Smarter Travel


St. Paul Airport Guide


Things to do in St. Paul, MN

More About St. Paul

A city of refinement and status, Minnesota's state capital has maintained its small-town feel by preserving its meandering, tree-lined streets, historic buildings, quaint public parks and beautiful Victorian homes. For those who love to travel, St. Paul is a great city to explore.

The Twin Cities trace their roots to 1820, when US Captain Josiah Snelling founded Fort St. Anthony (later named Fort Snelling) near the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. Seventeen years later, intrepid frontiersman Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant built his cabin approximately ten miles downriver and the area became known as “Pig's Eye” thanks to Parrant's popular tavern.

The first Catholic pastor in the region, Father Lucien Galtier, established the Log Chapel of St. Paul in 1841 and decided that the settlement would forthwith be called Saint Paul. Travel increased to the area, and when 1849 the Minnesota Territory was formalized in 1849, Saint Paul became the capital.

The city was the last landing to unload boats safely on the Mississippi River and subsequently became a hub for travel. St. Paul was home to over 1,000 steamboats by 1858, and settlers poured into the region. James J. Hill eventually increased the viability of Saint Paul travel by expanding the railway network and connecting Minnesota with other territories. Interstates crisscrossed the area by the 1960s, and in the 1970s downtown St. Paul began to build up. Today the city skyline is an impressive sight, especially if you're chugging along the river on an old-fashioned steamboat.

St. Paul stands as the bridge to Minnesota's past, boasting the likes of Minnesota History Center, Landmark Center and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Paul. Travel itineraries in this Twin City would be incomplete without taking a Victorian stroll down Summit Avenue, which begins at the Cathedral and was the stomping grounds of a young F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Wabasha Street Caves provide a glimpse into the lives of mobsters during the Prohibition years, and many city parks, including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, offer beautiful spaces and loads of recreational activities. And if you simply like to be a spectator, there are many professional and semi-professional teams to follow. For shopping, the well-heeled will want to investigate the fashionable boutiques and trendy restaurants along Grand Avenue, as well as the antique shops in the nearby historic Stillwater

While the city benefits from tourism and travel, St. Paul also has a thriving business sector. Companies like Ecolab (chemical and cleaning products), Lawson Software, Gander Mountain (sporting goods retailer), and Securian Financial Group Inc. call the city home. The 3M Company in nearby Maplewood is also considered a major St. Paul corporation.

The next time you want to travel, St. Paul is an ideal destination, as its shops, museums, historical sites, sports venues, and business centers offer endless possibilities for entertainment, education and commerce.