St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota, situated close to where the Mississippi River meets the Minnesota River. The relatively small city stretches out to meet its twin city, Minneapolis, to the west. Although their downtown areas are just nine miles (14 kilometers) apart, these “twins” are by no means lookalikes.
The early settlement of St. Paul was known as Pig’s Eye Landing until a chapel for the apostle Paul was built and a town took shape. It became the state capital in 1849, but St. Paul has always kept its quaint country charm. Minneapolis has the larger population of the two, and is considered the capital of culture.
As “The City of Lakes” Minneapolis has an abundance of nature, but its many outstanding museums, malls and theaters gave the city its other nickname: “Mini-Apple.” Though it is likened to the Big Apple, most say Minneapolis has none of New York’s attitude. It does have some world-famous celebrities though. When you visit the bars you will often hear the song Purple Rain blasting out of the speakers. This is a tribute to Minneapolis-born pop star Prince, who still has a house and studio here.
Expect cold winters and hot summers in this region. No matter which season it is, a walk in Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is always beautiful. It is always warm at the indoor Water Park of America, where you can take a raft down a 10-story-high ride. The Walker Art Center with sculpture garden is also worth exploring any time of year. Its giant Spoonbridge and Cherry is one of the most photographed landmarks in the area.
Be sure to check out the city’s other icons, such as the architecture of the Weisman Art Museum and Guthrie Theater. You can choose between the free zoo in St. Paul and the bigger, but not free, Minnesota Zoo in Minneapolis.
Visit Minneapolis-St. Paul to enjoy nature, browse art, watch a theater production or visit a modern museum. Together the “twins” provide the perfect combination of old town charm and metropolitan style surrounded by nature.