10 Best Road Trips From Minneapolis, Minnesota

road trips from minneapolis
Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

Minneapolis is a charming city in Minessota that boasts a perfect balance of nature and contemporary living. Although you’ll find lots of skyscraping buildings and modern attractions in the city, the abundance of parkland makes it a wonderful hideaway destination for tourists who want to relax, enjoy nature, and do leisure activities. Additionally, the views of the picturesque cityscape with the enchanting Mississippi River add charm to it. A visit to the city calls for a stay at the best Vrbo vacation rentals and hotels with free parking. After exploring this stunning modern metropolis, you might want to take your escapade elsewhere. Check out this list of best road trips from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1. Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL
Source: Photo by user Josué Goge used under CC BY 2.0

From Minneapolis, you might want to start driving to the stunning city on Lake Michigan, Chicago. Travel time to this captivating city will take you 6 hours as you cover a 408-mi (656 km) distance. Chicago is a vast metropolis that, like Minneapolis, boasts a stunning cityscape, and is considered one of the largest and most developed cities in the whole of the United States. Also, it is home to iconic landmarks, such as John Hancock Center, the marvelous Tribune Tower, and Willis Tower, to name a few. It is a fabulous destination for tourists who like modern attractions, luxurious retail shops, and high-end recreational areas. A Chicago to Minneapolis road trip is going to be one for the books!

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2. Nashville, TN

Tennessee State Capitol - Nashville Tn
Source: Photo by user FaceMePLS used under CC BY 2.0

After a wonderful road trip experience in Chicago, you might want to swing by the lovely city of Nashville - the capital of Tennessee. This extraordinary metropolis is known as a center of culture and music in Tennessee, and popular for having iconic music venues for country music and live performances as well as fascinating museums. Here, you’ll find the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. If you’re a big fan of Johnny Cash, you can not conclude your Nashville escapade without browsing through the exhibits in the Johnny Cash Museum in downtown Nashville. Getting there will take you 12 hours of fun-filled travel and picturesque sceneries.

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3. Cincinnati, OH

Regal/Casino Theater, West End, Cincinnati, OH
Source: Photo by user Warren LeMay used under CC0

Another gorgeous city that should be in your road trip itinerary is the charming Cincinnati City on the river of Ohio. It is characterized by its breathtaking skyline as well as its marvelous 19th-century architecture. From Minneapolis, you will be on the road for more or less 10 hours. It is 703 mi (1131 km) away from Minneapolis. This modern city illuminates with sparkling street lights when the sun sets, which marks the coming to life of its vibrant night scene. Aside from upscale recreational areas and state-of-the-art attractions, it boasts exquisite restaurants and hip bars. Also, while in the city, if you’re traveling with your family, you might want to take the adventure to Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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4. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, Pa Bathed in the Light of the Setting Sun
Source: Photo by user John Brighenti used under CC BY 2.0

A charming city with gorgeous natural views, Pittsburg is a city in Pennsylvania where the urban and natural richness converge. Compared to the first three road trip destinations, this one might be the farthest, taking up almost 13 hours of travel time. On a different note, although one of its characteristics is its modern metropolis facade, it still preserves its fascinating history and boasts a rich cultural heritage. If you are a history buff spend some quality time in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. For art-enthusiasts, the Carnegie Museum of Art should be an unmissable place to visit. Also, sports fanatics will surely love to watch an exciting game of baseball in PNC Park baseball stadium.

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5. Louisville, KY

Louisville, Kentucky
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Make the most of your exciting road trip adventure by exploring the gorgeous city of Louisville in Kentucky. A 705-mi (1134 km) drive away from Minneapolis, your road trip allows you more bonding moments with your loved ones, all while marveling at beautiful landscapes. Talking about Louisville, we do not need to introduce Kentucky Fried Chicken. This city is where the famous KFC started. Also, it is the birthplace of the iconic boxer, Muhammad Ali. Baseball is a big part of this city’s culture, and Louisville is home to Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Additionally, it is also acknowledged for its fascinating horse racing heritage which boasts its ‘horse capital of the world’ tagline.

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6. Knoxville, TN

100th Block Gay St Knoxville, TN - panoramio
Source: Photo by user yourmanstan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you have a few more days to spare before going back to your job and your routine life, visit Knoxville and be enchanted by its beauty and interesting cultural heritage. Compared to most of the above-mentioned cities, this one has the most number of parkland. Its stunning natural wonders are what draw tourists from all over the US to visit it and spend some leisure time here. While in Knoxville, unleash your inner adventure-seeker and hike through the trails of the scenic Ijams Nature Center. Also, you might want to take time off to relax and unwind in the enchanting Little River. For your guidance, the travel distance from Minneapolis to Knoxville is 949 mi (1527 km).

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7. Kansas City, KS

Union Station Kansas City 6122
Source: Photo by user Dual Freq used under CC BY 3.0

Breeze through the western border of Missouri and explore the gorgeous city of Kansas by going on an exciting nine-hour road trip. You will surely have lots of fun in Kansas as this place is known for its vibrant jazz heritage and exquisite barbecue eats. The night scene of Kansas is incomparable as well and will treat you to a fabulous party experience that you will never forget. If you are more into the culture and arts, rather than the nightlife, you should swing by the American Jazz Museum and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art before concluding your Kansas vacation.

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8. Lincoln, NE

Picture of downtown Lincoln,NE
Source: Photo by user Unknown author used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

One of the best places to visit near Minneapolis is Lincoln. Officially the capital of Nebraska, the city was once called The Great American Desert because of its agriculture industry and a thriving economy. It now as contemporary as its neighboring cities. If you are on a road trip with your family, you will surely find Lincoln a city that is worth exploring. You can admire nature at Sunken Gardens and create memories, take pictures, spend some time interacting with friendly animals at Lincoln Zoo, and unwind at Pioneers Park Nature Center. To top it all off, Lincoln is only 432 mi (695 km) away from Minneapolis, and will only take you 6 hours by road.

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9. Charleston, SC

Charleston SC
Source: Needpix

A port city with quintessential charm, Charleston is another stunning paradise that should be on your bucket list. Perfect for people who like long road trips, traveling to Charleston from Minneapolis is a 1319-mi (2122) drive. The endless fun-filled yet somehow tiring travel will surely be compensated as this city will impress you with its preserved landmarks, marvelous architecture, quaint neighborhoods, fascinating cobble-stone streets, and a plethora of excellent restaurants, serving mouthwatering seafood. Also, it has been acknowledged as “World’s Best City’ by a prestigious travel magazine called Travel + Leisure in 2016. Additionally, it is rich in cultural heritage, showcases well-maintained battery districts, has numerous gorgeous antebellum houses to check out, and a vibrant French quarter to explore.

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10. Grand Island, NE

Grand Island (Nebraska) cathedral from N
Source: Photo by user Ammodramus used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Be mesmerized by the charm of Grand Island. Nestled in the heart of Nebraska, Grand Island is an ideal destination for tourists who want a quick escape from city life and breathe clean and fresh air. It only takes a 460-mi (740 km) road trip from Minneapolis to get to this enchanting place. Plus, it has an abundance of natural wonders, from wildlife sanctuaries, beaches, rivers, creeks, and other bodies of water. Adventure seekers will fall in love with Nebraska, and so will history buffs, as the city also has a fair share of fascinating museums and historic sites.

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From Minneapolis embark on a journey worth remembering

A modern city with a fair share of gorgeous natural wonders, Minneapolis is an ideal place to explore, especially by people with a strong wanderlust and who are very much into road trips. If you are one of them, you might be interested to know other places that will charm you with their various offerings. Use this list as your guide in planning an exciting road-trip itinerary after you breeze through the fascinating city of Minneapolis.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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She is a lover of life and a very optimistic person. She thinks of herself as a vessel of a billion possibilities, which can harness limitless potential. Trying new experiences, going places she's...Read more

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