Business travel generally carries certain expectations about what a city has to offer. Traveling as much as I do for business I found theses expectations are typically spot on, but on some rare occasions i’m pleasantly surprised. This is the case with Minneapolis.

At the beginning of my hospitality sales career when representing European Luxury Hotels, I would often travel to the MidWest during the winter months (especially January when there would be GTD snow storms) in order to impress our clients.

Looking back more than 25 years, cities like Minneapolis/St. Paul did not offer direct flights, and the of hotels options were to say the least wanting and slim. This followed wlimited choices of quality restaurants or recreational activities.

Minneapolis fast foward

Fast forward to 2016, I’m scheduling a business trip for a industry conference and imagine my surprise, when I learned of a new regional Airline named Sun Country Airlines, based out of Minneapolis with a number of direct flights from major US cities.

As I continued the Minneapolis trip planning research I learned the following:

  • Next to Chicago, Minneapolis-St Paul is now considered the Midwest’s cultural capital
  • It has sixty museums
  • Thirty theater venues
  • Culinary prowess of top chiefs and home of the famous Andrew Zimmern
  • The city is also surrounded by thousands of acres of parks and miles and miles of trails no surprise there as the state of Minnesota is land of lakes with 10,000

Minneapolis and sister city St Paul are two for the price of one…the best of both worlds.

Try a Segway or walking tour of the Mill District and dine on the Mississippi Riverfront patio. Stroll through Rice Park and catch a show at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.  Go downtown and stop at one of  the tax free shops or  change it up  a bit with a paddle boarding lesson on the Chain of Lakes.  Then refuel with award winning cuisine at one of the 100+new restaurants that opened in the past two years alone.

No matter what your interests, the Twin Cities’ ability to blend natural beauty with urban culture is second to none.

Whether traveling for business or family great getaway vacation in Winter…yes winter!  Not something most would consider.

Mall of America

o take advantage of the many attractions try following this simple itinerary: after arriving at the Airport, I recommend ground transportation to the Radisson Blu a spectacular hotel which is connected to the Mall of America, the Nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex.

The Mall of America is a 4.87 million square foot mall and home to more than 520+ shops.

It’s enormous at four stories offering something for everyone. Ride a roller coaster, shop ‘til you drop and enjoy gourmet meals all without stepping outside. Kids go wild for Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest year round indoor family theme park;

EMS Entertainment Exhibit Center; SEA LIFE Minnesota aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walkthrough aquarium;  Beyond the rides, Dutchman’s Deck Adventure Course and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf. Refresh your wardrobe at any of the, dine at CRAVE or the Hard Rock Café, or stop by LEGO land, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium or the brand new FlyOver America for boundless entertainment.

Just a word on FlyOver America, a fully immersive flight experience and the hottest attraction to ever hit Minnesota!  A gentle thrilling action suitable for ages 4-104, this $20 million attraction opened on April 06, 2016 and is a flight simulation ride like no other.

 

 

During the main event, guests strap in and are suspended in air ten to twenty-five feet above ground, in specialized in vehicles facing a 40-foot half-spherical dome screen.

The fully immersive experience is enhanced by ride vehicles that move in concert with the ride film and the use of special effects – Wind, mist and scents. Guests will truly feel the thrilling sensation of flight will make you feel like you are truly flying. More info: www.flyover-america.com

Minneapolis was a BIG surprise and is certainly a SECRET!!

 

 

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