Extend Your Stay

Consider extending your stay before or after the conference to experience all that the Twin Cities have to offer. We are proud of our history, which we work hard to preserve, and of our culture, which we richly respect.  Not only is Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes, but there are parks and green spaces totaling approximately 267,000 acres, some within a 10-minute walk from the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul!

The following list is just a beginning. For questions on specific sights, please contact conference@personalhistorians.org. We’d be happy to make suggestions to meet your interests.

Arts and Theaters

A sampling of the 25 theaters located in the Twin Cities.

Brave New Workshop - Minneapolis
The longest running satirical comedy theatre in the Unites States.

Fitzgerald Theater – St. Paul
Minnesota Public Radio’s largest broadcast studio, playing host to authors, poets, actors, musicians, journalists and political figures.

Guthrie Theater - Minneapolis
An American center for theater performance, production, education, and professional training.

History Theatre – St. Paul
Offering performances that explore Minnesota’s past and the diverse American experience.

Ordway Center For The Performing Arts – St. Paul
Home to the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal artists.


A sampling of our 43 (for now!) craft breweries in the Twin Cities.
Flat Earth Brewing Company, St. Paul, MN www.flatearthbrewing.com

Lift Bridge Brewing Company, Stillwater, MN www.liftbridgebrewery.com

Summit Brewing Company, St. Paul, MN www.summitbrewing.com

Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis, MN www.surlybrewing.com

Museums & Historical Sites

So many museums – we’ve barely started!

Alexander Ramsey House – St. Paul
A historic Victorian-era home, built by Minnesota’s first territorial governor and filled with thousands of original family items and furnishings.

Cathedral of St. Paul – St. Paul
A historical landmark and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Also hosts the Red Bull Crashed Ice competition.

Historic Fort Snelling – St. Paul
Recognized as a national historic landmark dating back to the 1820s. Learn about fur trade history, military history from before the Civil War through WWII, and much more.

Mill City Museum – Minneapolis
Located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront, it is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden - Minneapolis
A crown jewel of the Minneapolis park system. More than 11 acres of sculptures, including Claes Oldenburg’s famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry.”

Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis
One of the most popular parks in Minneapolis, it is home to a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs and fabulous scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River. Great for hiking!

Minnesota Children’s Museum – St. Paul
Creates an exciting, immersive world for children and arouses their curiosity.

Minnesota History Center – St. Paul
An interactive museum with changing exhibits and other special events throughout the year. Offers an extensive research library.

Minnesota State Capitol
Considered an architectural masterpiece with a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Science Museum – St. Paul
Hands-on exhibits, OmniTheater films, and special events. Just up the street from the symposium hotel!

The Basilica of St. Mary – Minneapolis
America’s first basilica. Rich history and awe-inspiring art and architecture.

Plants and Animals

A sampling of Minnesota’s non-winter places to go (even though you can still go in winter!)
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory – St. Paul
One of the last free zoos in the United States, and the subject of Symposium Program Chair Lori Nelson’s client and subsequent book, “Zoo Mom.” Welcomes visitors 365 days a year.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Chanhassen (30 minutes from the Twin Cities)
Featuring more than 1,000 acres of magnificent gardens, model landscapes, and natural areas from woodlands to prairies.

Minnesota Zoo – Apple Valley (30 minutes from the Twin Cities)
This zoo is home to more than 4,300 animals.


Padelford Riverboats – St. Paul
Just a quick walk down the street from the symposium hotel. Make your reservation early for public sightseeing and sunset dinners while cruising the Mississippi River.

Saint Paul Gangster Tour – St. Paul
Explore the sights of nightclubs, kidnappings and gun battles associated with 1930s gangsters like John Dillinger, Ma Barker and Babyface Nelson. Did you know that St. Paul was a favorite hide-out?

The Fit Tourist - Minneapolis
Offering guided bike tours around Minneapolis, the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Falls. Walking tours around downtown Minneapolis and along the Mississippi riverfront are also available.

The Raptor Center – St. Paul
The Raptor Center rehabilitates about 800 sick and injured raptors each year and holds events geared towards audiences of all ages.

Union Depot – St. Paul
Visitors are fascinated by the historic elegance of this restored transportation center.


Fast fact: The Twin Cities is the birthplace of the indoor shopping mall (Southdale was built in 1952)!

Grand Avenue – St. Paul
Saint Paul offers charming and unique shopping on Grand Avenue. This historic and hip neighborhood offers 30 blocks of shops, restaurants, jewelers and galleries.

Mall of America – near the airport, Bloomington, MN
One of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, the Mall features 520 stores and 50 restaurants, along with movie theaters and entertainment, such as indoor mini-golf and an amusement park.

Stillwater – Stillwater
For a truly unique shopping experience, take a quick 30-minute trip to historic Stillwater, which offers antique shopping, informal dining and shopping.

Farther Out

Duluth, Minnesota
Perfectly positioned at the westernmost tip of sparkling blue Lake Superior, Duluth offers visitors a taste of Minnesota at its finest and most beautiful. Tour Canal Harbor and watch a ship come into Lake Superior’s fresh water after sailing the salty sea. Duluth is home to Grandma’s Marathon and the John Beargrease Sled Dog race. So much more to this city than can be said here! Duluth is a three-hour drive from the Twin Cities. From the Twin Cities to the Canadian border is about a five-hour drive.