Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Comments (29)
katieaune wrote:

Decent suggestions, but some glaring errors. First of all, it’s not a tram, it’s the light-rail. Second, a baseball game is a game, not a match and they play extra innings, not overtime. Third, Potbelly’s? Really? It’s a national chain founded in Chicago, why not suggest something local for people to try for breakfast? Finally, I would not say parking is tricky in either Minneapolis or St. Paul, especially in the downtown areas on the weekends, when they are much quieter than on the weekdays. Both have ample parking garages and the cost is pretty cheap compared to other major cities.

Jul 08, 2013 9:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
PSchatt wrote:

Has Mr. Meadows even been to the Twin Cities? These suggestions suggest that he has not. Why would you suggest Potbelly when there are tons of local breakfast spots in Minneapolis. Try Keys at the Foshay Tower, Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown, or French Meadows in Uptown. Also, Capital Grille? Another overpriced chain? What about Eli’s or Eli’s East in Northeast, Red Stag in Northeast, Cafe Lurcat or Cafe Maude on Loring Park, Lucia’s in Uptown, or Blackbird in South? No mention of the Guthrie? The Mill City Museum? The myriad of Farmer’s Markets in different neighborhoods? The Grand Rounds bike and walking trails? Theodore Wirth Park? The Walker Art Center? The Minneapolis Institute of Art? The Sculpture Garden? If you want to visit Minnneapolis-St. Paul there is a ton to do…just don’t ask Mr. Meadows…try a local…

Jul 08, 2013 1:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hughsterg wrote:

If you’re staying in downtown Minneapolis, there are not a lot of breakfast places (other than hotels). Otherwise, I suggest a trip to Dinkytown (by the University of Minnesota) and Al’s Breakfast. Not many seats, but the food is excellent.

Jul 08, 2013 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lilredwriter wrote:

Have you even BEEN to Minneapolis/St. Paul? This review makes us sound like every other American metropolitan area. Chain hotels? Potbelly? We are a foodie town, with lots of independent, local dining options. Check out some of Andrew Zimmern’s favorite restaurants: Or, check out one of our awesome food trucks: We also have lots of micro breweries with tap rooms that offer a unique, local experience. We have bikes you can rent too to explore our cities byway of our Greenways and trails and paths. If you’re visiting the TC, City Pages and are better bets for sample itineraries.

Jul 08, 2013 2:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

This is the worst “travel article” I have ever had the displeasure of reading. I suspect your “correspondent with local knowledge” is a computer that scanned the MSP Wikipedia page for the itinerary and random facts and inserted the first results from a Google search for “Twin Cities restaurants” for the food suggestions. Fast food in an office building???? Some boring steakhouse (“if you like steaks”)??? Breakfast at the hotel???? It’s like 12-year-old me was assigned a travel essay for 6th grade geography, and after staying up all night playing Sega Genesis and drinking Mountain Dew, I had to drowsily poop something out on the bus on the way to school.

But let’s not get hung up on the details. What I really wanted to comment on was the wonderful use of backhanded compliments your robot author managed to come up with. Allow me to list a few:
1. Blah blah blah “make the pair a desirable place to live and to visit – as long as you dodge the wicked cold if you are not into winter sports.”


2. “Riverside attractions are few and far between…”

Attractions? Most of the riverside is parkland. The park is the attraction. Try Stone Arch Bridge for a great view, or head south to Minnehaha Falls, a short walk from the river. These are ALSO things I’m sure are on the Wikipedia page for Minneapolis. I am shocked your algorithm failed to find them.

3. “As lovely as nature is, there is nothing like a big shopping spree”


4. Re: the Twins who, if you base your judgment of “top-notch” based on their record, are really more “low-” or “bottom-notch” this season: “If you want a beer, make sure you have ID as even 30-somethings are challenged.”

I’m not even sure why this comment was necessary. Those Minnesotans sure are sticklers for the rules!

5. “…parking can be tricky in the center of both cities”

Addendum: “if you drive a semi, bus, or tank.”

6. “Red’s Savoy Pizza house on Seventh Street (here) is a an experience. There are no windows and the decor fails to brighten up the place but that is half the charm.”

Thank you for sending me to a restaurant with “charm” that looks and feels like the pit of despair. What a wonderful way to end my mind-numbingly boring Reuters-guided trip to the Twin Cities.

I wish I could unread this.

Jul 08, 2013 2:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LeifPettersen wrote:

I am a Minneapolis native and a professional travel writer.

I would like to offer to write you a new “48 hours in Minneapolis-St Paul” that doesn’t consist of paraphrasing from Wikipedia, information from 1996, and a hasty scan of Yelp.

In the meantime, in all seriousness, please do us and yourselves a favor and delete this poorly researched, lazily written, wildly inaccurate article.

Leif Pettersen

Jul 08, 2013 2:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stbernardgirl wrote:

This is such a sad article, reinforcing every horrible stereotype about “flyover country.” To see my city judged by the quality of its chain hotels and “food” is a disservice to the many cultural icons in the Twin Cities. Why write about the Twin Cities if you are going to ignore our thriving farm to table food scene, our growing beer community and our iconic theater/art scene? Why choose obscure lakes, instead of the ones the locals frequent? And to ignore our diverse communities to eat at…Potbellies? I’m sorry that you never left your hotel, Mr. Meadows. However, you shouldn’t write about that as “experiencing” the Twin Cities.

Jul 08, 2013 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MSPtoJPtoOG wrote:

This list has nothing to do with what is wonderful about the Twin Cities, misses every high point, and highlights random mediocre spots. Got to ask the same as PSchatt – has the writer ever been to the twin cities? seriously embarrassing. Leave this one out of your portfolio, Meadows.

Jul 08, 2013 4:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ams_mn wrote:

I agree with the other comments. This article should make a local proud, but it’s actually sadly lacking. I know you only had 48 hours, but seriously, did you even consult someone who lives here on what to do and see?

Jul 08, 2013 4:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Mark Meadows, did your intern write this article? A simple Google search would have turned up more creative options for a weekend in the Twin Cities. This is a jokeshow, Potbelly’s website says they only serve breakfast Monday – Friday in their IDS tower location. So nice try, but they aren’t even open for breakfast Saturday morning. Not to mention Potbelly isn’t local, it isn’t unique to Minnesota, and it is essentially fast food. Great for mornings before work, not a leisurely Saturday morning breakfasts.

Sorry Mark Meadows, but researching involves actually reading the material you collect. Minnesotan’s take pride in their breakfast, at least tell the out of towners where to get a good bloody mary!

Jul 08, 2013 4:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kristenmpls wrote:

We’re happy to have anyone visit Minneapolis and these spots may be what Mr. Meadows enjoyed but we have a lot of other suggestions, itineraries and more for you at (including great deals on The many commenters are correct that Minneapolis Saint Paul has more to offer for every traveler!

Jul 08, 2013 4:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kirke wrote:

This is so comically bad that it’s a hit among friends on facebook. I’m fine with it – the fewer people who come to Minneapolis, the fewer crowds I have to deal with when I visit. However, I am curious about the photograph you say is possible – the one with the sun setting behind the skyscrapers as seen from Target Field. I’ve never been able to make that work since downtown lies east of the stadium and, at least every time I’ve gone to a game there, the sun has set in the west. Maybe I need a better camera.

Jul 08, 2013 8:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
prescott.bush wrote:

“Start off at St. Paul’s State Capitol building, adorned with a golden dome, spy the stylish cathedral on your right and head down the hill and pop into the engaging Minnesota History Center, arguably the state’s best museum”

The capitol has a golden dome? It seems that the internet search engines across the pond do not yet return image results.

Jul 08, 2013 9:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MonaMae wrote:

Is this for real? One of the 3 days you’re supposedly here and you eat breakfast in your hotel? Maybe if you were staying at the W where the Keys Bakery is that would be acceptable, but that is worth mentioning. You’re writing for a travel website and you just eat breakfast in your anonymous hotel. What kind of an article is this? And your recommendations of places to eat are non-local chains? We have amazing restaurants here. And also…there is PLENTY to do along the river. The Mill City Museum would be worth mentioning, especially considering it’s historical significance to the Twin Cities. You should be ashamed of yourselves publishing this article.

Jul 09, 2013 9:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
elizabeth.g. wrote:

Is this for real? It can’t be a serious article…

Jul 09, 2013 11:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OggieMN wrote:

OK. This has to be, without a doubt, the worst travel story ever written about the Twin Cities I have ever wasted time on reading. While there are some affable comments in the article, its inconsistencies make me wonder if the author actually visited the Cities, or if he simply spent a couple of hours on Google in an attempt to cobble something together to meet a deadline? Or perhaps this was an assignment of some sort for a college composition class left to the last minute? “In 1000 words or less, please write a travel article about one of the top 20 largest metropolitan areas as if you had actually visited it.”

Prince & Bob Dylan are mentioned, but the Skyway Theater is proffered rather than the famous First Avenue venue where they actually performed? And speaking of Skyways, how exactly does one stay in them to avoid the cold yet also picnicking near a lake? Kudos for trying to point out options for our winter and summer seasons, but methinks separate articles for each one would have been more apt.

In a metro area rife with marvelous mom-and-pop breakfast joints, Potbelly is the only suggestion for a way to start your day? And of all the amazing restaurants, cafes, food trucks and the like, the Capital Grille is the only place mentioned for a steak? Oh, don’t get me wrong…their food is awesome…but there are probably half a dozen steak restaurants within walking distance of the Capital Grille that would easily trump one of theirs.

Funny that the writer refers to our light rail system as a ‘tram’, as if it were a trolley or cable car zipping people between terminals as the one at our airport. (You know our airport? The one with tornado shelters in the bathrooms prominently mentioned at the beginning of the article?) And don’t even get me started on the non-existent ‘golden dome’ at our state capitol. I suppose the journalist googled Atlanta by mistake when searching for tram systems in golden-domed metro areas. Or maybe he simply thought we were Iowa?

Thankfully, in Minnesota, we’re an accepting people and willing to give people a second chance. I would strongly suggest, rather than settling for this phoned-in excuse of a travel article, Reuters would send Mr. Meadows to The Cities for a rewrite, rather than accepting an article that leaves one thinking the author must’ve penned it while leaving through outdated travel guides in a dentist’s waiting area.

Jul 09, 2013 12:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Clearly this article was researched online and not onsite. Lake Hiawatha is in a residential neighborhood and is a small subsidiary pond of a much larger Minneapolis lake that is surrounded by park land, bike trails, a canoing creek, and a nearby waterfall. The other lake mentioned, Lake Cornelia Park, although beautiful and picturesque, is in a suburban location surrounded by two major highways and you’d have to drive by 3 or 4 of Minneapolis’ quiet, beautiful urban lakes to get there.

Jul 09, 2013 12:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jcfl wrote:

and no mention of garrison keillor, prairie home companion and the fitzgerald theatre??

Jul 09, 2013 3:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MNtravelman wrote:

It would help if you actually visited the cities you were writing about, which obviously in this case the writer did not .

Jul 09, 2013 4:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

I can only assume the “48 hours” the writer refers to is the amount of time he needed to scan and assume a number of factoids from other websites… Since he sure as heck never visited the area.

Jul 09, 2013 6:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wackoworks wrote:

I love this article. Being I live in Minneapolis it’s articles like this that will keep those annoying out of towners away from my favorite independently owned restaurants and shops assuring that I can actually get a table. Everyone please go to the Mall Of America they now have a hotel connected you will never have to leave and experience what the Twin Cities really have to offer.

PS Breakfast in DT Minneapolis is available at many non-hotel locations. May I suggest Keys, Hells Kitchen, Ikes or Wilde Roast.

Jul 09, 2013 6:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GregMN wrote:

This article pleases me greatly as the depth of the experience, depicted here, now means I have visited many more cities than I previously thought – simply by having superficial experiences during airport layovers. I’ve eaten chili in Cincinatti, looked at people in cowboy hats in Dallas, had a remarkably unremarkable time in Newark, looked at wooden shoes in Amsterdam, and used sophisticated toilets in Tokyo. I can’t wait for my next layover in Atlanta, where I’ll drink a Coke.

Jul 09, 2013 6:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mjempls wrote:

I work in journalism. I can’t believe an editor let this get published. Very disappointing work by an organization I usually respect and look to for confirmation.

Jul 09, 2013 11:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mkenative wrote:

Is Mr. Meadows still in high school? Judging by the clunky, bland prose and the clear lack of research, I’d have guessed that this article was a hastily-written assignment for freshman English.

Jul 10, 2013 6:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
cjbear306 wrote:

I guess if I had used Google maps to write a review on a city I’d never been to, it would sound like this. Glad I moved to Minneapolis before this travel guide was written!

Jul 10, 2013 11:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RamoneC wrote:

The writer of this article: 1. has never been to the Twin Cities, 2. or a baseball game (“match”? “overtime”?, 3. complete lack of gustatory destinations in the cities. Whomever at Reuters hired, then paid Mr. Meadows to write this should get their money back.

Jul 10, 2013 12:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Great places to hang out/dine in the downtown area that aren’t chains (for shame!):

Brit’s pub – has a bowling green on the roof
Hell’s Kitchen – Great place to hang out, cool bands. Try the Walleye BLT!

Take a stroll along the river – there’s some neat historic views to be had, and the river trail is very nice.

Take a walk through the corridors above street level–you don’t get interconnected office buildings like this so much in the US. Very novel if you’re from a bit farther south. Good for the really hot summer days, but essential for cold winter days.

Jul 10, 2013 1:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
byork00 wrote:

Reuters…Are you looking to hire a new Travel writer? ‘Cause you need to, and I can do better. Call me.

Jul 10, 2013 4:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Trazy wrote:

This looks like it was written by a fourth grader. A fourth grader that used the web to “visit” the Twin Cities.

Jul 10, 2013 9:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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