Why Go To Minneapolis-St. Paul
In the last half of the 20th century, famed architects like Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Frank Gehry transformed the quiet Midwestern farming cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul into a booming cultural metropolis, complete with the contemporary Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum. Minneapolis and St. Paul's artistic, architectural and theatrical renaissance has made this region of the Midwest culturally fertile. Case in point — check out the cities' innovative live music and nightlife scene, which once nurtured the careers of greats like Prince and Bob Dylan.
Joined by roughly 10 miles of urban sprawl, these fraternal twin cities were named as such to remind outsiders looking in of their differences. Originally, Irish and German immigrants built St. Paul, while Scandinavians settled in Minneapolis. St. Paulites hold tight to their heritage, continuing architectural styles and beer brewing traditions. However, the Minneapolitans proudly favor modern progress. Residents are quick to distinguish the two, but visitors usually find it difficult. The buildings act as good markers of distinction: Minneapolis is cutting-edge, tall, and modern; St. Paul is short, historical and modest. The contrast (and competition) only enhances the character of this coupled metropolitan area.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
Minneapolis - St. Paul is ranked as:
#1 in Best Places to Visit in Minnesota
Best Things To Do In Minneapolis - St. Paul
You'll find Minneapolis to be trendier, and St. Paul to be quieter but no less interesting. Families will appreciate the Minnesota Zoo and Fort Snelling, while culture hounds can marvel at the distinct design of the city's hallmark buildings, including the Walker Art Center or see a show at the Guthrie Theater. Shopaholics can peruse the windows in the Mall of America or in downtown's Nicollet Mall. And last but not least, the Chain of Lakes, a scenic byway located southwest of downtown, is popular among athletic travelers who enjoy jogging or boating. If you still have more energy, hit the food spots on Nicollet Avenue for dinner, and later, check out the bars and live music scene in Minneapolis (First Avenue nightclub is a must).
Minneapolis - St. Paul Travel Tips
Cheering and jeeringThe Minnesota Lakers moved to L.A. in 1960 (thank disappointing ticket sales). But since then, the city has gained a fervor for home teams like the Timberwolves (NBA), Vikings (NFL), Wild (NHL) and Twins (MLB). If you have time, get tickets to root for one of them.
Shop till you dropShopping at Mall of America could be considered a professional sport: seven Yankee Stadiums can fit inside the retail center.
Warm up with a brewskiSeveral breweries are scattered across the two cities and a few offer tours. St. Paul's Summit Brewery and Surly Brewing Co. in Minneapolis have received particularly good reviews.
Follow the college crowds The Twin Cities have a large college student population. Follow them and you'll see the food and bar prices drop. Dinkytown is a sure bet.
Enjoy music on the cheap You'll be surprised with the musical talent at local bars. Pay a small cover for a great, intimate concert.