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What are Some Tourist Attractions in the Twin Cities?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated May 17, 2024
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Nestled on the upper banks of the Mississippi River in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minneapolis and St. Paul, collectively known as the Twin Cities, offer a multitude of tourist attractions for people with different kinds of interests. Some tourists mistakenly don’t consider heading to the harsh winters or hot summers of the Twin Cities area for a getaway. Whether it is colder than you have ever imagined or so hot and humid that you wish for snow, there is an attraction for everyone. Three of the most noteworthy attractions are the Mall of America, the Fitzgerald Theatre and the Walker Art Center.

Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, is the home of the first enclosed shopping mall, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Mall of America located just ten minutes away in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Mall of America, one of the Twin Cities' most popular tourist attractions, opened in 1992 and boasts over 520 shops, over 50 restaurants, an indoor theme park, a 1.2 million gallon (approx. 4.5 million liters) walk-through aquarium, a movie theater and a wedding chapel. Just to put things in perspective, 32 Boeing-747’s could fit in inside the mall and if a shopper spent 10 minutes browsing in every store, it would take them 86 hours to get through the whole mall. The Mall of America is a great place for adults, teens or families to escape the brutal winter weather of the Twin Cities.

When tourists are interested in taking in a local show, one of the most picturesque theaters in the Twin Cities is the Fitzgerald Theatre. Located in Minnesota’s capitol of St. Paul, the Fitzgerald Theatre’s namesake is The Great Gatsby author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, a St. Paul native. Not only is the Fitzgerald Theatre breathtakingly beautiful, but it is St. Paul’s oldest surviving theater space. Most famous for being the home of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion live radio program, the Fitzgerald’s stage has been host to Broadway shows, vaudeville shows, concerts, film festivals and more.

Tourists that visit the Twin Cities may be thrilled to know that they can visit the Walker Art Center. Established in 1927, the Walker Art Center is one of the most popular modern art museums, in terms of the number of visits, in the United States. Artists and art lovers alike can stroll the gallery and view works by Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore and others. After taking in the indoor exhibits, visitors may choose to head outside for a leisurely walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which is adjacent to the museum.

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Discussion Comments

By TreeMan — On Jun 11, 2012

I am currently trying to plan a vacation and I was thinking about going on a fishing trip to Minnesota, but I would also like to visit some good museums when i go up there.

I really do not know much about what there is in the Twin Cities as far as museums go and whether it is a town that has a focus on intellectual institutions or is more tourist based.

Personally I like to visit Art as well as history museums and I was wondering if there were either one of these in the area while I visit there?

By kentuckycat — On Jun 11, 2012

I once went to the Mall of America and I could not believe the place was so big.

I went there back in the mid 90's and the place was so big that there was a professional wrestling match being broadcast live that a few thousand people were watching and there was not a single seat to be found, people were merely standing all around while they shopped!

I remember visiting the hotel and thinking how odd it was there was actually a hotel in a mall and that people actually book their vacations there.

There is also a water park as well as a roller coaster, which has a famous and quite strange landmark, which is a seat attached to the wall, 20 feet above the floor, to commemorate a long home run that was hit at the baseball field, which the Mall of American encompasses the present site.

Besides this oddity there are many things to do in the Mall of America and I implore anyone who is in the Twin Cities area to pay the place a visit and spend at least a whole day there.

By matthewc23 — On Jun 10, 2012
@titans62 - You are absolutely correct and I encourage anyone who wants a true baseball experience to go to a St. Paul Saints game, as there are no others like it.

I went to one of these games last summer and as the team is Independent and not affiliated with Major League Baseball they run their team differently and usually possess a lot of talent on their roster as well as great entertainment.

I loved between innings, because there always seemed to be some sort of insane contest going on or a free giveaway.

I found this to be a much better experience than going to most Major League ball parks as there was more of a line that was not crossed as far as zany entertainment goes, something that did not seem to exist while I was at a Saints game.

By titans62 — On Jun 10, 2012
I will say as far as visiting things in the Twin Cities goes I would say the best bet for someone is to go the sports route and visit sporting events for the various teams.

In the Winter one could go see a Minnesota Vikings game as the experience itself is unlike any other in the thunderous Metrodome, which is as loud an experience as one could have at a sporting event and seems more like a heavy metal concert than a football game.

In the summer there are also the Minnesota Twins with their brand new, and fantastic looking, outdoor ballpark, which I believe is one of the best in the American League and if one does not want spend the large amount of money on a Major League game I would say to go to a St. Paul Saints game, featuring one of the most famous minor league teams in all of baseball.

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