Sometimes golf is just better with waterfalls, windmills, and holes that don’t take 20 minutes to play. Not to mention, kids love their putt-putt. Here are some of our favorite places to practice your putting—or driving with a putter—in the North Star State.
If you like a little dose of education with your mini golf—or even just a view of the Mississippi River—look no further than the Big Back Yard at the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul. The course is designed to offer golfers all sorts of information about habitat and ecology. But it’s also just plain fun.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is an awesome chain, with only one Minnesota location. And that’s in Brainerd. Pirate lore, waterfalls, ships, caves, and of course, buried treasure add a certain “chaaaaaarrrrrm” to the hilly—and surprisingly challenging—course.
At least two different authorties have declared Wildwedge Mini Golf the best miniature golf course in the state. It’s certainly one of the most well-maintained and is in a beautiful setting, amidst the North Woods of the Brainerd Lakes Area. The holes are also challenging, designed by the owners after extensive research.
Folks in the West Metro will enjoy getting their putting on at Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden. Not only will you get 18 relatively-challenging holes of miniature golf, you’ll get to enjoy some intriguing art, as well. The sculptures are incorporated both into and around the holes.
The Putting Course at Centennial Lakes Park is not your standard mini golf course. Rather, it’s designed to feel like a series of putting greens with distances that can challenge even “real” golfers. The course is real grass, pocked with sand traps, and ponds. And it’s par 51, but they don’t take tee times.
Not only does the Drive In Restaurant offer some of the state’s best root beer and milkshakes, it also has its own mini golf course, so you can play a round while you wait for your food. But you don’t even have to order from the Drive In to get in 18 holes of putting fun. Adventure Falls Mini Golf is a standalone enterprise that holds its own against other courses in the state.
Carved into the Mississippi River bluffs south of Wabasha, this mini golf course is not only beautiful, it’s attached to what publications like USA Today and Travel & Leisure have called one of the world’s best toy stores. Waterfalls, ponds, streams, and a play-through “mountain” make this course both challenging and fun to play.
Lilli Putt is a rite of passage for families and kids in the North Metro. This granddaddy of Twin Cities mini golf courses has been putting smiles on kids’ faces for years. It’s not the most challenging or prettiest of courses, but it’s still a ton of fun—and you can hit the Go Karts afterward.
Putt n Pets may be the only mini golf course in the state where you can putt as farm animals look on and then go “mine” gemstones. The course is landscaped against a bluff overlooking Lake Superior in the quaint North Shore town of Grand Marais, so you’ll find plenty to do—and plenty of views—after you’ve sunk your ball in the 18th hole.