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26 Best Things to Do in St. Paul, Minnesota

26 Best Things to Do in St. Paul, Minnesota

The welcoming and historic capital of Minnesota, Saint Paul, is one-half of the stunning Twin Cities. It has a population of about 300,000, and its much larger twin, Minneapolis, is right on its doorstep, frequently stealing the limelight. But the city doesn’t mind being overlooked that much. The town’s unofficial motto is “Keep Saint Paul Boring,” – but if you know where to look, you’ll find St. Paul is anything but dull.

This city is the perfect combination of metropolitan and laid-back, and it’s this laid-back vibe where the desire to keep it “boring” comes from. While plenty of lively things keep you occupied in Minnesota’s capital, people are just a little bit more chill here than their neighbors on the other side of the Mississippi.

And yes, there are tons of chill things to do, too, making St. Paul an ideal lazy getaway destination. The southern part of Saint Paul is lined with green and sometimes with snow-clad banks of the river. The streets here have everything from artisan cafes to world-class museums.

You will also likely be surprised at the architectural marvels the city is home to. The stunning Capitol area is chock-full of statues, monuments, and the stunning Capitol Building, facing the equally stunning Cathedral of Saint Paul in the distance on Selby.

There are ample opportunities to grab great food and sample beers from some of the country’s top independent breweries. Also, there is a huge sports scene in the city – hockey, in particular, has found a great home in St. Paul.

No matter your personality or preference, you will certainly have a great time wandering around Saint Paul. When it comes to the things to do here, this oft-overlooked city will not disappoint you. So, let’s dive in as we explore our favorite things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark – The Cathedral of Saint Paul
  • Best park – Como Regional Park
  • Free activity – Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
  • Activity for kids – The Minnesota Children’s Museum
  • Activity for adults – The Breweries!
  • Place to eat – Tori Ramen
  • Nightlife – Grand Avenue or West 7th
  • Place to stay – The Saint Paul Hotel

Things to Do in Saint Paul, Minnesota

1. Learn About the State’s History at the Minnesota History Center

Front of Minnesota History Center Building
Minneapolis History Center Management / Facebook

Address: 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102

If you are traveling with kids or have history enthusiasts, a top attraction in Saint Paul is to head to the Minnesota History Center. This impressive museum lies between the State Capitol and the Cathedral and boasts 4,000 square meters of space hosted by the Minnesota Historical Society.

This is easily one of Minnesota’s top museums and a great place to start a St. Paul adventure. If you want to learn about the state’s history, it is the number one place to visit, but there’s even more in store.

Here, you can learn everything from Hmong tribespeople to the devastating Dakota War and much more. It’s also home to the enormous Minnesota History Center Library, one of the largest research libraries in the country.

One of the best things about the Minnesota History Center is a huge gift shop where you can find books, models, toys, trinkets, and other souvenirs to help you remember your day out. If this sounds like your can of pop, you can hit up the Minnesota History Center and more on this terrific walking tour of Saint Paul.

See Related: Best Parks in St. Paul

2. Head to the Cathedral of Saint Paul

Majestic Sunset View of the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Minnesota - Historic landmark at twilight
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 239 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

The gorgeous church is perched high on Cathedral Hill at the end of the famous Selby Avenue and overlooks the downtown area of Saint Paul. This magnificent Roman Catholic cathedral, modeled after Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London, is the fourth-tallest church in the United States, known for its beautiful copper spire and dome.

Dedicated to Paul the Apostle, the cathedral is an architectural delight, and its makeup is stunning in almost every possible manner. The beautiful structure blends the elements of Baroque, Gothic, and Beaux-Arts architecture, making it a must-see for building buffs.

Perhaps best of all, the interior has one of the most extraordinary bronze baldachins and chapels dedicated to the saints of the immigrant communities that make up large chunks of the city’s population. I highly recommend swinging by, and you can do so through several walking tours of Saint Paul, such as this Ghostly Private Tour of St. Paul.

See Related: Minnesota Renaissance Festival

3. Explore the Houses on Summit Avenue 

Neo-gothic style church in hill district st paul
Ferrer Photography / Adobe Stock

After just a quick walk from Saint Paul Cathedral, you’ll find yourself on Summit Avenue. It is filled with various churches, red brick, and Victorian-style mansions built during the 19th century. It’s also just one street over from Grand Avenue, home to some excellent boutiques and eateries in the city (I’ll get onto it properly in just a tad).

Summit is one of the most stylish streets in town. It’s home to the largest stretch of Victorian-era mansions in the country, making it ideal for a walking or Segway tour.

You will also see many historical sites here, including the F. Scott Fitzgerald House, a National Historic Landmark on Summit Avenue, where writer F. Scott Fitzgerald was born and grew up until 1920. You must also see the famous house of Frank B. Kellogg, a Nobel Prize winner and U.S. diplomat.

You’ll also find the Governor’s Mansion here (which unfortunately has seen a lot of protests since 2016) and the James J. Hill House, which I will just get onto…

See Related: Best Things to Do in Mankato, Minnesota

4. Take a Tour of the James J. Hill House

Front of Historic James J. Hill House in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Address: 240 Summit Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

…Now! The James J. Hill House is a National Historic Landmark, one of the most popular things to do in St. Paul.

This Victorian-style mansion was built in 1891 for James J. Hill, father of the Great Northern Railroad and widely considered one of Minnesota’s most influential figures.

The house has been open for tours since 1948 and is exceptionally well preserved, so you can see what life was like inside this historic home while James J. Hill lived there.

You can take a tour every day of the week except holidays – plus, it also shows up on many Summit Avenue walking tours. If you’re lucky enough to visit during Christmas, they also offer special holiday tours worth checking out!

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay to spend more time enjoying this neck of the woods, check into the nearby Residence Inn by Marriott, St. Paul Downtown. It’s new, crisp, clean, and in the heart of the action.

See Related: Beaches in Minnesota to Visit

5. Go Shopping on Grand Avenue

Crowd in Grand Avenue, Saint Paul
Grand Old Day Grand Avenue / Facebook

Stop looking for things to do in St. Paul today and shop to your heart’s desire on Grand Ave! In the heart of western Saint Paul, just one street off Summit, Grand Avenue is a long stretch that offers some of the best shopping in the Twin Cities.

Dotted by beautiful Victorian street lights, Grand Avenue hosts everything from fantastic cafes like Bread & Chocolate and Cafe Latte to boutiques selling everything from Tibetan crafts, custom clothing, artisanal jewelry, kooky kids’ toys and games, and so much more.

Plus, if you’re here in June, don’t miss the chance to attend Grand Old Day(s), an awesome street festival with live music, entertainment, parades, vendors, and amazing street food.

Looking for a place to crash? Why not try this cozy little apartment on Grand Ave, just next door to Grand Ole Creamery, one of the most popular and historic ice cream parlors in the city?

See Related: Things to Do in Brainerd

6. Enjoy Swing Nights at the Wabasha Street Caves

Wabasha Street Caves entrance
Joseph Creamer / Shutterstock.com

Address: 215 Wabasha St S, St Paul, MN 55107

Wanna see one of Saint Paul’s most secret hidden gems? Check out the Wabasha Street Caves built out of the hillsides in the 1800s. They delve into the sub-terrain on the southern bank of the Mississippi River and have survived the Volstead Act and Mafiosos over many years.

Originally mined into the sandstone bluffs near downtown St. Paul in around 1840, these caves have played host to a number of enterprises over the years. This includes food and liquor stores, the Wabasha Street Speakeasy from the roaring ’20s, and they were even used for growing mushrooms!

You can enjoy guided walks in the complex with the period-dressed characters and re-enactments. It is a wonderful experience to walk through the Wabasha Street Caves with friends and family.

It’s also a top event space if you consider yourself a bit of a toe-tapper. Today, likely as an homage to the caves’ association with Prohibition, the Street Caves hosts the city’s best swing nights every Thursday!

See Related: Things to Do in Wabasha

7. Learn about Music at The Schubert Club Music Museum

Schubert Club Music Museum Exhibit
Schubert Club Music Museum / Facebook

Address: 75 W 5th St #302, St Paul, MN 55102

If you are a music enthusiast, the Schubert Club Music Museum is one of the best things to do in St. Paul. A perfect stop for music lovers interested in the history of music, the Schubert Club Music Museum is a place where you can study musical instruments from yesteryear, and get up close and personal with the manuscripts of some of history’s most renowned composers.

It is right in the Landmark Center in the middle of Saint Paul and is not easy to miss. But it’s more than just peering at old kazoos and bazookas. The museum also organizes music learning workshops and even hosts jazz piano sessions as well as jam and slam sessions.

See Related: Things to Do in Grand Portage

8. Put on Your Thinking Cap at the Science Museum of Minnesota

Interior of the Science Museum of Minnesota
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102

Located in a colossal complex that sprawls over several levels on the northern banks of the Mississippi River, the Science Museum of Minnesota is located in a buzzing part of downtown St. Paul. This is another of the state’s top museums and a fantastic day out for the kids.

The Science Museum of Minnesota has fascinating, interactive exhibits focusing on paleontology, evolution, and the local natural history. There’s also a huge flipping astronaut there that has to be seen and believed!

The museum also has a huge section on the human body, not to mention a large fossil collection, complete with triceratops and stegosaurus bones. You will also have the chance to see an eclectic blend of traveling shows and seminars held here. A day at the Science Museum of Minnesota is well spent – and you can see it on this walking tour of St. Paul.

See Related: Top-Rated Hotels in Stillwater

9. Enjoy Traditional and Innovative Ramen Bowls at Tori Ramen

Bowl of Ramen at Tori Ramen in St. Paul, Minnesota
Tori Ramen / Facebook

Address: 603 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102

While Saint Paul isn’t a stranger to the odd fine-dining restaurant, one of our collective favorites for an amazing meal is in an old rail car – and we’re not talking about Mickey’s Diner in downtown (which is still closed for some unfathomable reason).

St. Paul is home to a huge Hmong population, which means there is a lot of great ramen out there. Tori Ramen is home to some of the best ramen in the city, and I’ve never had anything but a superb meal. I love this place.

It’s located on 7th St W (known to the locals as “West 7th”), home to many fantastic eateries if ramen isn’t your cup of sake. And even if it isn’t your cup of sake, visit them – their rotating specials might surprise you!

See Related: Minneapolis Parks to Visit 

10. Spend the day at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

The Como Park Conservatory is a beautiful Victorian style greenhouse in Como Regional Park in St Paul, Minnesota
kirkikis / Adobe Stock

Address: 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103

The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is a vast green space surrounded by the beautiful rises of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Established in 1915, Como Park continues to be a Twin Cities staple, enjoying daily crowds in the thousands during summer. This is one of the best free things to do in Minnesota.

The conservatory is a lovely Art Nouveau structure with beautiful bonsai trees, evocating Kew Gardens in London. Across the beautifully manicured park gardens, you will see busts and bridges of Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian playwright.

There are also fiberglass creations at Como Zoo & Conservatory that include interesting and unique sculptures like the carvings of penguins, wolves, and giraffes. At the end of the walking path through the conservatory and orchid house, you’ll find a sprawling outdoor Japanese garden that will make it hard to realize you’re in the middle of a city.

While not the biggest zoo in the world (or in the state – or even on this list), Como Zoo is a great distraction for the kids, housing a number of beautiful wild animals including seals, flamingos, zebras, monkeys, and even leopards. And if the kids aren’t sated, make sure you take them over to Como’s fairground!

I’d consider staying in this part of town, as it tends to be quieter than other parts of the city (and that’s saying something). Book yourself a room at the Best Western Plus Como Park Hotel – it’s right outside!

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Minneapolis?

11. Take in a Show at the Fitzgerald Theater

The Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, oldest active theatre in Saint Paul
EWY Media / Adobe Stock

Address: 10 E Exchange St, St Paul, MN 55101

You may not know this, but after New York and Chicago, Minnesota is home to the nation’s best theatre scene – and while it doesn’t have as many theatres as its fatter sister, Minneapolis, Saint Paul doesn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a great theater experience in St. Paul, be sure to check out the Fitzgerald Theater.

This historic theater, named after Minnesota native F. Scott Fitzgerald, has been around for over 100 years and has hosted some of the biggest names in theater, music, and comedy. The theater is located on East Exchange Street in downtown Saint Paul, so it’s easy to get to.

And if you’re looking for something to do before or after the show, plenty of fantastic restaurants and bars are nearby to help you cement a great night out. To cement it further, book yourself a room at the Celeste of St. Paul, one of the coolest boutique hotels in the city.

See Related: Best Hotels in Minneapolis

12. Tour the Minnesota State Capitol Building

Facade of the Minnesota State Capitol Building in St Paul
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock

Address: 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155

The Minnesota State Capitol area offers free things to do in Minneapolis or St. Paul. A beautiful array of buildings in this part of the city is essential for architecture fans. Here, you will see beautiful Neoclassical buildings with massive baroque adornments.

However, the Minnesota State Capitol Building is the most wonderful, surrounded by various monuments and memorials that should not be missed. With its distinctive dome with the roaring golden horses, architecture junkies will love this gleaming monument to Minnesota’s history and government.

It’s also gorgeous at any time of day or night – even when there’s maintenance work being done on it (more common than you’d think, thanks to the porous stone the building is made from). Check out our YouTube video touring the Minnesota State Capitol and downtown at night!

See Related: Things to Do in Red Wing

13. Sample Some of Saint Paul’s Best Beers

Front of Summit Brewing in St. Paul, Minnesota
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Twin Cities have always been big on beer, but they’ve seen a huge increase in small breweries in the last decade. Saint Paul is home to some of the best, making it a fantastic destination if you enjoy a baller brew.

Whatever kind of beer or bev you’re after, you can find it in Saint Paul. Some of our favorite breweries include BlackStack Brewing, the Bad Weather Brewing Company, the Summit Brewing Company, and the Lake Monster Brewing Company.

But it’s not all beer, no sir! The Twin Cities is now home to many small distilleries producing innovative, top-quality liquors. And the booze cruise doesn’t end there but has a twist.

Thanks to a recent change to Minnesota’s draconian drug laws, Minnesota is now a pioneer in creating THC-infused beverages. For example, Burning Brothers Brewing in Saint Paul sells THC seltzers and sodas alongside popular beers!

Thirsty? Check out these top breweries in St. Paul or these top breweries in Minneapolis, and consider taking a Saint Paul bar-hopping tour!

See Related: Best Tours in Minnesota

14. Try Some Irish Coffee (no, not that kind of Irish coffee)

Claddagh Coffee store sign
Claddagh Coffee Saint Paul / Facebook

Address: 459 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102

Playing up to the city’s Irish immigrant roots, you can taste Irish-style coffee at Claddagh Coffee, conveniently located on West 7th and Selby. It is one of the top local coffee chains in the city, and a great place to refuel when out exploring.

The cafe’s menu has the usual drinks, from the Americanos to the Lattes, and a wide variety of special mixes like the Claddagh and their cinnamon and honey flavored Black and Tan coffee – try to ignore the slightly offensive name.

They have some great nibbles, too. You can try their granola bowls, the farmer’s salad, a selection of homemade cakes, delicious hummus, and even yummy pita plates. 

See Related: Best Indoor Activities in Minnesota

15. Head to the American Association of Woodturners

American Association of Woodturners
McGhiever / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St #222, St Paul, MN 55102

Looking for something a little more unique? I can almost guarantee you’ve seen anything like the American Association of Woodturners anywhere.

Located in the breathtaking Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul, the organization is dedicated to advancing the craft of woodturning worldwide through education.

They operate the Gallery of Wood Art, which has exhibits of all kinds made from turned wood, and a pretty fab gift shop. Admission to the gallery is free and will be a chance to see the unique woodwork you may not get anywhere else. This is one of the most interesting indoor activities in St. Paul, so consider saving it for a cold or rainy day.

And if you need a place to hang your hat (or store all those wooden knick-knacks), you could do far worse than checking into the famous Saint Paul Hotel.

See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota

16. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Downtown St. Paul from Harriet Island
claflin / Adobe Stock

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a glorious 5,000-acre park spanning 18 miles of the Mississippi River with some of its banks in the heart of downtown Saint Paul.

There are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy this beautiful spot. You can hike through the scenic bluffs that line the river, watch local kayakers paddle by from a trail overlook, or enjoy a romantic dawdle along one of the many trails that weave throughout the park.

If you’re lucky enough to visit when water levels are high (typically in May), you can even take a canoe trip down part of the river.

See Related: Things to Do in Lindstrom

17. Take the Kids to the Minnesota Children’s Museum

Inside the Minnesota Children's Museum
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102

A dedicated spot for the kiddos, the Minnesota Children’s Museum is hands-down one of the best things to do in Saint Paul with younger children. With three levels of hands-on fun, the museum has hands-on exhibits on everything from water to world cultures and art – and dinosaurs!

Kids can dig for fossils in a life-size dinosaur excavation site, explore an indoor three-story waterfall, travel the world in a life-size game of chutes and ladders, or race through an obstacle course.

And that’s just the beginning! This downtown museum also offers regular events and programs like story times, drop-in art activities, and more.

See Related: Best Resorts in Minnesota

18. Bruce Vento Regional Trail

Bruce Vento Regional Trail covered in snow
Bruce Vento Regional Trail / Facebook

Minnesota is a state for cyclists – heck, it might be the state for cyclists. Interestingly, many of the Twin Cities’ best hiking and bike trails, such as the Bruce Vento Regional Trail, were created along disused railroad lines.

The paved trail runs from St. Paul’s Bruce Vento Nature Area through the city to Buerkle Road near White Bear Lake.

For those looking for an active adventure, this is one of the best in Minnesota. Biking, running, and hiking are all encouraged through this scenic landscape filled with flowers, trees, streams, and even wildlife like deer and loons.

There are a few hilly bits along this 13-mile path, so be prepared if your goal is to get a workout as well as enjoy Minnesota’s nature at its finest!

See Related: Things to Do in Walker, Minnesota

19. Attend an NHL Game or Concert at the Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild Game at Xcel Energy Center
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 199 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102

If you’re a sports fan and have always wanted to see an NHL game, the Xcel Energy Center has you covered to experience the State of Hockey. This massive arena is home to the Minnesota Wild hockey team and hosts countless other sporting events, performances, and conventions. A trip to the Xcel is one of the most essential things to do in St. Paul.

The enormous building, dedicated to games, festivals, and everything else in between, was completed in 2000 and cost $130 million—the most expensive sports stadium in Minnesota then!

Seriously, this thing is a beast! It covers over nine acres of land and holds 18,064 people during hockey games, with standing room left over for more fans if they squeeze into it (and for hockey, they ALWAYS do).

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay after taking in a game or a show, you’re in luck. Many hotels are here, including the Hampton Inn & Suites St. Paul, Downtown, just across the street.

See Related: Wineries in Minnesota

20. See a Performance at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Address: 345 Washington St, St Paul, MN 55102

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is one of the most celebrated theatres in St. Paul, located in the city’s downtown. Throughout the year, the center hosts touring Broadway plays, musicals, and all live concerts, including productions from the Minnesota Opera and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

But it’s more than just a theatre (and what a theatre). It’s also a center for learning. The Ordway offers free educational programs for children, as well as performances by local artists throughout much of the year on its smaller stages and spaces inside the building. The Ordway also has a fun little art gallery you can wander through.

See Related: Best Bars in Minneapolis

21. Catch a Soccer Game at Allianz Field

Aerial View of Allianz Field in St. Paul
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 400 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104

If you’re more of a soccer than a football fan, head to Allianz Field. I don’t blame you! It’s been the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. for some time, and it’s the world’s favorite sport – and play doesn’t stop every five seconds!

Allianz Field is the home of Minnesota United FC, and it also serves as a host for other big events like concerts and boxing matches. This brand-new stadium has been open since March 2019, standing out like a gleaming sports temple in St. Paul’s University neighborhood.

If you want to catch a game at Allianz Field or see what this soccer-specific stadium looks like up close, check out their schedule and prepare for a good time. You can also pop over to the nearby Target and grab some cheap MN United Merch – go Loons!

See Related: Things to Do in North Shore, Minnesota

22. Go Ice Skating at Rice Park in Winter

Rice Park holiday lights decorate christmas trees in Saint Paul
Ferrer Photography / Adobe Stock

Address: 109 W 4th St, St Paul, MN 55102

Rice Park is in the heart of the city. It’s home to one of 15 winter outdoor skating rinks in Saint Paul, but it’s easily the most romantic. The Minnesota Wild actually practice on this ice rink every once in a while, – which is cool, if less romantic.

Rice Park is a charming place to go ice skating in winter, so it makes for a great romantic activity in the winter or a nice activity for your date night as the city lights glisten around you while you skate.

What’s great about Rice Park is that it’s a year-round park – the clue was in the name. In the summer, you can visit to picnic, people-watch, or read a book in the sun. It’s also next to the Landmark Center, so it’s a piece of cake if you want to explore more of St. Paul after skating or picnicking.

See Related: Best Honeymoon Destinations in Minnesota

23. Explore the Gateway State Trail

Gateway State Trail
Gateway State Trail / Facebook

If the excitement of exploring the city is going down, and you’re searching for a biking adventure, head to the long Gateway State Trail, one of the most fantastic hiking and biking trails in southern Minnesota.

This scenic trail starts just north of downtown St. Paul and runs 18 miles to Pine Point Regional Park in Stillwater. Along the way, you will pass some outstanding areas of natural beauty, including secluded lakes and woodlands. There’s also the chance you’ll run into some local wildlife!

While the first leg of this trail starts in the heart of the city, the second half of the Gateway Trail is blessed with more of a rural vibe, where the track will open into the beautiful countryside of Washington County before ending at Pine Point County Park.

It’s not just for hikers or bikers, either. During the chilly months, you’ll find a series of ski routes open for cross-country skiers. 

See Related: Hikes Near Minneapolis, Minnesota

24. Go Bananas at the Mall of America

Mall of America front exterior
Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock.com

Address: 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425

While not in Saint Paul proper, this article would be a joke if the country’s biggest shopping mall wasn’t on this list! It’s right next to MSP Airport and enjoys easy access from the city’s light rail, so you have NO excuse for missing it.

I won’t dwell on it too long (partly because we talk about it so often), but if this is your first time in St. Paul, you must visit the Mall of America. It is full of hundreds of retailers and independent stalls selling almost anything you can imagine, but you can also enjoy a full day out here.

There’s an enormous food court, great restaurants, arcades, laser and nerf tag, bowling alleys, movies, escape rooms, a Lego World, and even a SEALIFE.

But the crowning jewel has to be the country’s largest indoor theme park, right here inside the country’s largest mall, Nickelodeon Universe. Your kids will love you if you take them here – and maybe shun you if you miss it.

There are even top accommodations on-site, such as the Radisson Blu MOA. Book a room, and go on a multi-day adventure of shopping and theme park rides without leaving the mall!

See Related: Things to do at the Mall of America

25. Learn About American History in Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling Courtyard
stevengaertner / Adobe Stock

Address: 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111

At 200 years old, Fort Snelling is a fascinating historical attraction on the southern riverbanks near the MOA and MSP Airport. Built in the 1800s, the fort played a huge role in the Civil War and helped to increase the American hold of the trade routes running along the Mississippi.

This is a great thing to do with kids (and adults) who love history. The site was used to train Union troops for the Civil War and World War II. Curiously enough, it was a prominent language learning center for American soldiers and spies moving towards the Pacific theatre in WWII.

In the summer, they hold huge reenactments here, including hundreds of uniform actors conducting close order, musket drills, and even artillery! You can also catch great views of the old fort, chapel, and barracks from a Mississippi River tour.

See Related: Hiking Trails Near Duluth

26. Spend a Day at the Minnesota Zoo

Brown Bear aka Grizzly, Ursus arctos. Bears are probably fighting to show their dominance
Michael Siluk / Shutterstock

Address: 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN 55124

Thinking about day trips from Saint Paul? The Minnesota Zoo sits on a huge swath of land in the Apple Valley, less than 30 minutes south of St. Paul proper. It was opened in 1978 and remains a popular attraction for anyone visiting the Twin Cities.

It provides a home for a large variety of animals, including exotic species, as well as all sorts of American fauna. It is also very well laid out. The organization of the creatures by their respective habitat makes it easy to find your favorite beasts.

Spend a day with your family at the Minnesota Zoo, and you will get to see lynxes, wolverines, bears, and many other natives around the vast enclosures.

Beyond the animals native to Minnesota, kangaroos, red pandas, and gibbons enjoy the zoo’s tropical area. Lastly, head to the Discovery Bay Area, where you’ll see marine life, including sea dragons and leopard sharks!

I’d recommend staying the night so you can make the most of the zoo and the nearby shopping outlets in Eagan. The Candlewood Suites Eagan South, an IHG Hotel, is in the perfect spot, with all the mod cons and a beautiful garden.

See Related: Best Minnesota Road Trips

Tours in Saint Paul

1. St. Paul: Historical Walking Tour with Local Guide Top Recommendation

Come explore the history and beauty of St. Paul with a local guide. You'll learn all about the city's rich past while walking around some of the most beautiful neighborhoods. You'll also stop for coffee and a snack, and finish with a local beer. It's the perfect way to experience all that St. Paul has to offer!

2. The Complete Twin Cities Walking Tour

Looking to explore the best that Minneapolis has to offer? Then look no further than The Complete Twin Cities Walking Tour! Join an expert local guide and discover all the hidden gems and secret spots that make this city so special. From the wealth Summit Hill neighbourhood, to the secret caves used for illegal booze-making during Prohibition, you’ll learn that there’s a lot more to Minneapolis than meets the eye. So don’t wait – book your spot on The Complete Twin Cities Walking Tour today!

3. Saint Paul Gangster Tour

Looking for an educational and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours? Then look no further than the Saint Paul Gangster Tour! This two-hour bus tour takes you through the city of Saint Paul, revealing why it was such a hotbed of criminal activity during the prohibition era. You'll learn all about the bootlegging operations that took place in the city, and hear stories about some of the most famous gangsters of the time. And it all starts at the historic Castle Royal Gangsters nightclub, which has been preserved today as The Wabasha Street Caves.

FAQ

What is St. Paul known for?

St. Paul is known as Minnesota’s capital city. It’s also for the Mississippi River, which flows through the Twin Cities, roughly dividing the capital from Minneapolis. The Minnesota Wild hockey team plays at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul—and they’re…good, not great, which is baffling for “The State of Hockey.”

In addition, St. Paul is home to many museums, including the Minnesota Children’s Museum and The Science Museum of Minnesota. It’s also home to a number of fantastic breweries and restaurants.

What are some fun things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota?

There are a variety of fun activities to do in St. Paul, Minnesota, including visiting the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. You can also enjoy biking or snowshoeing along the Mississippi River or attend one of the many festivals throughout the year.

Is Saint Paul worth visiting?

Yes, St. Paul is worth visiting. The city has much to offer, from historic sites to modern attractions. It’s also the capital of Minnesota, so it’s bursting with state history. The city’s welcoming environment makes it easy for visitors to feel comfortable exploring its streets and neighborhoods on foot or by public transit.

St. Paul offers a wide array of fun things to do year-round—from festivals celebrating all types of arts and culture to outdoor activities like biking along the Mississippi River or snowshoeing during the winter months.

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