With the Memorial Day weekend, the summer of 2024 is unofficially officially here. And while there are a ton of great things to do here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes in the summer, THIS was recently named the Best Free Thing To Do in Minnesota.

Many of us are still feeling the pinch of inflation that's sent prices soaring way up. According to the latest U.S. Inflation Calculator, the most recent inflation rate, for April 2024, in Minnesota was 3.4 percent. The good news is that's down from 3.5 percent a year ago. The bad news, though, is that's it still way higher than before the pandemic in 2019, when the rate was just 2.3 percent.

So, if your vacation fund is looking a little depleted these days, I happened to stumble upon this handy Country Living list of the 50 Best Free Things You Can This Summer. And of course, living here in the North Star State, there are a LOT of cool things you and the family can take part in during the warm weather season that won't be too tough on your budget.

READ MORE: This Restaurant Was Just Named 'Best Breakfast Spot' in Minnesota

So what IS the best thing you can do for free here in Minnesota? Well, according to Country Living, it’s a trip up to Minnehaha Falls. The site looked at various free places to go from all 50 states. And, according to them, a trip to Minnehaha Falls, located in Minneapolis, less than 90 minutes from Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud, is apparently the best free thing you can do this summer in the North Star State.

Explaining WHY it's the best free thing to do, Country Living said, “Few cities can claim that they have a waterfall within city limits. Luckily for Minneapolis, it has Minnehaha Falls Regional Park, complete with a 53-foot waterfall.”

So, yeah, that’s it. Now, I haven't been to Minnehaha Falls, so I guess I’m not all that qualified to offer an opinion on how cool it is. And, I’m certainly not knocking Minnehaha Falls, but instead of this waterfall, it seems to me that a trip up Highway 61 along the North Shore might give you a better view of cool waterfalls to check out.

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For instance, we went hiking at Cascade River State Park, just a few miles south of Grand Marais, Minnesota a few years ago. And there were no shortage of stunning views, from the trailhead that overlooked the Big Lake They Call Gitch Gumee (that'd be Lake Superior) or this waterfall we encountered:

One of the stunning waterfalls at Minnesota's Cascade River State Park. (CSJ/TSM-Rochester)
One of the stunning waterfalls at Minnesota's Cascade River State Park. (CSJ/TSM-Rochester)

Gooseberry Falls State Park alone has a pretty spectacular waterfall, not to mention the many falls at Tettegouche State Park, too. (Although, they ARE state parks – so you do have to pay a fee to get in. It’s usually not too expensive, but I guess that rules them both out of a Best Free Thing To Do survey, doesn’t it?)

So, maybe Minnehaha Falls IS The Best Free Thing To Do In Minnesota. What do you think?

Listen to Curt St. John & Samm Adams
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