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Minneapolis, St. Paul Offer Tourists Best of Both Worlds

Minneapolis and Saint Paul may be known as twins, but they are by no means identical. Both of these cities are rich with their own distinct culture and identity. St. Paul is a city steeped in history and tradition, with a true air of grace, sophistication and glamour. Minneapolis, on the other hand, is a younger and more vibrant city, replete with the hippest bars, ambitious public art projects, and enough theaters and venues per capita to rival New York City – a statistic that has garnered it the nickname “Mini Apple.” With such differing characteristics, visitors to Minneapolis and Saint Paul will have difficulty choosing what to do, so to help you decide, here are three of our favorite attractions.Minneapolis Sculpture GardenWith magnificent works of sculpture and architecture scattered among gorgeous verdant landscapes, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a wonderful embodiment of the city’s modern appeal. This beautiful urban sculpture garden is the largest of its kind in the country, displaying works by renowned local and international artists. The garden's tree-lined walkways meander through manicured lawns dotted with over 40 works on permanent view, including pieces by Frank Gehry and Siah Armajani. You may recognize the garden’s most famous piece, Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, which has become an unofficial Minnesota icon.Science Museum of MinnesotaBuilt on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Science Museum of Minnesota is an enormous complex celebrating the wonders of science and nature. Strewn throughout the museum are dozens of fascinating exhibits touching on everything from prehistoric creatures to modern technological advances.A giant 40-foot steel iguana greets you at the main entrance, where from you can head to the Human Body Gallery or check out the 90-foot domed screen at the Omnitheater, which shows a rotating list of educational films. The Mississippi River Gallery explores the environment of the museum’s neighboring river and gives visitors an opportunity to pilot a simulated riverboat as it barges through the waters. Aside from the museum’s excellent permanent collection, a selection of rotating exhibits ensure that the experience remains fresh for returning visitors.Minneapolis Institute of ArtsWith over 80,000 items dating from 5,000 years ago to modern day, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is an internationally renowned museum and one of the finest attractions in the state. Part art gallery, part history museum, the MIA contains a diverse array of exhibits including ancient Chinese relics and a 2,000-year-old mummy. The institute also houses an impressive collection of European art, featuring impressionist visionaries like Rembrandt and Monet, as well as other masters like Delacroix and Courbet. Architecture, decorative arts, and a comprehensive photography exhibit also feature highly on the museum's list of permanent exhibits. The MIA is also known to host some excellent traveling exhibits, so be sure to inquire with the museum’s staff upon arrival.