Tucked up north in the heart of the Midwest, many don't realizethat unassuming Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota offer a culturescene that rivals the country's major metropolises. Set side by side,these "twin cities" (as they are called) boast world-renowned theater,art, design and dining - and do it with Midwestern charm.
Hearty Minnesotans take on frosty winters with little hesitation, asthe season translates to Minnesota Vikings football games, nights atthe famed Guthrie Theater and warm bowls of Minnesota wild rice soup (alocal treat). The city comes to life in summer with open-air concertson the Mississippi Riverfront, sailboats on Lake Calhoun, and butterycorn-on-the-cob at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota Twins baseballfans wave their "homer hankies" at the new Target Field, opened spring2010. And, tourists mix with locals for tax-free shopping at the 4.2million-square-foot Mall of America.
Culture: Withmore theater seats per capita in Minneapolis than anywhere outside ofManhattan, visitors are sure to be entertained. Overlooking theMississippi River, Guthrie Theater is famous for its incredibleperformances and modern architectural design. Visitors can also take ina show at the Children's Theater Company, which features plays for allages or at one of the city's historic theaters - the Orpheum, the Stateor Pantages.
A visit to the Walker Art Center andMinneapolis Sculpture Garden is a must. Admission to the SculptureGarden is free and the park is home to the Spoonbridge and Cherrysculpture, which has become a Minnesota icon.
Sports:Take in a Minnesota Twins baseball game at the brand-new Target Field.The open-air ballpark provides scenic views of the Minneapolis skyline.The city is also home turf for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings football andthe NHL's Minnesota Wild hockey.
Shopping:From the mega Mall of America to upscale boutiques, Minnesota is ashopaholic's paradise as all clothing is tax-free.
Dining:With a Scandinavian heritage and a diverse mix of ethnic communities,visitors can sample a wide range of international flavors from Sweden,Somalia, Vietnam, Mexico and more. Minnesotans take pride in locallygrown and farmed produce - this mixed with the arrival of celebritychefs like Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, provide a topquality, world-class dining experience in America's heartland.
Scenic Lakes: Know as the "City of Lakes,"Minneapolis is built around a chain of lakes. Locals can be foundjogging, biking and rollerblading around picturesque Lake Harriet.During the summer, a series of live concerts take place at LakeHarriet's band shell. Lake Calhoun offers sailing lessons, it is alsopopular for wind surfing, fishing, swimming and canoeing.
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