Visiting Family or Friends for the Holidays?
Just a short drive out of the cities, and you can find Christmas Tree Farms, where you can cut and take your own Christmas Tree! It's WAY more fun to go trouncing through the Christmas Tree Farm Woods with a saw and cut down your own tree than it is to go to a grocery store parking lot 2 blocks from your house to pick out a tree! (Don't cut down trees not on a Christmas Tree Farm - that's mean AND illegal!)
- Family Travel
Historic Fort Snelling
Historic Fort Snelling is an 1820's military outpost around which the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have developed. When the fort was built it was a lonely outpost in the wilderness, on the far northwestern edge of United States Territory. Today it is bordered by freeways full of rushing traffic in the center of of a bustling urban area.
In this restored stone fortress the history of frontier life is celebrated. A full living history program is presented by costumed guides, daily during the summer, and on weekends in May, September and October. The first European settlers to this area came up the Mississippi River by steamboat. Today the fort is reached by modern highways and is approximately half way between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Outside of the walls of the fort there are other interesting things to see, including a museum, a chapel, monuments and beautiful views of the river, with the Minneapolis skyline in the distance.
Fort Snelling is at the junction of Highways 5 and 55, near the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
- National/State Park
Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel
The Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel, was built in 1927 after Sunday School children requested a post chapel. Permission to build was granted by the War Department.
The chapel is primarily a house of worship. It is also designed to be a monument to the patriotism, the moral earnestness and the convictions of the people of Minnesota. It provides a shrine where the "family of those who have died for America may come, as on a holy pilgrimage, and offer up their thanks to Almighty God for the precious gift of friends who have been so fondly loved, and are now lost awhile."
Fort Snelling was deactivated as a military post in 1947. AFter sitting unused until the mid 1960's, it is once again alive and well. It is open for tourists to Fort Snelling on weekends. Weekly Sunday non-denominational services are conducted by the Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation. It is also used for weddings, funerals, and other special occasions.
The Chapel houses more than 80 memorials such as: a stained glass window that bears the coat of arms of the Third Infantry Regiment, oldest in the U.S. Army, which was once stationed at Fort Snelling.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
Visit the Jackson Street Roundhouse
This is part of the Minnesota Transportation Museum. They have a number of old train cars and engines, and best of all, if you have a child, they have 3 train tables set up with Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Our 3-year-old loved that the best.
It is near the State Capitol, so you could do that too if you are in the area.
- Family Travel
- Museum Visits
The Gateway Trail
The Gateway trail is a well paved trail that runs from downtown St. Paul, 18.3 miles to Pine Point county park, which is north of Stillwater. It was created over old railroad tracks, so it is fairly level. For over half of the trail, there is a dirt trail that runs parallel to it for horseback riding. It is well maintained, and is perfect for biking, jogging, walking or rollerblading. Not to mention it has some great leave color in the fall.
Check out http://www.pclink.com/efrick/
The Twin Cities area is actually known for it's numerous disc golf courses. Disc golf is a fun and cheap (disc golf courses are free and open to the public) way to spend an afternoon. One of the better courses is Kaposia Park, located in South St. Paul. Check out http://www.kaposiapark.com/ for more details.
ROY WILKINS MEMORIALThe...
ROY WILKINS MEMORIAL
The memorial, which was constructed in 1995, is located in a prominent position reserved for well-known Minnesota citizens and leaders -- on John Ireland Boulevard, midway between the State Capitol and the St. Paul Cathedral. Designed to symbolize Wilkins and his life’s work, the now-completed memorial is a unique piece of art that spans 50 by 75 feet and includes 46 different elements (e.g., walls, portraits, quotes and a spiral), representing Wilkins’ 46 years with the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP).
Located in the heart of the...
Located in the heart of the Twin Cities, Fort Snelling State Park offers extensive hiking, bike and ski trails that link to Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Canoe on Gun Club Lake, play golf, swim in Snelling Lake, or hike on Pike Island where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers converge. Interpretive exhibits and films on display in the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center give visitors a good background on the history and resources of the park and area. Trails also allow visitors to hike up to the historic Fort Snelling for a view of military life in the 1820s. This is a day-use only park; no camping is available.
Take the Post Road exit off Highway 5 and follow the signs.
Como Park is one of my...
Como Park is one of my favorite places to relax in St. Paul. There's a free zoo and conservatory and lots of beautiful green space to explore. There's even a public golf course, pictured here. Check out the website for more details.
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Como Park Conservatory
If you're into flowers, you gotta check out the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Comor Park. Since 1974, it's been on the National Register of Historic Places. Best of all, it's free to visit and is open all year round.
Summer hours (April 1st - September 30th) are 10am-6pm
Winter hours (October 1st - March 31st) are 10am-4pm
You can take all the pictures you want, but no tripods are allowed.
St. Anthony Park is another...
St. Anthony Park is another quiet place to get away. This is a picture of the park's library, which was one of the many libraries across the country funded by Andrew Carnegie.
2245 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
At the History Center in the A...
At the History Center in the A to Z I saw this one. 'L' is for Loon. I like birds and some of my friends claim I am a bit looney. The loon exhibit was neat. There is a sign explaining the loons language and a button to push in order to hear the lonely cries of a loon across a lake. It is a sound every nature lover associates with Minnesota.
This is one of the stain glass...
This is one of the stain glass windows inside of the huge Cathedral of St. Paul. You can't miss the huge cathedral high on a hill. It is right up John Ireland from the Capitol and caddy corner across the street from the History Center. It is a magnificent building. I don't have a photo outside the building because it was raining so I took this photo inside. Address is 239 Selby Avenue. Really should take a moment to go inside this place. It is largest cathedral I have seen in the US.
This sign is on Summit Avenue...
This sign is on Summit Avenue near the big Cathedral. It is an area of older historic homes. Just beyond the sign you can see part of the James J. Hill House. Mr. Hill was a railroad tycoon and had the mansion built in 1891. Wednesdays through Saturdays you can take a tour of the 36,000 square foot house. Call 651-297-2555 to reserve a tour.
Landmark Center is in this...
Landmark Center is in this great building facing Rice Park. It used to be the post office. The second floor is an art museum which is free to the public. Don't miss the lower level. There you will find old news paper clippings under glasss that tell the history of St. Paul during the gangster years of the 30's. St. Paul was gangster headquarters at one time.