The Essential Guide to Minneapolis–St. Paul
Collected by Cinnamon Janzer , AFAR Local Expert
Known as the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul are gems of the Midwest. Across the two towns, visitors will find everything from thriving art, music, and literary scenes to restaurants that garner national attention. Minneapolis was even named among the most bike-friendly cities in the world, meaning you could spend your entire time here outdoors, exploring the sights via beautiful “bikeways.”
2088 Larpenteur Ave W, St Paul, MN 55113, USA
Minnesota’s official natural history museum, the Bell recently moved to a brand-new space in St. Paul and now features a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibitions, wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences, and more. Visit the...
1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103, USA
The conservatory portion of the Como Park Zoo is worth a stop for its various gardens and exotic plants, especially on a cold winter day when you’re craving a pop of green. Start in the Sunken Garden, which hosts seasonal displays of...
701 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA
You can’t rightly visit Prince’s hometown and not see a show at First Avenue & the 7th St Entry—or at least stop by to pay your respects to The Artist’s gold star, the only one in a sea of silver on the venue’s...
599 Summit Ave, St Paul, MN 55102, USA
Unknown to many is the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul and lived in various homes here. Several of the residences still stand, but perhaps the most prominent is the three-story town house at 599 Summit Avenue, where he finished...
704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA
Located along the Mississippi riverfront, the Mill City Museum rises eight stories from the limestone ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill. Today, this National Historic Landmark houses antique milling equipment, vintage...
725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403, USA
Located next door to the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features more than 60 works by big names like Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Indiana. At its center stands Claes Oldenburg’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherr...
4801 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA
One of the unique things about the Twin Cities is just how much nature is part of the urban landscape. Few places exemplify this better than Minnehaha, one of Minneapolis’s oldest and most popular parks. Here, visitors will find everything...
520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
One of the first breweries in Minneapolis, Surly set the stage for all the places that opened in its wake. Today, breweries and distilleries are everywhere in the Twin Cities, but before the Surly Bill was signed into law in 2011, they...
215 Wabasha St S, St Paul, MN 55107, USA
Located on the south shore of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul, these sandstone caves were once the domain of mobsters and speakeasies—in 1933, they housed the Castle Royal nightclub, a favorite hangout for local gangsters. More...
5400 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419, USA
New to the Twin Cities dining scene, Colita has become a fast favorite for its unique Mexican fare, which mixes south-of-the-border flavors with international barbecue and smoking techniques. Entirely gluten-free, the menu focuses mainly on...
928 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102, USA
Keg and Case West 7th Market is home to everything from a Bogart’s Doughnut outpost to a brewery and a place to buy foraged mushrooms, but its centerpiece is In Bloom—a fine-dining restaurant from Nick Rancone and chef Thomas Boemer....
3500 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407, USA
When visiting the Twin Cities, you have to try a Jucy Lucy. And if you’re going to try a Jucy Lucy, you have to go to Matt’s Bar & Grill, which is widely believed to have invented it. In this inverted cheeseburger of sorts, the...
261 5th St E, St Paul, MN 55101, USA
A neighborhood spot, Saint Dinette serves the kind of comfort food you eat at home—but better. The menu takes diners on a journey from Montreal to New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, offering everything from poutine and fried oysters to...
165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA
Owned by James Beard-nominated chef Ann Kim, Young Joni is a Minneapolis favorite for creative, wood-fired pizzas. Here, pies—which are available on surprisingly delicious gluten-free crust for an additional $4—range from classic...
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