(BPT) - Ever thought about what is the quintessential Minnesota getaway? We nominate Ely. What makes Minnesota Minnesota, our zeitgeist and spirit, who we are as a state — all of it's right here in Ely.

We think Ely captures the best parts of Minnesota and is the quintessential Minnesota getaway.

Here are the top reasons:

Classic small-town feel. Get ready for charm overload. At first sight, downtown Ely looks like a relic from the past. Something out of the early 20th century. Groups and individuals have gone to great lengths to preserve and restore the classic character of the town. Most recently has been the work put into the Historic State Theater. This blend of modern style and traditional taste creates a unique experience few visitors forget.

Unparalleled wilderness. The frontier may have closed over a century ago, but up in Ely, it’s still alive and well. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is the most visited wilderness area in the country, and with good reason. Whether you visit for a day or paddle the pristine lakes for a week, this is a wilderness unlike any other.

Trophy fishing. If there’s one thing that Minnesotans love, it’s fishing. What else would you expect from the Land of 10,000 Lakes? People tend to have their own favorite fishing spot, but one thing is undeniable: If you want trophy walleye, trout and northern pike, the best place to go is the Ely area. With thousands of lakes and streams and far less competition from other fishermen (and -women), this is the place to cast your line.

Modern luxury. Some people think that Ely is at the end of the road, filled with rough outdoorsy types who still use landlines. Far from it. With a thriving artists community, several gourmet coffee shops, a brewery, galleries, unique shopping and restaurants serving up the latest culinary delights, visitors from the big city feel right at home. And in case you were wondering, there is cell reception and high-speed Wi-Fi!

Granted, we are painting in broad strokes. People leave Ely with their own stories, their own favorite moments. Maybe it was watching the bears at the North American Bear Center or being inspired by Dorothy Molter’s self-reliant spirit.

Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be sure to discover something quintessential about Minnesota, right here in Ely.