Minneapolis and Saint Paul have always been incredibly beautiful cities. Since they were built along the Mississippi River and near many lakes, their natural beauty has always been able to shine through. Twin Cities architects, artists, and designers have helped shape the man-made beauty of the area as well, meaning there are a million gorgeous things to see. Here are 18 incredible places in Minneapolis-Saint Paul that will drop your jaw to the floor.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Minnesota State Capitol
What could be more beautiful than the center where Minnesota's government takes place? The Minnesota Capitol Building has been recently restored to much of its original glory, and is a sight to be seen.
Minnesota Capitol Building: 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55155.
2. Walker Art Center
Revamped and better than ever, the Walker Art Center is one of the most popular museums in the entire city, featuring some of the coolest modern art you'll ever see.
Walker Art Center: 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis, MN 55403.
3. Como Zoo and Conservatory
Although it's always fun to see the animals, Como Zoo's real beauty lies within the conservatory, which is covered in the most stunning plants and flowers. The conservatory looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.
Como Zoo and Conservatory: 1225 Eastbrook Dr., Saint Paul, MN 55103.
4. Basilica of Saint Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary might be a Catholic church, but you don't have to be religious to appreciate the astounding beauty of stonework and stained glass throughout the entire Basilica.
Basilica of Saint Mary: 88 17th St. N, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
5. St. Anthony Main
There is nothing in the world like the cobblestone paved St. Anthony Main street that overlooks the mighty Mississippi River. So much of Minneapolis' history is here, including the oldest remaining restaurant in the entire city.
6. Orchestra Hall
Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall might be a stunning sight, but the sounds of the nationally-renowned Minnesota Orchestra are what really make this venue one of the most beautiful places in the Twin Cities.
Orchestra Hall: 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
7. Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has housed some of the most incredible artwork from every century and from all over the world for over a hundred years. If you think the outside is gorgeous, just wait until you see the phenomenal variety of artwork inside.
Minneapolis Institute of Art: 2400 3rd Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
8. Bob Dylan Mural
This mural is a relatively new feature in downtown Minneapolis, but it quickly has become a city icon, much like Bob Dylan himself. Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra is out of this world talented, and Minneapolis is so lucky to have his work within the city.
9. Stone Arch Bridge
The oldest bridge in Minneapolis is beautifully constructed and overlooks Saint Anthony Falls with an incredible angle of the Minneapolis skyline. What more can anyone ask for than this perfect place for pedestrians?
10. Cathedral of Saint Paul
Another Catholic church and another architectural marvel. The Cathedral of Saint Paul on Cathedral Hill is one of many highlights in Saint Paul.
Cathedral of Saint Paul: 239 Selby Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
11. Ordway Center For The Performing Arts
This building is one of Saint Paul's premier venues for the arts. Plays, ballets, and other performance arts are showcased here, making this place even more beautiful than imagined.
Ordway Center For The Performing Arts: 345 Washington St., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
12. Weisman Art Museum
Located on the University of Minnesota Campus, the Weisman Art Museum is a must-see. While not everyone has a taste for the modern architecture of the building, the art on the inside is really what counts.
Weisman Art Museum: 333 E River Pkwy., Minneapolis, MN 55455.
13. James J. Hill House
Once the home of railroad titan James J Hill, this estate is now a museum for Twin Cities residents to appreciate Saint Paul's history. The expansive home is ornately decorated and overlooks the Mississippi River.
James J Hill House: 240 Summit Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
14. Lake Nokomis
Minneapolis is home to 12 different lakes, but the Chain of Lakes are definitely the most gorgeous. Lake Nokomis doesn't receive as much love as Bde Maka Ska or Lake Harriet, but it's definitely just as stunning, especially at sunset.
15. State Theatre
Along Hennepin Ave. in downtown Minneapolis lies the Theater District. The Orpheum, The Pantages, The Cowles Center for the Arts and The State Theater all live along this street. The State Theatre is incredibly opulent and is the perfect place to experience any performance.
State Theatre: 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55402.
16. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Attached to the Walker Art Center, you'll find the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the largest sculpture parks in the world. The iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry is the centerpiece of the park, but since its renovation and reopening in late spring of 2017, there are many other new and gorgeous pieces in the park now.
17. Fitzgerald Theater
Welcome to the oldest active theater in all of Saint Paul! Minnesota Public Radio owns this beauty and the theater is home to the famous Prairie Home Companion show starring Minnesota native Garrison Keillor.
Fitzgerald Theater: 10 E Exchange St., Saint Paul, MN 55101.
18. Minnehaha Falls
Minneapolis is so fortunate to have a natural and stunning waterfall within its city limits. Minnehaha Falls is a popular place for hikers and photographers to visit and observe the phenomenal falls.
These are just a few of the most beautiful places in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but we know there are many incredibly stunning places we couldn’t put on our list without making it a million pages long. What beautiful spots in Minneapolis or Saint Paul drop your jaw to the floor? Tell us in the comments below!