—For a culinary experience that spans the globe, take a trip down Eat Street. Starting at Grant Street on the south end of downtown Minneapolis, this 17-block stretch of Nicollet Avenue is home to Greek, German, Vietnamese, Chinese, Middle-Eastern and Mexican restaurants, along with ethnic grocery stores, cafes and delis. After you’ve polished off the sauerbraten or spinach pie (not together, of course), you can browse through curios at several international shops.
FIFTIETH & FRANCE—These streets intersect in the idyllic suburb of Edina, where you’ll find art galleries, gift stores, designer boutiques and popular restaurants. The 50th & France neighborhood is located in the southwest corner of Minneapolis. You can follow France Avenue south to Southdale Shopping Center and the upscale Galleria Center (D3)(50th & France).
MINNEAPOLIS RIVERFRONT DISTRICT—Encompasses a scenic stretch of parkway along the Mississippi River between the Plymouth Avenue and Interstate 35W bridges, including the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, the river’s northernmost lock and dam, ruins of what were once the world’s largest flour mills, and the Stone Arch Bridge, open for walking and bicycling. Filled with cobblestone streets, shops, hotels and restaurants. For tour/events information, call (612) 673-5123 (G15-H16)(DT Mpls) or (C4)(Minneapolis).
NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS—This long-established neighborhood is the largest in the city and is known for its ethnic restaurants and churches, including those with Ukrainian, Polish and Lebanese influences. Northeast is bound by Marshall Street, 37th Avenue, Stinson and New Brighton Boulevards, and East Hennepin Avenue. Many shops and eateries can be found along Central, East Hennepin and University avenues. For events/information, call (612) 379-CALL (2255), (B-C/3-4)(Minneapolis).
STILLWATER—The charming community of Stillwater, once home to Ojibway and Dakota Indians, fur traders, trappers and lumbermen, is nestled in the bluffs of the scenic St. Croix River. The historic downtown district has antique stores, specialty shops, book dealers and restaurants. Follow Highway 36 east into town or head east on Interstate 94 and follow the signs (B8)(Stillwater). For events/information, call (651) 439-4001.
SUMMIT & GRAND AVENUES—Summit Avenue, the longest boulevard of Victorian homes in the nation, is also home to college campuses and the governor’s residence. A history of residents includes F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Amelia Earhart and former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Great for a leisurely stroll or auto tour. Grand Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with restaurants, shops and businesses, parallels Summit one block to the south. Both streets run the distance from Kellogg Boulevard in downtown St. Paul to the Mississippi River (C4-5)(Grand Ave), (651) 297-2555.
UPTOWN—The Twin Cities’ answer to New York’s Greenwich Village, Uptown is home to an eclectic mix of young professionals and professional nightowls who frequent the area’s unique shops, restaurants, theaters and bars. The heart of Uptown is at the intersection of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue South, where you’ll find Calhoun Square Mall. You can follow Hennepin Avenue south from downtown Minneapolis or take the Hennepin Avenue exit off Interstate 94 or 394 (C3)(Uptown).
WAREHOUSE DISTRICT—Immediately northwest of downtown Minneapolis’ business core, historic brick buildings that once served the city’s turn-of-the-century industrial boom now house restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries. Head here for pre-concert and pre-theater dining and hopping nightlife. The district encompasses a 14-block area bounded by Sixth Street N., Hennepin Avenue N., First Street N. and Third Avenue N. (I12-H13)(DT Mpls).
WAYZATA—Located little more than 20 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis, the city of Wayzata sits on the scenic shores of Lake Minnetonka, the largest body of water in the metro area. Stroll along aptly named Lake Street and you’ll see boutiques, clothing stores and local restaurants. Follow 394 west to Highway 101 south, then take Wayzata Boulevard (C1)(Wayzata). For events/information, call (952) 473-9595.
THE PARK AT MOA
—This seven-acre indoor amusement park features more than 30 rides, arcade games and attractions, including a dinner theater, wilderness wildlife show, specialty shops and restaurants. Free general admission; rides sold separately. Open Mon-Thu 10 am-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat 10 am-10 pm, Sun 10:30 am-7:30 pm. 5000 Center Court, Mall of America, (E4)(Bloomington Strip), (952) 883-8555. www.mallofamerica.com
CANTERBURY PARK—Home to seasonal horse racing, tours and tele-racing from out-of-state, the park also features restaurants and a 24-hour card club, seven days a week. Canterbury Card Club offers several variations of poker and casino games. People 18 and over are invited to play. Tele-racing (year-round; most days 11 am-11 pm). Free except during live racing events when admission is $5. 1100 Canterbury Rd., off Hwy. 169 on Cty. Rd. 83, (F1)(Shakopee), (952) 445-RACE (7223). www.canterburypark.com
IMAX THEATRE AT THE MINNESOTA ZOO—Price range $7-$14. Call for show times. 12000 Zoo Blvd., 10 min. south of the Mall of America on Hwy. 77 (Cedar Ave), follow the signs, (F4)(Apple Valley), (952) 431-IMAX (4629). www.imax.com/minnesota
MALL OF AMERICA—The largest shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S. Attractions include The Park at MOA; LEGO Imagination Center; Underwater Adventures; Silicon Motor Speedway, Kids Quest and a multi-screen movie theater; Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Sears; 50 restaurants and more than 500 shops. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult 21 or over after 4 pm Fri-Sat. Retail hours are Mon-Fri 10 am-9:30 pm, Sat 9:30 am-9:30 pm, Sun 11 am-7 pm. Five minutes from Mpls/St. Paul International Airport, bounded by 81st St., Killebrew Drive, 24th Ave. S. and Hwy. 77, (E4)(Bloomington Strip), (952) 883-8800. www.mallofamerica.com
MINNESOTA ZEPHYR—A 1940s-era train recreating railroad dining of decades gone by. A five-course white linen dinner is served as the train makes a three-hour journey through the scenic St. Croix River Valley, while the Zephyr Cabaret sings hits from the ’40s and ’50s. Tickets start at $71 plus gratuity. Mon-Sat evenings: board 6:30 pm, departure 7:30 pm. Sun evenings: board 5:30 pm, departure 6 pm. Mon thru Sun afternoons: board 11:30 am, departure 12 pm. All trips by reservation only. Trips leave from the Stillwater Depot, Logging and Railroad Museum. 601 N. Main St., (B8)(Stillwater), (651) 430-3000. www.minnesotazephyr.com
UNDERWATER ADVENTURES—A 1.2-million gallon aquarium with 300-foot acrylic tunnel allows you to see 250 species of waterlife from Minnesota, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Includes stingrays, sea turtles, octopus, sea horses, moray eels and the Midwest’s largest display of sharks. Interactive family play area includes touch pools with sharks and stingrays, a virtual submarine ride, and a giant climb-through pirate ship. Tickets: $16.95 adults (age 13 and older), $9.95 ages 13 and under, ages 2 and under are free. Mon-Thur 9:30 am-8 pm, Fri and Sat 9 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-7 pm. First Floor, East Market, Mall of America, (E4)(Bloomington Strip), (952) 883-0202. www.underwaterworld.com
AUGUST SCHELL BREWING CO.
—Take a public tour of the second oldest family-owned and managed brewery in the country, which brews nearly 60,000 barrels annually. Tour cost: $2 adults, 12 and under free. Established in 1860. Gift shop and museum open Sat. 11-5 pm. Tours: Memorial Day-Labor Day are Mon-Fri 2:30 pm & 4 pm; Sat, Sun 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm & 4 pm. Labor Day-Memorial Day Sat 1 pm, 2 pm, 3pm, 4 pm; Sun 1 pm & 2:30 pm. Schell’s Park in New Ulm, about two hours south of the Twin Cities, following Hwy. 169 to east 99 to Hwy. 14, (507) 354-5528. www.schellsbrewery.com
SUMMIT BREWING COMPANY TOURS—A new building, the first brewery built in St. Paul in nearly 100 years, houses copper kettles imported from Germany. Brewers of Summit Pale Ale and other Summit beers. Free tours given Tue, Thu, Sat at 1 pm (no Sat. tours on holiday weekends). Reservations required for Sat; no children under 10. Hours 8 am-4:30 pm. 910 Montreal Circle, near W. Seventh St. and I-35E, (D5)(St. Paul), (651) 265-7800. www.summitbrewing.com
BASILICA OF SAINT MARY
—Dedicated in 1913, this church is the oldest basilica in North America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Architectural highlights include the 200-foot high dome and the rose window. Sunday masses are 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm. 88 N. 17th St. at Hennepin Ave., (K9)(DT Mpls), (612) 333-1381. www.mary.org
CATHEDRAL OF ST. PAUL—One of the largest church buildings in North America, with seating for 4,000 people. Highlights include the 175-foot-high copper dome and the six statue-filled chapels. Open to the public Mon-Thu 7:30 am-6 pm, Fri 7:30 am-4 pm, Sat 8 am-8 pm, Sun 8 am-6 pm. Tours Mon, Wed, Fri at 1 pm. Call for mass schedule. 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., (P17)(DT St. Paul), (651) 228-1766. www.cathedralsaintpaul.org
ALEXANDER RAMSEY HOUSE (1872)
—One of the best preserved Victorian homes in the nation, featuring walnut woodwork, marble fireplaces and chandeliers, this was the residence of Minnesota’s first territorial governor. Minnesota was not yet a state when John R. Irvine, one of St. Paul’s earliest settlers, donated the land for a park that still bears his name. By the time Alexander Ramsey built his lavish mansion nearby in 1872, the area had become one of St. Paul’s finest neighborhoods. Guides will lead a popular walking tour of the park and surrounding restored neighborhood beginning at the Ramsey House. Admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 ages 6-17. Tours: Fri-Sat 10 am-3 pm; Summer tours: Tue-Thu at 1 pm. Reservations recommended. Group tours may be reserved other days. 265 S. Exchange St., (R18)(St. Paul), (651) 296-8760. www.mnhs.org
FOLSOM HOUSE (LATE 1800s)—This home of Greek Revival-Federal architectural style sits in the New England-style Angel Hill Historic District and tells the history of the W.H.C. Folsom family and their influence on the area and state. Many special events on Web site. Admission: $4 adults, $1 children (6-12). Open May-Oct 1-4:30 pm. Closed Tue. In Taylors Falls, 45 min-1 hour north of the Twin Cities on I-35E to east on Hwy. 8, Government Rd., (651) 465-3125. www.mnhs.org
HISTORIC FORT SNELLING—Discover an 1820s military outpost once the focus of a small settlement but now at the center of Minnesota’s Twin Cities metropolitan area. A full living history program with costumed guides is presented daily during the summer, and on weekends in May, September and October. In addition, on Mondays and Tuesdays in the summer enjoy a variety of tours guided by the fort’s expert staff. This restored stone fortress opens its gates to welcome you to frontier life. Imagine that the year is 1827, and as costumed guides greet you, that you’ve just arrived via steamboat up the Mississippi River. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the past. Hear musket fire, the cannon’s roar and the fife’s shrill tunes. Take part in the fort’s everyday life. Shoulder a musket, mend clothes, smell the stew, scrape a hide or sing along with the soldiers. Take tea with Mrs. Snelling or sample the soldiers’ bread ration. Swing a hammer in the blacksmith shop or barter with the sutler – but remember that his store is the only one for miles around! The Fort’s costumed guides demonstrate crafts, present historical skits and practice military drill and weapons firings. Join them in 1827 or explore other areas of the site’s long history in the exhibits. Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 children ages 6-17. May-Memorial day. Hours: 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm. Memorial Day-Labor Day. Mon-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm. Sept-Oct. Hours: Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm. Nov-April. Closed for tours but gift shop is open Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm. At the junction of highways 5 and 55, one mile east of the airport, (612) 726-1171, www.mnhs.org
JAMES J. HILL HOUSE (1891)—This Gilded Age mansion, built by railroad magnate James J. Hill, includes 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, an organ and a 100-foot reception hall. Summit Avenue was the home of many of the city’s business and civic leaders during St. Paul’s Gilded Age. Learn about mansions that line the elite avenue and the architecture, development and social history of the neighborhood on 90-minute walking tours starting at the James J. Hill House. Year-round guided tours. Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 ages 6-17. Kids 5 and under and MHS members are free. Regular tour hours: Wed-Sat 10 am-3:30 pm, Sun 1 pm-3:30 pm. Reservations recommended. 240 Summit Ave., (Q17)(DT St. Paul) or (C5)(Grand Ave), (651) 297-2555. www.mnhs.org
MINNEHAHA DEPOT (1875)—Milwaukee Road employees referred to this little depot, located on the first railroad line into the Twin Cities from Chicago, as the “Princess” because of its delicate gingerbread canopy. Free admission. Open Sundays and holidays throughout the summer 12:30-4:30 pm or by appointment. 4926 Minnehaha Ave., in Minnehaha Park, south of Minnehaha Pkwy. off Hiawatha Ave., (D4)(Minneapolis), (651) 228-0263. www.mnhs.org
OLIVER H. KELLEY FARM—Costumed guides pick heirloom vegetables, churn butter and plow the fields at this working 1860s farm. Interpretive trails by the Mississippi River. Enjoy gingerbread and molasses candy, just as 19th-century farm families did. Admission $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 ages 6-17. Memorial Day-Labor Day Tue-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm, closed Mon. May, Sept and Oct hours Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm. Reservations for 10 or more are highly recommended. Two-and-a-half miles southwest of Elk River, follow Hwy 10 or 169 north from the Twin Cities, (763) 441-6896. www.mnhs.org
PURCELL-CUTTS HOUSE (1913)—Designed by William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie, this is one of the most significant examples of Prairie School architecture in the country. Admission: $5 adults; $4 children/seniors. Normally open the second weekend of each month. 2328 Lake Place, (C3)(Uptown), (612) 870-3131 for required reservations.
SIBLEY HISTORIC SITE (1836)—Guided tours of two limestone houses in Minnesota’s oldest Euro-American settlement. Children and families can meet a friendly fur trade voyageur and pretend to be one for the day. Use a quill pen to sign a contract with the American Fur Company or try on a tradtional costume consisting of a shirt, sash and toque. Test skills of balance and strength needed to be successful in the transport of valuable furs across the Minnesota frontier. Then reward your hard work with a tour of Henry Sibley’s trading post, which was home to dozens of French-Canadian voyageurs in the 19th century. Admission: $5 adults, $4 seniors and students with college I.D., $3 children ages 6-17. May 1-Memorial Day. Hours: Sat 10 am-4 pm, Sun 12:30-4 pm. Memorial Day-Labor Day. Hours: Fri, Sat, Mon 10 am-4 pm, Sun 12:30-4 pm. Labor Day-Oct 31. Hours: Sat. 10 am-4 pm, Sun 12:30-4 pm. 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy. (Hwy. 13), (D5)(Mendota), (651) 452-1565, www.mnhs.org
AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE
—Housed in the 33-room 1908 Turnblad mansion, where visitors can view hundreds of Swedish artifacts, along with Swedish glass, decorative and fine arts, textiles and items from Sweden. The permanent exhibit Swedish Life in the Twin Cities explores the local Swedish-American community through photographs, diaries, vintage recordings and immigrant artifacts. Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 ages 6-18. Admission free first Wednesday of every month. Hours: Tue-Sat 12 pm-4 pm; Wed open until 8 pm; Sun 1 pm-5 pm. 2600 Park Ave., (C3)(Minneapolis), (612) 871-4907. www.americanswedishinst.org
THE BAKKEN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM—Founded by Earl Bakken, inventor of the first transistorized cardiac pacemaker, this hands-on museum explores electricity and magnetism through exhibits, 2,000 scientific instruments and a rare literature collection. Ongoing exhibits include The Mystery of Magnetism and Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s Dream. Housed in a 1920s Tudor mansion on Lake Calhoun’s western shore. Grounds feature medicinal gardens. Family Science Saturdays offer demos, interpreters and more. Admission: $7 adults, $5 students/seniors, under 3 free. Open Tue-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Thu until 8 pm. 3537 Zenith Ave. S., (D3)(Minneapolis), (612) 926-3878. www.thebakken.org
BELL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY—Dedicated to exploring the diversity of life in the natural world, this museum opened the country’s first hands-on natural history exhibit in 1960. Admission: $5 adults, $3 seniors, students and ages 3-16; free each Sun. U of M students are free. Open Tue-Fri 9 am-5 pm, Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 12-5 pm. University and 17th Ave. S.E., on the University of Minnesota campus, 10 Church St. S.E., (C4)(Minneapolis), (612) 624-7083. www.bellmuseum.org
BLOOMINGTON ART CENTER—Nonprofit art center exhibiting works by regional artists; youth courses, adult classes, workshops, exhibitions, theater and special events. Exhibit: Artists Jeannie Spooner Kitzhaber and Margo Selski present their oil painting, “The Red Women” which focuses on symbolism and the old world feel of femininity and catholicism. Greenburg Gallery. Mon-Fri 8 am-10pm, Sat 9 am-5 pm, Sun 1 pm-10 pm. 1800 W Old Shakopee Road., (E3)(Bloomington), (952) 563-8587. www.bloomingtonartcenter.com
FREDERICK R. WEISMAN ART MUSEUM—Housed in a striking stainless steel building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the collection features early 20th-century American and contemporary art. To celebrate the museum’s move 10 years ago, Highlights Under Skylights features the museum’s own collection and some works previously hid in storage. Free admission. Open Tue-Fri 10 am-5 pm, Thu until 8 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am-5 pm. Parking garage located beneath museum on E. River Road. Located on the University of Minnesota campus, East Bank, 333 E. River Rd., (C4)(Minneapolis), (612) 625-9494. www.weisman.umn.edu
THE GOLDSTEIN: A MUSEUM OF DESIGN—The Goldstein is an internationally recognized teaching museum and research center for interpreting the vital role of art in everyday life. The museum collects, preserves, documents and exhibits clothing, textiles, and decorative and graphic arts, with an emphasis on objects of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Open Mon-Fri 10 am-4 pm, Thu until 8 pm, Sat-Sun 1:30-4:30 pm. 244 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., (C4)(St. Paul), (612) 624-7434. http://goldstein.che.umn.edu
HENNEPIN HISTORY MUSEUM—Exhibits include HIPS, PIPS & STRIPS: A revealing History of Burlesque in Hennepin County. Admission: $2 adults, $1 children and seniors. Tue 10 am-2 pm, Wed-Sun 1-5 pm, Thurs open until 8 pm. 2303 Third Ave. S., 1/2 block north of Minneapolis Institute of Arts, (C3)(Minneapolis), (612) 870-1329. www.hhmuseum.org
HUMPHREY INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS—The Humphrey Forum is an engaging, interactive exhibit about Hubert Humphrey’s career in politics and his ideals. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm. Free admission. 301 19th Ave. S., (C4)(Minneapolis), (612) 626-8910. www.hhh.umn.edu
JOHN H. STEVENS HOUSE MUSEUM—Located in Minnehaha Park, this house is believed to be the first home built west of the Mississippi River and home to Col. John H. Stevens who was thought to be the first settler in the city of Minneapolis. Open for tours this summer, when visitors can see displays of the Steven’s family history and other early Minnesotan families who occupied the house. The Stevens House and the Longfellow House co-sponsor 90-minute historic nature walks on the second Sunday of the month from June through September. Walking tours begin at 2:30 pm. Cost: $2 adults and $1 ages 5-18; price includes admission to the Stevens House. 4901 Minnehaha Ave. S., (D4)(Minneapolis), (612) 722-2220.
LONGFELLOW HOUSE HOSPITALITY CENTER—Home of the eccentric Minneapolis philanthropist and entrepreneur named Robert F. Jones who was known as “Fish” because he once ran a fish market. The house, built in 1907, is a two-thirds scale replica of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s in Cambridge, Mass. Originally, the home was part of Jones’ private 4.6-acre botanical garden and zoological park near Minnehaha Falls. The Longfellow House Hospitality Center provides information about Minnehaha Falls and Minneapolis Grand Rounds, a 50-mile recreation loop which includes Minnehaha Falls. Open Mon-Fri 10 am-4:30 pm. Free. 4801 Minnehaha Ave. S., Mpls, (612) 230-6400.
MILL CITY MUSEUM—This eight-story museum is housed in the Washburn A Mill, a National Historic Landmark, set on the bank of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. Through hands-on, multi-sensory exhibits, visitors learn about the “Flour Milling Capitol of the World.” The Flour Tower takes visitors on an eight-story elevator ride while they watch a media show on mill workers in the 1940s to the 1960s. In the Water Lab visitors don rain gear and learn about the river’s role in the logging and lumber industry. Great smells waft from the Baking Lab where museum-goers grind wheat, bake bread and package food. Other highlights include authentic milling machines and the rooftop observation deck which gives visitors a panoramic view of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors and college students with ID, $4 students ages 6-17, children under 5 and Minnesota Historical Society members free. Open Tues-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Thu until 9 pm, Sun 12 pm-5 pm. 704 S. 2nd St, (I16)(DT Mpls), (612) 341-7555. www.millcitymuseum.org.
MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS—Seven new chinese galleries, along with seven renovated galleries now occupy the entire east wing of the second floor of the museum, making it one of the largest collections of Chinese classical art and architecture (Continuing). General admission is free. Free one-hour tours are given daily. Open Tue-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Thu until 9 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm; closed Mon. 2400 Third Ave. S., (C3)(Minneapolis), (612) 870-3131. www.artsmia.org
MINNESOTA CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS—The MCBA preserves the traditional craft of bookmaking, advances the book as a vital contemporary art form and interprets the books in its aesthetic, historic, and cultural contexts. Free admission. Open Tue 10 am-9 pm, Wed-Sat 10 am-5 pm, closed Sun and Mon. 1011 Washington Ave. S., (H13)(DT Mpls), (612) 215-2520. www.mnbookarts.org
MINNESOTA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM—A fun, interactive experience designed for kids ages 6 months to 10 years. Galleries: Our World; World Works; Earth World; and Habitot. Open Tue-Sun 9 am-5 pm, Fri until 8 pm. Memorial Day-Labor Day Mon 9 am-5 pm. Admission: $7.95 ages 1 and up; under 1 year free. 10 W. Seventh St., (P20)(DT St. Paul), (651) 225-6000. www.mcm.org
MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER—Experience a 24-ton boxcar, a birch-bark canoe or an African-American barbershop. Going Places: The Mystique of Mobility traces how the American passion for mobility has shaped life in Minnesota for nearly 200 years. Also, two gift stores and Café Minnesota. Admission: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students, and $4 for children ages 6-17. Free for MHS members. Open Tue 10 am-8 pm; Wed-Sat. 10 am-5 pm; Sun 12-5 pm. 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., (P18)(DT St. Paul), (651) 296-6126. www.mnhs.org
MINNESOTA MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART—Features works that express the unfolding of the American multicultural experience. Open Tue-Sat 11 am-4 pm, Thu until 8 pm, Sun 1-5 pm. Admission prices vary. Free for Museum members and children under age 12. Admission is free every Thu, tours free with paid admission. Admission to Museum’s Collection Galleries is free. 50 W. Kellogg Blvd, (Q20)(DT St. Paul), (651) 266-1030. www.mmaa.org
MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ART—The Museum of Russian Art is dedicated to creating and preserving extraordinary examples of Russian 20th century Realist painting in order to preserve a visual record of the artistic achievements of Soviet era artists. The museum provides a continuing exhibition of Russian Realist paintings from the period 1921 through 1991s. Admission $5 with donations requested from students and seniors. Regular tours every Sat at 1 p.m. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm, Thurs until 8 p.m., Sat 10 am-4 pm. 5500 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis, (612) 821-9045. www.tmora.org.
PAVEK MUSEUM OF BROADCASTING—Internationally recognized for its continuing efforts in preserving and documenting broadcasting history. Features an extensive collection of antique radio, television and broadcast equipment. Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors and students. Open Tue-Fri 10 am-6 pm, Sat 9 am-5 pm. 3515 Raleigh Ave., (E2)(St. Louis Park), (952) 926-8198. www.pavekmuseum.org
RAMSEY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY—Views of the Mississippi River Between Minneapolis and St. Louis, 1883-1891 (Continuing). Henry P. Bosse was an engineer and draughtsman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the reshaping of the River for modern transportation. His images include long-vanished vistas of bluffs and coulees, rapidly growing cities, workboats pulling snags out of the new channels, rock quarries, dredging operations and construction of wing dams and bridges. Free admission. Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm, Thu until 8 pm, Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 1-5 pm. North Lobby Gallery in Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St., (Q20)(DT St. Paul), (651) 222-0701.www.rchs.com
SCIENCE MUSEUM OF MINNESOTA—Known for its interactive exhibits, ongoing exhibitions and attractions include Mississippi River Gallery; Experiment Gallery; Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery; Human Body Gallery. 3D Multimedia Laser Show—Mars 3D takes viewers on an amazing space journey. Omnitheater—Fees, Exhibit halls: $9.50 adults, $7 seniors/students (ages 13-18), $6.50 ages 4-12. Omnitheater: $7.50 adults, $6.50 seniors/students (ages 13-18), $5.50 ages 4-12. Exhibits and Omnitheater $13.50 adults, $10.50 seniors/students (ages 13-18), $10 ages 4-12. Exhibits and 3D Laser Show $12.50 adults, $10 seniors/students (ages 13-18), $9.50 ages 4-12. Museum Lover’s Pass (exhibits, 3D Laser Show, Omnitheater) $16.50 adults, $13.50 seniors/students (ages 13-18), $12.50 ages 4-12. Open Mon-Thu 9:15 am-9 pm, Fri-Sat 9:15 am-10 pm, Sun 10:45 am-7 pm (Through Sept 4). Located at 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., (Q20)(DT St. Paul), (651) 221-9444. www.smm.org
TWIN CITY MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM—Known as Trains at Bandana, this fun museum is a giant, meticulous O-scale layout featuring Twin Cities scenes and 1930-50s era trains. Housed in Bandana Square retail mall, a 100-year-old former Northern Pacific Railways office displaying real locomotives on the first floor. Admission is $3, children under 5 are free. Tue, Wed, Thu 11 am- 3 pm; Fri 11 am-7 pm; Sat 10 am-6 pm; Sun 12 pm-5 pm. 1021 Bandana Blvd., from Snelling Ave., east on Energy Park Dr., north on Bandana Blvd., (C5)(St. Paul), (651) 647-9628. www.tcmrm.org
WALKER ART CENTER—One of the nation’s most renowned contemporary art museums. The newly renovated Walker opened in spring 2005, doubling in size with new galleries, a 385-seat theater and a Wolfgang Puck-operated restaurant. The Shape of Time (Continuing). Traveling through 50 years of art history, this exhibition begins with postwar abstraction, moves on to the historical and visual thrill of “alternate modernisms” and ends in the swarming and seductive experiments of the 80s and 90s. Mythologies (Continuing). Keynote paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings from the Walker’s collection reveal how works by such artists as Joseph Beuys, Katharina Fritsch, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke and Charles Ray evoke and question historical and contemporary mythologies. Open Tues-Sun 11 am-5 pm, Thu and Fri until 9 pm. Admission $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 students, free Thu 5-9 pm and first Sat of every month. 725 Vineland Place, (L9)(DT Mpls), (612) 375-7577. www.walkerart.org
WELLS FARGO HISTORY MUSEUM—A small museum filled with memorabilia about Wells Fargo’s history as a bank and express company going back 150 years, including an 1863 stagecoach, a working telegraph and newspaper clippings from the heyday of the Old West. Free admission. Special tours can be arranged. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm. Located on skyway level of the Wells Fargo bank building at Sixth St. and Marquette Ave., (J13)(DT Mpls), (612) 667-4210. www.wellsfargohistory.com/museum
CHAIN OF LAKES
—A system of lakes in Minneapolis with paved walkways which are ideal for walking, jogging, roller, ice or in-line skating or bicycling. Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles feature connected paths and are southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Lake Nokomis is southeast of downtown. Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles are walking distance from the Uptown area of Minneapolis where equipment rental shops can serve you. (C3-D3)(Minneapolis and Uptown).
COMO ORDWAY MEMORIAL JAPANESE GARDEN—The meticulous design of this Sansui-style, or mountain and water landscape, garden was a gift to the city from Nagasaki residents. Open May 1-Sept 30 10 am-6 pm. Midway Pkwy. and Kaufman Dr. in Como Park, (C5)(St. Paul), (651) 487-8200. www.comozooconservatory.org
MINNEAPOLIS PARKS—The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board manages 170 park properties, including the Chain of Lakes, 55 miles of parkways, 38 miles of walking paths, 36 miles of bike trails, five golf courses, 43 recreation centers and the Mississippi Mile, a lush area of park land in Minneapolis. For general information, call (612) 230-6400.
MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN—Located in an 11-acre park next to the Walker Art Center, featuring 20th-century sculpture by artists including Mark di Suvero, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. Free admission. Open 6 am-midnight daily. On Vineland Place, (L9)(DT Mpls). www.walkerart.org
MINNEHAHA FALLS/PARKWAY—Minnehaha Parkway is a five-mile strip of green space with a multi-use trail that begins on Lake Harriet’s southeastern shore, connects with Minnehaha Creek and winds across south Minneapolis to Minnehaha Park and the Mississippi River. Minnehaha Park features picnic grounds, gardens, hiking trails and Minnehaha Falls, immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, Song of Hiawatha. The falls and their environs are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pavilion closed at this time. Minnehaha Park, Hiawatha Ave. at Minnehaha Pkwy., (D4)(Minneapolis).
MINNESOTA VALLEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE—One of four urban national wildlife refuges in the U.S., with over 260 bird species. The Visitor Center features exhibits and a multi-media production, frequent events and roving interpreters. A gallery displays art or photography. The Blufftop Bookshop offers environmental books, gifts, art, jewelry, clothing and more. Visitor Center hours Tue-Sun 9 am-5 pm. Visitor Center is at 3815 E. 80th St., (E4)(Bloomington Strip), east of the Airport Hilton (access off 34th Ave., south of I-494), (952) 854-5900. http://fws.gov/midwest/MinnesotaValley
NICOLLET ISLAND—The Mississippi’s largest island hardly seems like one, being a stone’s throw from the cobblestoned Riverplace entertainment district, but it was once a fashionable neighborhood. Offers fantastic views of downtown Minneapolis and the river, and features the romantic 1893 Nicollet Island Inn and Nicollet Island Park on the south end, which frequently hosts concerts and festivals. Take turnoffs from the Hennepin Avenue Bridge or walk over on the old Merriam Street Bridge from Riverplace (G15) (DT Mpls).
NICOLLET MALL—Not a mall at all, but a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare cutting through Minneapolis’ downtown business district. Lined with skyscrapers, swank restaurants and some of the city’s finest stores, it’s thick with office workers by day and offers a pleasant urban walk at night. Runs from Washington Ave. to Grant St., (K12)(DT Mpls).
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM—More than 1,000 acres of rolling hills, woods, prairies and gardens. Tours available. A main building contains a gift shop, conservatory, library and tea room. Admission: $7 adults, ages 15 and under free. Enter after 4:30 pm on Thursdays and admission is free! Visitor Center hours: May-Oct. Mon-Sat 8 am-6 pm; Thu 8 am-8 pm; Sun 10am-6 pm; Jan-April. Mon-Sat 8 am-4:30 pm, Sun 10 am-4:30 pm; grounds open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) 8 am-8 pm. Nine miles west of Hwy. 494 on Hwy. 5, 3675 Arboretum Dr., (E1)(Chanhassen), (952) 443-1400 (What’s in bloom? Choose Ext. 778). www.arboretum.umn.edu
MARJORIE MCNEELY CONSERVATORY AT COMO PARK
—This historic landmark features the largest glass-domed botanical garden in the region, with flowering plants displayed and identified for visitors, and the Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden. Voluntary donations $2 adults, $.1 children. April-Sept. Open daily 10 am-6 pm. Oct-March. Open daily 10 am-4 pm. Midway Pkwy. and Kaufman Dr. in Como Park, (C5)(St. Paul), 24-hour information: (651) 487-8200. www.comozooconservatory.org
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOMES—The famous architect designed several Twin Cities homes, two of which are worth driving by but are not open to the public. The one at 225 Bedford St. S.E. near University Ave. in Minneapolis (C4)(Mpls) was built for University of Minnesota President Malcolm Willey in 1934. Another is tucked between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles at 2815 Burnham Blvd. (C3)(Mpls).
FRESCOES OF ST. THOMAS—The largest fresco painting in the U.S., this allegorical ceiling cycle is based on the Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas and depicts the seven virtues: Faith, Justice, Prudence, Hope, Temperance, Fortitude and Charity. The 17- by 112-foot atrium ceiling was finished in 1994. Free admission. Call for building hours. In the Graduate School of Business on the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus, 1000 LaSalle Ave., (K11)(DT Mpls), (651) 962-4000.
IDS CENTER—The Twin Cities’ tallest building (777 feet), this soaring blue 1973 masterpiece is where all the skyways converge. The lobby is called the Crystal Court for its eight-story canopy of Plexiglas pyramids. No observation deck. 80 S. Eighth St., at Eighth St. and Nicollet Mall. (J13)(DT Mpls), (612) 376-8000
LANDMARK CENTER—This turn-of-the-century former courthouse houses the Ramsey County Historical Society while exquisitely anchoring pretty Rice Park. Sporting a clock tower, turrets and other whimsical details, this pink beauty features a breathtaking interior of marble, mahogany and a soaring skylight courtyard that often hosts chamber concerts. Open Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm, Thu until 8 pm, Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun. 12-5 pm. A museum of rare classical instruments is in the basement. Open to the public. Guided tours: Thu 11 am, Sun 12 pm. 75 W. 5th St., (Q20)(DT St. Paul), (651) 292-3233. www.landmarkcenter.org
MINNESOTA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING—Completed in 1904, this Italian-Renaissance style building was designed by Cass Gilbert, who went on to design the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. The exterior is constructed of gray granite from St. Cloud, Minn., and Georgian marble. The central dome is a near-exact copy of St. Peter’s in Rome. Regular free 45-minute tours are given on the hour Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm, Sat 10 am-3 pm, Sun 1-4 pm. Cedar and Constitution streets, (N18)(DT St. Paul), (651) 296-2881. www.mnhs.org
DOWN IN HISTORY/WABASHA CAVES
—Narrated theme tours with guides portraying historical characters of the region, including St. Paul and Minneapolis gangster tours. See the nightclubs, homes and local haunts of 1930s gangsters John Dillinger, Ma Barker, Baby Face Nelson and others. Also offers the Twin Town Tacky Tour and Historic Wabasha Street Caves tour. Call for prices and times. 215 Wabasha St. S., Wabasha Street Caves, (D5)(St. Paul), (651) 292-1220. www.wabashastreetcaves.com
TWIN CITIES HIGHLIGHTS TOUR—Award-winning sightseeing tour with a guide providing commentary aboard a deluxe motorcoach. Highlights include downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Minneapolis Chain-of-Lakes, Mary Tyler Moore’s TV house, Minnehaha Falls, the State Capitol, the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the mansions along Summit Avenue (morning and afternoon departures). Tickets: $28 adults, $26 ages 55 and up, $18 ages 6-12. Airport meet and greet, bilingual guides, transfer and shuttle service also available. (612) 333-8687 or 800-747-8687. www.metroconnections.com
MINNEAPOLIS GRAIN EXCHANGE—Founded over 100 years ago, the Grain Exchange is the only place in the world where grain, seafood and electricity futures are bought and sold in the chaos of a New York Stock Exchange-style trading floor. The largest cash exchange market in the world, where about 20 million bushels of wheat are traded through old-fashioned hand signals and shouting from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm each day. Tour required: Tue, Wed, Thu at 8:30 am and 10:15 am. Call for reservations. 400 S. Fourth St. (I15)(DT Mpls), (612) 321-7131. www.mgex.com
ALEXIS BAILLY VINEYARD
—Founded in 1973 with the slogan “Where the grapes can suffer,” this Hastings winery aspires to French quality with Minnesota-grown grapes, citing the time-honored belief that grapes must endure hardship to produce fine wine. Wines include Marechal Foch, Ratafia and Seyval Blanc. May-Thanksgiving. Tasting: Fri-Sun 11 am-5:30 pm. Thanksgiving-Christmas Sat 11 am-4 pm. Christmas-May closed. 18200 Kirby Ave., 25 min. south of St. Paul on 170th St. off Hwy. 61, (F7)(Hastings), (651) 437-1413. www.abvwines.com
NORTHERN VINEYARDS WINERY—Using Minnesota-grown grapes that ripen early, this stylish Stillwater winery established in 1983 produces more than half a dozen fine red and white wines. Ranging from sweet to dry, the wines are infused with tastes of butterscotch, almond, wild cherries and pineapple. Call for hours. 223 N. Main St., 20 min. east of St. Paul following Hwy. 36 to Hwy. 95 (Main St.), (B8)(Stillwater), (651) 430-1032. www.northernvineyards.com
COMO PARK ZOO
—Features hoofed animal display, seals, bears, antelope, big cats, primates and more. New visitor center is now open including the year-round Zobota Cafe, customer service area, gift store, classrooms and an auditorium. Free admission and parking. Donations are appreciated. Summer Hours 10 am-6 pm (April 1- September 30). Winter Hours 10 am-4 pm (October 1-March 31). Midway Parkway and Kaufman Drive in Como Park, (C5)(St. Paul), (651) 487-8200.
GABBERT RAPTOR CENTER—See raptors, hawks, eagles, owls and falcons—recovering from injuries and being prepared to re-enter life in the wild. Self-guided visits always free. Open Tu-Fri 10 am-4 pm; Sat-Sun 12 pm-4 pm (program at 1 pm). 1920 Fitch Ave., (C4)(Falcon Heights), (612) 624-4745.
MINNESOTA ZOO—Four zoological trails with indoor and outdoor exhibits, plus Family Farm and Discovery Bay with dolphins and sharks. Monorail provides tree-top views. Tiger Lair includes Tiger Base Camp and Tiger Pool. Admission: $12 adults, $8.25 seniors, $7 ages 3-12. Admission to the Great Clips IMAX Theatre is additional. May. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-6 pm. Memorial Day-Labor Day. Open daily 9 am-6 pm. Sept. Open Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-6 pm. Oct-April. Open daily 9 am-4 pm. 13000 Zoo Blvd., 10 minutes south of the Mall of America on Hwy. 77 (Cedar Ave), follow the signs, (F4)(Apple Valley), (952) 431-9500.