Minneapolis and Saint Paul are known as the Twin Cities. Located in Minnesota, they often get skipped over by people looking to plan a weekend. If you are someone that loves a good Bloody Mary, some real nice people and two wonderful cities within a 10 mile radius, I think you need to give Minnesota a chance.
Saint Paul is the city with a little more history. The downtown is fairly quiet on weekend evenings, but they have a great farmer's market and some awesome restaurants and bars for day drinking and snacking on West 7th. The Gopher Bar is a classic dive that everyone should visit once.
Minneapolis is gets more active at night. There is lots of nightlife, great breweries, Target Field and all kinds of fun near the University of MN campus. Uptown is another area near the lakes with tons of restaurants and bars.
There is something for everyone. The Super Bowl is heading there next February so there will be tons going on this winter. It's especially exciting because the north gets a horrible reputation of being a miserable place in the winter, but Minnesotans have just learned how to embrace it and enjoy it.
And if you happen to visit during the week before Labor Day, you are in luck. The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest in the country and it is amazing. You can find just about every kind of food fried and on a stick - alligator, deep fried twinkles, pickles, ostrich and so much more.
Getting Around: The Twin Cities are continuously voted one of the best biking cities in the country. They have NiceRide bikes to rent all over the city. They also have a light rail that connects the airport to both downtowns.
Places to Stay: Our favorites are The Grand Hotel by Kimpton in Minneapolis and The Saint Paul Hotel in St. Paul. Keep in mind it's only about a 15 minute drive between downtowns, so you can pick one or the other.
Our Favorite Places:
Hell's Kitchen - I don't recommend the food here, but I definitely recommend buying the build your own Bloody Mary bar. You won't be hungry after you see all the snacks you can pile on top of your drink. There are no less than 40 kinds of hot sauce and every veggie you could think of to add to your cocktail. We try and visit every time we are home.
Fulton Brewery - Located near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, this is a great brewery to visit. Started by 4 friends, their beers are fantastic and the vibe is really laid back. Plus, it's near tons of places to grab snacks and they usually have a food truck parked out front.
Betty Danger's Country Club - This is bar/restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis - a neighborhood known for it's amazing pub crawls. The highlight is the full size ferris wheel that you can ride for about 30 minutes with your drinks and get great views of downtown Minneapolis and the Mississippi River. They have a great brunch with bottomless mimosas.
First Ave - If you are a music fan, the Twin Cities are home to a bunch of great concert venues. This is one of the most famous. You'll usually find purple flowers outside now that Minnesota's most famous resident has passed away - Prince. In fact, if you're a big Prince fan, you will soon be able to visit Paisley Park (his home and recording studio) about 30 minutes south of the cities.
Juicy Lucy - We are not meat eaters anymore, but still recommend this to anyone visiting the Twin Cities. It is the food item that has been featured in many different Travel Channel or Food Network shows. It's a burger with cheese cooked inside the burger. The two most famous places to get one are Matt's Bar and the Nook. If you're feeling crazy, try both. It's constantly a battle between the two and most locals have an opinion on which is better.
If you have more than a weekend, make sure to check out Lake Minnetonka or make the 2 hour drive to Duluth and take in Lake Superior.
That wraps up our list of favorites. Let us know if you are heading there. We're happy to give you more ideas. Tell us what we're missing!