Day One: Enjoy breakfast at your Bloomington hotel and then head out to experience the rich Minnesota military history throughout the state.
Begin your tour in Bloomington, next to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum. Located on the Air National Guard base at the northeast corner of the airport, visitors will be able to see two special exhibits – the A-12 Blackbird spy plane and the 1920 Curtiss Oriole built from scratch to replicate the first Air National Guard airplane. Tours are available any day of the week.
The Northwest Airlines History Center contains something for everyone who has even a passing interest in commercial aviation and, specifically, the 13 airlines that comprised the Northwest Airlines family. A handsome collection of airplane models dates from Northwest's beginning in 1926. Many other unique and interesting artifacts, historical documents and pictures are on display. Admission is FREE!
After you return back to your hotel, head to Mall of America at your leisure. Enjoy tax-free shopping at over 520 stores in the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. Use a coupon from the Bloomington CVB to eat dinner at one of the 50 restaurants inside the Mall.
Day Two: Begin your day in Saint Paul and take a tour around Historic Fort Snelling. Once the farthest outpost of the U.S. in the homeland of the Dakota Indians, visitors can take a tour around the 1820’s-era restored fort, including the barracks, store and hospital. Fort Snelling was Dred Scott's living quarters from 1836-1838, and you will learn more about him as part of a daily program on the Civil War, WWII and Dakota history. Be sure to check out the frontier skills demonstrations from soldiers, blacksmiths and cooks. There are also daily cannon firings, military drills and period crafts and games. Tours are also available at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery and the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel.
Take a drive north to Little Falls to Camp Ripley Minnesota Military Museum. Nowhere in Minnesota are the experiences of military men and women so vividly captured and interpreted as at this museum. It aims to enhance public understanding of how armed conflicts and military institutions have shaped our state and national experience. The museum also functions as a major repository for historical artifacts and records. Indoor and outdoor exhibits depict the stories and contributions of Minnesotans who served in all branches of service or on the home front, in time of peace and war, from our early frontier years to the present. Permanent and outdoor exhibits are on display.