Minneapolis—St. Paul: Top Things to Do and Where to Stay
In the United States, the two Minnesotan cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul represent are quintessential twin cities.
Twin Cities are two urban centres located in close proximity which often share cultural similarities, and will likely begin to merge over time.
Separated by the Mississippi River, these urban hubs are only a 15-minute drive apart. They share an airport, the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, which Aer Lingus has recently added to their portfolio. You can fly direct to Minneapolis—St. Paul from Ireland, or enjoy the area in a short time on a layover. Read on to learn why Minneapolis—St. Paul is worth a visit!
The city of Minneapolis is the larger of the two cities, and along with surrounding neighbourhoods, contributes to the 16th largest metropolitan area in the United States! Further, the city is known for its artistic flair and some of the country’s most influential musicians like Bob Dylan and Prince who began their careers here.
Minnesota’s capital city of St. Paul makes up the other half of the iconic Twin Cities duo and is the most populous city in the state. St. Paul is known for its winter festivities as it’s the home of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which features a treasure hunt, ice sculpting, and a real ice palace! This city was also the home of the Peanuts comics writer Charles M. Schulz for much of his life – you’ll find cute statues around the city dedicated to his lovable characters.
Things to do in Minneapolis — St. Paul
The Mall of America
Located in nearby Bloomington and only ten minutes from the airport, the Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the USA. The mall welcomes over 40 million visitors each year. Often, one of the downsides to shopping in the U.S. is the additional sales tax on most items, however, you can shop tax-free for all clothes and shoes at the Mall of America!
This massive retail hub features over 520 stores, restaurants of various international cuisines, an aquarium, and even an indoor theme park! A visit to the Mall of America is almost like a city break in of itself, and with such a wide variety of entertainment options, there’s bound to be something fun for all ages!
The Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor amusement park in the U.S., promises family fun without needing to leave the walls of the mall. For families travelling together, younger children might not enjoy bouncing around the shops, but they will likely love the opportunity to ride a rollercoaster through the mall.
This park encompasses seven acres of attractions, including thrilling rides, meet-and-greets with the beloved characters, and Nickelodeon-themed shops and restaurants.
Prince’s former estate, just a few minutes away in Chanhassen, is open to the public for tours. This architecturally impressive building was the artist’s centre for all things creative. It served as a recording studio, rehearsal space, filming location, and performance stage.
Some of Prince’s best and most iconic albums were recorded at Paisley Park Studios. In addition, artists such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, James Brown, and more have also recorded music here. Previously, Prince described the space, saying “Paisley Park is pretty much representative of everything I am musically“. His talent, whimsy, and imagination are evident all around the one-of-a-kind estate.
The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre
Enjoy dinner & a show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre located just 25 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis! With high-quality, popular productions like Mamma Mia and a diverse menu of food and drink, a visit to the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre promises to be a night well spent.
There are also frequent shows featuring some of Minnesota’s best musicians. This theatre has a unique setup with many small dinner tables facing a beautiful stage, so you can enjoy your meal while taking in the fine entertainment.
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Located only blocks from the Mall of America, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a 14,000-acre preserved natural area traversed by pathways. One of these paths is walking distance from the mall and leads into the beautiful Minnesota wilderness.
The refuge is a sanctuary for local birds, fish, and other animals threatened by habitat destruction. Many visitors can catch of glimpse of wild coyotes or even the iconic American national symbol, the bald eagle, while walking among the lush wetlands!
Where to Stay in Minneapolis — St. Paul
Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Bloomington is the perfect place to stay for families travelling to Minneapolis—St. Paul. The waterpark at Great Wolf is indoors, so you can enjoy the pools, slides, and play areas even throughout Minnesota’s frigid winters. Also, the hotel is within walking distance from the Mall of America and a 10-minute drive from the airport.
The fun doesn’t end with the waterpark, though! Kids will love the interactive MagiQuest game where they explore the hotel, wizard’s wand in hand, on epic, fantastical journeys. Also, the hotel features a bowling alley and eight onsite restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Radisson Blu
For couples and older travellers, we recommend the Radisson Blu located next to the Mall of America. They are conveniently connected via skyway! A free shuttle runs between the Minneapolis—St. Paul Airport and the Radisson Blu, so you can easily reach the hotel in under 20 mins. This hotel features an indoor saline pool, the elegant Solimar Spa & Salon, and the onsite FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar.
The Twin Cities are an excellent place to visit on a USA holiday. You can shop to your heart’s content, spend some family time at the theme park, and take a relaxing walk through nature. Either as a stand-alone trip or a stop on your way to California, Las Vegas, or another west-coast destination, enjoy all the Twin Cities have to offer with Click&Go!