The Mississippi River runs between the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and the state capital of St. Paul. City highlights include the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, famed for Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
The Twin Cities are second to New York for having the most theater seats per capita in the nation. The Hennepin Avenue Theatre District features the Orpheum, State, New Century and Pantages Theatre in the west Warehouse District. The Guthrie Theater includes three stages and 2,000 seats.
Find world cuisine along Eat Street and vintage shops and fashion boutiques in the Uptown area. Loring Park along the downtown’s southern edge is an idyllic spot for an evening stroll or a morning jog. The famous Mall of America, with more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants, and an indoor theme park, is 15 minutes from the airport or downtown.
The city has an extensive bus and light-rail network. www.minneapolis.org/map-transportation/light-rail-and-bus-schedule.
The Skyway System links 70 city blocks over 8 miles. A printed or app map (Android or iTunes) is a necessity. www.skywaymyway.com.
Getting there: Rates from $64 each way on Spirit (one daily flight); based on a seven-day advance notice. Frequent nonstop Delta service from $206 round-trip; based on a 21-day advance purchase.
Stay: Choose from seven unique guest rooms located above an award-winning restaurant and bar and an all-day cafe at Hotel Alma, a high-end bed-and-breakfast. Rooms feature custom furniture, organic cotton bedding and linens, walk-in showers, hardwood floors, vintage rugs and curated art. The hotel’s backyard is the Mississippi riverfront with walking paths, nearby bike rental and easy access to downtown. From $150 per night, including continental breakfast. 528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis. 612-379-4909, www.almampls.com.
Eat: During the summer and fall, look for a fleet of food trucks around the downtown area. Choose from crepes and cakes, Cajun, Latin, Asian, barbecue to pizza and sushi. The Roaming Hunger gives truck locations (list or map views), menu details and prices. http://roaminghunger.com/food-trucks/mn/minneapolis/1.
Experience: Nearly 51 miles of urban bike trails weave throughout the city, including the Chain of Lakes trail. Stop to catch a live music performance at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, or at the nearby Lyndale Peace Garden. Bike the trails with a rental from one of 200-plus Nice Ride MN locations throughout the Twin Cities. A single ride is $3 per half-hour or $6 for a 24-hour pass that permits unlimited 30-minute rides.www.niceridemn.org.
Stay: Aloft Minneapolis offers next-gen travelers a social scene experience with a lobby bar with cocktails and live music; a lounge to pick up a game of pool or a drink; an indoor splash pool, a 24/7 gym and a 24/7 grab and go market. Rates from $159. 900 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-455-8400, www.aloftminneapolis.com.
Eat: Get to the Local, a lively Irish pub for fish and chips ($15), bangers and mash ($12), pot roast ($17) and draft beers. This lively pub has an 80-foot bar, a Whiskey Lounge and a patio. Catch televised international sporting action and match-day specials on pub grub and pints. 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 612-904-1000, http://the-local.com.
Experience: Guests of all ages can experience open lawn bowling on a 10,000-square-foot green each Saturday and Sunday through September. First-come, first-served bowling starts at noon; 11 p.m. is the last start time. The cost is $10 per adult, per hour; $5 per hour ages 12 and under. Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis also has an outdoor rooftop bar overlooking the English Garden Park, and the Clubhouse for cocktails and views over Nicollet Mall and Peavy Plaza. 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 612-332-3908, http://britspub.com.
Stay: Downtown’s upscale Kimpton Grand Hotel occupies a circa-1912 building with guest rooms mixing vintage and modern designs. On-site are an indoor pool, a spa, fitness center, lounge and restaurant and a sushi bar. The hotel is surrounded by the city’s top entertainment, restaurants, shops, and the Minneapolis Skyway System. The “Stay and Play” package, with rates from $209, include valet parking, two drinks and two MetroTransit Passes (good for two rides each to the Mall of America or to St. Paul). 615 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-288-8888, www.grandhotelminneapolis.com.
Eat: Housed in a former horse and carriage house (circa 1906), Spoon and Stable is today the hip choice in the North Loop neighborhood. The James Beard award-winning chef blends local Midwest flavors with a French twist. Starters and entrees, $11-$31; brunch, $9-$16. 211 N. First St., Minneapolis. 612-224-9850, www.spoonandstable.com.
Experience: Take in the best sights in St. Paul and Minneapolis aboard the Twin Cities Trolley, a climate-controlled replica of an old-time streetcar. The three-hour narrated tour picks up at two downtown locations and the Mall of America. One of the stops along the tour is at the 193-acre riverfront Minnehaha Regional Park with a towering 53-foot waterfall. $49.95; $39.95 ages 17 and under (Groupon.com offers discounted tickets). www.twincitiestrolley.com.
Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.
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