On the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, just north of its confluence with the Minnesota River, lie the glittering twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.
Historically important as a center for flour milling and the timber trade, modern Minneapolis is a progressive, arty town, dominated by skyscrapers and green spaces in the midst of numerous lakes and wetlands. The city has a thriving theater scene, boasting plenty of cultural highlights including the Walker Art Center, the Weisman Art Museum (housed in a distinctive Frank Gehry building), Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and is a renowned center for ice hockey.
For those keen to be more active, the city's Lake Calhoun is a great place to hire a bike or even go rollerblading, while the surrounding ‘Chain of Lakes’ parks, all connected by paved walkways, provide an ideal spot for canoeing, fishing and windsurfing.
It's also somewhat of a retail magnet — with the Mall of America, the second largest shopping center in the US, just minutes away.