The Explore Minnesota Tourism office, 121 7th Place E., Ste. 100, St. Paul, MN 55101 (tel. 800/657-3638; www.exploreminnesota.com), is happy to send you a thick packet of helpful travel info, including a basic, annually updated travel guide and seasonal guides to the state depending on when you plan to visit; road maps; biking, wildlife, fishing, and boating guides, Twin City (St. Paul and Minneapolis, that is) guides; and a magazine devoted specifically to the city of Duluth, located on the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior.
There are 38 Explore Minnesota Information Centers throughout the state, and 10 Travel Centers, which are located in Moorhead, Thompson Hill (near Duluth), St. Cloud, St. Croix (near the Twin Cities), Dresbach, Albert Lea, Beaver Creek, Fisher's Landing, Grand Portage, and Worthington. (These last three are only open seasonally -- meaning that when the temperature freezes, they wisely go into hibernation -- but the rest are open year-round).
By Plane -- Minnesota's major international hub is the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (www.mspairport.com), with one terminal in each of the Twin Cities: the Humphrey Terminal in Minneapolis (tel. 612/726-5800) and the Lindbergh Terminal in St. Paul (tel. 612/726-5555).
By Train -- Amtrak's Empire Builder route (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com), which runs from Chicago to Seattle, WA, or Portland, OR, chugs southeast to northwest, making stops in Winona, Red Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, Staples, Detroit Lakes, and Fargo-Moorhead.
By Car -- From east to west, I-90 is a straight shot across the bottom of the state, and I-94 runs from Minneapolis northwest to Moorhead. I-35 runs north to south along the eastern part of the state from Duluth to Austin and on into Iowa.
In May, the annual Festival of Nations, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul (tel. 651/647-0191; www.festivalofnations.com), is the largest international, multicultural festival in the country, bringing together over 97 different ethnic groups for 4 days, along with their music, crafts, folklore, and food. The Minnesota State Fair, in Falcon Heights near St. Paul (tel. 651/642-2262; www.mnstatefair.org), is one of the largest state fairs in the country and attracts superstar acts like Bonnie Raitt, Brooks and Dunn, and the Flaming Lips at the end of every summer. Also for concertgoers is the annual WE Fest at Detroit Lakes (tel. 800/493-3378; www.wefest.com), a 3-day outdoor big-name country music extravaganza held at Soo Pass Ranch.