Combined Suggestions, Minneapolis
Go to one of the sporting events. That is the attraction for us from Canada. I guess you have to visit the Mall of America because that's what everyone says, but unless shopping is your passion, the mall is only worth a visit to say you were there.
Fondest memory: Minneapolis/St. Paul has a lot of features like Winnipeg, my home town. Except it is four times bigger - the greater Twin Cities has 2.5 million people. Minneapolis on the west side of the Mississippi has the skyscrapers, St. Paul on the east side is the state capital, and seems to have more history and older buildings in it.
The Twin Cities has quite a network of interstates running through and around it. The cities also have a huge number of lakes, besides having the Mississippi River run through it.
First of all, I think St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge is a good place to start when visiting Minneapolis, since this is where the city started. Then a drive along Lake St. offers a lot as to where Minneapolis is heading. Restaurants and shops galore, if you can't find what you're looking for here then Minneapolis probably doesn't have it.
Fondest memory: My fondest memories of Minneapolis are from the pick up games I used to play in thoughout the city's beautiful green parks. Whether it was 2 people per side or 15, you could count on a multitude of accents and languages being shouted out from player to player. Not something most people associate with the Upper Midwest. Racing through puddles left from the winter snow in early spring to crunchy red, yellow and orange leaves in the fall, the spectrum of weather conditions matched the diversity of the players nicely.
Drive around Lake Minnetonka if you have time. It takes a little over an hour, if you don't stop to shop or have lunch. It is very scenic anytime of year. Wayzata and Excelsior have the most restaurants and shopping choices. You can catch a boat tour from Excelsior. I highly recommend this for a great day tour of the lake.
Fondest memory: My fondest memories of Minneapolis are the people and the beauty. I now live in the DC area and I miss the open spaces and the uncrowded roads and shopping areas. Minneapolis has many parks and lakes with parks by them to picnic and lounge outdoors. It also has lots of coffee shops and cafes in cultural areas of the city.
Favorite thing: One thing I really like to do during the summer is grab a bottle of wine and head down to the bandshell at Lake Harriett. During the summer there are nightly free concerts put on by a variety of local groups. The music provides a nice background to a lovely lake and (usually) a pleasant group of people. This isn't exactly a hopping event, but if you are in need of a peaceful scenario then this grab your wine, a blanket, and some bug spray and head down to the lake!