Photo Courtesy of Near and Far Photography/Shutterstock.comThe path to the treesThe fields and St. Paul in the backgroundView of St. Paul, if you turn around you will see the bluffsPicture from the trailVista de St Paul Nevada desde el Hotel Hilton Garden InnVista de St Paul Nevada desde el Hotel Hilton Garden InnVista de St Paul Nevada desde el Hotel Hilton Garden Inn

Families will love:

  • Como Zoo
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Historic sites

Listen closely on summer days, and you may catch the sound of a cannon booming from historic Fort Snelling and echoing across the bluffs where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers merge. It's here that St. Paul -- Minnesota's state capital and second-largest city -- humbly began in the early 1800s as a French-Canadian settlement known as Pig's Eye Landing.

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Listen closely on summer days, and you may catch the sound of a cannon booming from historic Fort Snelling and echoing across the bluffs where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers merge. It's here that St. Paul -- Minnesota's state capital and second-largest city -- humbly began in the early 1800s as a French-Canadian settlement known as Pig's Eye Landing.

As half of the Twin Cities, St. Paul may seem a bit bookish compared to livelier Minneapolis, but it reigns as Minnesota's historic heart and cultural center anchored by the state's elegantly domed State Capitol, the graceful hilltop Cathedral of St. Paul, folksy "Prairie Home Companion" radio shows at the Fitzgerald Theater and big-ticket productions at The Ordway. It's also where visitors can catch Minnesota Wild hockey games and arena concerts at Xcel Energy Center, or explore a quartet of family favorites: Minnesota Children's Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota History Center and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.


Summer visitors can catch a St. Paul Saints game (known for playful shenanigans between innings), ride a paddlewheeler down the Mississippi River as it hugs the downtown, and watch Fort Snelling come to life as it was in the 1860s.

Architecture and food lovers stroll stately streets such as Summit and Grand Avenues with their Victorian mansions and explore vibrant, diverse neighborhoods such as Frogtown, Little Mekong and District del Sol.

Don't rule out winter either. St. Paul, Minnesota embraces the season with gusto. Chainsaw-wielding carvers sculpture fantastical ice, skaters glide across outdoor rinks and infamous characters parade downtown for the annual Winter Carnival that's been a tradition for more than 125 years. It's also a hot spot for Red Bull's international Crashed Ice competition, when downhill skaters zip and jump through a track that curves from the colorfully lit Cathedral into the downtown below.

For a truly authentic experience, visit during the Minnesota State Fair (named one of the 12 State Fairs for Families to See) the last week before Labor Day, when you can do everything from watch a lamb being born and see the inner workings of a beehive to midway thrill rides and a giant yellow. Best of all, there's epic eating of everything-on-a-stick.

Consider it a quirky Minnesota sampler, concentrated and folksy, and a little like mythical Lake Wobegon and authentic St. Paul. They're all rich in character and full of great stories.

Written by Lisa Meyers McClintick less

St. Paul, MN Planning & Tips
Traveling Family with Baby

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