Notable architecture in downtown Minneapolis includes the 57-story Norwest Center, 77 S. 7th St.; the flat-topped multifaceted IDS Tower, 80 S. 8th St.; and the city's oldest skyscraper, Foshay Tower, 821 Marquette Ave. (the observation deck has a great view of the city).
In St. Paul, don't miss a stroll down Summit Avenue, just west of St. Paul Cathedral, one of the finest collections of Victorian residential architecture in the nation. The area has been home to such authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and Garrison Keillor. Take a quiet stroll on your own, or join a guided walking tour. Tours depart from the James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave. (tel. 651/297-2555).
The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, inside Theodore Wirth Park at Glenwood Ave. (tel. 612/370-4903), is the nation's oldest public wildflower garden, crisscrossed by hiking and bicycle trails. Guided tours are available. It's open April through October daily from 7:30 a.m. to sunset. Minnehaha Park, Minnehaha Parkway at Hiawatha Avenue (tel. 612/230-6400), on the Mississippi, is the site of the famed Minnehaha Falls, the "laughing water" Longfellow celebrated in his poem Song of Hiawatha. Other attractions include 15 miles of jogging and bicycle trails, picnic facilities, and a historic frame house that was the first built west of the Mississippi. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Information on both parks is available online at www.minneapolisparks.org.
St. Paul's Como Park, 1250 Kaufman Dr. (tel. 651/487-2800), is one of the busiest and most beautiful parks in the Twin Cities, best known for its free zoo and its flower conservatory, which includes a half-acre domed botanical garden. There's also a golf course, ski trails, and footpaths, as well as paddleboats, canoes, bikes, and skates for rent. It's open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through September, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. off season.
Downtown Landmark Plaza, adjacent to the Landmark Center at 5th and Washington streets, is home to four bronze statues of the "Peanuts" comic book characters. The statues pay homage to hometown artist Charles Schulz.
Best bets for Kids In Minneapolis
The Minnesota Zoo (see above; tel. 952/431-9500; www.mnzoo.com), in Apple Valley, houses more than 2,300 animals. The Children's Theater Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S. (tel. 612/874-0400; www.childrenstheatre.org), presents a season of plays for all age groups. The Mall of America houses Camp Snoopy (tel. 952/883-8600), an amusement park; Underwater Adventures (tel. 888/348-3846), an aquarium; and NASCAR (tel. 952/854-7001), an indoor racecar simulator, among other attractions.
In St. Paul -- The Minnesota Children's Museum, 10 W. 7th St. (tel. 651/225-6000; www.mcm.org), offers popular features such as papermaking, a music studio, and a Rooftop Art Park. Como Zoo, 1250 Kaufman Dr. (tel. 651/487-2800), is Minnesota's only free zoo.
For a complete listing of what to see and do in Minneapolis, visit the online attractions index at Frommers.com.
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