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Minneapolis, Minnesota is the largest city in Minnesota. It adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital and second-largest city. The city is in the southeast portion of the state and sits along the Mississippi River.

There are also 24 small lakes in the city. But Minneapolis also boasts well over 100 parks, miles of bike trails, beautiful public gardens (including the oldest public wildflower garden in the country), nature preserves, open-air sports and much more.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, along with its sister city St. Paul, make up the largest metro area in Minnesota. Minneapolis and St. Paul might be called twins, but they are certainly not identical. Minneapolis claims the greater number of attractions and businesses, while St. Paul functions as the state capital. Founded 20 years and 10 miles apart, the cities have been friendly rivals, but over the years they have shared equally in the riches the region has to offer.

The area has gained additional fame in recent years with the opening of the mammoth Mall of America in nearby Bloomington. Where else in the country can you find over 500 stores, an amusement park, an aquarium, a dance club and countless restaurants all in one vast, climate controlled space?

Minneapolis has many significant museums and historic sites that can engage the interest of a visitor for days and even weeks. Go back in time to visit a working farm from the mid 1800s, take a tour of the home of the first governor of the territory, or wander across an 1880s stone bridge. Numerous cultural and arts offerings can be found every day of the year.

The Walker Art Center is internationally known for its sometimes controversial exhibits of contemporary art. Its spacious sculpture garden has Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's pop-art fountain, Spoonbridge and Cherry, among its treasures. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a superb collection of classical art from every continent.

More than 90 performing-arts organizations are based in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Orchestra performs year-round at elegant Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis; the prestigious St. Paul Chamber Orchestra plays September-May at the Ordway Music Theater; performances by the Minnesota Opera are also held at the Ordway.

The Guthrie Theater is the longstanding home of one of the nation's best regional repertory companies. It produces Broadway-quality productions year-round. More specialized theaters produce works that range from Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion to innovative African-American plays.

Minneapolis is home to major league baseball's Minnesota Twins and the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings. So before you the leave the Twin Cities, try to take in a game. Make sure, though, that you are prepared for cold weather walking when you set out to watch the Vikings in the Dome, because highs in January average only 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the midst of lakeside resorts, farm communities and river towns, Minneapolis and St. Paul form a vibrant metropolis rich with Fortune 500 companies, a thriving art and theater scene and professional sports teams. Bitter winters don't slow residents. They bundle up and enjoy what the city has to offer, including the climate controlled enclosed skywalks that connect most of the downtown shopping and business district. These elements of industry, culture and recreation have shaped the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolis into one of America's most livable urban areas.
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