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One week, next summer...

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Hafnarfjordur...
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One week, next summer...

Hi...

1. Planning a weeks visit, next summer (with a rental car).

Two days for shopping (MOA)

One day for Valley fair

One day for the Zoo

Asking for suggestions for the other 2-3 days - all except for downtown Minneapolis, as we will spend 3 days there later :o)

2. Which one would you pick: Hilton Garden Inn - Eagan or Doubletree - Park Place, if the price was the same (with the above, in mind)?

Tank you...

Minneapolis
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1. Re: One week, next summer...

Here's some thoughts -

Eagan is about 25 - 30 min south of downtown, and not connected by light rail. The DoubleTree ParkPlace is a few miles by car from dowtown just of 394 interstate freeway.

Would you - consider a hotel downtown Minneapolis near the light rail stations? That would allow you to get to airport and Mall of America from your hotel, without renting a car.

You could rent a car for part of your trip, from one of the many downtown vendors, and then not have to pay the airport sur-taxes for car rental.

Your dining options will greatly expand, and you'll be close to the Mississippi River, many live theaters, and the new Target Field ballpark.

Try planning on hitting a live performance or play, and check out a few of the museums. There's an outdoor concert series too if you time it right, as well as the annual Aquatennial & 4th of July fireworks and festivities.

Can I ask how you arrived at those two hotel options ?

Minnesota
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2. Re: One week, next summer...

You don't say which month you will be visiting. If you are there late summer, the Minnesota State Fair is fantastic (in St Paul) it begins August 26th. As well as the Renaissance Festival (just south of Shakopee) check it out here

www.mnstatefair.org

www.renaissancefest.com

Even if you don't have a hotel near either of these, it is worth the drive.

Hafnarfjordur...
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3. Re: One week, next summer...

We will be there in middle of July, missing the 4th, the fair and the festival :(

Our hotel picks are limited to our HH award points.

We like the "freedom" of a rental car (and a good weekly rate).

We had our mind made up for HGI when the Doubletree option turned up :)

Minnesota
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4. Re: One week, next summer...

With a rental car, have you considered driving up to Duluth? It's an easy 3 hour drive north of Minneapolis. Stay overnight and go up along our North Shore. It's a very scenic drive along Lake Superior with several small towns that have shops, galleries, and restaurants. There are also several great state parks. The two most visited are Gooseberry Falls that has a spectacular cascade of waterfalls and Split Rock that has a classic lighthouse. Duluth and the North Shore are probably the favorite destinations for most Minnesotans.

If you don't care to do this trip, there are the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Museum, The Guthrie Theatre, and The Minnesota History Museum in the Twin Cities. All are worth experiencing if you are interested in culture.

Orlando, Florida
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5. Re: One week, next summer...

I don't know that particular Hilton Garden Inn but have stayed in others and have also stayed in that particular Doubletree. The Doubletree has a much more upscale feel and is in a much preferred location for pretty much anything IMO.

Minneapolis
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6. Re: One week, next summer...

There's a brand new Hilton Garden Inn in Minneapolis, and The Hotel Minneapolis is also a DoubleTree property. Both are downtown.

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: One week, next summer...

For not downtown suggestions for your 2-3 days, I would echo the idea of Duluth or the North Shore. Good scenery, Duluth will have some shopping sites to see, you'll be near nature attractions such as Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Going south from the city, there is also the historic town of Lanesboro. To be honest, I've never been there but heard interesting things. There is also the Amish communities, some of which offer tours. Might be a way to explore a certain aspect of American life.

Two websites to check out for ideas would be www.exploreminnesota.com or http://www.mnhs.org (the Minnesota Historical Society website). Perhaps this will give you some ideas to consider.

For hotel, Hilton Garden Inn would be likely closer and more convenient traffic-wise to MOA, Valleyfair, and the Zoo. That said, I've not been in either so can't really speak to the quality or lack thereof of either.

Hafnarfjordur...
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8. Re: One week, next summer...

Thank you all... this was helpfull and we have just added the Duluth/North shore experiance to our plans :)

Minneapolis
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9. Re: One week, next summer...

the North Shore is addictive - Lake Superior is our ocean

consider hitting a few of the sites in Duluth - Canal Park / Lift Bridge, etc.

then head up the shore and hit a few of the state parks / water falls / hiking trails

and maybe overnight somewhere up the shore

here's a few good sites -

http://www.americasnorthcoast.org/

http://www.northshorevisitor.com/

they are on their "winter pages" - you should be able to click on the "summer" sections

Burnsville, MN
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10. Re: One week, next summer...

I have only stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagan, and found it to be a very nice place, with an attentive front desk staff, comfy beds, more than the basic cable channels on the TV. I would favor this as it's very close to the airport, the location is only a few minutes away from the Zoo and Mall of America, and not that many more minutes to Valley Fair. One can always park at the eastside of MOA and catch the light rail to Minneapolis or a bus to downtown St. Paul. They actually suggest people park near another stop but I've never had any hassle parking in the MOA lot itself.

The hotel doesn't provide a complementary breakfast but there are refrigerators and microwaves in every room so one could handle their own breakfasts if you choose. The hotel is near some good restaurants such as the Green Mill, Caspars Cherokee Sirloin Room, Axels Bonfire, etc., a large cinema complex right across the street (on Cliff Road) as well as one of our beloved Targets (although not a SuperTarget with a full grocery store) but a Cub grocery store right next to it.

A suggestion: you are automatically charged and receive a newspaper each morning at a cost of .75. If you don't want this, mention it at check-in. All in all, it's a very nice place.

I agree with everyone recommending a trip to the North Shore. You probably would find it quite interesting how much the scenery can look like Scandanavia (although I realize Iceland isn't quite the same as Norway and Sweden), and so many people from those countries emigrated to that region.