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Minnesota

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Table of contents

Things to do and see in Minnesota

Minneapolis / St Paul

 

Spreading out from the banks of the Mississippi River, in the north-central state of Minnesota, Minneapolis and St Paul are colloquially known as the Twin Cities. Trailing only Chicago and Washington DC in number, Minneapolis / Saint Paul metro area has 57 museums for visitors to explore.

It is true that there is a friendly rivalry between them, but today, with a combined population of 3 million, the Twin Cities form the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Both cities are rich in the arts and cultural entertainment, with the quality, diversity and number of productions and facilities far surpassing the norm for the size of the city.

Saint Paul
became the state capital in 1858 and often has been called a city of neighbourhoods, but both cities both interesting areas filled with shopping, dining and entertainment hidden within their borders. Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighbourhood is a great family destination with several boutique children’s toy and book stores. However, some of the most enjoyable times in the city are spent simply walking around the Downtown area surrounding Nicollet Mall, admiring the architecture, shops and skyways, or exploring the historic area around St Anthony Falls along the river or the trendy Uptown district.

In the summer months, take advantage of the beautiful weather and fun outdoors. Take a stroll or bike ride around the more than 50 miles of trails along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in Minneapolis, constructed around the city’s 22 lakes. Rent a canoe or kayak for the day in Taylors Falls, or catch a scenic boat tour around the majestic Mississippi River in Saint Paul. For more information on Minneapolis and Saint Paul go to www.visitsaintpaul.com

 

Mall of America

The Mall of America opened in 1992 and is the biggest shopping centre in the world at over 4.2 miles and over 500 shops it’s truly a shopping adventure. Shopping here is taken seriously, as you can shop till you drop and all that comes with no sales tax on cloths or shoes. One of the attractions is the LEGO Store, where kids construct interesting creations at the store’s open play tables.

If you are looking for a bit of adventure and relaxation while at the Mall of America then Waterpark of America is the highest indoor water park at 10 stories tall and might fit that bill. It also includes surfing, wave pool and the world’s longest indoor family arcade. If you want to try your luck on a rollercoaster then try the Fairly Odd Coaster. This roller coaster sends riders on a high-flying and hair-raising adventure around the park. For more information go to either www.nickelodeonuniverse.com or www.waterparkofamerica.com

If you are looking for a place to stay at the official casino hotel of Mall of America is Mystic Lake Casino. In addition to the most slot machines and blackjack tables in Minnesota, Mystic Lake offers 586 luxurious hotel rooms, an indoor atrium pool and seven unique restaurants. For more information on the Mystic Lake casino or Mall of America go to www.mysticlake.com or www.mallofamerica.com

 

Minnesota Wild

The state of Minnesota is a hockey crazed state and Minnesota / Saint Paul is called “Hockeytown USA”.

The Xcel Energy Center is first-class, multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility located in downtown Saint Paul. Opened in 2000, it is home to the Minnesota Wild, who plays in the National Hockey League (NHL). It also plays host too many other entertainment events annually. For more information on the Minnesota Wild or the Xcel Energy Centre go to www.xcelenergycenter.com or http://wild.nhl.com



Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins play in the Major League Baseball (MLB) and are one of the best teams. If you are into baseball entertainment then go to brand new stadium for the Twins is Target Field where you will see some great baseball being played. For more information on the Minnesota Twins go to www.twinsbaseball.com

 


Minnesota Timberwolves


The Minnesota Timberwolves play in the National Basketball League (NBL) and put a competitive team out every year. They play their ball at the Target Centre and for more information on the Minnesota Timberwolves or Target Centre go to www.targetcenter.com or www.nba.com/timberwolves


Minnesota Swarm

If you like lacrosse then you should go see the Minnesota Swarm, which play in the National Lacrosse League, and you can see them at the Xcel Energy Centre. For more information on Minnesota Swarm go to www.swarm.com



University of Minnesota


Considered to be one of the best Universities in the USA and they play there sports in the BIG 10 and the Golfers, which is their universities name compete each year. The TCF Bank Stadium is a state-of-the-art stadium home of the Golfers football team. For more information on the University of Minnesota go to www.golfersports.com


Alexander Ramsey House


Decorated with more than 14,000 original family furnishings, this beautifully restored home in Irvine Park belonged to Minnesota’s first territorial governor. One of the nation’s best preserved, Victorian-era homes and a must for any visitor. For more information on the Alexander Ramsey House go to www.mnhs.org/ramseyhouse



Minnesota History Centre

The best of Minnesota comes to life with fun, hands-on exhibits and events for people of all ages. You can see the new MN150 exhibit, which features 150 people, places, events and things that sparked significant change in Minnesota and around the world or visit the new Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit. For more information on the Minnesota History Centre go to www.mnhs.org/historycenter


Mill City Museum

A museum built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill and is a National Historic Landmark. You can see an award winning short film and roof top views of the Mississippi River. Admission is $10, but subject to change. For more information on the Mill City Museum go to www.millcitymuseum.org

 


Como Town Amusement Park

Located at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory this is a family fun amusement park for kids 2 to 12. They can enjoy 18 rides, bumper cars, Splash Zone and other attractions. For more information on the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory go to www.comotown.com



Grand Rios Water Park

If you want a great activity to do outside then go enjoy one of Minnesota’s largest indoor water parks with 45,000 square feet of fun. For more information on the Grand Rios Water Park go to www.grandrios.com



Walker Art Centre

The Walker Art Centre showcases the best of the contemporary arts, including: innovative exhibitions, music, dance and theatre performances. This is one of the country’s top contemporary art centres, the Walker Art Center, has a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture featuring works by Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and other leading artists. It also stages inspiring travelling exhibitions, as well as a series of music, dance, theatre and film performances. For more information on the Walker Art Centre go to www.walkerart.org



Minneapolis Institute of Arts


This is home to one of the finest art collections in the USA, which houses nearly 100,000 works of art, which date back to 2000BC. These range from old masters and contemporary regional art to Asian and African pieces. For more information on the Minneapolis Institute of Arts go to www.artsmia.org


Frederick R Weisman Art Museum

On the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, this building captures the majestic Mississippi River in the reflecting siding; the Frank Gehry-designed building is truly magical. This museum features American artists of the early 20th century, including Georgia O’Keeffe and an extensive collection of works by Marsden Hartley and Alfred Maurer, as well as pieces by a number of contemporary artists. For more information on the Frederick R Weisman Art Museum go to www.weisman.umn.edu



Cathedral of St Paul

Set on a hill, overlooking the city and the Mississippi River, this impressive cathedral is one of the country’s largest churches and seats 3000 people. The Cathedral of St Paul was designed by architect Emmanuel Masqueray and took nearly a decade to build, opening in 1915. For more information on the Cathedral of St Paul go to www.cathedralsp.org


Minnesota State Capitol


The Italian Renaissance-style State Capitol building (1904) is a masterpiece by architect Cass Gilbert. Over two dozen varieties of marble, granite and sandstone were used in its construction and throughout the lavish interior. The crowning glory is the unsupported marble dome, which rises over 70m high. For more information on the Minnesota State Capital go to www.mnhs.org/statecapitol


Minnesota History Center


Visitors can explore the sacrifices made by Minnesotans during the Great Depression and World War II, or MN150, which features 150 people, places and things that signify Minnesota State. For more information on the Minnesota History Center go to www.mnhs.org



Science Museum of Minnesota


The Science Museum of Minnesota has a large-format Omnitheater, which inspires imaginations. There are also 3D laser shows, high-tech exhibits and an outstanding collection of fossils and artefacts. For more information on the Science Museum of Minnesota go to www.smm.org

 

 

 

 

 

The Rest of Minnesota

 

Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site

Located at Little Falls, Charles A. Lindbergh State Park, the famous aviator’s museum & boyhood home is a National Historical Landmark. There are historical flight footage, a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis cockpit and loads more. For more information on the Charles A. Lindbergh State Park go to www.mnhs.org/places/sites/lh

 


North West Company Fur Post


Located at Voyageur Lane in Pine City is a working voyageur camp & exhibits devoted to the fur trade. It’s a reconstructed 1804-era trading post & Ojibwe encampment. There are exhibits on the fur trade and loads more. For more information on the North West Company Fur Post go to www.mnhs.org


Historic Fort Snelling

Located in Fort Snelling State Park, this is your chance to experience life at a U.S. military outpost located just outside the Twin Cities metro area. Once the farthest outpost of the U.S. in the homeland of the Dakota Indians and a National Historic Landmark, the fort has been restored including the barracks, store & hospital. There are programs on the Civil War, WWII, Dakota History and loads more. For more information on the Historic Fort Snelling go to www.mnhs.org/fortsnelling


Jeffers Petroglyphs


Located at Jeffers, this world-renowned American Indian carving is on a native prairie setting. There are over 2,000 sacred carvings, which are up to 7,000 years old. There are also 200 species of wildflowers. For more information on Jeffers Petroglyphs go to www.mnhs.org

 

 

 




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