Minnesota is the 32nd state of the United States of America and situated in the North of the country, sharing a border with Canada. As the 12th largest state in the US, it was made up of the eastern part of the Minnesota Territory and a small part of the Wisconsin Territory in 1858. Due to its many lakes it is also called “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
The name is derived from the Dakota Sioux language and translated means something like “sky-tinted water.” Almost two thirds of the population are living in the metropolitan area of the famous Twin Cities Minneapolis and St. Paul. The first is the bigger of the two and the latter the state’s capital. Some large, internationally active companies have their headquarters in these two cities. In Bloomington, a suburb of the Twin Cities, is the largest mall in the US, the Mall of America. The Twin Cities are said to be the cultural center of the Upper Midwest. Famous museums such as the Weisman Art Museum or the Minneapolis Institute of Arts are in those two cities. In addition, professional orchestras, rich in tradition, can be found there, such as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. With 30 theaters, the Twin City have the second highest number of theaters per capita after New York City.
Minnesota offers 66 state parks and 57 state forests with a total area of approximately 16,000 square kilometers (6,177 square miles) and various nature reserves. The first state park, the Itasca State Park, was established in 1891. The two National Forests Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest stretch across a total area of 22,200 square kilometers (8,571 square miles). The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with a total area of more than 4,000 square kilometers (1544 square miles) and a thousand lakes are in the Superior National Forest in the northeast of Minnesota.