Twinning Culture and the Outdoors

By | Category: Travel destinations

Mall of America, Minneapolis-St Paul

Mall of America, Minneapolis-St Paul

Minneapolis-St Paul isn’t one of the most visited places by us yet it has one of the best airline connections we have. North-West Airlines, now Delta has a daily service into the main airport. Such is its efficiency it has long been my favourite US airport as I once managed to take only 3 minutes to get from the queue at immigration down to where I had to wait for the shuttle bus to take me to my hotel. I’m not alone as it has been voted the best airport in the US and the 3rd best in the world. Still you don’t go to Minneapolis-St Paul to visit the airport.
You go there to visit the Mall of America, the largest shopping complex in the US which even has a bit of its own Disneyland in the middle. And in this state, Minnesota, there is no sales tax on clothing and shoes. By the light railway system, (called Hiawatha) it is only 10 minutes from the airport so there is an opportunity to nip out if you are changing planes there. And it takes 25 minutes into the heart of the cities. All by public transport so no expensive taxis are needed like some other cities.
You might go going out on of the lakes that are all around the city. (There are supposedly 10,000 in Minnesota.) You don’t have to drive far,to find one, certainly no more than half an hour. And when you do find one, unless it’s the weekend, you aren’t going to find many other people there. If there is water then fishing has to be a big sport. So big is it that when the sockeye salmon season starts there is usually a front page picture showing the governor catching a sockeye. You might have thought then that Minneapolis St Paul is a sporty, outdoor city and it is with 60 kilometres of bike paths, and some famed sporting teams.
St Paul is the state capital whilst Minneapolis is more the business hub but combined as the twin cities they are a cultural centre. Since Sir Tyrone Guthrie decided that he would create a regional theatre here in 1963. Altogether there are 60 theatres serving a metropolitan population of just 2.3 million including a nationally renowned children’s theatre. On top of that here is a new theatre complex containing 3 theatres (shades of our National Theatre on the southbank in London?) In addition there are 5 art museums including the relatively new Museum of Russian Art and a further 6 cultural museums. Then there is the MCBA, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts which this year celebrates its silver jubilee. Here you can see how bookbinding and marbling, papermaking and printing is done. And participate as well if you wish.
So much has changed since I first went there in the nineties. And it really is easy to get to and easy to get around.

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