Winter in the Midwest can be a challenging time. Even hardened Minnesotans who appreciate the ice and snow can feel a little defeated by the cold weather come March. But you don’t have to book a sunny beach trip to feel like you’re on a unique getaway. Forget the crowded beaches of Florida or the expensive flights to California – Minnesota has a ton to offer those travelers looking to get away this spring.
What’s more, people with their pilot license have the ability to take to the skies for a unique getaway any time they are feeling antsy, or need a new adventure. Here are a few of the best getaways Minnesota has to offer, ideal for private pilots to jet off to once the snow starts to melt.
Nearest Airport: East Gull Lake Airport
For those looking for a retreat to somewhere with a slower pace, gorgeous scenery and an abundance of recreational activities, head to Nisswa. This quintessential “up North” town is perfect for those looking to relax by the shore of Gull Lake, enjoy boutique shopping downtown or sampling the town’s many award-winning restaurants. As the ice on the lakes starts to melt, you’ll be able to see the numerous lakes that help make up Minnesota’s ten thousand lakes. Searching for cool accommodations? Check out the historic Grand View Lodge, which offers spring break packages through April 14.
2) Fergus Falls
Nearest Airport: Einar-Mickelson Field
During the spring season, Fergus Falls is blooming with life. With a number of outdoor activities, spring is the perfect time to visit the area. Visitors can experience the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, Otter Tail River, Central Lakes Trail, North Country Trail for biking, hiking and walking. And, fisherman will feel right at home at one of the 1,048 nearby lakes. Downtown Fergus Falls has a variety of craft breweries, intimate eateries and plenty of new shops to peruse. Plus, the town has a budding performing arts scene and growing number of different galleries for those with a passion for art.
3) The Northshore and Highway 61
Nearest Airport: Duluth International Airport
Highway 61 spans almost 150 miles, starting in Duluth and ending in Canada. It’s particularly stunning during spring, as nature comes into bloom and the northern forests start to green up. Flying up the Northshore is also an unforgettable way to experience the expansive nature and beauty of Lake Superior from the skies. The views of the water are unlike anything you have seen before. Those visitors that are driving can stop at several points along the way, such as famous Split Rock Lighthouse, the towering Gooseberry Falls and the tallest cliffs on the lake, Palisade Head. Local diners, art galleries, jewelry stores and craft shops are plenty in the towns dotted along the way to help fill your time.
Nearest Airport: Isle Airport
Spending spring vacation in Isle will put you in the heart of Father Hennepin State Park. Explore the many hiking trails, go fishing on Mille Lacs Lake, sample wines at DeCorsa Vineyard or entertain the family at Isle Bowl and Pizza. Isle is a unique Minnesota destination that has everything to offer, and is just a short flight away.
5) George Washington State Forest
Nearest Airport: Cook Municipal Airport
For those pilots that love to camp, George Washington State Forest is the perfect destination. Throw your tent and supplies in the hold of your plane and take-off toward northeastern Itasca County, where eight camping facilities await you among the forests of Minnesota. The campgrounds offer boat rentals and fishing opportunities, while the forest provides endless outdoor recreational activities. For those visiting in early spring, local cross-country ski and snowmobile trails may still be open, providing fun during a late-season snowfall.
6) Agassiz Wildlife Refuge
Nearest Airport: Thief River Falls Regional Airport
Those looking to experience some of Minnesota’s best wildlife sightings in a natural, protected habitat, should set their coordinates toward Agassiz Wildlife Refuge. Guests can see a wide array of animals, such as moose, wolves and river otter among the preserves waterways, forests and grasslands. Plus, with 298 recorded bird species, the area is consistently ranked as one of the country’s top bird-watching destinations. Walk along the designated hiking trails and Lost Habitat Drive to experience a unique natural Minnesota site. Spring is a great time to visit as you can really see the area come to life as the weather warms.
7) Burntside Lake
Nearest Airport: Ely Municipal Airport
Burntside Lake spans 7,100 acres, with its western boundary connecting to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Fly over the lake with its over 100 islands for a beautiful aerial view that is unique to Minnesota. Spring is also a great time to visit before the summer campers, canoers and visitors flock to the area. Its sure to be a peaceful, relaxing visit as the days get longer and the weather warms up. On the shores of Burntside Lake are two historic resorts with original hand-scribed log cabins built in the early 1900s and operating continuously ever since: Burntside Lodge (1913) and Camp Van Vac (1918).
8) Lake Minnetonka
Nearest Airport: Flying Cloud Airport
Located directly west of Minneapolis, Minnetonka is home to the ninth largest lake in the state – Lake Minnetonka. Popular among boaters, sailors, fishermen and beach-goers during the summer months, the 14,500-acre lake provides plenty of fun for springtime travelers as well. Lake Minnetonka in the spring is a quieter place where you can find a more laid-back pace for those wanting to relax, while nearby Twin Cities offers bars, restaurants, breweries, museums, and shopping when you’re ready for some action.
Are You Ready to Explore these Fun Places to Fly in MN?
Whether you’re someone that wants to learn to fly or a certified pilot who wants to further their education, the team at Inflight Pilot Training can help you gain the freedom to explore these fun springtime destinations in Minnesota.
If you want to gain the freedom to explore the places on this list once the weather starts to get warmer, get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today! We offer fun, affordable flight training in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and can help you obtain your private pilot’s license in time for spring flying. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of attending flight school.
Ready to get started? Inflight Pilot Training is a leading flight instruction company serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can give you the freedom to fly to the greatest destinations in our great state.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.