Tag Archive for visitor’s guide

Downtown St. Paul, Cosetta, and the Wabasha Street Caves

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I’ve been to Minneapolis a number of times, but somehow, I hadn’t made it to neighboring St. Paul, the capitol of Minnesota. So on my last trip to the area, I was determined to spend an afternoon there. It didn’t make any sense to this wanderluster to be that close to the city and never step a foot in it.

And I am glad I did! As one native remarked as I was trudging my way up to the Cathedral of Saint Paul—

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–it’s a city full of beautiful architecture and rich culture. Well, what he actually said is more beautiful and richer than Minneapolis, but I’m not willing to take sides on that debate. I will say that my afternoon traipsing through the downtown was full of awesome discoveries.

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The first of them was in that picture—the Landmark Center. It’s gorgeous and is now used as an event space. The second was the statues of the Peanuts throughout the neighboring parks.

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I honestly didn’t know Charles Schultz was from St. Paul. Happening upon little trivia tidbits like that is why I love exploring cities.

St. Paul Hotel

St. Paul Hotel

After a Dunn Bros coffee and checking out the Rice Park area, I decided it was time to hunt down that Cathedral, which took my breath away as I passed it on the bus into town.

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So off I went, getting closer and closer.

Passing the Xcel Center

Passing the Xcel Center

My stomach insisted on lunch before my journeying could continue, so I check out nearby Cosetta (2011 7th St.) a St. Paul institution.

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Minneapolis Blogging: Minnehaha Falls and Hiawatha

Outhouse at the John Stevens House in Minnehaha Falls Park.

Outhouse at the John Stevens House in Minnehaha Falls Park.

On my third trip to Minneapolis this past May, I felt the challenge of figuring out what was left for me to tour in the area. I’d conquered the Chain of Lakes, the Walker Museum, the Sculpture Garden, the Guthrie Theater, the Mall of America, and plenty of delicious eats and drinks downtown. Yet somehow, in my prior searches of things to do in the city, I never came across Minnehaha Falls.

Keep clicking on the photo to get the largest view.

Keep clicking on the photo to get the largest view.

The Falls are famous for being the focus of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha,” which is actually a name stolen from a nearby lake—we’ll get to that on this day trip, too. This sprawling recreational area is impossible to miss if you’re taking the Blue Line—and you should take the Blue Line because Minneapolis’s public transit is awesome. Just get off at the Minnehaha Falls stop and cross the street to the park. The first thing you’ll see is the John Stevens House.

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The home of John Stevens, who served as a ferryman for Fort Snelling, was the first home built in Minneapolis and it’s been moved four times since. I found the eyes on the statue of Stevens quite creepy.

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A Foodie Day Trip on Treasure Island

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On the last full weekend of every month, the Treasure Island flea market takes place. It is a great excuse to check out Treasure Island for foodies, because the flea market brings a lot of food trucks with it to what is otherwise a barren land for munchies.

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But it’s never a barren land for winos, with several tasting rooms located within a mile walk of each other.

Outside the Fat Grape winery.

Outside the Fat Grape winery.

So combine the flea market experience with some afternoon wine tasting, and you have the makings of a perfect day slightly out of the city. And if you haven’t been to Treasure Island, then you must stop off at this midway point on the Bay Bridge stretch for the views alone.

Click twice for the largest pic!

Click twice for the largest pic!

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It provides the best skyline of San Francisco I’ve seen in the five months since we relocated here. For an area awash in beauty, that’s saying something. Maybe it’s just saying that I haven’t explored enough of the Bay yet, but it’s something, regardless.

You can take the bus from the city to Treasure Island, or just hope off the bridge at the Yerba Buena Island exit. Take a right off the freeway, and follow the road around until you’re on Treasure Island and you see signs for the flea market and parking. Really, though, you can park wherever. Follow the Bliss Dance sculpture to the market — you can’t miss that 40-foot-tall beauty.

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If you’re into the market by 12, there are usually changing drink specials available at the bar. No picture, but I can assure you my cantaloupe mimosa was delicious. We settled on lunch next, choosing the Hiyaaa! food truck for a bulkogi fix.

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