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Minnesota Tourism’s Top 20 Wackiest Requests

Castle Danger Lighthouse, Minnesota

Castle Danger Lighthouse, Minnesota

Explore Minnesota Tourism offers direct assistance to travelers of the state. Sometimes, interactions prove very interesting. Here are two lists of top 10 interactions from our phone/mail service and our state highway travel information centers.

The Minnesota Travel Information Center in downtown St. Paul has a walk-in area with travel information available. But behind the scenes at the Call-In Center, Explore Minnesota Tourism's Travel Counselors are assisting potential visitors on the telephone, as well as fulfilling mail requests. What follows is the top ten corniest requests received in 2009 at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Call-In Center.

"I want a resort with a porch that has a couch...I can bring outside."

"What do I need to do if I buy a bird in California and bring it to Minnesota?"

"I'm coming in July and I want snowmobile rental information."

"I want an adult ONLY resort -- no kids! I also want a beach, but there has to be a swimming pool, I'm not swimming in that filthy lake!" (Referred to Wisconsin Tourism -- just kidding)

"Does one need a travel permit or visa to visit Minnesota?"

"Can I have the telephone number of the Social Security Office in Mississippi?"

"Is there such a thing as an easy fishing lake? Something without having to hunt and work real hard?"

Mail Call:

"I am 6'6 tall, weight 304 lbs, waist 46 and 1/2", chest 51", inseam 36", outer seam 49 1/2". Please send me the names, address and phone numbers of any company in your town or surroundings area that custom tailor clothes for men. Anxiously I wait for your reply.

Looking for a cabin: "I think what we need is...a cabin as close to the water as possible, not just lake view, on the lake. We want quiet, but not too quiet, not as secluded as the Boundary Waters area on the Gunflint Trail...if that makes sense."

A mailing label from a prison inmate in Jefferson City, MO. His return address was on 'No More Victims Road.'

The Explore Minnesota Tourism Call-In Center is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Central Time and can be reached by calling toll free 888-TOURISM (888-868-7476).

Minnesota has eleven Travel Information Centers (TICs), where visitors can obtain directions, brochures, maps, or just to get some rest before continuing on their way. The following are the Top Ten Quirky Queries at Minnesota's TIC's for 2009:

"I want to see the bridge in Minnesota with the 2 arches, it's the only reason I came to Minnesota, where is it?" After going through several great bridges in Minnesota and showing pictures, she became more and more frustrated. I suggested perhaps she had the wrong state. Her frustration was turning to anger, until I showed her the photo of the St. Louis Gateway Arch! That was it! Not too apologetic, but she needed directions to drive there the shortest way possible. When she left she seemed happy that she had a clear, direct way to get where she wanted to go.

"Where are the Indians? We want to go see them." (I got the feeling they think the Indians are still in Tepees!)

"Where do we go to do the whale watching?"

"We want to tour the Edmund Fitzgerald."

"Is it always foggy in Duluth? What time will the fog lift?"

"Congratulations to the Minnesota Legislature for being willing to include money to support this type of visitor center and keep important the 'little towns' which could be regarded as dead or dying."

Minnesota Nice: A traveler from New York came to Minnesota to witness the owl invasion here. On the way up from Minneapolis, where he had rented a car, he was stopped for speeding and issued a citation. The policeman asked why he was here and when the New Yorker explained, the policeman gave him a tour of some owls in that area. So despite receiving a ticket, the fellow was happy for the service above and beyond the call of duty.

A husband and wife from Australia had made the one-way 24 hour flight to get to Clear Lake, Iowa for the 50th anniversary event at the site where Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash. After visiting with the couple for a few minutes, the husband rolled up his sleeve to show his tattoo of Buddy Holly on his arm.

Jim was coming home to Minnesota from Florida. Jim happened to mention to that he was 87 years old. He said he was going to call his daughter to tell her that his trip is going well and that he had just reentered Minnesota. After he finished talking to his daughter, he kind of sighed then told me, "Now I need to call and check in with my mother! Even at my age of 87, she still wants me to check in with her so she doesn't have to worry. My mom is 108!"

Overheard: "Hey I'm heading east. What direction are you heading? Really? You're going east too? You are? You're also going east!" (This happens quite often, two strangers (or more!) that happen to be in the TIC at the same time. They then stand around and talk for 30 minutes about what they did 'west' of here)."

For more information about exploring Minnesota, go to, or when traveling in Minnesota, visit on of the Travel Information Centers in Albert Lea, Beaver Creek, Dresbach, Fisher's Landing, Grand Portage Bay, Moorhead, St. Cloud, St. Croix I-94, St. Paul, Thompson Hill Duluth and Worthington.

Photo by Luiz Felipe Castro

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  3. America’s Top 10 Wackiest Attractions
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