When we talk about the USA, the first thing our imagination draws is the New York skyline with hundreds of skyscrapers, thousands of people walking across the 5th avenue shopping, talking on their phones and the typical yellow taxi waiting at us at the John F Kennedy airport in New York. But of course, that’s only the picture created by Hollywood movies, which doesn’t really show everything and not even beautiful states from the USA that are barely named. As an example of this we have Minnesota.
Located in the Midwestern of the United States, Minnesota is known as “Land of 10.000 lakes” due to the tremendous amount of lakes distributed all around the state. The economy is based in agriculture producing sweet corn, sugar beets and green beens, and it is the first state in the farm-raised turkeys.
Hardly can anybody think that the origin of Minnesota is related with Indians, as we tend to relate the Indians with southern states such as Texas, Oklahoma or Arizona. But there is evidence that the Chippewa Indian colony lived there before the Europeans arrived. A clear evidence of this is the name of several counties located in the southeast called Kandiyohi or Chippewa. Later on, the French arrived to Minnesota followed by the British. And by 1800 it became the home for many Scandinavian and German immigrants who were looking for new land.
The climate changes in each season, having an abrupt temperature change between summer and winter. While the temperature in summer reaches easily 30 degrees, the winter is harsh reaching -20 degrees and with several blizzards that cover the landscapes with white snow. Fall and spring have slightly mild temperature. Due to the particular climate if the area, there is a special bird called the Common Loon, which has become the State Bird as it only inhabits in Minnesota.
The metropolitan area is focused in a particular area called the Twin Cities due to the closeness of the two main cities Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Even if Minneapolis is the most known and populated city, Saint Paul is the economic and political capital. In that area is located the main attraction for tourists: The Mall of America. It was until 2006 the biggest shopping mall in the world with more than 500 stores, an indoor amusement park, aquarium and daily events such as celebrity book signing or performance of famous singers.
Besides the consumerist attraction, Minnesota is the perfect state for outdoor activities. The long Mississippi riverside has beautiful walks. Even if it is a plain state, there are hills adequate for skiing and snowboarding, and the plain lands are a great opportunity for those who like bike rides around the lakes.
Overall, Minnesota is a traditional and conservative state distinguished from the regular image that people have about the USA. Its green and plain landscapes and just the simplicity of the state makes Minnesota a quiet and calm place for anyone who wants to visit it.
- Peterson, M., 2005. Minnesota Memories and Images, Cambridge, MN: Adventure.
- Ryan, G. & Beyer, S., 2004. Minnesota impressions, Minneapolis: Farcountry.
- Anon, Minnesota. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota.