Twin Cities Tour
Our Twin Cities Tour is ideal for an efficient look around both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Many guests schedule this early in their visit so they know what museums, attractions, etc., to come back to later when you have more time.
Some areas/attractions covered are both downtown areas, multiple views of the Mississippi River, University of Minnesota, sports stadiums. beautiful homes, waterfalls, lakes, parks, and much more.
A minimum 3-1/2 hour tour budgets about 30 minutes for stops.
Below, "Cherry on Spoon" in Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Cathedrals and Churches
Scale Replica of Michelangelo's "La Pietá" - Saint Paul Cathedral
The Twin Cities are truly blessed with several classical-style churches and cathedrals. This tour takes you inside to appreciate the grandeur of sacred space, sculpture, stained glass, and architecture. The tour includes the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary, considered two of North America's most beautiful, among others.
The tour duration varies by the number of churches visited. Figure one hour per church. Tours are a minimum 3.5 hours, although it could take all day if you wish, as there are several of interest.
Your guide will be TCT founder Douglas Rosenquist, now semi-retired, but for this, his favorite tour.
(Left) Basilica of St. Mary
(Below) Lakewood Chapel – Studying 10 million tiny mosaic tiles installed by Vatican artists in the 1920s.
Here we take a bit more time to focus on architectural styles throughout the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota . These range from a five mile parade of Victorian-era mansions along Saint Paul's Summit Avenue, plus museums, skyscrapers, WPA buildings, churches, public sculpture, bridges, etc.
Many great architects, styles and eras are represented here including works of acclaimed architects Phillip Johnson, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Gray Purcell, Emmanuel Masqueray, Cesar Pelli, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Jacques Herzon, Pierre de Meuron and more. Plus local architects like Cass Gilbert (the State Capitol, the Woolworth building in NYC), Clarence Johnston (several Summit Avenue mansions and most of the University of Minnesota old buildings), and Harry "Wild" Jones, a featured architect on the Hidden Treasures tour.
Regarding residential architecture, a common reaction is amazement at the many, unduplicated, yet aesthetically beautiful variations of styles in many sumptuous, sylvan neighborhoods. One guest's reaction typified many others: "If when I die heaven does not look like this, I will be sadly disappointed!"
European settlement began in this area in the 1700s. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 expanded US territory immensely (green area below).
Fort Snelling was built in 1825 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, near today’s airport, at the eastern edge of the newly-claimed expanse. The fort offered the US government a place from which it could begin exploration of the “vast, immeasurable” new territory. The birth of the Mississippi River cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul soon followed.
So what was it like here before this profound shift? On this tour we visit and learn about ancient sites and area cultures like the Dakota and Ojibway.
Left – A view from Oheyawahi (Hill Much Visited in the Dakota language). It was an important gathering place near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Fort Snelling is in the foreground, Minneapolis in the distance. (Photo from National Park Service.)
Left – Sacred Dish by Duane “Dewey” Goodwin, Ojibway. Mounds Park, Saint Paul
Mary Tyler Moore Tour
The popular Mary Tyler Moore Show was set in Minneapolis in the 70s. On this tour you will see the home where Mary Tyler Moore lived, where her TV studio was, walked around the lake, hung out with friends, and other familiar scenes.
She could turn the world on with her smile!
If you Google "Mary Tyler Moore Show" you will find many episodes to watch to get an idea of the various scenes you will see on this tour.