The 5 Most Uncreative Town Names in MN

It’s always interesting how towns get their names.  Sometimes they can be funny, sometimes misleading,  and sometimes there are just plain old uninspired names. Here are the top 5 in Minnesota that maybe could have used some more effort.

5. Minnesota City, MN – I wonder what the criteria was here in naming a town Minnesota City. Not very much imagination, that’s for sure.

4.  Wyoming, MN – About as creative as Michigan, ND.

3. Big Lake, MN – There are a lot of big lakes in Minnesota. LOW and Superior come to mind- not this small lake near Monticello.   I think they could have tried a little harder.

2. Collegeville, MN – While technically its the men’s campus of CSB-SJU, I think they just needed a name for the zip code for mail purposes since SJU isn’t in any nearby city limits.  Collegeville it is. How clever!

1. Federal Dam, MN  – Come on, man!

5 Reasons North Dakota is Actually Pretty Cool

As a Minnesota native, I have spent quite a bit of time exploring the vast expanses of our neighbor to the west, North Dakota. I went to college there, was born in Fargo, and have a lot of family and friends all over the state. ND gets a bad rap, due to people’s misconceptions.  But, this list will show you 5 legitimate reasons that ND is at the top of the country’s 10 hidden places most people don’t know about, which might not be a bad thing to keep it as such. Continue reading

5 Awesome Views Right from the Highway in MN

Traveling around the state of Minnesota offers plenty of scenic overlooks right from the side of the road, without hiking to a lookout or going off the beaten path. Good scenery makes any roadtrip that much better, and here are 5 of my favorites.

5.  Highway 29 going into Glenwood from Alexandria.  I love this view of Lake Minnewaska as you come over a hill and begin the descent into Glenwood. Very cool view of this huge lake and classic Minnesota lake town.
4. Queens Bluff viewed from Highway 61 near Winona. It’s pretty tough to make the call on the best view of the bluffs in southeastern Minnesota’s bluff country. But this one, Queen’s Bluff, really jumped out at me when I first saw it. This unique, beautiful bluff is underrated when in the company of the popular Barn Bluff and Sugar Loaf Bluff.

3. St. Croix River seen from Highway 8 near Taylor’s Falls. Only about 45 minutes from the Twin Cities is one of the most gorgeous areas of the whole state, Taylor’s Falls.  The rocky “Dalles of the St. Croix” showcase the dramatic cliff faces that edge out the river valley and are viewed right off the highway.  Check into the state park, (I prefer the Wisconsin side) for more incredible sights.

2. Minneapolis Skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge. Ok, technically you can’t take a car on the historic Stone Arch Bridge, which actually is a former railroad bridge crossing, but you can drive right up to it and take your other wheels across it.  This place is a downtown Minneapolis classic, a must do for any tourist, resident, couple, family, etc. Just beautiful.

1. The Sawtooth Mountains on Minnesota’s North Shore, Highway 61.  From Duluth to Grand Portage along Lake Superior’s North Shore Scenic Drive, there are literally dozens of overlooks of the lake, the mountains, the cliffs, and touristy towns.  I chose this picture because it captures a little of everything.  This is, without question, the most incredible area of our diverse state.