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Topic: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lincoln
Posted 2009-10-10 08:32:32 and read 7606 times.

This Tuesday I'm going to be flying into MSP and driving to Rochester -- I get in at about 9:00 in the morning and don't have any commitments until the next day (though my hotel room will be waiting for me in Rochester)

I'd like to play tourist for a few hours/all day... but I'm not entirely sure what's out there, or even which city I should just aimlessly walk around (my favorite "have time in a new city" thing -- you can find some amazing things when you aren't looking for them).

I'm seriosuly considering fisiting the Mall of America (It is somewhere near MSP, isn't it?) just to "check it off the list" but I can't imagine spending more than an hour doint it.

Any must see places/neighborhoods/museums/shops/restaurants/etc? Either touristy of off the beaten path?

There's a good chance I'll also have 5-6 hours to kill Friday late morning/afternoon but I can't count on it.

Lincoln

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Jcs17
Posted 2009-10-10 13:39:10 and read 7580 times.

The Mall of America is literally a three minute drive from MSP. I assume you'll have a rental car, if not, just hop on the Hiawatha Line towards Bloomington. It's actually a rather entertaining place, I've spent hours upon hours there during flight cancellation season at MSP. Minneapolis isn't a terribly interesting city with lots of attractions to speak of. If you're looking for cool neighborhoods to hang out in, Dinkytown is a great college area, and Uptown is pretty decent.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Brick
Posted 2009-10-10 13:40:13 and read 7579 times.

MOA is probably your best bet. It is literally right next to MSP. In fact, one of the photo spots for MSP is the MOA parking lot. I'd do MOA during the day however. At night there can be issues with the youths...

There is nothing in downtown Minneapolis. Even during the day, it can be unpleasant to walk around the streets because of the drug addicts and homeless that are extremely aggressive in panhandling. Let's not talk about the crime in downtown either....

If you are into gambling, there is a decent casino southwest of the metro area. It's called Mystic Lake and it is located in Shakopee. A bit of a warning though...it is not a smoke free casino. I was there last year for about 45 minutes and my clothes (and later everything in my suitcase) reaked of smoke afterwards. There is another casino to the southeast of the metro that's closer to Rochester. I forgot the name of it, but I seem to recall it's in or near Red Wing.

Uptown isn't what it used to be. I wouldn't bother with it.

[Edited 2009-10-10 13:54:45]

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lincoln
Posted 2009-10-10 14:52:54 and read 7560 times.



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 1):
I assume you'll have a rental car,

Yup!

Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 1):
If you're looking for cool neighborhoods to hang out in, Dinkytown is a great college area, and Uptown is pretty decent.

Sounds like I'll have to check out Dinkytown (the name itself just sounds kind of cool)

Quoting Brick (Reply 2):
There is nothing in downtown Minneapolis

So Minneapolis is out; does St. Paul have any redeeming qualities? Any suburbs?

Quoting Brick (Reply 2):
Let's not talk about the crime in downtown either....

You know everyone says that about their city but I've never found a downtown as bad as people make it out to be...

But I thought Minnesota was the land of friendly neighborly people (and the State Trooper who pulled me over last time I was there for doing 81 in a 65 was uber cool... a warning, a "you probably don't want to go much faster than 75", and I was on my way, much more slowly, of course.) ... there's crime?!?

Quoting Brick (Reply 2):
it is not a smoke free casino. I was there last year for about 45 minutes and my clothes (and later everything in my suitcase) reaked of smoke afterwards

Ick. Ick. Aside from my personal distaste for the smell of smoke, I have a feeling that in this case in particular my client would not be happy about it either.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Af773atmsp
Posted 2009-10-10 15:16:29 and read 7554 times.

You could visit Edina and Eden Prairie which are pretty close to MSP. They have a few nice places to shop and eat.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Brick
Posted 2009-10-10 15:34:18 and read 7547 times.



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 3):
So Minneapolis is out; does St. Paul have any redeeming qualities? Any suburbs?

When I lived in the Twin Cities I spent most of my time on the Minneapolis side of things, so I can't help you there. My initial thought is still there is not much to do in St Paul. There is the St. Paul cathedral...oh wait, that's in London.  Smile

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 3):
You know everyone says that about their city but I've never found a downtown as bad as people make it out to be...

You've never been to downtown Minneapolis, have you?  Smile Downtown is really not a pleasant place. Really!

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 3):
But I thought Minnesota was the land of friendly neighborly people

A lot of people think the "Minnesota Nice" campaign was a tourist thing. It wasn't. It was actually a public service campaign from way back that was an effort to get all of the people in the Twin Cities to be nicer to each other. In short, people are rude there and treat each other with a lack of courtesy. When I tell people I used to live there and I hated it they assume I'm not a fan of winter. The weather was the least of my worries. I couldn't stand all of the liberals (I still refer to Minnesota as "The Land of 10,000 Taxes") and everywhere you went whether it was a Twins game, grocery store, or driving the interstates people were very rude and discourteous to each other.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lowrider
Posted 2009-10-10 15:51:32 and read 7542 times.



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
Either touristy of off the beaten path?

There is the Minneapolis sculpture garden that is one of the more notable attractions. There are several nice parks in the area. The Wabasha Street caves aren't quite as well known, but the were the site of several speakeasys during the prohibition. It is an interesting tour. St. Paul also has the State House and some well preserved older arcitecture. Como Park and Zoo is worth a few minutes.

For restaurants, the St Clair Broiler is one of my favorites.

If you are not in a hurry to get to Rochester, take 61 south to 10. Follow 10 across the river to Prescott, WI. From there take 35 south to 63. Follow 63 back across the river to Red Wing and take it all the way to Rochester. It takes a little longer but is a much more scenic drive than 52.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: USFlyer MSP
Posted 2009-10-10 16:00:39 and read 7539 times.



Quoting Brick (Reply 2):
There is nothing in downtown Minneapolis. Even during the day, it can be unpleasant to walk around the streets because of the drug addicts and homeless that are extremely aggressive in panhandling. Let's not talk about the crime in downtown either....

Downtown Minneapolis is fine and very safe...I'm there almost every day...you are obviously not an urban person.

Quoting Brick (Reply 5):
A lot of people think the "Minnesota Nice" campaign was a tourist thing. It wasn't. It was actually a public service campaign from way back that was an effort to get all of the people in the Twin Cities to be nicer to each other. In short, people are rude there and treat each other with a lack of courtesy. When I tell people I used to live there and I hated it they assume I'm not a fan of winter. The weather was the least of my worries. I couldn't stand all of the liberals (I still refer to Minnesota as "The Land of 10,000 Taxes") and everywhere you went whether it was a Twins game, grocery store, or driving the interstates people were very rude and discourteous to each other.

Minnesotans are not rude but they are not particularly friendly either. I find that they are cold and standoffish and have a Minnesota superiority complex. There is a very fake veneer of niceness and an irrational fear of conflict but if you are not from Minnesota you will never get beyond the superficial "Minnesota Nice" and get to know the real person. I've lived in MN for 10 years and have never made a good Minnesotan friend...all of my friends are from elsewhere and well all say the same thing.

Back to the topic:

Since this is what I do for a living I'll give you my advice:
9AM -10:30AM - Visit Mall of America
11:00AM to 11:45AM - Vist Northwest Airlines History Center/Museum
12:00PM - 1:00PM - Lunch on Eat Street (Nicollet Ave between 16th and 28th St, contains tons of good Ethnic restaurants) - I suggest Rainbow Chinese
1:30PM - 3:00PM - Visit the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
3:30PM - 5:00PM - Visit the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
5:00PM - 6:00PM - Drive to St Paul (Drive down Summit Ave to see old-money St Paul) and view the State Capitol
6:00PM - 7:00PM - Dinner in Downtown St Paul - I suggest Babani's, if you have never had Kurdish food
7:00PM - 8:30PM Drive to Rochester

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lincoln
Posted 2009-10-10 16:16:27 and read 7530 times.



Quoting Lowrider (Reply 6):
If you are not in a hurry to get to Rochester, take 61 south to 10. Follow 10 across the river to Prescott, WI. From there take 35 south to 63. Follow 63 back across the river to Red Wing and take it all the way to Rochester. It takes a little longer but is a much more scenic drive than 52.

Funny you should mention that... I was just looking at Google Maps and thinking about doing that (especially since I've already done 52 -- see aforementioend Highway Patrol run in) -- looks like it only adds about 45 minutes and it potentially means I could check off Wisconsin as my 27th state... though I would have to eat a meal or buy something for it to be legitimate.

Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 7):
Since this is what I do for a living I'll give you my advice:
9AM -10:30AM - Visit Mall of America
11:00AM to 11:45AM - Vist Northwest Airlines History Center/Museum
12:00PM - 1:00PM - Lunch on Eat Street (Nicollet Ave between 16th and 28th St, contains tons of good Ethnic restaurants) - I suggest Rainbow Chinese
1:30PM - 3:00PM - Visit the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts
3:30PM - 5:00PM - Visit the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
5:00PM - 6:00PM - Drive to St Paul (Drive down Summit Ave to see old-money St Paul) and view the State Capitol
6:00PM - 7:00PM - Dinner in Downtown St Paul - I suggest Babani's, if you have never had Kurdish food
7:00PM - 8:30PM Drive to Rochester

I'm digging this plan! Thanks for posting this.

Lincoln

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lowrider
Posted 2009-10-10 17:07:08 and read 7519 times.



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 8):
(especially since I've already done 52 -- see aforementioend Highway Patrol run in)

Be sure to watch your speed there. Wisconsin troopers are reputed to have to have a much smaller sense of humor.

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Sy738fan
Posted 2009-10-10 20:53:34 and read 7492 times.

One of the best things to do in Minneapolis is spend some time around the lakes. There is still some decent fall color around the area, so a little time driving/walking around the chain of lakes area would be a nice way to spend an afternoon. All of the lakes have nicely maintained walking and biking paths around them. Minnehaha Falls park is another pretty spot to explore, though the falls is not as impressive as in most years due to lack of rain this summer.

Mill City Museum on the riverfront in downtown Mpls is interesting and something a little different. The new Guthrie Theater is next door and worth a look through if you have an interest in modern architecture. The theater has a great little bridge that extends out towards the river and provides a neat view.

Having actually lived in the city for a number of years, I can tell you that Minneapolis has some great little neighborhoods. The main problem for a visitor is that most of the commercial parts of town are not particularly pedestrian-friendly, and not well suited for walking around and exploring on foot (one of my favorite things to do in a new city as well).

Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 7):
Downtown Minneapolis is fine and very safe...I'm there almost every day...you are obviously not an urban person.

 checkmark 

Minnesota is predominantly a suburban state. The misconceptions that suburban residents (I grew up in the burbs south of Mpls) have about the city never ceases to amaze me.

The only comment I would make on USFlyers proposed itinerary is that you do not want to be driving from Minneapolis to St. Paul between 5 and 6pm on a weekday. Otherwise that looks like a great way to spend a day!

Hope you enjoy your stay here!!!

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: KaiGywer
Posted 2009-10-11 00:59:58 and read 7477 times.



Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 7):
9AM -10:30AM - Visit Mall of America

But the stores don't open until 10am  Smile

Topic: RE: One Day In Minneapolis/St. Paul...What To Do?
Username: Lincoln
Posted 2009-10-15 17:58:44 and read 7370 times.

Just as an update -- and thanks again to everyone who posted suggestions, etc.

Got in Tuesday morning and headed straight for the Mall of America.
Spent a little while in the parking structure watching and chatting with the office about an issue that came up; then headed inside... 9:45-10:30 on a Tuesday is not high-traffic period. Honestly, I wasn't all that impressed; probably would have been more impressed say the Friday after Thanksgiving-- but as it was it was just a mall... not even a mall that seemed particulaly huge.

Then the NWA history center... I was expecting something a little bit larger but it was quite impressive and just an interesting collection of things that most people have probably forgotten or never thought twice about saving (boarding passes from differnent eras, bag tags, etc., etc.) -- there were a bunch of retirees convened in the corner carrying on an interesting discussion but I tried not to eavesdrop [too much].

One question: I saw a coffee mug that had both the Republic and United logos on it... anyone know what the deal with that was?

From there I cruised Eat Street but didn't stop -- combination of not actually being terribly hungry and not seeing anything that caught my fancy (and it looked like parking was going to be a PITA).

Then made it to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts ... very impressive both in scale of building and scope of collection. Also the first African Art exhibit I've ever actually felt like I connected with; African and Asian art just doesn't capture my imagination, generally speaking... I'm definately a modern/contemporary/impressionist/American and British 1700-present person... which MIA certainly has an impressive collection of (and I dug the Frank Lloyd Wright stuff)

From there I drove around Downtown Minneapolis for a little while. I can see what is meant by not very pedistrian friendly, and there was a freakish amount of road work underway but it really seemed relatively average as far as cities go.

Then over to the Walker Art Center -- and score, I finally found a place where my Cleveland Museum of Art recripicol membership priliveges were useful -- while not a huge collection on display (several galleries were closed for installation) the collection was right up my alley.

I wandered around the sculputre gardens for a little while but my attire and the current weather didn't lend itself to long periods of contemplation.

I didn't make it to St. Paul or Wisconsin becuse the number of calls/emails stacking up from the office required attention, but my plan is to drive back to the metro area via Wisconsin tomorrow and spend some time in St. Paul before my flight (6:00 PM departure)


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