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Urban Sanctuary in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Photo: Courtesy of Walker Art Center

Photo: Courtesy of Chambers

Photo: Courtesy of Midwest Mountaineering

Photo: Courtesy of Chain of Lakes Byway District

Photo: Courtesy of 414SoundBar

Photo: Courtesy of The Depot Minneapolis

Photo: Courtesy of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Photo: Courtesy of Spoonriver

Photo: Roland Halbe

Photo: Courtesy of Saint Paul Farmers’ Market

Known to outsiders mostly for grueling winters, the Twin Cities are surprisingly vibrant no matter what the temperature. Urban parks, dedicated bike lanes, outdoor festivals, and 22 lakes draw everyone outdoors in summer.

Hotels (8)

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    W Minneapolis - The Foshay

    A sexy new hotel in an arguably unsexy city, the W Minneapolis is a stunning 2008 renovation of the 1920’s Art Deco Foshay Tower. Until 1957, it wa

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    The Depot Minneapolis, A Renaissance Hotel

    The Milwaukee Road Depot opened in 1899; today, this restored historic complex features 225 hotel rooms, an enclosed ice-skating rink, and a 15,000

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    Nicollet Island Inn

    Visitors return to the 24-room Nicollet Island Inn year after year for its romantic setting on a miniature island in the middle of the Mississippi.

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    Covington Inn B&B

    In a city full of chain hotels, this floating inn—a refurbished 1946 towboat—is an adventurous way to experience the mighty Mississippi. Permanentl

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    Saint Paul Hotel

    Despite the greeting by a doorman in a top hat, there’s a delightful lack of pretense at this historic luxury hotel. Yet it doesn’t come at the exp

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    Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis

    These minimalist digs put the spotlight where it belongs: on the 200-plus pieces of world-renowned contemporary art prominently displayed throughou

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    Graves 601 Hotel

    Geared toward the fashionable set, Graves 601 is within walking distance of all of Downtown’s restaurants, theaters, and bars; Target Field, the ne

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    The Grand Hotel, Minneapolis

    This 140-room hotel has been setting the standard for luxury in Minneapolis since it opened in 2000; its tastefully appointed rooms exude elegance,

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Restaurants (9)

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    W. A. Frost and Company

    This timeless St. Paul restaurant pays tribute to the city’s elegant past, virtually re-creating the early 20th century. Owner John Rupp kept the o

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    Tanpopo Noodle Shop

    Get your fill of udon or soba at Tanpopo, where steaming bowls of light, chewy noodles are not just affordable but a local favorite. For under $10

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    Spoonriver

    A local celebrity among foodies, Spoonriver’s chef, owner, and native Minnesotan Brenda Langton sources only the best locally produced meat, grains

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    Red Stag Supperclub

    Great care was taken to lower the environmental impact of Red Stag—Minnesota's first LEED-certified restaurant—while providing diners with filling

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    Meritage, St. Paul

    A bright, sunny space in the historic Hamm Building, Meritage evokes a Parisian brasserie with just-baked baguettes on display and a chalkboard wit

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    Lucia's Restaurant and Wine Bar

    At this neighborhood favorite, Chef Lucia Watson creates a menu that debuts every Tuesday and concentrates on fresh local ingredients. It’s a good

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    Town Talk Diner

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    La Belle Vie

    At this celebrated restaurant occupying a 19th-century Groveland Avenue apartment building, the "who's who" of the business class dine and network

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    112 Eatery

    Long known as the place where local chefs eat after-hours, 112 Eatery’s own chef is finally getting his due with a James Beard award nomination. Th

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Activities (16)

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    Listen to nightly live music at the Lake Harriet band shell

    Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and park yourself in the grass for a performance of samba, swing, reggae, or even a Neil Diamond tribute band. Show

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    Science Museum of Minnesota

    This hands-on museum, beautifully situated on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, is as much a playground for adults as it is for children. From t

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    Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

    The glamorous Ordway Center, with its expansive glass façade and dramatically curved interior staircase, is the jewel of St. Paul’s performing arts

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    Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

    At 450 acres, this urban retreat is about half the size of NYC's Central Park, but it has more to see, with a zoo, conservatory, amusement park, go

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    Golden Fig Fine Foods

    Few other shops inspire the palate like the Golden Fig. Owner Laurie Crowell, who got her start selling homemade spices and vinegars at the St. Pau

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    Heimie's Haberdashery

    Named for owner Anthony Andler’s great-grandfather (a tailor and 1917 Russian immigrant), Heimie’s is the sort of men’s clothing store you may have

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    Common Good Books

    As the birthplace of F. Scott Fitzgerald, St. Paul takes pride in keeping its vibrant literary reputation alive. Local celebrity and host of A Prai

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    CorAzoN

    Depending on the season, nearly half of the merchandise in this eclectic gift shop is made by local artists, showcasing original home accessories,

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    Midwest Mountaineering

    The city’s premier locally owned outdoor store is an addictive spot for adventurers looking for camping, climbing, and paddling gear—or simply a pa

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    Design Collective

    Dedicated to providing a showcase for one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories from emerging local talent, this sunny Uptown shop dresses men and wom

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    The Happy Gnome

    A favorite among St. Paul’s after-work crowd, this casual neighborhood bar makes ordering a beer an enjoyable challenge, thanks to the 50 on tap an

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    Bryant Lake Bowl

    Affectionately known as the BLB, this vintage-style bowling alley with a full bar and an adjacent theater for concerts, films, and plays draws a cr

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    Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

    Jazz enthusiasts of every stripe gather at this nationally renowned venue to hear local talent and touring musicians—everyone from vocalists like N

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    414Soundbar

    Serving as a tonic to the martini-drinking lounge crowd, the 414 oozes with the vibe of a European dance club. Its two intimate spaces—a richly pat

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    Guthrie Theater

    Attracting architecture buffs from across the country, this performance space opened to much fanfare in 2006. Designed by famed French architect Je

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Similar Trips (2)

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  • A Politico's Minneapolis-St.Paul

    Minneapolis/St. Paul, Downtown Minneapolis, Downtown St. Paul

    Even though the Republican Convention is over, these hot spots still remain in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  • The Midwest: An Architecture Buff's Tour

    Milwaukee + Lake Michigan Area, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Spring Green, Toledo, Downtown Minneapolis

    It's no secret anymore: The Midwest is home to some of the most innovative contemporary architecture in America. Our five day self-guided tour includes stops in Toledo, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and

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