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Known for its natural beauty and its Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St Paul, the midwestern state of Minnesota is nicknamed ‘Land of the 10,000 Lakes’. It’s a combination of metropolitan sophistication, culture, friendly people, forests, nature parks and remote wildernesses, great for a self-drive holiday including outdoor activities as well as city fun and sightseeing.
A good selection of the best-known vehicle rental companies has pick-up and drop-off points in the Twin Cities, the airport and smaller cities such as Bloomington and Rochester. A choice of seven companies including Hertz, Avis, Budget and National is available at the airport, the most convenient point for visitors. For the best deals, compare car hire before your trip.
The main aviation hub, Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, sees the majority of arrivals and is conveniently set in Fort Snelling, midway between the two cities and 16kms (10 miles) from their downtown districts. As well as a comprehensive list of regional routes, international flights are served, but visitors from the UK will need to change planes at a US international hub. Interstate highways fan out from the Twin Cities, making touring with car hire in Minnesota straightforward.
Interstates 35 and 94 lead from Minneapolis to Minnesota’s southern boundaries, and link with the comprehensive interregional corridor of fast roads crossing the state. Speed limits range between 104kph (65mph) and 112kph (70mph) and UK drivers will only need their British drivers’ license. During the region’s harsh winters, snow chains and winter tyres are necessary.
There’s a vast choice of things to see and do in the state, whatever your holiday preference. The northern and central regions are easily reached with car rental in Minnesota and contain unspoilt forests, lakes and waterways as well as charming small towns. The Minneapolis arts and music scene is vibrant, and the Twin Cities hold world-class museums and art galleries.
The state’s continental climate brings dramatic temperature variations and a range of extreme and unpredictable weather, with spring and summer thunderstorms, winter blizzards and even tornadoes. The quieter autumn season is a good time to visit, as high summer can see temperatures around 35ËC and winter lows regularly fall to well below freezing. Rain is seasonal, heavier in the prairies during the spring growing period.