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First Trip to Minneapolis, MN - What to do?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by DBear, May 27, 2014.

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  1. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    I've flown thru MSP before but have never spent any time in the city or area. A hotel deal recently came out that I couldn't not take advantage of. Basically 4 free nights given the amount of hotel points required is neglible. If everything goes as planned, I'll be attending the weekend before the MLB All-Star game in July.

    I haven't done much research yet, but what should I do? I like history, culture and museums. Even shows if something is on or coming to town. I will do some outlet shopping plus take in a couple of restaurants I can't get at home - Cheesecake Factory!!! Btw, where does one buy frozen Cheescake Factory cheesecakes? I've seen them before for sale, aside from their restaurants, and I wouldn't mind bringing one or two frozen ones home. So far, I've only been able to eat them in LV and Waikiki.

    While looking up restaurants, I came across Cane's Chicken Fingers. I've never tried them...are they that good? I should have stopped in at the one by the South Premium Outlets in LV but I just finished a breakfast buffet at Cosmo before going shopping. Couldn't eat anymore. Aside from Cheesecake Factory and Cane's, I'm interested in some good local stuff. Any Top Chef contestant restaurants in the area? Other celeb chef or hot spots to try?

    Oh, and what about culture in the city! Got 3 full days to fill up.
     
  2. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    Lots of folks enjoy Hell's Kitchen for breakfast or weekend brunch.
    Something Minneapolis seems to be known for food-wise is the Juicy Lucy burger. There's a debate about who did it first and who does it best, but I'll throw Matt's Bar out there as the place to go if you want to give it a try - just be sure to bring cash if you go.

    A cool piece of architecture to check out is the Guthrie Theater. Even if you don't attend a show there, you can walk around inside and get a nice view of the river.

    The Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden are popular as well. Especially this:
    tumblr_m2rctpc3Of1rszf5ro1_400.jpg

    If you like water, Lake Calhoun is fun.

    If you like comedy, I enjoy this theater (ok, I'll admit, I have a buddy who performs there): http://theatre.bravenewworkshop.com/

    Hopefully that gives you a good start.
     
  3. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    I lived in the Twin Cities for 10 years. (Don't forget St. Paul! Although many do... I liked living there much more than I liked Minneapolis.)

    Where are you staying? Will you have a car?

    A true locals' pizza joint is Red's Savoy Inn:

    http://savoypizza.com/

    It's expanded locally in recent years; the original (and best) is the downtown St. Paul branch.

    If you like art at all, the MIA is free and well worth a visit: http://new.artsmia.org/
    Uptown is the classic hip part of Mpls (although there are others, of course): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uptown,_Minneapolis
    Summit (and Grand) Avenues in Saint Paul are leafy thoroughfares with lots of 19th century mansions, including the Governor's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summit_Avenue_(St._Paul)

    That'll get you started...
     
  4. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I was there for the first time last April and I just LOVED Minneapolis... walked all over what I thought was probably the cleanest big city I've ever visited. I really wanna go back to see a baseball game or two. Loved where the put the stadium. I ate at the counter at Hell's Kitchen... it was worth the short wait. I raved to the cab driver about his town, he said, "well, before you get ready to move here, come back and visit us in February!"
     
  5. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    Mall of America
     
  6. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    People seem to love or hate the Mall Of America. My wife was VERY excited to go there - and I grudgingly went along. In spite of my skepticism, I ended up having a great time. It has some very good bars and restaurants as well as activities for families. We ended up staying a full day there.

    Bill
     
  7. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the starters...looking forward to the entrees!

    Im staying south of the city, in Eagan, kinda looks like its in between the 2 cities albeit still south. About 20 miles from each downtown core I think! I will have a car.

    I do like walking in downtown areas. I went to Dallas last fall and just loved walking around to museums, farmers markets, arena, and stuff. Are the downtowns of Minneapolis and St Paul similar or are attractions more spread out? How is parking downtown? Any neighborhoods to avoid?

    I will be about 5 miles from Mall of America. I wasnt planning on spending more than an hour or so there just to say I've been, but then I saw they've got Star Trek the Exhibition there until September! Love ST, even went to the Vegas convention for a day last summer. Anyone been to this exhibition? Either here or elsewhere? I gather it's a traveling show? Ive been to ST the Experience when it was at the Hilton in LV. Is it similar?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  8. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Well, mystic lake casino is 20 miles away, it's bigger than any casino in vegas(gambling wise). I live here and I dont know what to do, about all most people do is go to bars, go to the lake, or leave town. Como zoo is pretty nice, its in st paul and it's free.
     
  9. Lolli

    Lolli Tourist

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    If you're downtown Mpls, be sure to check out Nicollet Mall. Lots of great restaurants/bars with outside patio seating and live music. Horse drawn carriage rides down the mall. The Minneapolis Aquatennial is also around that time. If so, lots of activites to see and do (riverboat racing, parades, live music, fireworks etc.) Its a pretty big deal. If you're into amusement parks, check out Valley Fair in Shakopee, its not too far from where you're staying. As someone already said, Mystic Lake Casino is also nearby. Take in a Twins game. If corner bars are more your style, an area of Northeast (Nordeast) has a bar on just about ever corner. A restaurant recommendation is the Loring Pasta Bar near uptown/dinkytown, great atmosphere, and the food and drinks as well as the service is top notch.

    I was born and raised in Minneapolis but moved an hour north about 15 years ago. I still make it down there quite often (family and friends are still there). If I can think of anything else, I'll post it. Otherwise there seem to be alot of Minnesotans on this board that Im sure have alot of other fun things to do/see that Im forgetting. Have a great trip!
     
  10. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    We're zoo people and the one in Minneapolis is nice, but you'd need a car. As mentioned Nicollet Mall is very nice.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
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  11. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    Eagan, eh? I hope you have a decent hotel...

    Mall of America is worth a visit. I consider it one of the artificial wonders of the world (like the Vegas Strip, Disneyworld, and Bourbon Street). Get there in the morning before it gets too crowded.

    There's light rail in the Twin Cities, which I've not used but it gets good reviews. There are only two lines: from the Mall of America to downtown Minneapolis (http://www.metrotransit.org/metro-blue-line), and from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul (http://www.metrotransit.org/metro-green-line). Riding those would be a fun and pretty cheap way to see more of the area. You could park at the mall and ride the rail downtown, for instance.

    A few more (admittedly St. Paul-centric) ideas for you.

    Food:

    Mickey's Dining Car, downtown St. Paul. An authentic diner: http://www.mickeysdiningcar.com/
    Grand Ole Creamery, Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Lines out the door for delicious ice cream. http://grandolecreamery.com/web/
    Blue Door Pub. One in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis. Amazing burgers. http://www.thebluedoorpubmn.com/

    Sights:

    Cathedral of St. Paul, overlooking downtown St. Paul. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Saint_Paul,_National_Shrine_of_the_Apostle_Paul
    Minnesota History Center, also overlooking downtown St. Paul. http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/
    And of course the state capitol! In, of course, St. Paul! http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/minnesota-state-capitol
     
  12. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    Lots of suggestions, it will come down what you're looking to do. For restaurants, I guess it depends if you like chain places more than original restaurants. Chains will be all over Eagan. Orignals will be in the city (Minneapolis or St. Paul) and you'll have to drive.

     
  13. sweetcanadian

    sweetcanadian High-Roller

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    Eagan will be fine, close enough to the city. We went for our first time last year and stayed in apple valley. LOVED IT! we went for our 1st wedding anniversary when our calgary trip fell through due to flooding. I wanted to experience 4th of July.

    MOA i find over rated, but i find West Edmonton Mall over rated too. I was prepared to take all day there just to go past the shops but did it in a couple hours. My husband liked the amusement park there.

    We did a river dinner cruise, i chose the pizza one, it was nice.

    There is a park right downtown on the water where they had the fireworks, was nice down there too.

    I found it an easy city to get around.

    We went to the zoo (not como) and liked it.

    Cane's is good. I love chicken fingers.

    There is a message board like this one.......probably can find some info there.
     
  14. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    Jucy Lucy

    Get it at Matt's bar. One of my favorite burgers of all time.
     
  15. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 High-Roller

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    A lot of good conversation here, but help me understand. Wouldn't this conversation be better served on the Minneapolis forum? Not LV?
     
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  16. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    Absolutely.
     
  17. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    It's posted right where it should be "non-Vegas chat". I post questions in that forum for other cities we visit. I don't understand the issue.
     
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  18. katmu

    katmu Well-Known Member

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    If you are interested in history, and are already planning to be downtown to tour the Walker and Nicollet Mall, I would highly recommend a visit to the Mill City Museum, about the history of the flour and grain industry in Minneapolis. Matt's for a Juicy Lucy is a good suggestion.

    eFor bars, you might want to head over the river to NE Minneapolis where you will find a real mix of bars and a number of microbreweries these days.

    If the weather is nice, I would also recommend checking out the lakes (Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and/or Lake of the Isles). You could walk the paths around the lake, or rent bikes, or even rent a canoe or kayak and head out on the lakes.

    Grady's list of St. Paul attractions is a good list for St. Paul.

    If you like baseball, you might want to see if there's a game at Target Field or for a more laid back experience you could check out a St. Paul Saints game.
     
  19. MNVegasgal

    MNVegasgal Low-Roller

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    I Work in Eagan.. and you can get to both St. Paul and MSP easily. You could park at Fort Snelling, and take the light rail into Downtown MSP. DrivingYou can jump on 35E north and in 15 minutes (depending on traffic) be in St. Paul. Grand Avenue in St. Paul has come great restaurants and good shopping. I love a local burger place on 7th and Randolph - The Shamrock - they are owned by the same people as The Nook (was on Diners, Drive in and Dives) and has a great juicy "nookie" burger. Pazzaluna in Downtown St. Paul has great Fine Dining Italian, or for a little less fancy - Cosetta's is a fun and yummy place. In MSP Crave has a great outdoor rooftop for drinks and dinner. You can find a Cheesecake Factory at Southdale in Edina. For a great steak place- Murray's (Old School steak house). I would highly recommend the Segway tours in downtown MSP. They have options of the sculpture gardens, or the riverfront milling area. We did it for a work outing.. and none of us had ridden a segway before and it was a blast! The Twins will be out of town in Denver playing the Rockies (and I will be in Denver at the games :)). Target Field is a great baseball field.. great vibe and some great food options - hopefully you will come back again when you can go to a game.
     
  20. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Many great suggestions! Have made many notes. I'd prefer to stay downtown but given the hotel deal I've got, it's free with my points and even with points, its a fraction of the regular points required. Staying the weekend before the MLB All Star game...Twins are playing outta town before that.
     
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