Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota and with close to 300,000 people calling the city home, it is the second most peopled city in the state. It is also the seat of Ramsey County. It is also a business hub with several companies headquartered here, including Ecolab. The city has been cited by Financial Times as best in quality of life and business friendliness, Forbes recognized it as having one of the better job markets, as well as other citations by notable magazines such as Ameriprise Financial, Global Metromonitor, ESN and Health Grades Survey. It also has a thriving tourism scene, so get on a bus rental in St. Paul, Minnesota and explore the most livable city in the country.
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Como Town Amusement Park (St Paul, MN 55103) is the best place to take your kids. It features a mini roller coaster, classic rides and a huge jungle gym, among other rides and attractions. While here, check out the Cafesjian's Carousel, an antique carousel that is housed inside a Victorian pavilion with more than 5 dozen horses, each one carved by hand. The restored carousel is open to ride from May to October.
Then you could also head out to nearby Shakopee for a true amusement park experience at Valleyfair, which covers around 125 acres of space and the biggest one in the Upper Midwest area. Go on Steel Venom, Wild Thing and Renegade, three of the best rides in the park.
As for water parks, you can go to the Como Regional Park Pool, where you can enjoy at the six lane lap pool, the aquatic climbing wall, zip line, lazy river, basketball hoops and the activity pool. You can also go to the Great River Water Park where you can enjoy the lap pool, two big water slides, and the interactive splash pad. Further you can go to the Highland Park Aquatic Center.
For the adults and teens you can go to Vertical Endeavors St. Paul for some indoor rock climbing. Enjoy more than 18,000 square feet of climbing walls, making the facility one of the biggest in the United States.
Saint Paul has one of the most thriving arts and culture scene in the county. Do check out the Landmark Center where you can find several museums and galleries, along with other venues for theater, exhibits, dance and music.
One of the most unique here are the many sculptures of characters from Peanuts. Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz was born in the city and lived here for most of his life. As a tribute, the city has several sculptures depicting Peanuts characters including Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown and Linus.
Visual arts. The city has a number of museums that covers a diverse range of topics. First there is the Goldstein Museum of Design located inside the University of Minnesota, which has exhibits that help visitors understand and appreciate designs. Its collection includes ceramic, Tiffany metalworks, pottery, rugs and blankets. It also has fashion design items including works by Coco Chanel, Isaac Mizrahi, Charles Frederick Worth, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Issey Miyake, among other noted designers. Then there is the Minnesota Children's Museum, where you can find exhibits that help children learn through play. The exhibits here are all interactive and are spread out in seven galleries including Our World, World Works, Earth World, Habitot and Rooftop ArtPark, as well as two galleries showcasing different exhibits from other museums worldwide.
The Schubert Club Museum of Musical Instruments has a rotating exhibit of musical instruments, items and documents, including vintage keyboards, the Kugler Collection that has brass, wind, strings, and percussion instruments, and the Gilman Ordway Manuscript Collection.
Or you could go to the Minnesota Museum of American Art, which has been in existence since 1894, while other museums you can go to include the
Performing arts. Catch the Minnesota Opera perform at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, as well as other productions.
When it comes to music, St. Paul has the Artists' Quarter, which hosted the world's best jazz artists. Here, you can attend the Soapboxing Poetry Slam. You can also catch great jazz musicians from the city and other countries perform at the Black Dog.
The city is also host to Rose Ensemble, which performs diverse types of music from the medieval times to modern music. All in all their repertoire covers a millennia and in more than two dozen languages. The group is multi-awarded, having received a Rockefeller "Arts & Religion in the Twin Cities" Award, as well as winning at several choral competitions.
You should also visit the Baroque Room and Camp Cabaret.
Events. The city also hosts the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which is now more than a century old. Around 350,000 people attend the carnival every year to participate in its fun events and the treasure hunt, and see the ice sculptures. Meanwhile the Minnesota State Fair is held near the city. The event is the biggest state fair by daily attendance and the second biggest state fair in the country. It features several entertainment events, livestock exhibits, art, cooking and crafts demos, exhibits on new services and products. In recent years, the state fair has garnered around 1.7 million yearly.
Other events you should consider attending here includes Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Saint Patrick's Day Parade, A Taste of Minnesota, Wells Fargo Winter Skate, Irish Fair of Minnesota, Hmong Sports Festival, Hmong New Year, Grand Old Day, Dragon Festival, Festival of Nations, and Rondo Days.
Do check out the Landmark Center where you can find several museums and galleries, along with other venues for theater, exhibits, dance and music.
Shopping in St. Paul caters to everyone. Whether you just like to touch, see and feel while you window shop, or if you are looking for the best bargains, and even when you are looking to spend big while also getting the most out of your money, there are shops here that you can go to that will cater to your fancy.
Antique hunters would love the Mall of St. Paul, the biggest one in the area. From vintage furniture, to jewelry, clothing, and accessories, you could find it all at the more than 60 shops here. Meanwhile you can go to the St. Paul Farmers Market to get the best and freshest fruits, vegetables and produce, along with baked goods, cheeses, sandwiches, plants and other stuff. You could also check out the Highland Village Farmers Market, which is open every Saturday from June to September.
Or you can stroll down Grand Ave, where you can get a variety of shops, including those that sell apparel, art, books, gifts, home decor, jewelry and other items. You can find one of a kind boutiques here that is a testament to the variety and flavor that you could get in the city.
Restaurants. When it comes to dining, you can find a whole range of international cuisines in St. Paul. There are several ways to experience food in the city.
For one, you can stroll down the dining districts where a lot of restaurants converge, there is the W 7th Street, Selby Avenue and Grand Avenue. Or you can check out the restaurants, breweries and food trucks that dot the city. You can also check out the food stalls at the farmers market or relax with a great drink coupled with delicious at one of the city's nightlife venues or breweries.
Or you can simply go with our recommendations of the city's best restaurants, including:
If you are looking to dine yummy food outdoors and save some bucks in the process, you can check out the many food trucks in the city. Some of the best include AZCanteen, Cafe Racer, Cajun 2 Geaux, Fork in the Road, Hola Arepa, Hot Indian Foods, Neato's, Potter's Pasties, Sassy Spoon, and Vellee Deli.
In the summer months, you can enjoy playing golf at one of the city's top golf courses. You can choose from:
Sports. The Gangelhoff Center seats around 3,200 people. Located on the Concordia University campus, it is home to the university's basketball and volleyball teams.
The Minnesota Swarm and the Minnesota Wild play their home games at Xcel Energy Center, which seats close to 18,000 people. This is also home to the Minnesota high school boys hockey tournament and the Minnesota High School Girl's Volleyball Tournament as well as several big name music concerts. The Saint Paul Saints play their games at the Midway Stadium, and the St. Paul Twin Stars play their games at Macalester Stadium.
Other sports venues in the city include the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, which seats 5,000 people and is home to the Minnesota RollerGirls league and the James Griffin Stadium, which seats more than 4,300 people and is home to Concordia University's football and women's soccer team and other high school teams.
To get a feel of the city's history, you can visit the Minnesota History Center (St Paul, MN 55102), which serves as the headquarters of the Minnesota Historical Society and is known for its architecture. The museum has more than a million objects in its collection, including art works, books, periodicals, records and other artifacts. Then you can go to the Traces Center for History and Culture where you can find exhibits on the Second World War.
Historic Fort Snelling where you can go on tours with costumed volunteers to learn more about the daily life at the Fort when it was still operational. The James J. Hill House, the biggest one on Summit Avenue, was the home of James J. Hill, founder of the Great Northern Railway. Today you can tour all the 42 rooms in the house, and hear stories of the family's life and even their servants. There are also art exhibits here. Meanwhile the Alexander Ramsey House was the home of the state's first territorial governor. The Victorian styled house has more than 14,000 of its original furnishings intact and you can tour the house with costumed guides. You can hear stories of life during the Victorian era, and get to eat freshly baked cookies from wood burning stoves in the premises.
And why not go to the Minnesota State Capitol (St Paul, MN 55155) that is used by the Governor, both houses of the legislative and the Supreme Court. See the world's second biggest self supporting marble dome and see the artworks of significant artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
There are several sites here that pay tribute to the city's ethnic heritage. The Germanic-American Institute seeks to educate its visitors about the culture, arts, language and history of the German people, while the Old Muskego Church was built by the first Norwegian settlers in the area. While the American Museum of Asmat Art has one of the most extensive collections of Asmat art.
Aside from these sites, you can get on a bus rental in St. Paul, Minnesota to check out the city's more than 90 sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city has three Carnegie libraries that has a Beaux-Arts design created by Charles A. Hausler: Arlington Hills Library, Riverview Branch Library and St. Anthony Park Branch Library.
The city's historic houses also havegreat architectural designs. For example, John M. Armstrong House was designed by Edward Bassford, who also designed the Walsh Building and the Merchants National Bank and various architects used Italianate architecture for the William and Catherine Davern Farm House, Burbank-Livingston-Griggs House, Lauer Flats, Rau/Strong House, and Saint Joseph's Academy. Meanwhile Victorian designs are seen at Blair Flats, Rochat-Louise-Sauerwein Block, Schornstein Grocery and Saloon, University Hall-Old Main, Hamline University.
Other houses in the city that has architectural and historical significance include:
The city also has its share of historic churches as well. Visit the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Central Presbyterian Church, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Norway Lutheran Church, Derham Hall and Our Lady of Victory Chapel at the College of Saint Catherine, First Baptist Church, Church of St. Agnes, Church of St. Bernard, Church of St. Casimir, and Church of the Assumption. The city also has a handful of bridges on the list, including Wabasha Street Bridge, Robert Street Bridge, Mendota Road Bridge, Intercity Bridge, High Bridge, Colorado Street Bridge, and Bridges No. L-5853 and 92247. There are two schools as well: Saint Matthew's School and Assumption School.
And if you want to see a high concentration of historic places then check out the city's historic districts:
Other site that are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places include: Finch, Vanslyck, and McConville Dry Goods Company Building, Fitzpatrick Building, Harriet Island Pavilion, Holman Field Administration Building, Krank Manufacturing Company building, Meeker Island Lock and Dam, Minnesota Boat Club Boathouse on Raspberry Island, Minnesota Governor's Residence, Macalester College, Payne Avenue State Bank, Pioneer and Endicott Buildings, Saint Agatha's Conservatory of Music and Arts, Saint Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse, Saint Paul Municipal Grain Terminal, Saint Paul Women's City Club, Salvation Army Women's Home and Hospital, Triune Masonic Temple, and Vienna and Earl Apartment Buildings.
The city takes care of hundreds of parks, athletic areas and open spaces. Check out the Como Regional Park, the premiere recreational park for St. Paul residents and visitors. Facilities and recreational activities you can find here include picnic shelters and pavilions, paved trails, barbecue grills, three fire rings, a large play area, tennis courts, the McMurray Field, ball fields, a fishing pier, paddle boat rentals, Como Lakeside Pavilion, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Como Zoo, Como Town Amusement Park, Cafesjian's Carousel, Como 18 Hole Golf Course, miniature golf and the Historic Streetcar Station.
The Mears Park has several events including music in Mears, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Lowertown Roots Music Festival, Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival. More than this, the park is known for its beauty because of abundant trees, birds and flowers.
Battle Creek Regional Park has more than 750 acres of woodlands, fields, a creek that gives a wide variety of wildlife their homes. It is less than five miles away from the city's downtown area and is a good place to spot horned owls, warblers white-tail deer, woodpeckers, and red foxes. Meanwhile, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (St Paul, MN 55102) where you can go hiking, biking, canoeing and just explore nature. You can also enjoy a variety of activities at the Fort Snelling State Park, including canoeing, swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
The city has off leash dog parks in High Bridge Dog Park and Arlington/Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Area.
You can even get married at one of the city's beautiful parks including:
Check out the many athletic and recreation centers here. The Frost Lake Recreation Center has athletic fields, a small gym, a half basketball court and play areas for the kids, while the Front Recreation Center has a half basketball court, play areas, softball fields, a skate park and a baseball field.
Further, Baker Community Center has a baseball field, a half basketball court, a play area for children, a small gym, and a game room. Desnoyer Recreation Center has tennis and basketball courts, a kid's play area and several athletic fields.
Then you have the Dunning Athletic Fields with its three softball fields, a baseball field, and warming houses, while the McMurray Facility has five softball fields, a baseball field, three soccer fields, and ice hockey facilities. You can also go to the Orchard Recreation Center where you can play tennis, baseball and softball. Prosperity Recreation Center has two baseball fields, a play area, two softball fields, 2 horseshoe pits, and two bocce ball courts.
Then you have the Rice/Arlington Complex, which has more than 23 acres of space housing six softball fields, batting cages, and a multipurpose room. Meanwhile, the Sylvan Recreation Center has a play area, softball fields, and a baseball field.
Other community centers in the city include:
For more recreational facilities, you can check out the regional parks that are located within city limits. There is Cherokee Park, which has picnic shelters, tennis courts, a tot lot, a basketball court, and scenic overlooks, while the Crosby Farm Park has close to seven miles of paved trails where you can run, hike or bike. There are also fishing spots here where you can catch a variety of fishes including northern pike, walleye and sauger. Other regional parks such as Hidden Falls, Indian Mounds Park, Phalen Park, Raspberry Island, and Pig's Eye Park has their own recreational facilities so check them out.
Plus you do not have to go far to enjoy the open spaces here. The city maintains neighborhood parks so there is always a park for you to visit no matter where you are.
You can go to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory where you can see their animals without paying for admission. You can find primates, large cats, aquatic animals and other animals in their exhibits. They also have the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory with its tropical plants and seasonal plants and flowers. While the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota has been very active in caring, rehabilitating and saving hawks, eagles, falcons and owls. They also provide educational programs for the public.
Check out the Minnesota Air Guard Museum (St Paul, MN 55111) where you could find more than 20 fighters, jets, trainers, helicopters, transports and other aircraft. You can get the chance to sit inside the cockpit on open cockpit days.
Or you could visit the Jackson Street Roundhouse, where you can get train rides for everyone in your group. There are various exhibits of railroad related memorabilia and artifacts, including the country's last operating turntable.
Another unique attraction in St. Paul is the Wabasha Street Caves. Tour the caves and learn more about its history, including tales of gangster massacres and ghosts! St. Paul has a notorious history as a hotbed for gangsters such as Alvin Creepy Karpis, the Barker Gang, Babyface Nelson and John Dillinger. Aside from the Wabasha St. Caves, there are several places here that tell you more about the city's crime ridden past, such as the Landmark Center.
A bus rental in St. Paul, Minnesota is a great way to explore the city and visit its many sites. Go to BusRental.com to get a free online quote for a bus rental in St. Paul, Minnesota. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised that we can provide you with great value for money.