The vibrant Minneapolis-St. Paul area is the entertainment and cultural center of the upper Midwest. The scenery of this attractive metropolis includes contemporary skylines, historic architecture, and greenways of parks, lakes and the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. The Twin Cities is noted for its array of intriguing theater, fine orchestras, art museums and a sculpture garden. There’s always a full calendar of visiting performers and Broadway touring shows, as well.
Interesting museums, professional sports, riverboats and a variety of nightspots add to the appeal of the Twin Cities. Along the Mississippi riverfront in Minneapolis are historic mills, the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, and scenic walkways. Downtown St. Paul is home to a creative children’s museum, top-notch science museum and landmark history center.
With the Mall of America in Bloomington, the Twin Cities has become an international shopping destination. The Mall is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S. The Explore Minnesota USA Store at the Mall offers tickets for Minnesota attractions, MN travel information and gifts. The Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis is another favorite with shoppers, with an eclectic mix of shops and galleries.
Dining is another Twin Cities highlight. There’s a vast assortment of restaurants, with an especially interesting array of ethnic restaurants.
There are several major attractions on the southern rim of the Twin Cities. Shakopee, to the southwest, features Valleyfair amusement park, Canterbury Downs racetrack, Mystic Lake Casino and Historic Murphy’s Landing, a pioneer village. Other southside attractions are the Minnesota Zoo and Historic Fort Snelling, a frontier fortress. (List amusement centers, gaming, historic attractions.)
To the east of the Twin Cities area is the beautiful St. Croix River Valley. Taylors Falls, Stillwater and Hastings make nice side trips on a Twin Cities visit. Boat and train excursions, antique shopping, canoeing, hiking and downhill skiing are favorite St. Croix activities.