Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Tip: MSP Tours Saves the Distressed Traveler


In January 2003, I was coming back from a trip to Europe. Snow in Germany kept us on the runway for more than an hour, which in turn made me miss my connection once I reached Philadelphia. I was stuck in Philly overnight and all I could do was sit in my hotel room and just wish I was home already.

That experience isn’t a rare occurrence. A large percentage of people at airports are distressed travelers, people who’ve been bumped, missed their flights or, perhaps, just have a very long layover. As we make our way into the busy holiday traveling season (with snow!), the number of passengers stuck at the airport for extended periods of time, or just dealing with a planned layover, will most likely increase.

Light Rail Line

Hiawatha Light Rail line

Photo by Todd Buchanan

Well, those who are looking to break out of the MSP Airport for a couple hours are in luck because we now have MSP Tours. Officially launched just a few weeks ago, MSP Tours are self-guided audio tours that take visitors to Twin Cities attractions via the light rail line. Armed with a map, an audio set with earphones, and a light rail ticket, visitors head out on tours designed for three hours, five hours or a full day. All tours take you through a number of the 19 light rail stops and then safely return you to the airport in time for your flight.

See the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum, Nicollet Mall or Mall of America. Stop in a local restaurant, see the stadiums, or shop tax-free (a few coupons are even included with the tour). You can even ask for a customized tour. The audio is filled with local flavor, hidden gems and up-to-date information.

MSP Tours was founded locally by Chieko Karlsen, who, when working with her father’s tour company, heard many complaints about the long waits for domestic connections. Karlsen came up with the idea, did research on audio tours, asked local comedians and musicians for help in making the tours interesting, and well, the rest is history. For more information on Karlsen, and a peek at what you can expect on an MSP Tour, read the feature story in The Line Magazine.

So, if you're traveling to—or find yourself stuck in—the Twin Cities this holiday season, try an MSP Tour. After you spend a few hours touring our fine and friendly cities, you'll forget all about your travel woes!

Info: Tour costs $27.50 and can be shared between two people. Find MSP Tours at a kiosk in the Mall area (where all the concourses converge) of the airport.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

The Best of Chisago Lakes

Something to do, eat, and see in the five small towns that make up one big community

What to Do for Twin Cities Pride, June 22-24

Mark your calendars for the best events of Twin Cities Pride

First Look: Lora Hotel Opens in Stillwater

Stillwater gets an update with a boutique hotel offering river and downtown views

Summer Nanny Bucket List

Unleash your inner child at these fun Twin Cities locations

Brews and Bonfires

Who doesn't love craft suds and yard games on a summer night?

6 Paddle Board Rentals in Minnesota

Lake Waconia, Bde Maka Ska and Lake Itasca are just a few of the rental destinations that make for an easy afternoon of paddle boarding

Duluth in Three Days

Duluth has a lot to offer the weekend warriors

6 Foods to Pack for the Cabin

Don't head north to the cabin without these delicious necessities

Seeing a Casino as a Campus

Mystic Lake Center, which opened at the beginning of the year, is just one of the features that make Mystic Lake more than a casino

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

A party that's as beloved as the bridge itself

Minnesota Drive-In Movie Theaters

No matter what your age is, drive-in movie theaters make for a fun retro outing

Summer Events for Food Lovers

From quirky small town get-togethers to “The Great Minnesota Get-Together,” make sure not to miss these summer events celebrating delicious food.

Find New Adventures In Minnesota With These Engaging Experiences

Minnesota—where you can drive bulldozers for fun

3 Last-Minute Camping Options

Plan a camping trip on the fly—Minnesota's good for it
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags