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Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

by R_J_D Online Now Jan 30, 2013 at 1:16 AM

Hi!

I will be having a 9 hours of layover in Minneapolis-St. Paul, I would like to know if I the following attractions are easily accessible from the airport and do you have any suggestions on how I can, at least see and take pictures, of these places in a very short period of time:

Minneapolis
1. Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2. Lake Harriet
3. Target Field
4. Lake of the Isles
5. Stone Arch Bridge
6. Guthrie Theater
7. Chain of Lakes
8. Mill City Museum
9. Minnehaha Park
10. American Swedish Institute
11. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
12. Minneapolis Skyway System
13. Basilica of St. Mary
14. Mall Of America

St. Paul
1. Cathedral of St. Paul
2. St. Croix River

Thank you very much!

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8 Answers
  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by goodfish Online Now Jan 30, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    Hi and welcome to Virtual Tourist.

    I live in a suburb of Minneapolis and can tell you that your list is much, much too ambitious for the time that you have, and that our public transit system (such as it is) is not exactly set up to handle this sort of agenda. Our metro system is limited, and a car is necessary to reach some of these places efficiently as they are not really close to each other, and a bus will take too long.

    You will also need to consider when you have to be back at the airport - which will eat up several hours of that 9-hour layover as you'll want to be there in good time before your flight. Also time of day: this layover is from _:00 to _:00 ? And will the layover occur this winter?

    Fill in those blanks a little and I'll see what I can recommend?

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by shrimp56 Online Now Jan 31, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    The easiest would be Mall of America. You can take the light rail there and back. metrotransit.org/hiawatha-li...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by goodfish Online Now Jan 31, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Yes, but they can also take light rail the other direction (to downtown). I'm just needing to know what month they're coming, what time of day, and if their connection is for an international flight: all of this will affect the amount of time they're going to have.

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  • Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by R_J_D Online Now Feb 1, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Thank you so much for expressing your help! We will be arriving on 24 Mar 2013 at 12nn and our flight to Las Vegas is at 9:30pm. In that case, our priority is to see the Cathedral of St. Paul, Basilica of St. Mary, most famous lake, Mississippi River loading bay (which I just read a while ago) and if there's extra time, take pictures outside museum/architectural sites.

    Thank you very much!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 2, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    OK, that helps - thanks!

    Sally was absolutely right that the easiest location on your previous list was Mall of America; it’s only minutes away by train and a popular time-killling spot for long layovers. It is, however, the opposite direction from the downtown attractions, and not on your new list.

    So the 2nd easiest plan is to do those attractions in downtown Mpls that can be reach via light rail and on foot. Unfortunately, this does not include St.Paul: no rail there yet and bus, as mentioned before, will take too long so scratch the cathedral. Our urban lakes (in the Uptown area) are also a complication as the best of them are too far from a light rail station. Nokomis might be a possibility (50th St. Minnehaha station) but is a 17-block walk. The lakes will also not be at their best for photography because there won’t be any foliage that time of year. One thing to keep in mind that it’ll be end of winter here; we could see an early spring with dry, pleasant walking conditions, or heavy rain, or even snow. :O)

    You’ll need a google map of Minneapolis in front of you to see where all of this goes:

    Depending on how long it takes to deplane and get to the airport station, you may be able to catch the northbound 12:32 or 12:42. See the Sunday schedule here:

    metrotransit.org/Schedules/W...

    That 50th St./Minnehaha station IS close to Minnehaha Park and falls so maybe a jump-off here:

    "Park of the Laughing Waters" - Minnehaha Creek / Falls Tip by goodfish

    Again, no foliage this time of year but the falls may be running high with spring thaw.

    Continue on via the train to Metrodome Station: Stone Arch Bridge, the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, St Anthony Falls, and Upper St. Anthony locks are all on the Mississippi River about 4-5 blocks from this station, and all are very close together. You can get a nice shot of the skyline from the middle of the bridge.

    From here, walk downtown to City Hall: a nice piece of Richardson Romanesque architecture, a style that was particularly popular here in the latter half of the 19th century.

    municipalbuildingcommission....

    The Government Center rail station is right in front of it but such a short distance from the Metrodome station that it’s easier to walk.

    Walking from here downtown, jump into the Skyway system from any of these locations (Skyway Map):

    http://www.skywaymyway.com

    Being it's the weekend, the skyways are going to be largely deserted with most smaller businesses closed: they’re a lot livelier during the weekday.

    From downtown, head off to Loring Park, Basilica of St Mary, Whitney footbridge, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Walker Art Museum:

    "America's First Basilica" - Minneapolis Things to Do Tip by goodfish

    "Wander the Garden" - Walker Art Center / Sculpture Garden Tip by goodfish

    The church is north of the park (across Hennepin Ave.) and the footbridge to the sculpture garden is on the west side of the park, spanning the 94 freeway.

    From here, go back through the park to W Grant Street (east side of the park) and then head north on Nicollet Mall. Along Nicollet you’ll pass Westminster Presbyterian….

    "Westminster Presbyterian Church" - Other Art / Architecture / Musuems Tip by goodfish

    …and Brit’s Pub, The Local (good pubs, both of them), Target, and the IDS Tower - a good time for a shot of the Crystal Court:

    "IDS Tower Crystal Court" - Downtown Tip by goodfish

    Along the way there will be various downtown buildings to train a lens at. Look for Foshay Tower peeking up between the skyscrapers:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foshay...

    If you have time, you could make a short 1-block detour off Nicollet at 9th St. for a better shot of that.

    Jump onto the southbound rail to the airport at the Nicollet Mall Station at Nicollet Mall and 5th St.

    metrotransit.org/Schedules/W...

    I can’t really give you an estimate on how long it’ll take to cover all this as it depends on walking speed, how much time you need for photos, etc but it’s do-able, even with a short stop for a beverage somewhere. You’re going to want to be back at the airport (Lindberg Terminal, I’m assuming) 1.5 - 2 hours before your flight (7:30 - 8:00). At this station you’ll want the 7:15 or 7:30 train so keep an eye on your watch towards late afternoon. I’d take an earlier rather than later train if I were you just in case there’s a sporting event downtown that day and they're busy. Sunset is at 7:30 PM so it’ll be getting dark at that time anyway.

    If it's raining or windy and cold, I'd opt for Mall of America.

    Wear comfortable shoes! Hope this helped!

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  • Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by R_J_D Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Thank you so much!!!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    You're welcome! Let me know how it went for you??

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  • Re: Minneapolis-St. Paul Layover

    by R_J_D Online Now Feb 5, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    It's really a big big help! I will surely enjoy my layover :)

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