Try a Staycation this Year!

Judith Ramsey

What is a Staycation? A Minnesota Staycation is a vacation near home that offers all the fun and relaxation of any vacation trip. A camping vacation has always been a frugal way to enjoy Minnesota’s outdoor splendors and can be one of the best staycation ideas. There are state parks and campgrounds within just a few miles, no matter where you are in Minnesota. Stock up on your favorite foods, bring the toys and the kids, drive a few miles, and stay the whole week in one place! You have your “pop-up cabin” so there is no hotel expense; you will do your own cooking, so no expensive restaurant meals; and the great outdoors is free.

You don’t have to go camping to experience a great Minnesota staycation. Search for things to do and find Minnesota hotel deals close to home. You will still save lots of cash over what it would cost to travel out of state or out of the country. Choose a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast inn close to the attractions you want to visit. Get a room with a kitchenette and save by making at least some of your own meals.

If a hotel, or even a campground, is more than your budget allows, you have the cheapest option of all: stay in your own home! Just make sure you are in vacation mode and don’t get sucked back into the daily routine. Plan some day trips to see Minnesota attractions you may not even know about. One of our favorite staycation ideas is to explore unusual Minnesota roadside attractions.

Now that you have the lodging part in place, get out and have all the fun you would pay big bucks to do if you have traveled across the country on vacation. Be a tourist right here in Minnesota. Get some guidebooks and see what others come to Minnesota see.

More Staycation Ideas:

  • Grab your family, and your camera, and get out into the great outdoors. Visit a Minnesota State Park—did you know there are 66 of them? How many have you visited?
Get on, or in, the water. With more than 10,000 lakes, you know we have beaches! If the weather doesn’t allow a beach outing, check out one of our fabulous water parks.
  • Swim at a local beach or pool or enjoy a Minnesota Water Park.
  • Plant a garden and nurture it all summer. Plant wildflowers, a vegetable garden, or a kitchen herb garden—whatever you and your family would enjoy.
  • Do some art and craft projects. Finish your scrapbooking project or start something new with the family.
  • Try new recipes. Cook batches of food that you can freeze for winter.
  • Sponsor, or participate in, a block party. Take time to really get to know your neighbors.
  • Attend sports events. If you can’t afford the big-ticket pro games, go to high school games, and Little League games.
  • Stay up late at night once in a while to stargaze.
Check out local farmers markets and enjoy some Minnesota home grown food. Pick apples and other fruit at local orchards and farms.
  • Spend a day really getting to know your local library. Take some books and movies home to enjoy for days to come.
  • Take some classes through community education or your community’s Parks and Recreation program.
  • Investigate summer programs at the local YMCA/YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, and local churches.
  • Visit museums and art galleries. We drive by them every day—go inside! Many are free or very cheap.
  • Visit the zoo. Como Zoo in Saint. Paul is still free! Add a visit to the conservatory on the zoo grounds for a tiny donation.
  • Get family and friends together for a day at a park. Plan games, contests and, of course, a picnic lunch.
  • Spend a day at Valleyfair amusement park.
Read Up

The Great American Staycation, by Matt Wixon, Adams Media, 2009.

Try a Staycation this Year!

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