The other, lesser-known half of the Twin Cities, Saint Paul sits on the northern banks of the Mississippi River, just downstream from where it converges with the Minnesota River, adjacent to its sister city Minneapolis. Technically it is the second-largest city in the state, and it boasts a distinctive Native American history, with the burial mounds at Indian Mounds Park dating back close to 2,000 years. These days, Saint Paul acts more as a cosmopolitan sibling to the busier Minneapolis, with a far more cultural vibe, plus access to places like Highland Park, Battle Creek Regional Park, Lake Como, Rice Park, and various other areas along the Mississippi River. And despite being a lesser-known city, Saint Paul is actually second in nation in terms of higher education institutions per person.
Saint Paul is one of those pleasant American towns that most people never even think about visiting, but once they actually spend some time in the place they wonder why it is that they never came here in the first place. From places like the Minnesota Museum of American Art to the historic mansions in the Summit Avenue region of the city, to places like Grand Avenue with its multiple shops and chain stores, or the Wabasha Street Caves, once home to gangsters during the early parts of the 20th century. There are various festivals throughout the year, from the Minnesota State fair in mid-August to the Grand Old Day in June, or the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in January. While it's true that the city isn't necessarily a tourist destination, that actually works more in favor for Saint Paul than against. It is absolutely possible to come here and have a distinctly uneventful, yet memorable, trip away from the mass hordes of tourists in places like New York or San Francisco. Still, it does take some digging to get beneath the surface, but once you do you will find yourself pleasantly surprised.
An arty city hemmed in by pretty lakes and home to a vivacious art scene, Minneapolis is all flashy skyscrapers and good time nights out. Unsubtly nicknamed ‘the mini apple’, the heart of…