Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota in a Minute Plus a Meetup!

My vacation and first visit to Minnesota was supposed to happen in June of 2020 after running a half marathon for state number 49 of my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Thanks to COVID, my remaining three half marathons in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Mexico got all changed and moved around. Instead of running a half marathon in St. Paul in June last year, I ended up running a half marathon this past June about an hour from Minneapolis and St. Paul in a small town called Lake City (you can read all about that here: Circle of Life Half Marathon, Lake City, Minnesota- 48th state).

Conservatory at Como Park

Because the race was an hour from the twin cities, I decided to just spend the day that I flew into MSP in that area then drive and stay in Lake City until right after the race then drive to Duluth to do some hiking there (which deserves a post of its own). I knew that a travel blogger who also has a podcast with her husband live in the Minneapolis area so I contacted her to see if we could meet up and she said they were available for lunch the day I would be flying in. Her website is The Travel Architect (https://thetravelarchitect.wordpress.com/).

She recommended a spot for lunch called Red Cow that had some delicious burgers and the four of us had a lovely lunch with plenty of travel talk and some science talk since her husband is a science teacher and my daughter just finished taking chemistry. It was great to finally meet in person after following her blog and their podcast for so long. They were both exactly as I expected, which is to say they were both fun and engaging and it was a nice way to start out my trip to the land of 10,000 lakes.

My meetup in Minnesota!

The original plan after lunch was for my daughter and me to go standup paddleboarding at Bde Maka Ska Park but when we got to the lake it felt too windy for that so we decided to just walk around the lake instead. It was a beautiful sunny day albeit breezy and there were some people on the water in small sailboats and kayaks but I noticed no one was braving the wind on a SUP.

After a quick break for ice cream at Bebe Zito Ice Cream (known for their unique flavors), we went to Como Park in St. Paul and it was even bigger than I expected. There is an area with kiddie rides and carnival games, both a mini golf and regular golf course, a lake, and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. After getting tickets online (free but you still had to arrange in advance as they weren’t allowing walk-ins) for the Zoo and Conservatory, we spent the next hour or so wandering around the grounds. The gardens were some of the best I’ve seen and I especially enjoyed the Japanese Garden area.

More photos from Como Park, windy Bde Maka Ska Park, and the first of many ice creams in Minnesota!

By now it was starting to get into the early evening hours and I knew I had at least an hour drive ahead of me to get to Lake City for the next phase of our Minnesota vacation so that ended our time in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was brief, hence the minute reference in my title but it was most definitely enjoyable.

Have you been to Minneapolis or St. Paul? If so, what did you do and what did you think? Have you ever had a meetup with someone you follow online?

Happy travels!


Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US, which I completed in 2021. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

13 thoughts on “Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota in a Minute Plus a Meetup!”

  1. Sounds like a perfect trip. You did many fun things.

    I have never been to either place.

    But I have met up with several bloggers. All meetings have been so fun.

    I hope to meet more. Maybe you?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the mention and link, Donna! To answer two of the questions at the end of your post, yes, I have been to Mpls/St. Paul and I have met up with someone I follow online. Haha! 🙂 I’m sorry to hear the SUPping didn’t work out, but I’m glad you made it to Como Park. It’s one of the gems of the capital city. It was fun meeting you and your daughter in person. I hope we can do it again if you ever make it back to MN or once I finally make a visit to NC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Como Park is definitely a gem of the city. I thought I remembered you mention it before, maybe when I was planning my trip there last year.
      That would be great to meet up again only in NC. Just let me know when you’re planning your road trip to this area!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in Minneapolis in 2018 for the Red, White and Boom half on the 4th of July. The race was shortened due to a freak heat wave and I didn’t feel right about counting Minnesota. Nice people there. I took a selfie at the Welcome sign and a motorist pulled over and yelled “WELCOME TO MINNESOTA!” I returned this year in May for a small race in Duluth and road tripped up the North Shore. https://crazyj208.blogspot.com/2021/05/minnesota-north-shore-road-trip.html


    1. I just read your post. We went to some of the same places but you went further north than I did. “Minnesota nice” really is a thing. I found the people to be much more courteous drivers and more chatty in general than where I live. The North Shore area is beautiful.


  4. My sister lives in St Paul and I have several running friends in Minneapolis, so I really feel like I need to visit! I’ve heard such great things about the city. Looks like you made the most of your time there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you have some good reasons to visit. I really enjoyed my time there and would recommend it
      . I hate cold weather and I hear the winters are long and brutal so for me at least summer is the perfect time to visit!

      Liked by 1 person

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