Mpls.St.Paul Magazine counts down to Super Bowl LII with 52 video stories from notable Minnesotans

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As guests start trickling in for the Super Bowl, we want to give them the boldest welcome to the North.


Levi LaVallee does one of the most distinctly Minnesotan things ever for a living: he rides a snowmobile. The Winter X Games champion is perhaps most known for turning the downtown St. Paul streets into an extreme snowmobile course in 2016, with the help of Red Bull.


Most people know Dudley Riggs as the man who brought improv comedy to Minnesota and as the founder of Minnesota’s now-famous Brave New Workshop. He put down roots here because he found, as he says, the right kind of audience.


Vikings legend Bud Grant may no longer be coaching from the sidelines, but he’s still cheering on his team, all while spending more time doing one of his favorite hobbies: duck hunting throughout Minnesota.


Halima Aden made international headlines when she entered the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA pageant in hijab. She didn’t win, but became the first hijab-wearing model signed by a major agency. For 20-year-old Aden, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, St. Cloud, Minnesota will always be home.
Halima fell in love with snow when she moved to Minnesota. In honor of her, here are five of the most unusual things to do in the snow in Minnesota.


Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya is something of an icon in the Minnesota media landscape. Originally from LA, she came to Minnesota for a job in 1994, and after falling in love with the state, decided to put down roots.
One of Michele's favorite memories is vacationing at Grand View Lodge with her family. Here are five Minnesota resorts worth a relaxing weekend away this winter.


Thanks to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, two Minneapolis-grown music producers, Minnesota became known for being THE PLACE to record pop and R&B music.
If this video has you feeling like exploring the Minnesota music scene, here are recording studios that are worth a visit.


Actor, stand-up comedian, and writer Nick Swardson got his start at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis, and the now-Hollywood star hasn't forgotten that—he still sports Minnesota T-shirts and loyally roots for the Vikings.
Photo credit: Getty Images


Doomtree’s Dessa is known primarily as a rapper. But the Minneapolis native has a multitude of talents and accomplishments beyond that—from writing and poetry to performing with the Minnesota Orchestra and appearing on The Hamilton Mixtape.
Dessa’s poetic roots are in Minneapolis, but there are other towns that boast poets of note—here are ones worth exploring.


Now that Chad Greenway isn't spending all of his time on the football field, the former Minnesota Vikings linebacker has more free time to spend with his family and enjoy the state he's chosen to call home.
One of Chad's favorite Minnesota hobbies is snowmobiling. Here are great trails to visit this winter.


Garrett Hedlund hasn’t always been a Hollywood golden boy. In fact, until he was 14, Hedlund lived on a cattle farm a half hour outside of Roseau in far northeastern Minnesota.
As a child, Garrett dreamed of working at Polaris in his hometown. Here are other cities with a company that’s well worth a visit.


Minnesotan native and two-time Olympic ski racer Kaylin Richardson credits her career success to a childhood of runs down Hyland Hills, Welch Village, and Lutsen.
Minnesota ski hills might not have the height of the Rockies, they’ve still got some seriously steep drops. Here are five places in Minnesota where you can ski stomach-in-your-throat steeps that rival anything you’ll find out west.


Growing up spending weekends at their family cabin in Spicer—and having a knack for building things at a young age—it's no surprise that brothers Brock and Chase Jurgensen now have a DIY Network show "Rustic Renovation," where they renovate family cabins and lake homes around Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
If you're inspired by the Jurgensens' love for lakes, here are four lake towns that are worth the drive.


Lou Nanne's career on the ice began as a Gopher, but over the years he’s also been a U.S. Olympian, as well as a player, coach, and general manager for the Minnesota North Stars. And for the past 50-plus years, he’s been the color commentator for the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament.
In honor of Lou Nanne hailing from Canada, here are five Canadian things to do in Minnesota.


Rochester-born actress and director Lea Thompson is famous for roles ranging from Beverly Switzler in "Howard the Duck" to Caroline Duffy in the 1990s TV series "Caroline in the City." But what really put her on the map was her role as Lorraine Baines, Marty McFly’s mom, in the "Back to the Future" trilogy.
In honor of Lea Thompson, here are five Minnesota places where you can make like McFly and go back…to the future!


Entrepreneur, restaurateur, and idea guy Kieran Folliard moved to Minnesota from Ireland 30 years ago. He’s made a splash in the Twin Cities with launching several popular Irish pubs, creating the (now national) 2 Gingers whiskey, and championing local food producers.
Kieran Folliard believes in using only the highest-quality raw materials grown on Minnesota farms—here are five Minnesota farms worth a visit.


Author and home design superstar Nate Berkus attributes a large amount of his success to his hometown of Hopkins. He spent hours on end picking through the antique shops along Mainstreet, pouring through unique wares in search of singular objects that nobody else had.
Inspired to go antiquing? Here are five cities worthy of a browse.


Penumbra Theatre has become one of the largest and most prominent African American theaters in the world under the leadership of the father-daughter duo, Lou and Sarah Bellamy.
Penumbra Theatre isn’t the only historic theater in Minnesota. Here are five others worth a visit.


Minnesota United FC sporting director Manny Lagos is arguably the greatest Minnesota-born soccer player. After a Major League Soccer and U.S. Men’s National Team career that took him around the world, he ended up back in front of his hometown crowd—first as head coach of the United, and now as the team’s sporting director.
Manny isn't the only one when it comes to local athletic stardom. Here are five stadiums where you can watch Minnesota-born athletes shine.


Chan Poling is famous for being the keyboardist and vocalist in seminal Minneapolis-based new wave punk band The Suburbs. And while the “Minneapolis sound” that The Suburbs (and their local brethren in 1980s global music domination—like The Replacements, Husker Du, and even Prince) popularized is what put our humble music scene on the map, “rock” isn't the only thing Poling is known for—he's also really into jazz.
If Chan has you inspired for jazz, here are five Twin Cities jazz joints any hep cat will dig.


With four World Cup overall championships and a gold medal under her belt, Lindsey Vonn is one of the most accomplished alpine skiers of all time. And while she first made an international name for herself racing the big mountains of Colorado, she first cut her teeth on the hills on Minnesota.
Lindsey isn't Minnesota's only exceptional winter athlete. Here are five Minnesota resorts where some of our state’s best skiers and snowboarders first launched their careers.


Jim Denomie, who lives and works in Franconia, Minnesota, is best known for his colorful paintings of American history and Native American culture. His works have been displayed in galleries and museums across Minnesota.
Here are the galleries and museums where he’s been part of an exhibition that are worth a visit.


Growing up in Minnesota, professional golfer Tom Lehman had the competitive disadvantage of practicing only in summers. Despite those challenges, he became one of the best to ever play the game—he has played in three Ryder Cups, won the British Open, and was named Player of the Year by the PGA.
Lehman excelled at the sport because golfing culture runs deep in Minnesota. Here are five epic Minnesota public courses that show why.


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When TV host and chef Andrew Zimmern isn’t off gallivanting around the world eating bizarre foods and hobnobbing with celebrities, he’s finding his center at home in the Twin Cities—which he often does on the greens of a disc golf course.
If you're a big disc golf fan, like Andrew, here are five courses in Minnesota to check out.


As point guard for the Lynx, Lindsay Whalen has mastered the pressure of the professional sports world. But when she can escape the court at Target Center, she heads north for a little serenity at her grandparents' cabin on Lake Bemidji.
If you're inspired by her childhood memories, here's a Bemidji itinerary to create your own memories in the city Lindsay loves.


With 20-plus years of co-starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters ranging from 'Dallas Buyers Club' to 'War of the Planet of the Apes,' Steve Zahn is kind of a big deal these days. But the Marshall, Minnesota born actor didn’t get his start on the big screen; he got it on the stage of the Old Log Theatre in Excelsior.
In honor of Steve and the dinner theater where he got his start, here are four great Minnesota stages where the food is almost as much of a star as the show itself.


Poliça first came together with ambitions to make a few records and play in local venues. Little did this Minneapolis-based enigmatic synth-rock band know, they would soon be touring internationally.
When Poliça isn't on the road, you can probably find these guys hanging out at one of their favorite Minneapolis music venues.


Jim Brandenburg has traveled the globe as a National Geographic photographer. He's captured the flamingos in Namibia and the wolves in France, but his most cherished photos are from his favorite place—his home state, Minnesota.
Channel your inner Jim Brandenburg and grab your camera and head to these five Minnesota nature vistas for some stunning photo opportunities.


CNN anchor and Minneapolis native Poppy Harlow has lived in New York since she was 18 and is a self-described workaholic, but she still sneaks in trips back to her home state to unwind and enjoy the lakes she grew up on.
Inspired by Poppy's fond childhood memories of the family cabin in Walker? Here are five things to do in the charming lake town.


New University of Minnesota Golden Gopher P.J. Fleck is a Chicago-native but has already adopted Minnesota as his new home state.
Although Fleck is a new Minnesotan, he knows that many of the best Gophers of all time were life-long, homegrown Minnesotans. Here are some famous Gopher football hometowns worth a visit.


Born and raised in Minnesota, Sean Tillman, aka Har Mar Superstar, is best known for his over-the-top pop soulster performances. When he’s not busy touring the U.S., or appearing in flicks like 'Pitch Perfect,' he bails on the rockstar life and heads waaay up north to a cabin on the Gunflint Trail.
Want to experience the Gunflint Trail for yourself? Here are some great must-see stops.


Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor spends most of his summer leaning against the railing on the bottom step of the dugout as he lives the dream by managing his hometown team, the Minnesota Twins. And while that’s no shabby way to spend a summer, Molitor admits to sometimes wishing he had just a little bit more time away from the field to enjoy other Minnesota summertime activities.
Inspired by Paul Molitor's love for summertime? Here are five great Minnesota bike trails that’ll make him jealous he’s stuck at the baseball field.


In 2014 Food network star, chef, and writer Amy Thielen won the James Beard Foundation Book Award for American Cooking for her cookbook, 'The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes.' Earning the Oscar of the food world was a milestone for the Park Rapids foodie, who moved back to Minnesota after working at some of the most elite restaurants in Manhattan.
If all this food talk has you hungry, here are a handful of places you can eat right now that are run by JBFA winning chefs.


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When Craig Minowa, frontman of the alternative rock band Cloud Cult, wants to write music and be inspired, he doesn’t seek the bustle and bright lights of the city, he retreats to the Minnesota woods.
From Minowa’s boyhood woods to one of the oldest woods in the state, here are five Minnesota forests worth a jaunt.


The Twin Cities is teeming with legendary theaters and a cast of world-class thespians to populate their stages. But chief among the talented lot are a pair of actors from a theater for kids: Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund, resident acting company members at the Children’s Theatre Company.

In the Twin Cities arts scene, an equal emphasis is put on experiences for kids. From theaters to science exploratoriums, here's a handful of the Twin Cities’ most unique kid-centric destinations.


In 1860, just six years after New Ulm was founded, August Schell opened a brewery that would eventually come to define the city. In the 157 years since, the two have been inextricably linked. And at the center of it all, always, August Schell’s family. Today Ted Marti runs the show while his three sons—the sixth generation of the business— do their distinct parts to help.
After you're done drinking beers at Schell's, here are five other things to do on your next New Ulm trip.


Designer Genevieve Gorder bid adieu to Minnesota right after high school and soon found a TV career in Manhattan. And while the HGTV star is now living large in N.Y.C., she still yearns for the humbleness (and lakes!) of her home state.
Genevieve grew up in south Minneapolis surrounded by Midwestern aesthetic. Here are a handful of places around Minnesota where an aspiring designer can go for inspiration.


When the co-founders of the rock band Low, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Rogers, look out their front window, they see the endless expanse of one of the most storied lakes in the whole world: Lake Superior. The globally renowned electro rock band set deep roots in Duluth—a location, they say, that drives their creativity.
Inspired by Low's love for Duluth? Here are eight must-do things for your next visit to the North Shore city.


When Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä isn’t running one of the most celebrated orchestras in the world or watching hockey (he is a native of Finland after all), he’s probably cruising on his motorcycle across the state.
Osmo's preferred bike route is along the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley in southern Minnesota. Make sure to stop at these unique destinations when you decide to make like Osmo and explore Highway 61.


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Internationally acclaimed photographer Alec Soth is known for his haunting, large-scale photographs of the modern American diaspora. His far-flung travels have given him a newfound perspective and appreciation for the cultural life in Minnesota.
Alec has an eye for spots off the beaten path, including his favorite steak joint, The Best Steak House. Visit these five other steakhouses for the best cuts in town.


Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu has called the state of hockey home during the season since 2004. The Finland native felt at home right away, both on and off the ice, and he is happy to have found a place where hockey is truly in the blood.
One reason the Finnish-born superstar has felt so at home here is the amount of Finns who’ve preceded him. Minnesota even has a town called Finland. Here’s our prescription for a pretty perfect Finland day.


When NFL Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page isn’t writing children’s books or working with the Page Education Foundation, he’s up at his cabin north of Brainerd communing with his maple trees and making syrup.
Even when it’s not syrup season, here are five ways to make leisurely use of our Minnesota trees.


Kylie Bunbury, the star of Pitch on 'Fox,' may be soaking up the Hollywood limelight these days, but she is always itching to come back to Minnesota to visit her family and take in the lakes, fresh air, and, of course, some cheese curds and Sweet Martha’s cookies at the Minnesota State Fair.
Kylie plays a MLB pitcher on TV, throwing pitches in San Diego's PetCo Park, but these five Minnesota town ball diamonds prove that SoCal isn't the only place with beautiful outdoor ballparks.


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Explorer and educator Ann Bancroft has been all over the world (and was the first woman to trek the North and South Poles), but she always looks forward to coming home to her farm in Scandia, Minnesota after her journeys. Ann founded the Ann Bancroft Foundation to empower girls to reach their full potential.
Ann might be best known for her polar expeditions, but canoeing is one of her favorite things. Here are a handful of Minnesota's best river paddles.


Nearly a decade ago Marlon James moved from Jamaica to Minnesota for a teaching appointment at Macalester College. Today, the 2015 Man Booker Prize-winning author of “A Brief History of Seven Killings” is a bonafide literary superstar but chooses to stay in Minneapolis because the city inspired the sense of openness and potential that allowed him to write his breakout novel in the first place.
Visit the hometowns and hangouts of some other notable Minnesota authors with this guide to Minnesota book towns.


After growing up in Minnesota, Zach Parise knew he wanted to capitalize on his free agent status in the NHL and return home to play left wing for the Wild.
As Zach puts it, hockey is in our blood. Check out these essential hockey pilgrimages in Minnesota.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn


A native Minnesotan, Tyus Jones attended Duke University and returned home to play Point Guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves are named for an animal that northern Minnesota has thousands of. Plan an adventure worthy of wolves with these Minnesota destinations that’ll make you howl.