It was no surprise when Summit Avenue was named one of 10 “great streets” nationally by the American Planning Association. This 1.5 mile walking tour starts at James J. Hill House and ends at Cathedral of St. Paul with a number of impressive highlights and historic stories in between. Walkers pass the rows of Gilded-Age mansions, revisit St. Paul’s history and hear the stories of the people whom once called them home.
The Mississippi River is the longest river in the United States, and our two cities are lucky to be sitting on its banks. What’s even more interesting, Minneapolis boasts being the community with the most bridges traversing this esteemed river. Take a tour of these various structures and take note of the varying styles and the material used.
State Fair History Walking Tour
Minnesota State Fair Foundation
J.V. Bailey House
1265 Snelling Avenue North
Saint Paul, MN 55108
It’s no secret Minnesotans take pride in the annual Minnesota State Fair but one treat not found on a stick is the State Fair Walking Tour. While the prizes from last season’s fair are long gone, guest can print an online brochure and head to the fairgrounds to take a walking tour and learn about this rich part of Minnesota history.
Wabasha Street Caves Tour
215 Wabasha St S
Minneapolis, MN 55107
This one isn’t your traditional walking tour. Bullet holes, geological history and tales of escape routes and speakeasies make up the stories of the historic Wabasha Street Caves tour. Roused by the 1920s and 1930s gangsters whom used to escape to St. Paul, this 45-minute tour reveals the “Underground World” and is led by characters of the time.
Capitol Mall Walking Tour
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul MN 55155
The Capitol Mall displays an assortment of sculptures, flower gardens, plaques and memorials of historic Minnesotans. For a nominal fee, visitors can purchase a self-guided brochure at the Capitol’s information desk which will point you in the right direction while explaining the history and significance of the Capitol’s public space highlights.
-- Beth Blair has turned a decade of travel industry experience into an action-packed travel writing career. She writes for various print and online publications and is co-founder of TheVacationGals.com and TheSpaGals.com. Learn more about her at BethBlair.com and find her on Twitter: @BethBlair.