The smaller “twin,” Minnesota's capital city charms visitors with Victorian-Era mansions, a concentration of museums and the 1905 capitol topped by four golden horses. Check out our guide for tips on what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

By The editors of MidwestLiving.com
Updated February 28, 2021
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Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.

Do 

Bell Museum Check out a green roof, digital planetarium, restored wildlife dioramas and hands-on exhibits at the museum's spacious $79.2 million home on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. bellmuseum.umn.edu

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory The 384-acre grounds feature outdoor gardens, a conservatory with seasonal flower shows, the Como Town amusement park and a zoo, where Polar Bear Odyssey and Gorilla Forest habitats give visitors up-close animal views. comozooconservatory.org

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Fitzgerald Theater Built in 1910, the ornate 1,050-seat theater hosts concerts and other events such as the National Geographic Live speaker series. (Check website for 2021 reopening schedule) fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org

Minnesota Children's Museum Exhibits like Super Awesome Adventures, with a green-screen climbing wall and laser maze, delight kids at the renovated space. mcm.org

Minnesota Children's Museum

Minnesota History Center New exhibit First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota's Mainroom provides an in-depth look at the legendary Minneapolis club where Prince reigned.  minnesotahistorycenter.org

Minnesota State Capitol (Currently closed to the public due to the pandemic; check website for updates on reopening) The cleaned-until-glistening marble exterior underlines the care put into a four-year, $310 million renovation. Guides lead free 45-minute tours of the 1905 building, designed by Cass Gilbert, architect of the U.S. Supreme Court. mnhs.org

Minnesota State Fair Billed as The Great Minnesota Get-Together, the Midwest's most popular fair draws some 2 million people over 12 days. Cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19, but scheduled for August 26-September 6, 2021. mnstatefair.org

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera perform at this recently expanded space, which also presents national shows like touring Broadway productions. (Temporarily closed due to the pandemic; check website for updates) ordway.org

Science Museum of Minnesota On the riverfront, the museum's permanent exhibits, like The Mississippi River Gallery with a towboat, mix with top traveling shows. smm.org

Summit Avenue Walking Tour Follow the footsteps of 19th-century barons of industry on these 90-minute seasonal tours of the mansion-lined neighborhood overlooking the Mississippi River Valley. sites.mnhs.org

Union Depot Glittering chandeliers, transportation-theme murals and a fine-dining restaurant have brought new life to the once-overlooked transit hub inside a Beaux Arts building. uniondepot.org

Xcel Energy Center A foghorn blares each time the Minnesota Wild score a goal at this built-for-hockey venue. But the great acoustics also draw musical acts. Maroon 5, Reba McEntire and Eagles are all slated for 2021. xcelenergycenter.com

Eat

Cafe Latte Three-layer chocolate turtle cake smothered with caramel and pecans tempts diners at the gourmet bakery-cafe on Grand Avenue. cafelatte.com

Cossetta Alimentari For more than 100 years, the aroma of simmering tomato sauce has enticed diners to this pizzeria and pasta bar. cossettas.com

Grand Catch Savor traditional Louisiana seafood boils with an Asian twist, plus starters like Chinese Shrimp Toast. grandcatchmn.com

Grand Ole Creamery Come for the New York-style pizza and stay for the giant scoops of ice cream served in fresh waffle cones. (The Black Hills Gold is a must-try.) grandolecreamery.com

Hyacinth Items come and go by the season at the Mediterranean-inspired gem serving the likes of grilled prawns and fresh pasta. hyacinthstpaul.com

J. Selby's The vegan fast-casual restaurant serves reinvented American favorites, such as cauliflower buffalo "wings" and soft serve N'ice Cream. jselbys.com

Keg and Case Go hungry to this stylish food hall in an old brewery. The rock-star vendor lineup includes Pimento Jamaican Kitchen (for slow-roasted jerk pork), Sweet Science Ice Cream (for innovative handcrafted flavors), and Clutch Brewing Company (for small-batch ales and lagers). kegandcase.com

Keg and Case Market
| Credit: Ackerman + Gruber

Mucci's Italian Old-school Italian—spaghetti with meatballs, lasagna, deli sandwiches—shares the menu with seasonal gnocchi and creative pizzas. muccisitalian.com

Revival Southern hospitality comes to St. Paul in the form of juicy fried chicken, tender pork shoulder and creamy mac 'n' cheese. revivalfriedchicken.com

Tongue in Cheek The eclectic menu features both vegetarian dishes as well as meals from animals raised humanely and sustainably. Try steamed pork buns, ramen, ricotta doughnuts or brunch specialties like Heeere's Johnny, with braised pork, eggs Benedict and pickles. tongueincheek.biz

W.A. Frost and Company A tree-shaded patio outside and fireplaces inside make for a mellow mood for fine dining (reopening in spring 2021). Local ingredients shine in items such as lamb chops with chimichurri. wafrost.com

Stay

Covington Inn The romance of sleeping aboard a houseboat makes up for the somewhat tight quarters. From the upper deck, enjoy the skyline reflecting on the Mississippi River. covingtoninn.com

Celeste St. Paul Hotel + Bar The 71-room boutique hotel reclaimed a former convent that also housed the city's first fine arts school. Expect both modern comforts and historic architectural details. celestestpaul.com

Hotel 340 The lodging occupies three upper floors of the St. Paul Athletic Club—a renovated 13-story, 100-year-old brick building. Solo travelers enjoy efficiency rooms; families can book suites. (Closed to the public during the pandemic; check website for updates.) hotel340.com

The Saint Paul Hotel Since 1910, elegance has been the hallmark of the 255 rooms and suites at this downtown landmark known for its European-style furnishings, lobby cocktail bar and indoor palm trees. saintpaulhotel.com

The Saint Paul Hotel

More information visit visitsaintpaul.com