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Twin Cities? Warehouse District?

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We're headed to the Twin Cities in a couple of weeks and could use some new ideas for things to do. We will be staying at the Nicolett Island Inn and plan to go to the Guthrie for a performance. Years ago we walked over into the the Slavic neighborhood and enjoyed the deli and a few other shops. I was wondering about heading in the other direction and visiting the Warehouse District. We're not into malls, chain stores or fashion, We much prefer quirky shops, antiques, affordable art galleries, books, etc. I often seek out odd discount stores looking for cheap stuff for various classroom projects.

We are always on the look-out for good, moderately priced, non-chain restaurants. We have transportation so we aren't limited to that area. We'll do the scenic/outdoors things on our way to the Cities and back.

I've also read about the Center for the Book Arts. Is there anything to see there if one is not signed up for a class? Most of our past visits take us to Stillwater, which we really love, but this time we are searching for something different.

Any and all ideas are appreciated. Thanks.

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