Minneapolis is a major city in Minnesota that is one of the two major cities that compose the “Twin
Cities”. The twin counterpart of Minneapolis is St. Paul which is the capitol of Minnesota and can be
easily driven to in about 20 minutes or less from the heart of Minneapolis. The Twin Cities have a lot to
offer whether it be art, culture, food, or the outdoors. They are also home to many major sports teams
such as the Vikings (NFL), the Twins (MLB), the Wild (NHL), the Timberwolves (NBA), the Lynx
(WNBA), and the Minnesota United FC (MLS).
The University of Minnesota (AKA UMN or “the U”) is a large public research university with multiple
campuses across Minnesota. UMN is ranked #8 is research among all public universities in the US and is
“one of only five universities in the nation with an engineering school, a medical school a law school, a
veterinary medical school, and an agricultural school all on one campus” (https://twin-
cities.umn.edu/about-us). Also, if you really love sports, UMN is a “Big 10” school so you will not be
alone. You can always find some hardcore tailgating on game days and everyone is covered in maroon
and gold to show off their university pride.
It should come to no surprise to anyone that winters here are COLD. On the bright side, there isn’t as
much snowfall as you would expect with most days of snowfall accumulating less than 1 inch. Summers
are warm and sunny and we have a typical fall and spring allowing for the experience of all four seasons.
They don’t call Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes for nothing, there are actually more than 10,000
lakes in the state of Minnesota and yes you can experience the beauty of plenty of those lakes right in
the twin cities. There are parks and trails by many of the lakes for those who like to walk, bike, or run or
just enjoy some fresh air outdoors. There are also many waterfalls in the area as well as the Mississippi
River which flows right between Minneapolis and St. Paul. There are plenty of places to rent bikes,
kayaks or canoes around the parks so you can take full advantage of the gorgeous scenery.
Restaurants and Culture
There are a wide variety of restaurants all over the twin cities with food from all cultures so anyone will
be able to find something they enjoy. There are also some native favorites like the “Juicy Lucy” (or “Jucy
Lucy”) which can be found at many bars and restaurants in the area but most famously at the 5-8 Club
(https://www.5-8club.com/) and Matt’s Bar and Grill (http://www.mattsbar.com/). There are also many
theaters and museums so there’s many places to experience art and culture in the area like at the
popular Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (https://walkerart.org/visit/garden).
The twin cities are the perfect combination of drivability and accessibility to public transportation. You
can easily drive a car anywhere in the twin cities if you don’t mind street parking in certain areas or you
could take the light rail or bus (https://www.minneapolis.org/map-transportation/light- rail-and- bus-
schedule/). Between the two you can get anywhere in the area. The airport is also conveniently located
just south of the two cities.
Day and Weekend Trips
Afton State Park, Wisconsin Dells (Waterpark Capitol of the world), Lutsen (ski resort), Stillwater, Mall of
America, Mississippi River, Taylors Falls.
Stillwater – 30 min.
Afton State Park – 45 min.
Taylor’s Falls – 45 min.
Wisconsin Dells – 3 hrs
Lutsen – 4 hrs
Madison – 4 hrs
Kansas City – 6.25 hrs
Chicago – 6.5 hrs
Winnipeg – 7hrs