TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN ST. PAUL
St. Paul, the eastern half of Minnesota’s sister cities, is brimming with historic landmarks, museums, parks, charming neighborhoods and more
All images courtesy of Visit Saint Paul
By Claire Noack
If you are new to Minnesota, make sure to visit the eastern half of the Twin Cities, St. Paul, to see what architectural and natural landmarks it has in store. The capital city has a rich history of French fur traders and Prohibition bootleggers, and it is now home to a thriving metropolis with a variety of parks, historic sites, local breweries, shops and much more to explore.
Take a Historic Tour
For a history lesson under tree-lined streets, take a walk back in time with a tour down Summit Avenue with the Minnesota Historical Society. The tour takes visitors past the Victorian household of railroad-tycoon James J. Hill, which opens its doors daily for guided tours of the 36,500-square foot mansion. If you can’t get enough of our grand homes, continue on Summit Avenue to view the residence of literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Alexander Ramsey home and the Minnesota Governor’s Residence. Tour Fort Snelling to get a look at what life was like in the 1800s with costumed reenactors, military demonstrations and old-fashioned machines.
Go Skyline Sighting
Don’t miss the architectural marvels of the St. Paul skyline, including the beautifully sculpted Cathedral of Saint Paul; the State Capitol‘s blazing, golden quadriga that rests upon the second largest unsupported marble dome in the world; and the medieval castle in the heart of downtown known as the Landmark Center.
Choose a Family-Fun Activity
For entertainment that will keep the whole family engaged, the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul both offer interactive exhibits that will get kids playing, thinking and learning. If you have older children or want a more adult activity, visit one of the local breweries around town to sip on craft beers and enjoy the lively atmosphere; better yet, take a brewery biking tour to get some exercise in as well. Or spend the day in the downtown neighborhood of Lowertown to cheer on St. Paul’s minor league team, the St. Paul Saints, at CHS Field and wander through rows of fresh produce and flowers at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market.
Visit a Park
Offering natural sanctuaries and creative additions to downtown St. Paul, spot the bronze Peanuts character statues paying homage to Charles Schultz in Rice Park and a babbling brook and live music at Mears Park. Just a short drive or bus ride from downtown is St. Paul’s largest park, Como Regional Park. With an amusement park, free zoo and conservatory, gardens, pool, athletic fields, and plenty of open green space, this spot is a definite must-visit.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
If you’re in the mood for shopping, the boutique-lined streets of Grand Avenue offer plenty of opportunities to garner mementos. Highland Park neighborhood and Selby Avenue also host a slew of local shops such as Primp, Patina and BlackBlue, and a lineup of eateries are at the ready to curb your appetite after a long day of shopping.