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 really 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 there are plenty of lively things to keep you occupied in Minnesota’s capital, people are just a little bit more chill here, compared to 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 taken by surprise at the architectural marvels that the city is home to. The stunning Capitol area is chock-full of statues, monuments, and the stunning Capitol Building itself, facing the equally stunning Cathedral of Saint Paul in the distance on Selby.
There are also ample opportunities to grab some great food and sample beers from some of the country’s top independent breweries. Not only that but 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 the best things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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!
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!
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.
Show Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Saint Paul, Minnesota
- 1. Learn About the State’s History at the Minnesota History Center
- 2. Head to the Cathedral of Saint Paul
- 3. Explore the Houses on Summit Avenue
- 4. Take a Tour of the James J. Hill House
- 5. Go Shopping on Grand Avenue
- 6. Enjoy Swing Nights at the Wabasha Street Caves
- 7. Learn about Music at The Schubert Club Music Museum
- 8. Put on Your Thinking Cap at the Science Museum of Minnesota
- 9. Enjoy Traditional and Innovative Ramen Bowls at Tori Ramen
- 10. Spend the day at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
- 11. Take in a Show at the Fitzgerald Theater
- 12. Tour the Minnesota State Capitol Building
- 13. Sample Some of Saint Paul’s Best Beers
- 14. Try Some Irish Coffee (no, not that kind of Irish coffee)
- 15. Head to the American Association of Woodturners
- 16. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
- 17. Take the Kids to the Minnesota Children’s Museum
- 18. Bruce Vento Regional Trail
- 19. Attend an NHL Game or Concert at the Xcel Energy Center
- 20. See a Performance at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
- 21. Catch a Soccer Game at Allianz Field
- 22. Go Ice Skating at Rice Park in Winter
- 23. Explore the Gateway State Trail
- 24. Go Bananas at the Mall of America
- 25. Learn About American History in Fort Snelling
- 26. Spend a Day at the Minnesota Zoo
- What is St. Paul known for?
- What are some fun things to do in St. Paul, Minnesota?
- Is Saint Paul worth visiting?
- Most significant landmark – The Cathedral of Saint Paul
- Best park – Como Regional Park
- Best free activity – Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
- Best activity for kids – The Minnesota Children’s Museum
- Best activity for adults – The Breweries!
- Best food – Tori Ramen
- Best nightlife – Grand Avenue or West 7th
- Best 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
Address: 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN 55102
If you are traveling with kids or have history enthusiasts with you, the best thing to do 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. It is the number one place to visit if you want to learn about the state’s history, but there’s even more in store.
Here you can learn about everything from Hmong tribespeople to the devastating Dakota War and much, 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 there’s also 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
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 just about 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
After just a quick walk from Saint Paul Cathedral, you’ll find yourself on Summit Avenue. It is filled with various churches and red brick, Victorian-style mansions built during the 19th Century. It’s also just one street over from Grand Avenue, home to some of the best boutiques and eateries of all sorts in the city (I’ll get onto it properly in just a tad).
Summit is one of the most stylish streets in town. In fact, 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
Address: 240 Summit Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
…Now! The James J. Hill House is a National Historic Landmark, and it’s 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 Railroadand widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in Minnesota’s history.
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 a lot of Summit Avenue walking tours. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the Christmas season, they also offer special holiday tours that are worth checking out!
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay so you can 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: Best Beaches in Minnesota
5. Go Shopping on Grand Avenue
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: Best Things to Do in Brainerd, Minnesota
6. Enjoy Swing Nights at the Wabasha Street Caves
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: Best Things to Do in Wabasha, Minnesota
7. Learn about Music at The Schubert Club Music Museum
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, Minnesota
8. Put on Your Thinking Cap at the Science Museum of Minnesota
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 flipping huge astronaut there that has to be seen to be believed!
There is also a huge section in the museum 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.
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9. Enjoy Traditional and Innovative Ramen Bowls at Tori Ramen
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 a score of other 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: Best Minneapolis Parks to Visit
10. Spend the day at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
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, evocative of 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 for you to realize you’re right 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 a little 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
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
Address: 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155
The Minnesota State Capitol area is one of the best 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 buildings in Neoclassical style 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 either. 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: Best Things to Do in Red Wing, Minnesota
13. Sample Some of Saint Paul’s Best Beers
The Twin Cities have always been big on beer, but they’ve seen a huge increase in small breweries popping up 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!
See Related: Best Tours in Minnesota
14. Try Some Irish Coffee (no, not that kind of Irish coffee)
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
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
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.
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17. Take the Kids to the Minnesota Children’s Museum
Address: 10 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Looking for the best thing to do with kids in Saint Paul? 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, such as story times, drop-in art activities, and more.
See Related: Best Resorts in Minnesota
18. Bruce Vento Regional Trail
Minnesota is a state for cyclists – heck, it might be the state for cyclists. Interestingly enough, a lot of the Twin Cities’ best hiking and bike trails were created along disused railroad lines, such as the Bruce Vento Regional Trail. 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: Best Things to Do in Walker, Minnesota
19. Attend an NHL Game or Concert at the Xcel Energy Center
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: Best Wineries in Minnesota
20. See a Performance at the Ordway Center for the 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.
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21. Catch a Soccer Game at Allianz Field
Address: 400 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
If you’re more of a soccer fan than a football fan, then 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 spanking new stadium has been open since March 2019, standing out like a gleaming temple of sport 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 get ready for a good time. You can also pop over to the nearby Target and grab some cheap MN United Merch, too – go Loons!
See Related: Best Things to Do in North Shore, Minnesota
22. Go Ice Skating at Rice Park in Winter
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 outdoor skating rinks in Saint Paul in winter, 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 if you want to explore more of St. Paul after skating or picnicking, it’s a piece of cake.
See Related: Best Honeymoon Destinations in Minnesota
23. Explore the Gateway State Trail
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, running a whopping 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 up for cross-country skiers.
See Related: Best Hikes Near Minneapolis, Minnesota
24. Go Bananas at the Mall of America
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 and 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: Best Things to do at the Mall of America
25. Learn About American History in Fort Snelling
Address: 200 Tower Ave, St Paul, MN 55111
At 200 years old, Fort Snelling is a fascinating historical attraction on the southern riverbanks not too far from the aforementioned 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: Best Hiking Trails in Duluth, Minnesota
26. Spend a Day at the Minnesota Zoo
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 the best 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
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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- About the Author
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James is a British-American writer and editor for Via Travelers who has been writing since he was wee. As someone who has spent much time trotting around the globe, James appreciates traveling smart and comfortably, and has every intention of helping VT’s readers do the same!