The Name: “Minnesota” comes from Dakota Indian words meaning “sky-tinted water” or more clearly, “Land of Sky-Blue Waters.”
State Motto: “L’Etoile du Nord.” Translated from French, it is “Star of the North.”
Other Monikers: “Land of 10,000 Lakes” (though Minnesota officially has 15,291 lakes) and the “Gopher State.”
Land Area: Minnesota, the 12th largest state, covers 84,402 square miles, 4,785 of which is water. It is 406 miles from north to south.
State Flower: The Showy Lady Slipper, a rare wildflower that can live as long as a century.
State Tree: The Norway Pine, also called the red pine.
State Bird: The common loon, whose name comes from the Norwegian word meaning “wild, sad cry.”
State Fish: The walleye, a delicious dining experience.
State Mushroom: The morel, a treasure hunted in the spring.
State Grain: Wild rice grows naturally in shallow lake waters in central and northern Minnesota. Most of the wild rice sold in the world comes from here.
State Parks: Minnesota has 68 beautiful state parks and 55 state forests.
Main Waterways: The Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, the St. Croix River.
Famous Minnesotans include: Bob Dylan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Peter Graves, Hubert Humphrey, Garrison Keillor, Jessica Lange, Sinclair Lewis, Charles A. Lindberg, Jr., Walter Mondale, Prince, Jesse Ventura.