Check It Out: Minnesota State Fair

In America, fairs are as common as baseball and apple pie in summertime. There are town fairs, county fairs, state fairs…and then there’s the Minnesota State Fair.

Widely regarded as one of the best state fairs in America, the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” has transformed from an agricultural showcase in its inaugural run (in 1859), to the vast entertainment and eating event of the year that it is today.

If you’re new to the Land of 10,000 Lakes (and the U.S.), attending the state fair is a big ol’ helping of Minnesota (and American) culture.┬áHere’s a list of some cannot-miss attractions (and foods, of course).

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Sweet Martha’s Cookies

Why have one when you can buy ’em by the bucket?! Martha has been making her sweet treats for over 30 years, and no trip to the fair is complete without a stop at Sweet Martha’s.

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Giant Slide

Debuting in 1968, the Giant Slide is a rite of passage for Minnesotans new and old. Don’t let the long line fool you: it goes fast.

ALL THE FOOD

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With 56 new items just this year, the state fair is a foodie’s dream (though it might be a nightmare on your wallet!) Plus, everything “on a stick” looks great on Instagram! From cheese curds to deep fried Oreos to mini donuts to sweet, crisp corn on the cob, if you can dream it, there’s probably some form of it at the fair. (Check out Andrew Zimmern’s list, too).

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Sky Ride

Avoid slow walkers and strollers: take a ride on the Sky Ride! This bird’s-eye-view of the fair has been in operation for 53 years now, and is the preferred choice for people watching on the midway.

Concerts

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From big-name Grandstand acts to free performances at the Bandshell, you can find music pretty much everywhere and at any time from now until Labor Day.

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Farm stuff

It wouldn’t be a fair without animals (specifically livestock), so make sure to check out the various barns for a chance at getting up-close and personal with Minnesota’s more furry friends. From sheep to snakes, draft horses to bunnies, there are all kinds of opportunities to see all types of creatures.

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All-things Minnesotan

From a giant tank of native fish to rubbing elbows with Minnesota’s members of Congress, if something is labeled as ‘Minnesotan’, there’s a good chance you can find it in some form at the fair.

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Whether you go for the food, animals, people-watching, or attractions, there is truly something for everyone at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. But hurry! The fair ends Labor Day (Sept. 4).

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TwInstagram Cities

Whether in St. Paul or Minneapolis, there are plenty of opportunities around the Twin Cities to snap an iconic photo and rack up the likes!

These spots are sure to get your followers to double-tap!

#1 Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis

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Not many other places can lay claim to a 60-foot waterfall within city limits, but head to Minnehaha Park near the Mississippi River in southeast Minneapolis, and your ‘Gram will earn #waterfullhunter status immediately!

#2 Cathedral of St. Paul

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Serving as the Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St.Paul, the immense Cathedral overlooking downtown St. Paul. It took seven years to build (1907-14). In recent years, Red Bull’s “Crashed Ice” has been held in front of the cathedral.

#3 Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

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Standing as the only fully stone arch bridge across the Mississippi River, this former railroad bridge has become an icon in the Mill City (Minneapolis’ old nickname). Great spot to snag pictures of the Minneapolis skyline and St. Anthony Falls.

#4 Sunken Garden/Conservatory, Como Zoo, St. Paul

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Let your filters run wild! A popular place for weddings, the flowers in the sunken garden change with the seasons, but it’s always a balmy, tropical feeling inside! And, while you’re at it, check out some monkeys over at the zoo!

#5 Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

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Snag one of the most recognizable images from the Twin Cities with a picture of the Cherry & Spoon Bridge in Minneapolis’ newly redesigned Sculpture Garden. It now features a 25-foot blue rooster, as well.

#6 Downtown St. Paul from Indian Mounds Park

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You can get a good ‘gram of downtown St. Paul in a number of places, but one of our favorites is from Indian Mounds Park. Colorful sunsets make for a good background of the “Saintly City”.

#7 Mall of America

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Take pictures shopping! Take pictures building a bear! Take pictures riding an indoor rollercoaster! Take pictures of your food! Endless photo ops here!

#8 St. Paul Saints game

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Crazy promotions? Check. Cheap tickets? Check. Ball Pig? CHECK! Welcome to the joys of a St. Paul Saints baseball game. What is a Ball Pig, you ask? Well, get ready to fill your Insta with fun. Also, the stadium is just a block from St. Paul Prep!

#9 Minneapolis Institute of Art

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Like old art? Like new art? Don’t like art? Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and be amazed! (And amaze your followers with pictures of 2,000-year-old pots)

#10 Rice or Mears Park, St. Paul

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Rice Park is good for that “winter wonderland” ‘gram, while Mears Park is a beautiful summer oasis. Both are located in the middle of downtown St. Paul, and are great places for students to escape and snag a few filter-ready pics!

Where are your favorite spots for the best ‘gram in the Twin Cities? Let us know! Follow us on Insta @stpaulprep!