Minneapolis sculpture garden. Image by Flickr user FaceMsPls.
When thinking of great summer destinations for a proper girls’ getaway, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul might not rank very high on your list. Minnesota certainly isn’t the usual summer beach or mountain vacation. But if you love escapes that don’t involve overhyped and overcrowded ‘hot spots’, and if you enjoy miles of parks, great art, music and culture, you might be pleasantly surprised with what the Twin Cities have in store for visitors.
In preparation for summer, we teamed up with our friends at Starwood to find out about the Twin Cities’ hidden treasures. They’re launching their summer sale today — so not only can you get a perfect girls’ weekend trip, but you can get it for a great deal.
Would it surprise you to know that the Twin Cities have a top-tier music scene? The home of Prince has also produced many other famous artists, and is especially well known for its hip hop culture. Grab your girlfriends and head here in June, when music lovers are rewarded with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Rock the Garden, and the Ten Thousand Sounds Festival.
Take your music lover’s weekend even further by staying at Sheraton Bloomington Hotel where the eclectic contemporary furnishings will make you feel like you’re staying in a pop star’s home. Its location means ease of access to highways and the airport which will allow you to zip between your hometown and the Twin Cities’ music festivals effortlessly.
Does your Mum worship Proust, lust for Monet, or read literature vicariously? Between the World-famous Guthrie Theatre, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, the Minnesota Centre for Book Arts and dozens of other theatres, museums and galleries, ‘The Cities’ deserve far more credit for their incredible cultural options. Treat her to a girls’ weekend and spend a day at the Walker Art Centre, where the famous outdoor Sculpture Garden competes with the indoor exhibits. She’ll also love the Warehouse District, where dozens of art studios and galleries cluster side by side, or a tour the Fitzgerald Theatre, where A Prairie Home Companion was recorded.
Highlight your art-loving weekend by staying at Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis. Also known as the ‘Minneapolis Arts Hotel’, the over 200 pieces of artwork on display will make you feel as if you’re staying in the world’s most comfortable art gallery. Located on Hennepin Avenue, the heart of Minneapolis’ Theatre District, means you’re also an easy walk to the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s historic State, Orpheum, Pantages and New Century Theatres.
F. Scott Fitzgerald house. Image by Flickr user Teemu008.
St. Paul and Minneapolis are the ‘Bees Knees’ when it comes to history, especially that of the ‘Roaring Twenties’. Grab your favourite history-loving, vintage wearing travel buddy for a weekend in the past. Hit the F. Scott Fitzgerald independent walking tour in St. Paul to follow in the footsteps of one of the Twin Cities’ most famous ex-residents before heading down to Wabasha Caves to continue your prohibition-themed adventure. The caves were once used as speakeasies, and still keep the past alive with gangster-inspired tours and weekly live music swing dances.
Keep the theme of your weekend going, and end each day with a Roaring Twenties-style cocktail, The Prohibition, at the W Minneapolis – The Foshay, where you can enjoy contemporary plushness (including ultra-soft bed linens and furniture) and art deco design in an early 20th century sandstone skyscraper.
Can’t have too many shoes? St Paul and Minneapolis are probably best known for the Mall of the Americas, an entertainment colossus of over 400 shops, movie theatres, an aquarium and an amusement park. Go Girls who love upscale shopping will enjoy Edina’s Galleria mall with multiple designer stores, while supporters of local retailers should head to 50th and France, Edina’s downtown shopping district, which features independent boutique stores and a summer-time farmers market. Check out The Westin Edina Galleria, which blends elegance and upscale modern style for a relaxing retreat located right next to one of the area’s most exclusive malls.
The Great Outdoors
Como Park. Image by Flickr user Alfonso Sintjago.
Ever thought of heading to a city to get away from urban life and appreciate nature? The Twin Cities may be one of the few places you can do this. Considered to have one of the best parks systems in North America, visitors can easily walk the Chain of Lakes, visit Minnehaha Falls, or stroll to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Nature lovers should also check out the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, one of North America’s only urban wildlife refuges, where over 200 types of birds and other wildlife reside, or the Normandale Japanese Gardens. Want to be active or enjoy nature even if it rains during your trip? Spend the day enjoying the dozens of inside gardens at the incredible Majorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, or the state of the art fitness facilities and spa available to guests at the luxurious Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis.
Whichever type of urban escape appeals to you, St. Paul and Minneapolis have terrific offerings to ensure a perfect week or weekend of fun. Why not grab your travel-loving girlfriends and check it out this summer?
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