of Minnesota and are the most densely populated area of the whole state.

Saint-Paul’s and Minneapolis are home to a lot of businesses and corporations. Many of the largest in Minnesota are located in these two cities. Saint-Paul’s is also home to many colleges and universities including the University of Minnesota and Saint-Paul’s College. These colleges are known for their academic excellence and have made these cities popular choices for high school students who are looking at where to move for college.

Major Corporations

Many people are surprised at how many fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Minnesota, some of the United States’ most recognizable companies have found a home in this most northern state of the lower 48. Minnesota is home to companies that are household names like Best Buy, Target, General Mills, Pillsbury, Land’oLakes, and Hormel, the company that brought us Spam. The State has a welcoming attitude towards Major Corporations.

Pillsbury Company

The Pillsbury Company is headquartered in Minneapolis. The Company was founded in 1869 by Charles Alfred Pillsbury and his uncle John S. Pillsbury. The company operates in the United States and over 42 other countries. The current brands that fall under its umbrella are Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, and Progresso.

The Company has a rich history of innovation and is well known for its line of refrigerated dough and its line of ready-to-bake cookie dough. Pillsbury was the first major company in the United States to sell refrigerated dough.

Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation is a company that manufactures food. Hormel Foods is best known for their spam meat in a can or better known as Spam. Spam is canned precooked meat that is made from pork, salt, and water.

Spam gained popularity during WWII after the war started the economy slowed down and meat became more expensive. Spam was cheaper to buy than other meat products and was easy to get.

Spam is still popular today, specifically in Hawaii, where residents eat more than 7 million tons of the stuff each year.

General Mills 

General Mills was founded in 1866, and General Mills is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

General Mills owns a lot of other companies some of which are the largest in the US brands like Pillsbury, Progresso, Betty Crocker, General Mills cereal, and many more.

General Mills has facilities all around the world with about 35,000 employees worldwide. General Mills’ annual revenue is about 18 billion dollars. General Mills is one of the top cereal-producing companies in the world. General Mills cereal brands are some of the most well-known and include names Cheerios, Chex, Fiber 1, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Trix just to name a few.

The company also owns some other products which are household names like Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, and Old El Paso. Pretty impressive for a company that just started out milling flour!

Best Buy

Best Buy Co. Inc is a company in the United States and Canada. Best Buy is one of the largest sellers of consumer electronics, with revenues of $47.26 billion USD (Fiscal Year Ended January 30, 2021).

Best Buy is best known for their superstore which sells an array of electronic goods from computers, phones, appliances, music equipment, drones, cameras, and a whole lot more.


Target Corporation, is a national department store chain, which at the time of this writing operates over 1,700 locations in the United States. Founded in 1902, the company has been headquartered in Minnesota for over 120 years. Target is a publicly held corporation, with the flagship brand being the second-largest discount retailer in the United States.

Target is known for its logo, which is recognized all over the world.

Land O’Lakes

Land O’Lakes is best-known for its dairy products. Land O’Lakes is responsible for many different types of dairy products like butter, cheese, and yogurt.

Butter is its most popular selling item and has made the company the biggest producer of butter in the United States. It is also known for being a private company and had sales of about one billion dollars in 2011 alone.

Land O’Lakes is located in Saint Anthony, Minnesota. It has been there since 1934. The company started as a farmers co-operative that made dairy products primarily butter. It was founded by farmers who wanted to produce dairy products as a collective with more than 320 cooperative farmers. Through the collective, they were able to increase the quantity they could produce, were able to sell more, and finally, they could control the quality of the finished product much more efficiently.

UnitedHealth group 

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is known for being a large American health and well-being company that offers health care services and products. UnitedHealth Group performs a variety of functions that range from providing health care products and services, to medicare coverage, and retirement plans.


The 3M Company is known for its inventions and innovations. 3M produces more than 60,000 different products within its umbrella. A few of the most notable include the Post-it® notes, Scotch® tape, scouring pads, Flexible Sanding Sponges, Thinsulate™ insulation, and heat-resistant wiring among a bunch of other things.

The company is headquartered in Minnesota, where it has been located since its early days. The company’s growth is so closely tied to Minnesota that some have called it a “native” company.


Minnesota is crazy about sports. The sports they are known for are hockey, football, baseball, golf, and ice skating. Outdoor activities are also quite popular with fishing, boating, and winter sports with a special love for snowmobiling and ATVing. Minnesota has six professional sports teams in all major sporting leagues in the US MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLS. The state has produced some talented athletes.


When you think of some of the world’s most impactful inventions you probably don’t think of Minnesota being behind them. Inventions in Minnesota include Post-it-Notes, automatic thermostat, Spam, truck refrigeration, the pacemaker and so much more.

Spam (meat in a can)

Spam meat in a can is an example of Minnesota’s ingenuity. In the 1930s, Spam was invented in Minnesota by Jay Hormel. In the present day, Hormel is still a Minnesota company and Spam is still produced in Austin, Minn. In addition to Spam, Minnesota is also the home of the 3M Company.

Fishing & Outdoors Activities 

Minnesota is well known for having some of the best fishing in the USA. It does have 10,000 lakes and is surrounded by water the Mississippi River, Lake Superior, Lake of the Woods, Muskeg Bay, and thousands more sources of water.

The fishing in Minnesota varies from fishing for walleye, northern pike, panfish, to fishing for big game fish like lake trout and chinook salmon. There are fishing opportunities for all levels of experience. Almost all necessary equipment can be rented at fishing supply stores, resorts, and fishing lodges in the state. Anglers need to purchase a fishing license and fishing guides are available for fishing trips.

The fishing in Minnesota can also be experienced from a paddle craft like a canoe or kayak.

National & State Parks

Minnesota national parks are some of the most stunning in the country and offer amazing spectacles like Gooseberry Falls, Forestville Mystery Cave State Park, Frontenac State Park, Gull Lake, Lake Maria State Park, and more.

Gooseberry Falls Gooseberry Falls is a river waterfall located in Gooseberry State Park between the town of Two Harbors and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Minnesota. It is best known for its waterfalls.


Duluth Minnesota may not be a city very well known outside of Minnesota but this city is extremely important in facilitating trade throughout the country. Duluth, Minnesota is home to the world’s largest freshwater port on earth and it is a significant contributor to Minnesota’s economy. Bob Dylan is a famous singer, songwriter, and noble prize winner who was born in Duluth.

The World’s Largest Freshwater Port

Duluth is home to the world’s largest freshwater port on earth. That means that Duluth is home to the most cargo being shipped on freshwater per year! More than 35 million tons of cargo pass through the port each year The Duluth Port is a major economic boost to the region and generates over a billion dollars a year. Helping provide good jobs and move cargo around the world.

Bob Dylan 

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth Minnesota. Bob Dylan is arguably the most influential American singer and songwriter of all time. Bob Dylan has been inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. He has also won a Nobel Prize in Literature for his songwriting contributions over the years.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a medical and research center that is known around the world for its high quality of medical care and patient satisfaction. The Mayo Clinic is considered to be the best hospital in the country offering some of the most state-of-the-art technologies, administered by some of the best doctors in the USA.

The Northwest Angle

The further northern part of the lower 48 states is the Northwest Angle, the only American territory higher than the 49th parallel. The northwest angle in Minnesota can claim to be the most northern state thanks to the northwest angle. This little piece of America is sparsely populated. The Northwest Angle land is attached to Canada so to enter or leave you have to enter Canada then enter the US again.

Mall of America 

The Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the United States. It is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Mall of America has over 500 stores and 50 restaurants and attractions including Nickelodeon Universe®, the largest indoor theme park in the United States with more than 24 rides. Mall of America is owned by Triple 5 Group Mall of America – Mall of America.

The Mall of America is also home to many different shopping kiosks, a LEGO store, the Crayola Experience, an Aquarium, an escape room, a mini-golf, and even a comedy club, not to mention 2 different hotels.

George Floyd

George Floyd was an African American man who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest after a store clerk suspected Floyd may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. After his murder, protests against police brutality, especially towards black people, quickly spread across the United States and globally. His dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry.

His death sparked protests around the world and has added fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Please take a look at the BLM movement here to see how you can get involved and show your support. 

Over 10,000 Lakes

Minnesota is known for its many lakes; this abundance of water has generated one of the state’s unofficial nicknames, and that’s The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota has over 11,000 natural lakes and around 5% of the freshwater in the United States. Minnesota’s largest lake is Lake Superior with an area of 82,103 km². Minnesota’s coastline along Lake Superior is 589 miles long.

Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles [2,100,000 km²]) by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately four cents an acre, Louisiana became the eighteenth U.S. state under President Thomas Jefferson. Well Minnesota did not gain statehood until 1853 becoming the 32nd state.

Was originally a french territory 

Minnesota was originally a French territory. The French first arrived there in the late 17th century. Minnesota officially became a territory of the United States on March 3, 1849. Minnesota became the 32nd state of the United States of America on May 11, 1858.

The Minnesota motto is the only state motto that is in French “L’Étoile du Nord.” Minnesota was named after the Minnesota River which in turn took its name from a word of the local people meaning 1 of two things: clear blue water or cloudy water.

Before Minnesota became a territory, part of it was French territory.

Minnesota’s state flag is also in French and says “L’Étoile du Nord.” “The Star of the North”.

Final Thoughts

Minnesota is a beautiful state with so much to do and see. From the great outdoors to the biggest mall in America, you can always find something to do in Minnesota.