Small-town charm in a vibrant metropolis
Image by Todd Buchanan
Located just across the Mississippi River from Minneapolis is St. Paul. The epicenter of Minnesota politics and government, walking the streets here gives off a very different vibe than its sister city. Instead of the many high rise office buildings with a more modern aesthetic found in Minneapolis, St. Paul’s skyline is dotted with architectural marvels from the past such as the beautifully sculpted Cathedral of Saint Paul; the blazing, golden quadriga keeping watch atop Saint Peter’s Basilica-inspired Capitol building—which also features the second largest unsupported marble dome in the world; and the medieval castle in the heart of downtown known as the Landmark Center. This unique combination gives residents and visitors alike the experience of two different cities for the price of one at their fingertips.
You do not have to look far to notice that St. Paul is bursting with character and history, from the extensive underground tunnel system used by bootleggers and gangsters during Prohibition to Summit Avenue’s historic churches, synagogues, schools and homes—including the former households of railroad tycoon James J. Hill and literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald—all preserved in beautiful Victorian architecture.
A humming downtown boasts plenty to do no matter your interests and taste. Grand Old Day helps the city kick off summer every June with 30 blocks of entertainment, including food vendors and live music. And residents can rock out at weekly outdoor concerts in the summer found at Mears Park—a charming oasis in the heart of the city; get in touch with their creative side and let their imaginations soar with interactive fun and learning for all ages at the Science Museum of Minnesota or equally impressive (and newly renovated) Minnesota Children’s Museum; or grab some friends and kick back at a slew of pubs and taverns dedicated to the city’s Irish roots. Whatever you decide, St. Paul’s architecture and history entwines perfectly with the entertainment of today and will keep you coming back for more.