For Minnesotans and out-of-towners, the loves of shopping, sports and the outdoors drive more people to explore the state of Minnesota than almost anything else.
That’s according to state tourism agency Explore Minnesota, which on Wednesday released its list of the top 40 attractions in the state based on visitor counts. The ranking reflects 2017 figures, and is the first time the agency has compiled such a list since 2010.
Leading the pack by far was the Mall of America, which drew 40 million people over the course of the year. Chain of Lakes Regional Park in Minneapolis and Como Park in St. Paul also proved to be strong draws, taking the second and third spots on the list, respectively.
"These attendance figures are impressive. They contribute to Minnesota's $15.0 billion tourism economy in a big way, and support jobs all over the state," said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota, in a statement. "Minnesota offers an endless array of things to see and do, and this list goes to show that people are exploring our state's great indoor and outdoor attractions."
Of the 140 attractions that provided attendance figures, these were the top 40:
Rank, Destination, City, Number of Visitors in 2017
1. Mall of America, Bloomington, 40,000,000
2. Chain of Lakes Regional Park,Minneapolis, 7,063,500
3. Como Park,St. Paul, 5,367,400
4. National Sports Center,Blaine, 4,100,000
5. Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park, Minneapolis, 2,782,800
6. Mississippi Gorge Regional Park,Minneapolis/St. Paul,2,734,300
7. Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center & Park,Duluth,2,526,322
8. Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, 2,200,000
9. Target Field, Minneapolis, 2,131,787
10. Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, 2,051,000
11. Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, 1,997,320
12. Grand Casino Hinckley, Hinckley, 1,810,550
13. Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park, Minneapolis, 1,800,400
14. Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Onamia, 1,406,904
15. Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove, 1,385,8000
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