Twin Cities Historic Sites

The Twin Cities area is rich in history with many historic sites and buildings remaining today.  You could certainly have several eventful day trips to area history adventures, and each destination is easy to combine with local shopping, dining and other downtown attractions.

Here are a few of the interesting Twin Cities historical attractions:

  • Mill City Museum, Minneapolis - Minneapolis was once the largest flour milling district in the world.  The Mill City Museum is housed in the ruins of the National Historic Landmark, the Washburn A Mill flour mill building, this 8-sotry museum is a an attraction for the whole family to enjoy.  The mill exploded in 1878 from excessive dust created from a new purification process which killed 18 workers and wiped out about half of the flour milling district in the city.  This amazing story is chronicled here through hands-on exhibits, tours, and a multi-media show.
  • St Anthony Falls, Minneapolis - The only falls on the Mississippi River, St Anthony Falls area is now the industrial ruins of what was once the largest flour-milling district in the world.  Enjoy an excellent view of the falls from the restored Stone Arch Bridge nearby.  There is also a 2-mile loop trail along the riverfront with trail markers of maps and historical information.
  • Fort Snelling, Saint Paul - The origins for the city of Minneapolis located one mile east of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.  Tour this historic fort and enjoy educational programs and activities.  Walk the hiking trails and enjoy the natural beauty of the Fort Snelling State Park and Visitor Center.
  • Art Godfrey House - Events and guided tours are available at this historic farmhouse and oldest wood frame house in Minnesota.  Ard Godfrey came to Minnesota in 1847 to supervise the first commercial dam and sawmill at St Anthony Falls.  Mrs. Godfrey is credited as the first person to bring dandelion seeds to the area in 1849.  Visitors can admire artifacts and learn how to make dandelion coffee or tea.
  • Milwaukee Avenue, Minneapolis - Located in the Seaward area on a quaint, pedestrian-only street.  This gem of a neighborhood features rows of matching brick bungalow homes originally built for railroad workers in the late 1800s.  It is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • State Capitol, Saint Paul - Public tours are available where you can enjoy the soaring domes, the awe-inspiring rotunda, the historic chambers where state government is conducted, and learn about the history and art of the capitol.  On good weather days, you can also see the quadriga on the roof.
  • James J. Jill House, Saint Paul - The impressive mansion of the legendary founder of the Great Northern Railway.  Guided tours give a picture of what family and servant life was like in the Gilded Age mansion. Completed in 1891, the red sandstone residence was the setting of the public and private lives of the Hill family and is today a multi-use historic house museum.
  • Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul - Offers popular Historic Cave Tours and the Saint Paul Gangster Tour as well as other exciting themes. These fun tours through history offers a unique experience in a fascinating and mysterious setting.
  • Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul - While not a historical site of its own, this museum accounts for most of the state's history through exhibits, programs, books, and activities.  Explore Minnesota's past through the museum's several hands-on exhibits and multimedia presentations.
  • Alexander Ramsey House, Saint Paul - Former home of Minnesota's first territorial governor, Alexander Ramsey.  Tour the Victorian home and sample some fresh cookies while learning about their family and servant life in the 1870s.  The Ramsey House is one of the nation's best preserved Victorian-era homes.
  • St Paul Hotel, Saint Paul - This world-class hotel has won many awards and is an architectural landmark in downtown Saint Paul.  The hotel offers elegant, historic accommodations and is often used a site for meetings, weddings, and events.