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Weekend in the Twin Cities

Indiana
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Weekend in the Twin Cities

Several family members are meeting in St. Paul the weekend of April 5-7 for my cousin's graduation concert at McNally Smith. My husband and I will be in the Twin Cities April 4-7 and we will have a car, as we are planning to drive to Hastings on Friday to see the Frank Lloyd Wright Fasbender Medical Clinic there, and are HOPING to see the Willey House, if the homeowners ever reply to my tour request.

Trying to decide if we should stay in downtown St. Paul with the rest of the family, or if Minneapolis would be a better choice. I have read on the forum that St. Paul is more laid back (like a scotch that might take time to appreciate!) and Minneapolis has more action and nightlife. As you might assume, we are interested in architecture, art, and history and I have been reading about other potential sites like Landmark Center, Ramsey House, Hill House, state capitol building. Also might be interested in seeing the Weisman (although my husband already has) or Mill City Museum. Hoping to also do a walk near Stone Arch Bridge if I can figure out how to get there. Would love to catch something at a theater Saturday night ...

I'd welcome suggestions and recommendations on which area to stay in, and which sites to prioritize ... and if anyone has an "in" at the Willey House ... well, then I'd just be forever indebted! I'm trying not to freak that our trip is only three weeks away and we still haven't heard anything.

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Tough decision. How much value do you see in staying at a hotel with friends? If that is a big factor, you can certainly spend valuable time seeing many sights in downtown St. Paul -- MN History Center, Hill House (which I would choose over the Ramsey House if you decide between the two), capitol, etc.

Also there are some great restaurants downtown St. Paul, including Meritage, Degidio's, Cossetta to name a couple.

I'm a Minneapolis boy, and I'm supremely biased so if it were me, I'd stay there and wander around the riverfront for hours checking out the milling history there (including Mill City Museum), walking down to see the canals and tunnels (you can't go in but it gives you an idea of just how brilliantly the river was used to power the mills) and then across the James J Hil-built Stone Arch bridge for a view of the falls that put Minneapolis on the map. Lots of history, including the creation of food giants such as Cargill, Pillsbury, General Mills. Great dining downtown Mpls. And of course, a haven for theater-goers.

minneapolis
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2. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Normally, I would agree with mntoathens. However, since most of the items on your list are in St Paul, I might just stay there with the family. There are some great museums in StP also. Will there be kids in tow?

Edited: 18 March 2013, 20:34
Indiana
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3. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Nope, no kids in tow. Just the husband and I. And I should clarify, that we are only planning to spend Friday afternoon/evening with other family members. We will likely be on our own Thursday night (thinking of heading to the NE Arts District for Third Thursdays) as well as Saturday and Sunday. Hence why I was considering staying in Minneapolis, and just driving over to St. Paul as needed ... of course I am aware that we will rack up plenty of parking fees. C'est la vie!

minneapolis
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4. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

I think either location is fine for your visit. However, keep in mind that if there's nothing going on at the Xcel Center in StP, it will likely be a ghost town at night. That being said, if you're looking for something more vibrant in the form of nightlife, I'd stay in Mpls.

Minneapolis...
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5. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

The two towns are only 15 minutes from each other so it is not that big of a deal. I like St. Paul because I really like Meritage and Heartland restaurants, which are in St. Paul.

Indiana
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6. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Thanks for the input. I will take another look ... hotel choice does factor in some, we prefer smaller, historic places with character over big glitzy chains.

Jordan, Minnesota
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7. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Try looking at the Nicollet Island Inn, Grand Hotel in Mpls, St. PAul Hotel, and the W is a historic building that has been revamped.

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Yeah you wont find more character than the old, historic building on Nicllet Island. The Nicollet Island Inn. Great location. Scenery. Everything.

Will be pricey

Indiana
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9. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Thanks for the suggestion ... but we've already booked. I did look into the St. Paul, but decided on the Hotel Minneapolis Marriott ... old bank vaults and such. It was a great price and had decent TA reviews. Couldn't pass it up.

South Dakota
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10. Re: Weekend in the Twin Cities

Can't recommend one downtown area for lodging over another as I usually stay in the burbs, but if you like architecture drive or walk down Summit Avenue in St. Paul. I read somewhere it's the longest stretch of Victorian mansions in the U.S., including one once inhabited by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even if I have that wrong, it's still a really neat historical street.