I'm not sure I can legitimately claim that this is my first visit to Minnesota. I did have a layover at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport once, and they provide a shuttle to the Mall of America, where I spent a couple of hours once. Even so, this feels like the first time I've REALLY been in Minnesota, with my feet on the earth.
Lots of farms around the highways, lots of space, lots of cows, but also a nice roll to the landscape in many areas. There are signs of lakes and woods that are popular for outdoor recreation. I get the sense that the culture out here is much more attuned to the natural world in general than on the east coast, where open space is something to go and find, not something you live amidst every day.