Old timey fun in the Twin Cities

Image by Quazie/Flickr

History runs through the veins of the Twin Cities just like the current of the Mississippi River. Experience stories and items from the past in timeless neighborhoods and some of our favorite antique stores. While you’re at it, stop at some historic landmarks in the area.

Interior exhibit shot at the Mill City Museum

Image by Erica Loeks/Minnesota Monthly



While it’s not antiquing per se, we recommend paying a visit to the Mill City Museum to kick start this historic weekend. A Minnesota Historical Society site, the museum is built on the ruins of what was once the nation’s largest flour mill and pays homage to Minneapolis’ former claim to fame as the “flour milling capital of the world.” Set alongside the Mississippi riverfront, this family-friendly museum chronicles the intertwined histories of the flour industry, river and city of Minneapolis. Take a seat in the working elevator for an eight-story tour and then learn about the two iconic brands Pillsbury and General Mills, including their famous characters, the Dough Boy and Betty Crocker.

mall-of-saint-paul antiques display with many different colors

Image by furny/Flickr



Prep for a day of digging through antiques at Cahoots Coffee Bar in St. Paul. Classified as quaint and casual by locals, the coffee shop features unique specialty drinks along tried and true classics. Grab an “Iced Thai” or “Moshpit” to power up for the day ahead.


Your first stop is at the Mall of St. Paul. An archive for the lost-and-forgotten, this antique store contains plenty of treasures just waiting to be snatched up. They offer a huge variety of antique furniture, jewelry, clothing and boxes filled to the brim with vintage vinyl records.


Feeling hungry? Head to Blue Door Pub, which is home to a delicious assortment of burgers and beer. We recommend the Bacon Blucy with a side of Cajun tots. If the weather allows, outdoor seating is a must. Fresh air, a juicy burger and some fries are all you need to relax for a spell before hitting the next store on our list.

A deceptively large antique store, Missouri Mouse Antiques (located just a block from Blue Door Pub) is stacked high with antiques. Like the Mall, this store offers a broad selection of pieces, ranging from collectible glass to old books and refinished furniture.


Cap off a day of shopping—and celebrate your plunder—with a dinner at W.A. Frost. The restaurant is located in the 1889 Dacotah Building, a sandstone-and-brick beauty with stained glass and archways that exude the elegance and sophistication of a bygone era.


To end a weekend of searching for historic treasures, enjoy a meal at The Monte Carlo—an antique in and of itself. Located in Minneapolis’ North Loop, the restaurant is the oldest in the Twin Cities, having opened in 1902 (originally it was a Gluek’s beer bar). With updates and renovations, the only part of the Monte Carlo that dates to the original experience of 20th-century patrons would be the beautiful tin ceiling. So be sure to look up. You’ll gaze into something seen by people who got to the restaurant on horseback.


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