If you visit the Twin Cities, you’ll quickly understand why locals love them despite the grueling winters and merciless temperatures. Two halves of one metropolis, Minneapolis and St. Paul deliver an attractive mix of old and new right on the banks of the Mississippi River. They certainly are a match made in heaven!
Remarkably vibrant and rich in attractions and fun things to do, the Twin Cities have everything you could wish for from a destination. You have access to urban parks and outdoor excitement, award-winning theaters and famous restaurants, fun festivals, and a thriving culinary scene! And we haven’t even mentioned the hundreds of lakes framed by beaches and dotted with sailboats!
While they may be both urban areas joined at the hip, they’re surprisingly different. You have the modern and bustling Minneapolis, and the charismatic and historic St. Paul! But don’t worry! There’s no need to choose a favorite. Both are easily accessible and can be discovered in just a couple of days.
Connected with footpaths, bike lanes, and public transportation, the Twin Cities know they are irresistible no matter the weather. If Minneapolis delivers the coolness of a metropolis and quirky neighborhoods, St. Paul delights history aficionados with tales of the past and a certain hip atmosphere. Together they stand and together they grow! This is why you should visit the Twin cities to enjoy such an excellent diverse range of things to do.
Summer is the ideal time to visit the twin cities and takes the crowds outside to the parks, on the beach, or at festivals while winter invites everyone to discover the local thriving cultural scene, the plethora of museums, and the overwhelming number of theater performances. Or maybe just to taste their cuisine and artisanal beer!
Discover the Twin Cities’ origin story and architecture
When you visit Minneapolis today, you may find it hard to believe it all started with flour mills and Mississippi River ports. Nevertheless, this is the region’s origin story, and the locals couldn’t be more proud of it. Discover more about Minneapolis’ past at the Mill City Museum. The museum is a part of the Washburn A Mill that dates back to 1880 and can proudly say it was the largest of its type. Take your time to explore the museum and learn about how life was back when Minneapolis was the milling capital of the world.
If you want to learn more about Minnesota’s history, feel free to visit the Minnesota History Center. The center provides an insight into the state’s history and culture and tells stories about the Greatest Generation, war factories, 1950s TVs, and famous people born and raised in Minnesota, like Judy Garland and Bob Dylan.
For your share of historical tales about St. Paul, head to the historic fort Snelling that illustrates the military life in the frontier era. Stop and admire the Landmark Center also in St. Paul, and witness the beauty of a 1902 Victorian jewel that abounds in turrets, towers, and ornaments without the fear of being seen as kitschy or…simply too much. Extravagant on both the exterior and the interior, the Landmark Center has some juicy stories to tell about gangster trials.
The Cathedral of St. Paul should also make it on your must-see list due to its impressive size (it can accommodate up to 3000 people) and immense copper dome. It was built in 1915 and is one of the largest churches in the US. The same goes for James J Hill House, one of the most beautiful mansions in Minneapolis. The house was built in 1891 and depicts the lifestyle of the rich and famous living in the Gilded Age. Expect to find opulence, decadence, and even a giant pipe organ.
Experience everything the Twin Cities have to offer
Both cities are multicultural melting pots. This translates into a rich arts and culture scene, an extraordinary culinary heritage, and plenty of fun when the night comes. Book your theater tickets at the famous Guthrie Theater to witness either a Shakespearean production or an experimental play, or head to the Hennepin Theater District if you’re in the mood for a musical or comedy.
Visit the Walker Art Center to admire an incredible collection of paintings and sculptures created by famous artists like Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning. Continue your journey with a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for more artwork that illustrates the talent of both old masters and contemporary artists. You’ll certainly love the collection dedicated to the French impressionists, as well as the period rooms.
Explore the outdoors! There’s so much nature to see in the Twin Cities. Whether we are talking about the Chain of Lakes, the Minnehaha Falls Park, or the Mississippi River, you’ll have plenty to do here, especially during the warm months of summer. Lake Calhoun delights both locals and tourists with three great beaches, while Theodore Wirth Park makes sure everyone is having fun in the winter offering access to sledding, cross-country skiing, snow tubing, or ice fishing.
Spend your afternoons walking on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and grabbing lunch at a local restaurant, shopping at the boutiques, or simply admiring the beautiful old buildings along the way. If you’re ready for a thrilling adventure, plan to shop till you drop at the largest mall in the country – Mall of America. You’ll find an abundance of clothes and shoes and no tax.
The Twin Cities are not exactly known for their nightclubs and party atmosphere, but this doesn’t mean you won’t have your share of fun. It will only be more refined and elegant than in other places. The Warehouse District is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a pre-theater dinner, but you’ll find numerous cafes and bistros in the center too. The glamour and sophistication reach a whole new level as soon as you step on the posh streets of St. Paul.