Discover the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and their best attractions when staying in Bloomington. Here's a quick guide to a day in each. Both cities are easily accessible via the light rail, or a short car ride. There's lots to see and do, so we've narrowed it down to the best museum, outdoor activity, architecture, shopping and dining spots to help you out!
A day in Minneapolis
Minneapolis is the younger of the two cities and boasts beautiful glass high rises and modern architecture, and plenty of green spaces and lakes. The city also has great sporting teams and an array of attractions. Here are the best:
Best Museum: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
If you want an outing full of artistic strokes and magnificent works of art, head to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This building has over 87,000 objects in their permanent collection and allows visitors to explore cultures from all seven continents through art.
Best outdoor activity: A Twins Baseball Game
A day at the ballpark is a perfect outing for those visiting Minneapolis. The local team, The Minnesota Twins, play at Target Field and are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball. Grab yourself a seat and watch the players crush the opposition base by base, while enjoying the open-air stadium.
Best historical architecture: Basilica of Saint Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary towers up, decorating the Minneapolis skyline with ornate sculpturing. Designed by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray, the building was completed in 1926 and is a gathering place for all faiths. Its Dutch bells fill the air with chimes for special occasions and are even used to warn locals of danger.
Best Restaurant: 112 eatery
This incredible restaurant has more awards and mentions than cutlery and rightly so. 112 eatery promises delicious, unforgettably unique dishes like Lobster stuffed chicken, Nori encrusted sirloin or Stringozzi with lamb sugo that will have your mouth watering. Their chef won the Midwest Best Chef award and the restaurant has mentions in Forbes and The New York Times. Try it out!
Best Shopping: North Loop
Downtown Minneapolis has all your shopping needs covered. Located just north of Downtown Minneapolis, North Loop is a hot spot for shopping. You will also find plenty of nice restaurants, such as the highly recommended 112 Eatery mentioned above. Take a stroll and enjoy all your favorite stores all in the one place.
A day in Saint Paul
Across the river from Minneapolis, Saint Paul is the older brother, with quaint streets and old historical buildings. This twin is sure to excite ,so don’t miss it:
Best Museum: Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center is an interactive museum, which kids particularly love. There are family days, concerts and events and extensive collections displaying pieces from Minnesota’s past. Head here to learn, play and be entertained.
Best outdoor activity: Amsterdam Pedal
Try something new and book a seat on Amsterdam Pedals to ride your way into the night on a man powered pedal bar. In short, you book a trip, sit at the bar with 15 others and drink while you pedal through the streets. The bar is BYOB, and is a perfect way to meet other travelers and locals. The Pedal Tavern, as it is known, comes with a driver/bartender who will steer you on a route easy for the legs. Check it out!
Best historical architecture: Cathedral of Saint Paul
This wonderful feat of Beaux Arts architecture was built in 1907 and still serves as a home parish to over 1,000 households. The walls are decorated with intricate sculpturing and wonderful stained glass windows comparable to the exquisite cathedrals in Europe. The Cathedral of Saint Paul is certainly worth a visit.
Best Restaurant: W.A Frost & Company
A fantastic meal awaits all those heading to Saint Paul at W.A Frost & Company. With an award winning cellar and food with flavors blended to perfection, this restaurant is one to excite. Try their crispy duck breast and waft in the delicious scents of a tomato roasted red pepper soup. The menu is varied and detailed and you are sure to find something you love.
Best Shopping: Grand Ave
When looking for the perfect place to shop in Saint Paul, Grand Ave is the street to visit. All the stores you already love have a space here as well as new boutiques. There are 30 blocks of shopping opportunities and quaint places to eat and drink.
If looking for the ultimate shopping experience when visiting Minnesota grab yourself a room at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. The hotel is attached to the famous Mall of America, which has every store you could possibly need and much much more! Want to explore the Twin Cities? Bloomington is right on their doorsteps meaning guests have access to all the best attractions in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul.