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Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Itinerary at a Glance

Despite their Twin Cities moniker and the mere ten miles separating their downtowns, Saint Paul and Minneapolis aren’t two peas in a pod. Rather, Minnesota’s two largest cities possess their own unique attributes, including beloved cultural institutions, outdoor activities and iconic architecture. Separated by the Mississippi River, this vibrant metropolitan area offers double the fun minus any sibling rivalry. A rock legend’s home, a globetrotting marketplace and a mall like no other all await.

You’ll experience these great activities and more

  • Ride a Padelford Riverboat
  • Visit the Mill City Museum
  • Soak in the atmosphere at the Midtown Global Market
  • Take a selfie with Spoonbridge in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Eat heartily at Mercado Central

Details and Tips

Region: Midwest

Category: Activities

Length: 3 Nights

Suitable for: Adults and families seeking to enjoy museums and outdoor activities and art

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DAY ONE: Minneapolis and Saint Paul Minnesota Activities

Get a lay of the land from the Mississippi River with a Padelford Riverboats tour, offering four Minneapolis and St. Paul sightseeing cruise options. Or catch a ride on the historic Minneapolis Queen riverboat, perfect for groups.

Next, explore the riverfront on land with a visit to Stone Arch Bridge, an 1883 landmark spanning 23 arches over the Mississippi River. Leave the modern world behind with a visit to Mill City Museum, which recreates the days of old-school flour production, period equipment and all. From the Observation Deck, get panoramic view of the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, Stone Arch Bridge and the emerging urban landscape.

Refuel with international cuisine followed by shopping for unique gifts from local immigrant businesses at Midtown Global Market, which offers everything from colorful textiles and handicrafts to French-style baked goods and Venezuelan empanadas.

Get an insider’s look at a musical icon at Paisley Park, Prince’s home, studio and rehearsal spaces. Not far away, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, offers lively entertainment of its own along with tasty continental cuisine.

DAY TWO: More Things to do in the Twin Cities

With more than 500 stores, dozens of restaurants, an amusement park, mini golf, aquarium and butterfly garden, Mall of America offers plenty to keep families and groups amused for hours. Comfy shoes are a must but a year-round indoor temp of 70 degrees means you can ditch the heavy coat.

Before heading inside Minneapolis Institute of Art (known as Mia to locals) and Walker Art Center, the latter celebrated for its visual and media art collections, get your iconic Minneapolis selfie with Spoonbridge and Cherry sculptures in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

With 150 years under its belt, Lakewood Cemetery offers a unique history lesson, which includes the graves of many of the area’s founders, politicians and community members. Tree-lined paths and ponds, plus a Byzantine-style chapel with ornate mosaics adds to its charm.

Five miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis, Chain of Lakes park with its five lakes and miles of hiking, biking trails and family-friendly beaches provides a perfect spot for connecting with the outdoors.

All that fresh air is bound to make you hungry. Mercado Central features 35 Latino-owned businesses, including some of the Twin Cities’ best tacos and pupusas.

Now it’s time to make some art of your own with a visit to Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, where small groups can participate in glass-making workshops.

DAY THREE: Final Day Exploring Minneapolis and Saint Paul Minnesota

Begin your day in the Twin Cities with one

Hundreds of animals and plants from around the world call centuries-old Como Park Zoo and Conservatory home, making it a crowd-pleasing visit for groups large and small.

Dig deep into the area’s history with a visit to the award-winning Minnesota History Center near downtown Saint Paul. Then get a look at how a 19th century railroad magnate and his family lived with a tour of James J. Hill House.

Continue the history lessons at Wabasha Street Caves, a speakeasy during Prohibition and gangster hangout. Speaking of gangsters CynCity Tours has a new Gangsterland Walking Tour joining their popular Ghost & Gables Walking Tour of Summit Avenue and   Union Depot Tours. Or indulge the younger set with a visit to the Minnesota Children’s Museum in the heart of downtown Saint Paul.

End your Twin Cities trip on a cultural high note at Landmark Center, home to music, dance, theater and exhibitions. 


Located on the scenic St. Croix River not far from the Twin Cities, Stillwater is charming historic town where sightings of authentic paddle wheel riverboats and gondolas are an everyday occurrence. Take a stroll on Main Street and enjoy quaint boutiques and only-found-here restaurants. Nearby, Taylor Falls, surrounded by bluffs and high cliffs, offers plenty of outdoor adventures.

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