Minneapolis/St. Paul anyone?

Old Jan 16th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Minneapolis/St. Paul anyone?

I am visiting relatives in Green Bay this summer, and am considering flying to the Twin Cities, renting a car and spending a couple of days there before driving to northeast Wisconsin. Do you think the Twin cities are worth the time/expense? I love AUTHENTICITY...art, antiques, quaint neighborhoods, vegetarian restaurants, nature, old houses and churches, that kind of stuff... If I only have 2 days, what sections of which of the twin cities do you recommend? Also, anything between the Twin Cities and Green Bay that anyone recommends? Natural beauty/wilderness areas would be great.
Guy18 is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Guy18 - I would guess it'll be cheaper to fly into MSP than GB, so it should be worth it moneywise (unless you weren't planning on renting a car in GB).

There are several art museums in the Cities, with the Walker in Mpls being the most well-known. I really can't help with the antiques, except to say there are lots of shops. How good they are is subjective. Stillwater, MN (about a 30-45 minute drive east) is well-known for having lots of antique shops, so you might want to consider that.

Numerous vegetarian restaurants in the Cities as well. Ecopolitan is a raw foods restaurant, meaning it's vegetarian and not-cooked (served cold), so that may interest you.

The Basilica on the edge of downtown Mpls would interest you, as well as the cathedral in St. Paul (can't remember the name right now). The St. Paul cathedral is also located in a neighborhood with a lot of older mansion-type homes.

As far as nature, there are many lakes scattered around the Cities, most with walking paths. On your way to GB, there's the Interstate State Park, which is actually 2 states parks, one in MN and one in WI. It's close to St. Croix Falls. It's not directly in your path, but will be a bit north of I-94.

I'm assuming you'll be driving Hwy. 29 across most of WI to get to GB. You'll pass through Wausau, which is home to Rib Mountain State Park.

There's alot of nature between the Twin Cities and GB, but I don't think the direct route (I-94 to Hwy 29) is really the most scenic or interesting. If you're willing to take extra time and head a little further north, you could head to Duluth, drive along Lake Superior, hit the Apostle Islands, and then drive through the Northwoods to GB.
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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"I love AUTHENTICITY...art, antiques, quaint neighborhoods, vegetarian restaurants, nature, old houses and churches, that kind of stuff..."

As soon as I read this I thought this person would love the Twin Cities. I live in Minneapolis and I can tell you there is so much here you'd enjoy, expecially in the summer. Minneapolis has one of the most extensive park systems in the country. All around these lakes and creeks are fabulous older neighborhoods with "yuppie" type restaurants. Lake Harriet has an outdoor bandshell that has free concerts every night in the summer. Everyone around here loves to walk the lakes and surrounding neignborhoods.

St. Paul has Summit Avenue which is supposed to be the best one of the preserved Victorian areas in the country. Both cities have antique shops of varying types, from trash to real treasures. Excelsior and Wayzata and Stillwater are all small towns that have interesting shops, plus two of them are on a major lake and one is on the St. Croix River. The drive to Green Bay is about six hours nonstop. I'd say, go for the ticket to MSP.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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Thanks, guys. That really helps.
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Old Jan 16th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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I spent several days in MSP for a conference and really enjoyed the city. We did some guided walks (organized by the convention) that were interesting. Two notes: if you don't know that part of the country well, it can be very buggy with mosquitoes in summer (lakes+heat), so keep that in mind. Second, if you like crime novels, you might enjoy the Prey series by John Sandford, the nom de plume of a former MSP Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. They are almost all set in the MSP area.

Weasel and Jules, are you following the story about the sex offender who tried to pass himself off in Stillwater as a member of the British royal family? (He told everyone he was the Duke of Cleveland and 27th in line for the British throne). How weird!
BTilke is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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Haven't noticed a thing in my local paper about the sex offender.
julies is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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it's all over the strib and the pioneer press.

great story.
repete is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2006, 12:30 AM
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He was unmasked by student journalists at Stillwater High. He was calling himself "Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland."

Subtle, huh?

It was also found that he was calling himself "The Earl of Scooby" on a Web site.

One of the school newspaper editors said they started to poke around in his past because "why would royalty want to go to school in Minnesota?"

Love it!
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Old Jan 17th, 2006, 05:21 AM
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I'm not going to offer up any original thoughts, but want to reiterate a couple points that were lost in the prior posts.

First, if you like authenticity, there are several well-preserved areas that you should visit for food or antique shopping. Much has been said about Grand Ave. in St. Paul, and I would add the smaller villages of Excelsior, Wayzata, and Stillwater. Wayzata has a very good restaurant scene. Excelsior is also on the shores of Lake Minnetonka with a very pretty setting. There are occasional walking tours in Excelsior where they talk about the sights (one of the churches is from the pre-civil-war era). And Stillwater is THE place to go for antiques.

Second, I love the idea of taking the longabout way from MSP to Green Bay, going through Duluth and then across northern Wisconsin. This is a great area, and a fun area just to meander and "poke around". Just watch out for Friday afternoon traffic - people on thier way to summer cabins clog the interstate at the end of the week.

Enjoy your trip.
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