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Twin Cities

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Know

The Twin Cities area of Minnesota consists of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and their associated suburbs, although the boundaries of the area are rather vague. Most of the population of Minnesota lives and works in this area.

Understand

Located where the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi, the Twin Cities grew in the 1800s from its location at the intersection of a major river and the rail lines. For a period the point furthest downstream that the Mississippi could be bridged was located in the area, if only due to the fortuitous island placement.

Get in, Get out

Two Interstate Highways, I-94 and I-35 travel through the Twin Cities travelling east/west and north/south respectively. Several other national and state highways also travel through the area.

For commercial air travel, the Twin Cities area is served by the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP).

For rail travel, there's also an Amtrak station in Saint Paul.

Get around

Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and some of the closer suburbs are all served by buses run by the Metropolitan Council Transit Authority (Metro Transit). There are also other transit authorities serving the outlying suburbs.

A light rail is currently under construction. In April 2004 it should be open connecting Fort Snelling to downtown Minneapolis, with the line extending to the airport and the Mall of America in December 2004.

The downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul both have extensive skyway systems for walking from building to building without having to go outside, allowing people to avoid the cold winter weather.

See

Insides

This section is for listing attractions that have doors and a roof, such as museums, palaces, churches, temples, historical buildings, etc. You can also note here general information about indoor attractions, such as tourist passes.

  • Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd St. Paul, Minnesota 55102, (651) 221-9444, Open 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Wednesday, 9:30 am to 9 pm Thursday through Saturday, 10 pm to 5 pm Sunday. The Science Museum overlooks the Mississippi river and has a permenant exhibit devoted to the river. The museum also has a dinosaur fossils gallery and an experiment gallery with various hands-on activities. The collections gallery includes several quack medical devices from the now-defunct Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. http://www.smm.org/
  • Name of Attraction, Address (extra directions if necessary), phone number (email, fax, other contact if possible). Days and times open. One to five sentences about why this attraction is worth seeing, things to pay special attention to, warnings, notes, historical or other background information. $entryprice (extra price info). http://www.attraction.example.com/

Outsides

This section is for listing attractions that are outdoors, such as squares, parks, monuments, statues, streets, zoos, etc. You can also note general information about outdoor attractions, such as need for a guide, weather warnings, good walking routes, general areas to hang out in, etc.

  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center 725 Vineland Place Minneapolis, MN 55403. Open daily, 6 am-midnight. The Sculpture garden is an outdoor exhibition of sculptures from many different different artists, including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry. http://www.walkerart.org/
  • Name of Attraction, Address (extra directions if necessary), phone number (email, fax, other contact if possible). Days and times open. One to five sentences about why this attraction is worth seeing, things to pay special attention to, warnings, notes, historical or other background information. $entryprice (extra price info). http://www.attraction.example.com/

Do

This is for things that travellers will do themselves. More active participation is needed for Do things than for See things. For example, going to see a river goes under See; kayak trips down the river go under Do.

Learn

If there are opportunities for travellers to study in this city -- from language to cooking classes up to full university courses -- add that here.

Work

What possibilities are there for travellers to earn money in this city? Note that this is kind of long-range and probably won't be appropriate for most destinations.

Buy

The Twin Cities has many shopping centers

  • Rosedale
  • Southdale, considered the first modern shopping mall
  • Mall of America, The largest shopping center in the United States, second largest in the world.

There is also a wide variety of shopping along the Nicollet Mall pedestrian street in downtown Minneapolis.

Eat

For restaurant listings and other food-related stuff. Mention any local specialties or oddities. Specific restaurant info, or general idea of good areas of the destination to try. Be sure to explain what the price ranges are ($2 for a meal can be a splurge in some cities). Some travellers like (or have) to make their own food -- include local food-shopping options if possible.

Budget

  • Name of Restaurant, Address (extra directions if necessary), phone number (email, fax, other contact if possible). Days and times open. One to three sentences about the food, service, atmosphere, view, specialties, music, what have you. $lowprice-$highprice (extra price info). http://www.restaurant.example.com/

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

For bars, clubs, and other nightlife. Yes, many people go out to clubs and don't drink; the name of the section is still Drink. Mention any local specialties or oddities, and give a general idea of good areas of the destination to try. Invent groupings/lables as needed (Gay friendly, student, hipster, fancy-pants, etc). Good things to mention: dress code, entrance fees, safety concerns, solo-woman friendly or pick-up bar, good/bad nights).

  • Name of Bar or Club, Address (extra directions if necessary), phone number (email, fax, other contact if possible). Days and times open. One to three sentences about the food, service, atmosphere, view, specialties, music, what have you. $lowprice-$highprice (extra price info). http://www.restaurant.example.com/

Sleep

This is for helping the traveller find a place to lay his/her weary head. Give a general idea of good areas of the destination to try to find lodging. Other good info to include is high/low season, the importance of reservation, things to request (quiet room, view, airport pick up, etc).'

Budget

  • Name of Place, Address (extra directions if necessary), phone number (email, fax, other contact if possible). Days and times open. One to three sentences about the service, atmosphere, view, rooms, what have you. $lowprice-$highprice (extra price info). http://www.hotel.example.com/

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay Safe

This is a section for general safety tips. If there are health hazards or crime problems in the city, list them here.

Exercise

This is a section for listing places to exercise in the city. Yes, it's somewhat like Do, but more oriented towards exercise-as-tedious-chore rather than exercise-as-vacation-adventure.

Run

Swim

Pools or places where people can swim laps. Less for ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.

Bike

Places to take a bike ride.

Gym

Gyms that are open to the public or have short-term or one-visit payment plans.

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