Romantic things to do in Minnesota: our list includes the best spots in Minnesota for weekend trips from Minneapolis, the most romantic things to do in downtown Minneapolis, and great ideas for a fun date night whether it’s a first date or an important anniversary.
Those seeking romantic things to do in Minnesota have so many wonderful choices that it’s hard to narrow them down. All the typical vacation spots in Minnesota offer experiences that make it a great place for romantic dates and quality time with that special someone. Depending upon the time of year, components of a great date might include a romantic dinner accompanied by a delicious bottle of wine in a lovely place, or a romantic walk along the shores of Lake Superior.
Some of the best date ideas might include outdoor activities ranging from miniature golf or a visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Winter date ideas ranging from dance lessons to taking advantage of a hotel romance package and warming up in your hotel suite’s hot tub are great activities to consider during the winter months.
Because most Minnesota getaways involve weekend trips from Minneapolis, we’re going to focus on destinations that are within easy driving distance. Longer weekend getaways for couples in MN are perfect for relaxing and reconnecting. But the Twin Cities metro can be a perfect place for a good time, too, so read on for the perfect date night idea.
Those who are spiritually minded may opt for a couples retreat. MN can provide peaceful and private settings for unstructured time or spiritual exercise.
For Minnesota honeymoon or anniversary getaways, MN fills the bill with luxurious and comfortable accommodations, romantic venues and special services to commemorate.
For Minnesota honeymoon or anniversary getaways, Minnesota fills the bill with luxurious and comfortable accommodations, romantic venues and special services to commemorate.
We’ve organized our recommendations within the following 5 regional options for you to consider as you make your plans.
Table of Contents
1. Weekend Getaways from Minneapolis to Duluth and the North Shore
Romantic Things to Do in Minnesota: North Shore
If you’re like us, the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “romantic getaways in Northern Minnesota” is the North Shore. There is something about heading up Highway 61 from Duluth and watching all your cares down south melt away in the rearview mirror. The North Shore is one of the best places to experience scenic views of Lake Superior’s majesty while partaking of the unique North Shore lifestyle.
Those searching for romantic cabin getaways in MN have a variety of choices, but our money’s on Solbakken Resort. This is a great choice: a six-cabin resort located in the near north shore community of Lutsen, still an easy drive from the Twin Cities.
Solbakken’s two 1 bedroom cabins are the perfect option for couples. Each is equipped with a fully outfitted kitchen and a lakeside deck with outdoor charcoal grill. You bring your own food to prepare together or visit one of the romantic local restaurants we recommend: The Strand Waterfront Dining Room at Lutsen Resort or The Bluefin Grille.
Click here to see a list of other accommodations located on Minnesota’s near North Shore.
Things to do during your stay:
- Take in the incomparable Lake Superior atmosphere at one of these state parks: Cascade River State Park, Tettegouche State Park or Temperance River State Park. Fill a picnic basket with great food and choose a perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate in incredible natural surroundings.
- Gaze out on sweeping North Shore vistas from the Lutsen Mountain Tram or the Oberg Mountain Loop
- Stop into the North Shore Winery for a wine tasting experience
- Schedule some rejuvenating treatments at the Waves of Superior Spa
Romantic Getaways in Duluth MN
Some couples would rather base their North Shore stay in Duluth, particularly if they’re considering one of any number of romantic winter getaways in MN. If choosing from romantic hotels in Duluth sounds like something you’d prefer, we suggest you consider South Pier Inn on the Canal or Fitger’s Inn. Both are located close to Canal Park, which is one of the best things about Duluth. Take in the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace and the Great Lakes Aquarium, and thrill when the Lift Bridge raises for Great Lakes shipping traffic into the Port of Duluth from the Lakewalk Promenade.
Click here for a list of other romantic places to stay in Duluth MN.
2. Romantic Getaway – Minneapolis and St Paul
A romantic night in Minneapolis and St Paul hotel room can feel like a soft cocoon in the midst of a vibrant, sparkling city. The way to accomplish this is to choose your accommodations with just the right amount of luxurious style and comfort.
If you’re searching for romantic hotels, Minneapolis has any number. My all-time favorite is the Nicollet Island Inn. Located in a heritage building on a small island in the Mississippi, this boutique hotel feels like a secluded hideaway. Book a great Valentine’s Day experience here by choosing from among the best romance packages in Minneapolis, and supplement the great time you’ve planned with award-winning dining experiences.
If “romantic hotels in Minneapolis MN with jacuzzi” are what you seek, check out the suite options on the penthouse floor at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. The hotel’s Cosmos restaurant on the 4th floor offers elegant breakfast and dinner options. Or opt for a romance package here and indulge in their exceptional room service.
Urban sophisticates will appreciate the vibe at The Hewing Hotel, located in the North Loop District. An eclectic atmosphere comprised of luxurious amenities complements the exposed wood and brick elements in the hotel’s decor. Dine on eclectic bites at the on-site roof-top restaurant, and indulge in the Nordic sauna and spa pool.
If an historic bed and breakfast is your thing, look no further than 300 Clifton, located in the Loring Park neighborhood. Describing itself as a “whimsical Queen Anne Victorian turned commodious Georgian Revival,” this National Historic Register residence dates from 1887. Inside, you’ll appreciate the original furnishings and fixtures in spacious guest rooms offered in three configurations.
Fun date ideas for romantic things to do in Minneapolis for a single night or a weekend getaway:
- Indulge in atmospheric fine dining at The Capital Grille, Spoon and Stable or Cafe Lurcat
- Take in a performance at the world-renowned Guthrie Theater
- Book a couple’s Starry Night or Double Indulgence experience at the Four Seasons Hotel
Get Away in Romantic Saint Paul
Saint Paul doesn’t lack options for romance. Minnesota’s capital is a great spot offering unique ambiance! Consider the following ideas for a great night or weekend getaway:
- The Saint Paul Hotel is the city’s grande dame in accommodations, offering a premier experience with modern luxury in a building steeped with history. We are charmed by the description of the Hotel’s romance packages: “for those who are falling in love and those who never stopped.”
- Celeste St Paul is the newly-invigorated, historic former Catholic convent and arts conservatory, offering a top boutique hotel experience with the atmosphere of an historic urban sanctuary in a Beaux Arts landmark.
- Located in Cathedral Hill, our favorite Saint Paul neighborhood, the Historic District Bed and Breakfast Inn is located within walking distance of two of our restaurant recommendations below in a residence dating from the 1880s. Choose from the original master bedroom, the amazing former wardrobe room, a two-room suite, or a separate carriage house dating from 1910.
For romantic dining options in Saint Paul, we recommend:
- W. A. Frost & Company – the site of very romantic evening early in our own relationship, this landmark restaurant has been serving upscale traditional American fare for more than 40 years.
- Moscow on the Hill – also located in Cathedral Hill, here you’ll find authentic Russian comfort cuisine and a vodka bar to chase away any chill.
- The St. Paul Grill is a classic option located in the Saint Paul Hotel, serving up classic American cuisine. Check out the amazing selection of single malt Scotches.
- Joan’s in the Park is a relative newcomer by comparison with others on our list, having opened in 2011, offering up a four-course, dining from scratch, white tablecloth experience.
For a list of other romantic hotels in the Twin Cities, click here.
3. Romantic Things to Do in Minnesota: Greater Twin Cities Romantic Getaways
A quick half hour or so from the metro, Stillwater is a picturesque, historic river town on the St. Croix, which borders Wisconsin. Stillwater offers historic appeal, Main Street shopping, picturesque paddle riverboats, winery and brewery experiences, and friendly sightseeing.
Stillwater’s solid reputation as one of the best Twin Cities romantic getaways is due in no small part to these accommodations:
- The Lora – built on the cliffside foundation of the historic Wolf brewery, with vintage warehouse vaulted ceilings and cave entrances. One of the most unique settings for romantic getaways near Minneapolis. Deluxe and premium rooms and suites have luxurious amenities. Long weekend packages allow you to extend your experience.
- James Mulvey Inn offers packages for cyclists, massage renewal and romance, as well as custom experiences tailored especially for you. All this takes place in an Italianate mansion with stone carriage house, which has 3 luxury guest suites.
Other hotels in Stillwater for you to consider for weekend getaways near Minneapolis: click here.
We recommend the following things to do in Stillwater:
- Lift Bridge Brewing Company and Maple Island Brewing offer adventures in beer
- The Saint Croix Vineyards and domacin Restaurant and Wine Bar will tempt the oenophile
- Schedule a rejuvenating massage or in-depth body work at Just for Me “The Spa”
- Discriminating diners will want to consider Lolo American Kitchen or The Velveteen
Lake Minnetonka Area
Weekend trips from Minneapolis don’t need to involve lots of driving. Just a few minutes west is the lovely Lake Minnetonka area with plenty of things to do.
New in Wayzata, the two year old Hotel Landing harkens back to when Lake Minnetonka was a thriving resort location. Sequester in an elevated experience with more than 90 rooms, onsite fine dining and luxurious Läka Spa.
For other hotel options in the vicinity of Lake Minnetonka, click here.
Things to do in the Lake Minnetonka area that we recommend:
- Fine dining enthusiasts will want to consider Bellecour, Gianni’s Steakhouse, and 6Smith
- Take in an entertaining show at the historic Old Log Theater and dine at their Cast & Cru restaurant
- In season, take a scenic ride on the Steamboat Minnehaha, or book a charter boat cruise with Wayzata Bay Charters
- Book a relaxing experience at the Laka Spa
4. Romantic Getaways in Southern MN
In a beautiful setting amid the Root River Valley’s bluffs, Lanesboro is home to a number of artists and creatives. As the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota, Lanesboro may be one of the most romantic vacations Minnesota has to offer.
For places to stay in Lanesboro, please click here.
Things to do in Lanesboro:
- Dine at the Old Village Hall
- Tour and shop offerings from the local Amish Community with Bluffscape Amish Tours or R&M Amish Tours
- Canoe or kayak the scenic Root River with gear from River Rats Outfitters Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales
- Be entertained by the best of the Midwest community-based theater at Commonweal Theatre Company
As far as Minnesota romantic vacations go, Southwest Minnesota’s largest community, Redwood Falls is under the radar. Located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Redwood Rivers, Redwood Falls is part of the region in which the storied Ingalls family settled; their daughter, Laura, would later chronicle their sojourn in a book series. On the Banks of Plum Creek was written about their home in nearby Walnut Grove.
The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway celebrates the area’s beauty in every season. Birders will be enamored of the Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail. You’ll definitely want to visit Alexander Ramsey Park, which is the largest municipal park in Minnesota. Home to the beautiful Ramsey Falls, the park also boasts impressive structures built by the national Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Stay at The Vintage Inn Bed and Breakfast in downtown Redwood Falls, just a few blocks from Ramsey Park and the falls. Your accommodations will be in one of three suites housed in a former brick photography studio dating from 1911. Romance packages and goodie baskets can enhance your visit.
Other hotels near Redwood Falls are listed here.
Dining options in Redwood Falls we recommend:
- Duffy’s Riverside Saloon – hearty, plain speaking fare with nightly, happy hour and Vikings specials
- Plaza Garibaldi – despite the seemingly Italian name, this was some of the best Mexican food we’ve ever eaten
5. Romance in Central and Northern MN
Brainerd Lakes Area
A very popular region for weekend getaways for couples in MN, the Brainerd Lakes have lots to offer every type of visitor.
We recommend Lost Lake Lodge – a more than 70-year traditional, all-inclusive experience in a natural setting on 80 lakeside acres. Individual cozy cottages in various configurations will suit every visitor. Weekend getaway specials available. The Lodge Dining Room is often fully booked with good reason: chef-inspired menus create a top dining experience. Full cocktail bar, sophisticated wine list and craft beers.
Other ideas for places to stay in the Brainerd Lakes area, click here.
For those wanting to schedule a spa experience during their stay in the Brainerd Lakes region, check out Glacial Water’s Spa at Grand View Lodge.
Alexandria is a popular destination in western Minnesota for its proximity to many recreational lakes. Self-described as a booming “micropolitan” area, Alex is another under the radar option for weekend getaways. MN lakes such as Carlos, Darling, Miltona and Le Homme Dieu offer popular recreational activities.
Places to stay during your getaway in Alexandria:
- Cedar Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast – aspires to “pamper you with old world charm” in a 1903 residence built by a prominent citizen of Alexandria in its “Silk Stocking District.” Now on the National Historic Register, the Inn offers four spacious ensuite rooms, some with whirlpools. Full breakfast served in the Inn’s dining room.
- Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center – a fully inclusive resort experience in all seasons, Arrowwood presents traditional guest room and suite options amid its townhomes and cottages suitable for larger groups. Take advantage of on site golf and water park, as well as seasonal activities.
Things to Do in Alexandria:
- Head over to the Carlos Creek Winery to taste a variety of wines and listen to live music. Valkyrie Wood Fired Pizza and 22 Northmen Brewery on site.
- All the references to Viking lore will have you wondering if the legend is true. Visit the Runestone Museum to learn the mysterious story of thousand year old Viking artifacts discovered in this region and decide whether you believe.
- If beer is your libation, you’ll want to try what’s on tap at the Copper Trail Brewery.
- Bike, skate, or walk a portion of the 55 mile Central Lakes Trail, a 14 feet wide, level and paved byway built on a former Burlington Northern rail bed.
- Dine out at La Ferme for classic American contemporary bistro, and Zorbaz for lakeside seasonal seating.
Whether it’s your first time planning a romantic date, or you’re considering a special event with your sweetheart, a great experience is available in every corner of the state with so many romantic things to do in Minnesota. Expanding your horizons to the north, south, east and west of the Twin Cities is a better way to have a little fun and acquaint yourselves with everything on offer for romantics in the North Star State!