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Exploring Minnesota’s Twin Cities

The Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota and surrounding area is a wonderful place to visit and take in the sights. Activities to do and places to see are endless and only limited by the time you have to explore the area. 

We frequent the Twin Cities often as we have family nearby. Here is a sampling of the sights we have been to during our last two summer visits to the area. Some are well-known and popular while others are unique and often times unheard of. As an added bonus, all but two of the sights featured below are free of charge. 

Throughout the Minneapolis and Saint Paul areas are statues featuring the Peanuts characters. They were created in honor of Charles Schultz, a native of the Twin Cities, shortly after his death in 2000. Over 100 fiberglass and bronze statues were designed and displayed by local artists. The first year after Mr. Schultz’s death all statues created were of Snoopy. Thereafter, yearly, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy with Woodstock were introduced. 

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Cantebury Park is a Thoroughbred horse racing track in Shakopee that hosts races approximately 70 days a year from early May to mid-September. Races are generally held Thursday through Sunday with add on races on select holidays. The park also features specialty races on occasion like the Zebra racing shown below. 

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are well known for having extensive biking and walking trails throughout the cities and surrounding areas.  Pictured below is a section of the 18.3 mile long Gateway State Trail that connects Stillwater to Saint Paul. 

The city of Minneapolis grew around St Anthony Falls, the only naturally occurring falls along the entire length of the Mississippi River. 

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The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at St Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. It is the only arched bridge made of stone that crosses the river. The bridge was built in the 1880’s and is 2100 feet long. 

Here is a view of St Anthony Falls taken while standing on the Stone Arch Bridge. The bridge is open daily for walking and biking. 

Mill City Museum is located on the banks of the Mississippi River near St Anthony Falls in the the former Washburn A Mill. The museum features exhibits about the history of Minneapolis, flour milling machinery, a water lab and a baking lab. Freight elevators take visitors to multiple floors of the building which are designed to look like a floor in a working flour mill. Visitors also have access to the 9th floor observation deck to view St Anthony Falls. 

The Mill City Museum is open daily in July and August and Tuesday through Sunday the remaining months. It is closed on select holidays. Admission is $12 per adult with discounts for seniors, children, veterans and active military personnel. 

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Hahn/Cock is a giant fiberglass blue rooster located in the sculpture garden of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The rooster and stainless steel base stand nearly 25 feet tall. 

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11 acre park located near the Walker Art Center. The garden is free to visit and contains more than 40 sculptures including the rusted steel LOVE one pictured below. 

The Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture has been at the garden since the mid 1980’s. It is a large spoon with a cherry suspended on the rim. The sculpture is nearly 152 feet long and weighs 7000 pounds. 

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Beautiful butterfly found at the Blooming Butterflies exhibit at the Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul. The zoo is a great place for people of all ages and has free admission and parking. Donations are accepted. 

Another beautiful butterfly at Como Park Zoo. 

The zoo has over 1,600 animals on exhibit including this giraffe. 

Sibley Historic Site in Mendota. It is the site of Henry Hastings Sibley’s home. Mr. Sibley was the regional manager of the American Fur Company and Minnesota’s first governor. The Sibley House was built in 1835-1836 and is considered the oldest private residence in Minnesota. 

The 53 foot tall Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis is the most photographed spot in Minnesota. It is located on Minnehaha Creek 3/4 of a mile from where the creek empties into the Mississippi River. The name Minnehaha translates to “waterfall” in the Dakota language. 

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Minnehaha Park is a city park in Minneapolis. It is 170 acres and features multiple historic sites, Minnehaha Falls, walking and biking trails and picnic areas. Bike rentals including surreys and double surreys like the ones pictured below are available in the park. 

A fence made from colorful vintage skis is located at Alpine Asphalt in Minneapolis. The company is owned by avid skiers hence the fence and the name “Alpine”. Definitely fits the definition of quirky. 

We hope you enjoyed the pictorial of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area and are inspired to visit there soon. It is one of our favorite metro areas to be in. You won’t be disappointed!