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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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