No matter how much you love Minnesota, you’re bound to leave home sooner or later. Whether we leave for a far-off vacation or a cross-country move, few of us remain in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for life. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get a dose of home no matter how far away you are. These 11 reminders will always make Minnesotans think of home.
1. Large bodies of water – If you’ve ever been to Lake Superior, you probably can’t help but compare it to the ocean. It is incredibly vast, has ocean-sized waves, and has even claimed its share of shipwrecks. Any large body of water is bound to make a Minnesotan think of their home state, even if it’s washing the shores of a tropical beach thousands of miles away.
2. Deer season – Whether you see deer as magical forest creatures or your ideal dinner, it’s hard to overstate the importance of deer to Minnesotans. Their roadside presence is both beautiful and ominous, as many whose cars have been damaged can attest. But they also represent a favorite hunting season for many Minnesotans in the fall. Deer season anywhere is likely to make a Minnesotan wish they were back home to take part.
3. Hotdish – For many Minnesotans, hotdish is truly the taste of home. Whether you prefer classic tater tot or any other variety, this is a comfort food that always feels welcoming – and always brings Minnesota to mind.
4. Lakeside Cabins – If you’ve ever gone “up north” for a long weekend, you probably have some nostalgic feelings about lakeside cabins. Not just great places to get away from it all, they represent some of our greatest memories of our home state. A lakeside cabin anywhere in the world is bound to bring up the same feelings of home.
5. Mosquito bites – Mosquito bites are terrible, but they’re also a reminder of Minnesota’s magical summers. Late nights around the campfire are sure to come with a mosquito bite or two, but it’s worth it for the unforgettable memories. A night of camping anywhere is likely to bring back those memories – mosquitos and all.
6. Open prairies -Prairies may not be as synonymous with Minnesota as they are with the Dakotas or Nebraska, but Minnesota’s diverse landscape comes with prairie of its own. If you’re from western Minnesota, you’re probably very familiar with the waving fields and open skies of our prairie grasslands. When passing through other prairies, it’s hard not to think of Minnesota’s.
7. Ice-covered lakes – If you’re one of those hardy Minnesotans who can withstand any cold, you probably love ice fishing. There’s something about the quiet of an icy lake that will always remind us of home.
8. City lights – Between Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesotans have pretty good access to the amenities you’ll find any any metropolitan center in the country. The Twin Cities are so pleasant to live in, in fact, that Minnesotans far from home feel nostalgic at the sight of a skyline so different from the one they know.
9. Wild rice soup – Wild rice is a quintessential Minnesota product. That’s why tourist shops in every corner of the state sell it. There are many ways to cook the grain, but wild rice soup is probably the best – and the most popular. There’s something about the creamy soup that calls forth memories of home – especially on a cold day.
10. Mountains of snow – Minnesota wouldn’t be Minnesota without the snow. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. A winter without huge piles of snow – in parking lots, at the ends of streets – is almost inconceivable. And so is a spring without those dirty, slowly melting piles that we all wish would go away. No matter where in the world a Minnesotan is, snow will always make us think of home.
11. Fried foods – Sure, you can get fried foods at any state or county fair in the country. But there’s something about the deep-fried everything, plus the crowds, plus the heat, that makes the Minnesota State Fair truly special. Most Minnesotans love the Great Minnesota Get-Together to the point where mere mention of cheese curds will take us back.