Fourth of July Activities in Minnesota | Fireworks, Grilling, and Lakes

Fourth of July is an exciting time in Minnesota – hitting the lake, having a cookout, and watching fireworks! Here is a list of a few fun Fourth of July activities to try out this year in Minnesota.

#1. Grilling, Flag Food, & Patriotic Drinks

Flag Cake Fourth of July

Fire up the grill and have yourself an old fashion barbeque! Throw some burgers on the grill or hotdogs, or if you’re going more vegetarian, try a grilled vegetable recipe. Here’s a recipe for portobello burgers or a top 10 list of amazing traditional burgers. And after all that, you’ll need something sweet to finish it all off, why not finish off with one of these American flag inspired desserts, like the flag cake pictured here.

I also found this delicious recipe to a red, white, and blue sparkling sangria that I highly recommend! In one large picture combined:

4th of July Sangria

  • Sliced Strawberries, blueberries and pineapple (cut into stars to make it more festive!)
  • Two bottle of white wine
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 berry flavored vodka (I used Raspberry Smirnoff)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup

#2. Fireworks

Minnesota fireworks mississippi river

Or how about watching some fireworks! A great spot is downtown St. Paul on Harriet Island. Fireworks start at 10pm and are an incredible inspiring sights as they boom and bang over the river. Going to be closer to Minneapolis? What a great light show at the Xcel Energy Water Power Park. This firework spectacle also takes full advantage of the Mississippi river. Find more information and great parking spots about both these Minnesota firework shows here!

#3. Minnesota Lakes

Minnesota definiely is not short on lakes to cruise around on! Try out Lake Minnetonka, a very popular lake. Located right outside Minneapolis, the large lake is a great spot to launch the boat or jet ski. Not to mention it is also a great lake to fish. But try to get out there as early as you can, because the lake will fill up, even though it spans over 14,000 acres.

Lake Vermilion Minnesota

Or if you’re headed to northern Minnesota around Duluth, you will really want to hit up Lake Vermilion. This lake is filled with countless bays and hundreds of miles of shoreline. The lake also houses several islands where you can dock the boat and take a little break. I love this lake! It seems to go on forever and always has new bays and inlets to discover.

And if you find yourself even farther north in Baudette, Minnesota, you must check out Lake of the Woods, which is one of the states more scenic lakes. For more infomation on both these lakes, visit CBS Local for all the details

Maybe you’re looking for a smaller lake to hangout at, if so consider Long Lake in New Brighton. The lake is still big enough for many boats and jet ski’s and also has a large sandy beach for the children. I visited this lake a lot as a kid and if you’re in the area, it really worth checking out. It’s located only about 10 minutes north of St. Paul. The DNR has more information about Long Lake on their website.

If you have any other favorite 4th of July activities in Minnesota, or any other state, please let me know I’d love to hear about them!

By Danielle Norgren

Amphibious Boat-Cars Make Their Way to Minnesota

James Bond-like amphibious boat-cars are real and they have found a new following in Minnesota, the great state of 10,000 lakes.

Amphicar in Minnesota lake

No seriously, amphibious cars have made their way back into popularity and can now be seen on a few Minnesota lakes. Only a few days ago at Bryant Lake in Minneapolis the new sci-fi cars made an appearance. As spectators watched, the cars drove right from the boat launch into the water. James Bond style!

Say goodbye to pulling your speed boat on a trailor behind your car. Now you can have an all in one boat-car! The official names of the vehicles are Amphicars. They may not be the most functional boats or cars, but they work as both! The cars were actually originally made in the 1960’s by Germany for purely recreational use. Just as they started to gain real popularity, the company that created them shut their doors forever.

Boat cars in Minneapolis

Actually, in Minnesota the Amphicars have resurfaced with quite a large following, considering their obscurity. However, a sense of humor helps when driving them. The weirdly rounded rear ends make them a unique site.

But watch out, these babies can get up to a roaring 7 miles an hour on water and 70 on land.  But how exactly do the boat-cars make the switch from land to water? The driver basically flips a simple switch that makes the doors air tight. Once the transmission is in neutral and the propellors under the back bumper kick on, its smooth sailing from there! The amphicar is steered using the wheel as the front wheels act as rudders.

Amphicar emerges from MN lake

And then when coming back into dry ground, the trick is to take the car out of neutral and hope the engine did not get, ahem, flooded. *Pun intented! With the rate of advancement of technology these days, the Amphicars are sure to keep evolving.

Let me know if you have ever rode in one, I’d love to hear what it’s like! They sure make a great conversation starter.

By Danielle Norgren

Credit: Star Tribune