Distance from the Twin Cities: 141 miles, 2.5 hour drive Why it made our list: Built on the tip of a peninsula, this resort juts out into the beautiful Gull Lake.
Pro tip: The park features a sculpture of a giant watermelon in honor of the town’s annual Watermelon Day, and if you can plan your trip to coincide with that you probably should. Distance from the Twin Cities: 213 miles, 3.15-hour drive Why it made our list: Even though it's in Wisconsin, anyplace that proclaims itself the "Waterpark Capital of the World" is bound to be a good time.
The Big 5 Dells' resorts all have huge indoor waterparks, and each time a new one opens it tries to out do the rest with bigger and better water slides and pools.
This ship took more than 100 oak trees and eight years to make (including the milling and drying of the lumber), while the trip from Duluth to Norway took only two months.
In addition to the ship, you can also see a full scale replica of Norway’s Hopperstad Stave Church.
All of the sculptures are made by one guy and the park is located directly next to a gas station.
If all of that's not worth close to a three-hour road trip, then we just don’t know what is.Distance from the Twin Cities: 170 miles, 2.45-hour drive Why it made our list: Because our unending love of giant, weird sculptures knows no bounds.For real, this place has some crazy stuff to look at, including a giant elephant, a pair of pliers squashing a bug, aliens, and dancing flatware.Pro tip: While you could book a place to stay in Afton, like the beautiful Afton House Inn, you should consider booking a place to stay in nearby Stillwater where you can stop at Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar for a bit of after-hiking BBQ and a few shots of hooch before stumbling back to your hotel for the night.Distance from the Twin Cities: 54 miles, 1-hour drive Why it made our list: This is another destination that’s near enough to the city to do a simple afternoon trip.Distance from the Twin Cities: 97 miles, 1.45-hour drive Why it made our list: Because BEER!