#13 in Best Things To Do in the Twin Cities in 2023
Visit a local treasure... Historic Fort Snelling
January 2nd 2023
Established in the early 19th century as a frontier outpost, Fort Snelling is the oldest structure in Minnesota. Its perch over the converging point of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers allowed it to successfully control trade routes in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Today, Fort Snelling acts as a living history museum, with costumed tour guides offering ample information on its past. There are also exhibits detailing the site's history within the visitor center and "activity centers" scattered across the site that help visitors learn more about the Dakota homeland, immigration, soldiers and more. During the summer, the fort hosts numerous history-themed events, including demonstrations, competitions and youth programs.
Travelers said visiting Fort Snelling was like taking a step back in time and that "history comes alive" here. Others suggested wearing comfortable shoes as you'll be doing a lot of walking. Most recent visitors encouraged carving out some time in your itinerary for a stop here (especially if you're traveling with youngsters).
Admission to Fort Snelling is $8 per person, though children ages 4 and younger can enter for free. This fort neighbors the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, meaning you'll be close enough to hear the planes taking off and landing – a common complaint from recent travelers. Another thing to keep in mind: The site is open seasonally, and hours vary. Generally, it welcomes visitors from June to early September Friday and Saturday, and mid- to late September and October on select Saturdays. It's best to drive here, as the closest light rail station is a 15-minute walk. Plus, there's free on-site parking. There is no on-site dining, but you can purchase snacks and drinks in the on-site store.
For more information, check out the Fort Snelling website.