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Convention City Face-off

Courtesy of W Hotels

Photo: Courtesy of W Hotels

The Hot Hotel

Denver

Bold faces have been jockeying for rooms at the $75 million Ritz-Carlton, Denver, which upped the city’s glamour quotient when it opened earlier this year. For an Obama sighting, try the Hyatt Regency Denver.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Expect big names, like (we hear) Jon Stewart, at the W Minneapolis–The Foshay . Across the river, the St. Paul Hotel has the Arizona delegates (and possibly John McCain).

The Power Restaurant

Denver

Get up close and personal with party honchos at the tiny, James Beard–nominated Fruition: there’s a good chance you’ll catch Southern boy John Edwards noshing on comfort foods like duck breast with house-smoked prosciutto and farmers’-market arugula.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Watch politicos like Arnold Schwarzenegger—who reportedly has a reservation—in action at Minneapolis steak house R. Normans, where the grilled porterhouse is almost as juicy as the conversation you might overhear.

The Refueling Station

Denver

Where else would latte-loving liberals go but Ink, a high-altitude coffee chain that serves the requisite frothy drinks (made with fair-trade beans, of course)?There are several locations across the city, including one close to the convention center.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Join the deep-pocketed McCainites in sipping $525 tumblers of 55-year-old Macallan scotch at the bar of the St. Paul Grill. The retro restaurant, near both the State Capitol and the convention center, has specially ordered four bottles of the rare single malt—worth $12,000 each.

The After–Dark Haunt

Denver

Leonardo DiCaprio and his VIP Dem friends will likely be rubbing elbows with party-loving junior staffers at Larimer Square’s newest club, Suite 200, a stylish space that resembles an oversize living room, with crown molding, damask wallpaper, and taffeta curtains.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

The Chambers Hotel’s sassily patriotic RWFB Bar—a.k.a. the Red, White, and F***ing Blue bar—will have a sultry vibe and a slew of security-detail–worthy guests.

The Big–Ticket Event

Denver

The Denver Art Museum , with its new Daniel Libeskind–designed wing, may be hosting some of the week’s most illustrious guests, but mere mortals can nab a seat at the Red Rocks amphitheater, where George Clooney and others are rumored to be emceeing A-list concerts.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

The i exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (August 2–September 21), which was recently expanded by Michael Graves, features the presidential art and memorabilia of leaders from George Washington to the most recent George W—perfect for candidates hoping to learn from the past.

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