Minnesota’s Top 10 Best Roadside Attractions

WTMNAs with any great top ten list, the candidates were many and the final draft debatable.  This list may never be accurate and I will probably change my mind next week, but it’s been determined that the following entries are the most interesting, unique, and definitive roadside attractions of the North Star State.  Let’s get down to it!

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Paul Bunyan & Babe – Bemidji, MN

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Allegedly the second most photographed statues in the US (behind Mt. Rushmore), Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues in Bemidji, MN are the quintessential roadside attractions of Minnesota.  Built in the 1930’s, they continue to be the most recognizable and iconic roadside attractions of Minnesota’s northwoods.

Paul & Babe

Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to look at it), Minnesota decided one Bunyan was not enough. So, in the spirit of competition, Paul Bunyan statues started popping up all over the place.  Stay tuned for more.

While in the area:  Steps away is the Fireplace of States and more Paul Bunyan artifacts, and Lake Bemidji State Park is good for some hiking through the woods or canoeing on the lake.

Big Fish, Bena, MN

This newly-restored Big Fish roadside attraction is found along Highway 2 in northern MN outside of the tiny town of Bena. It apparently was featured in the opening credits of National Lampoon’s Vacation, along with a handful of other Minnesota attractions.

In the last decade or so it fell into despair, and was on the endangered attractions list. But a roadside attraction enthusiast from MN chipped in 10K to revive it back to life. Long live the Big Fish!