Saint Paul Tourist Information and Tourism

(Saint Paul, Minnesota - MN, USA)

Twinned with adjoining sister city Minneapolis, St. Paul has served as the capital of Minnesota since 1849, even though it is smaller and noticeably quieter than its adjacent neighbor. The city resides on the eastern side of the Mississippi River and enjoys an established summer tourism scene, with a number of tempting riverside trails and a thriving nightlife.

The Twin Cities combine to form the sprawling metropolitan area of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, which has become known for its wealth of theaters, live entertainment and quality museums. There are also a number of golf courses and spacious waterfront public parks, with Harriet Island (just off Wabasha Street) being a firm favorite with both locals and tourists, who come here to enjoy the open-air concerts, stroll around the park trails and fish. A number of St. Paul's top attractions surround Como Lake and this is where families often head, to pay a visit to the city's popular zoological gardens.

The downtown district is dominated by a couple of historic buildings, which have presided over the cityscape for many years. The Minnesota State Capitol Building and the Cathedral of St. Paul are hard to miss, while for further tourism offerings, it makes sense to plan your sightseeing itinerary at the Explore Minnesota Tourism information outlet on 7th Place East, next to Metro Square.

Saint Paul Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

If you are intending to stay put in St. Paul and aren't drawn by the bright lights of neighboring Minneapolis, then there is certainly plenty here to fill any vacation with, although do bear in mind that some of the attractions choose to close or reduce their opening hours during the harsh winter months and so can remain a little seasonal. Therefore, when it comes to tourism in St. Paul, the summer is certainly the best time of the year to plan your visit. Como Zoo enjoys very decent visitor numbers and is a reliable choice for families, being located within the Como Regional Park and coming with many bears, big cats, giraffes, monkeys, penguins and exotic birds. Close to the zoo is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and its fascinating bonsai tree collection, as well as the oriental-themed Japanese Gardens and a small amusement park.

During the busy summer season, the beachfront located alongside the lake at Phalen Park quickly fills up with locals and holiday makers. Various recreational activities are on offer here, including kayak hire, volleyball and swimming. You may also like to go for a swim and a splash-about at the Great River Water Park on the North Lexington Parkway or at the Highland Park Aquatic Center on Edgcumbe Road. Rather intriguing and unique are the guided tours of the Wabasha Street Caves, which was once a 'speakeasy' club frequented by gangsters and criminals, including Ma Barker. Various sizeable sporting events take place at the Xcel Energy Center on the Kellogg Boulevard West, which features an overall capacity topping 18,000 spectators and also often stages big-name concerts. For an evening out, the Fitzgerald Theater on East Exchange Street is hard to better. More information about Saint Paul Tourist Attractions.

Guided tours of the Minnesota State Capitol Building are certainly recommended and this government palace manages to boast one of the world's largest unsupported marble domes. A stroll around the historical Summit Hill neighborhood is not to be missed, since many of the city's oldest and most attractive landmarks live here, such as the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the Frank B. Kellogg House, the Minnesota Governor's Residence and the Scott Fitzgerald House. Visitors with an interest in military history should search out Fort Snelling, which dates back to 1819 and resides on the southwesterly outskirts of the city, within close proximity to the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center and Pike Island. Of note, both the Fort Snelling State Trail and the Minnesota Valley State Trail are based in this part of the city. More information about Saint Paul Landmarks and Monuments.

There are certainly plenty of museums based within St. Paul, with many further attractions of a similar nature residing at Minneapolis, where the rather comical Museum of Questionable Medical Devices is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Popular with families is the Minnesota Children's Museum on West 7th Street, the Science Museum of Minnesota on the West Kellogg Boulevard, and just down the road, the Minnesota History Center, where much information relating to the heritage of the state is on display. Visitors often head to the Alexander Ramsey House within the Irvine Park Historic District, and to the esteemed Minnesota Museum of American Art. This gallery was founded in the 1890s as the St. Paul School of Fine Arts and features an extensive collection of valuable paintings, created by many familiar 20th-century artists. And if you enjoyed looking at the paintings, then you may also like to check out the historic landscape paintings on exhibit at the Landmark Center, near Rice Park. More information about Saint Paul Museums and Saint Paul Art Galleries.

When planning to leave the confines of the city for a day trip, it is most likely that you will find yourself spending time in Minneapolis, Minnesota's biggest city, where the list of tourist attractions is certainly a long one. This famous Twin City is in the region of 20 minutes away and is easy to reach by road, via Interstate I-94W. You may choose to visit Minneapolis to catch an event taking place at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, or to enjoy an afternoon of serious art appreciation at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. A number of additional tempting excursions are possible in St. Paul, and being so close to the eastern state border means that it is relatively easy to hop across to Wisconsin, perhaps visiting the Eau Claire city, the Hoffman Hills Recreation Area or the Putnam Park State Natural Area.

The town of Maplewood lies roughly 15 minutes to the east of St. Paul, where its large Maplewood Mall is a good all-weather option for shopping, with more than 130 stores housed within an indoor temperature-controlled environment. A day trip to Bloomington may also appeal, especially to families, who come here to spend an afternoon at the Underwater Adventures Aquarium, or perhaps an entire day shopping at the epic Mall of America, the largest of all America's indoor malls (over 520 stores and services). In fact, the Mall of America is such a huge magnet that it currently welcomes roughly 40 million visitors per annum, more than double the total visitor numbers for the combined Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. More information about Saint Paul Attractions Nearby.

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