The Twin Cities area offers a few different options to get from the Airport to the Conference.
The easiest and cheapest option would be to use the Metro Transit Light Rail System. There is a station right at the airport and it takes you directly to downtown Minneapolis. The cost per ride is between $1.75 and $2.25, depending on time of day and the day you arrive. Simply get off at the Nicollet Mall Statio and head south. It's about a five block walk, or you can transfer to one of the buses running up and down Nicollet.
The cost for a one-way trip from the Aiurport to downtown Minneapolis is approximantely $40. There are a number of companies with cabs at the airport (Lindbergh terminal) ready to help.
Super Shuttle Service
$16.00 One way
$32.00 Round Trip Cash or Pre-Pay Credit Card
From airport to hotel: Runs between 4:30am and 11:00pm. After 11:00pm and before 4:30am please call Super Shuttle to arrange pick up. Follow the signs for Hotel Shuttles and Scheduled Vans to the Ground Transportation Atrium. The Super Shuttle guest service desk is located near the center of the shuttle area. Service available 24 hours.
From hotel to airport: Reservations must be made at least 1.5 to 2 hours in advance. Reservations may be made by calling Super Shuttle at 800-258-3826 or Fax # 612-827-6777.
Things to Do When Visiting the Twin Cities
By Laurie Pumper, ASPR Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Step outside of your hotel, and you will find yourself on the Nicollet Mall for a wide selection of national and local retailers and restaurants/bars. The Macy’s store between 7th and 8th Streets along Nicollet Mall is a landmark; it was the original Dayton’s department store, and still holds a warm spot in the hearts of locals. The selection of merchandise is much wider here than at most Macy’s locations. You’ll also find Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue (located on Sixth Street), and Talbots along Nicollet Mall. You may also recognize that beloved single gal on the corner of 7th and the Nicolette Mall…yes, that is a statue of Mary Tyler Moore as she tossed her famous hat in the air in the opening scene of her 1970-77 classic American sitcom.
Mall of America
The largest retail and entertainment complex in the U.S. features four anchor department stores (Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Sears), an amusement park, Underwater World, restaurants, and more than a hundred shops. There is an IKEA just across the street. You can get to the Mall from downtown via light rail.
See the world’s first enclosed regional shopping mall, located about 10 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. In addition to the mall itself, there are many other retail and restaurant options along France Avenue.
St. Paul-Grand Avenue
St. Paul has its own charms, including funky Grand Avenue shops and restaurants. Pay a visit to “Common Good Books” owned by Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame. There are national chains here as well, but you will be pleasantly surprised to find mostly local shops along this street.
The Sporting Life
This is the final season that baseball will be played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, a unique venue for baseball. The Twins are home while we’re in town. Come see them play the Texas Rangers, Aug. 28-30, or the Chicago White Sox. Aug 31, Sept 1 & 2nd. For time and tickets visit: http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com.
Saint Paul Saints
If you want to see baseball outdoors this year, the Saint Paul Saints of the American Association provide a highly entertaining shtick to go along with the game (the team motto: Fun is Good). The team’s season-ending homestand is scheduled for August 27-30 against the Sioux City Explorers. The most expensive ticket is just $12 for adults. www.saintsbaseball.com
A preseason game with the Kansas City Chiefs is scheduled for August 21. There is a pretty good chance that tickets will be available at the door if you are coming into town early.
Minnesota State Fair
“The Great Minnesota Get-Together” is one of the largest events of its type in the United States, attracting more than 1.6 million visitors during its 12-day run up to Labor Day, being bested only by the Texas State Fair (the Texas State Fair is twice as long, however, but we won't hold that against them!)
More food on a stick than you can, well, shake a stick at — including deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried walleye, deep-fried corndogs, and deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs (you get the idea). The Fair also features local and national musical acts that appeal to varied tastes, a juried art fair, and a half-dozen barns filled with championship farm animals. August 27-September 7, 2009.
Open weekends beginning on August 22, the Renaissance Festival offers unique, handcrafted wares, fun stage acts — and plenty of food, wine and ale! It’s a bit of a drive to the grounds in Shakopee, but parking is free and discount tickets are available online. The theme for August 29-30 is “Highland Fling,” with a Scottish village and World Amateur Highland Heavy Games. If you’re staying in Minneapolis for a few days following the ASPR conference, you might take in the Royal Ale Festival, September 5-7.
The Minnesota Zoo
Named one of the nation’s best zoos for photographers, the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley offers visitors opportunities to see grizzly bears, sea otters, Amur tigers, and many other animals in naturalistic settings. Visitors can feed giraffes at the zoo’s Africa exhibit through Labor Day; the giraffes share the space with zebras, ostriches, gemsbok and wildebeest. www.mnzoo.com
Minnesotans love their golf. There are many public courses right in Minneapolis and St. Paul, including Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis and Como Park in St. Paul.
Walk, Roll, Ride
There are miles of trails for walkers, inline skaters, and bicycles. Many of those paths are located near lakes and the Mississippi River valley. Here’s a web site where you can find maps and other information; although primarily geared to bicyclists, skaters and pedestrians are generally welcome to share the paths: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicycles/where-to-ride.asp
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Just a few blocks south of downtown, the MIA is home to visual arts (painting, sculpture and mixed media) from around the world. Although special exhibitions require tickets with a set fee, admission to the main museum is just a small voluntary donation. www.artsmia.org
Walker Art Center
Just a few blocks west of the conference hotels, the Walker focuses on contemporary art, including film, dance, painting, multimedia, and music. The Sculpture Garden is free on Thursday nights!
Mill City Museum
A look back at the wheat milling industry that put Minneapolis on the map around the turn of the Twentieth Century. Fun, interactive exhibits — including a look at the changing faces of Betty Crocker — and walking tours along the downtown riverfront.
Minnesota History Center
Another good reason to visit St. Paul, this museum makes history fun. In the Minnesota 150 exhibit, you’ll find information about everything from Bob Dylan to Prince, Charles Lindbergh to Spam (the lunch meat). This summer’s special exhibit focuses on Minnesota’s Greatest Generation.
On a Budget
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
The zoo has been here for more than 100 years, set in a pretty park in St. Paul. The Conservatory features plants from around the world. And there is no set admission fee — a small contribution is welcome to help with upkeep.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Located about a mile from the conference hotels, the Sculpture Garden is a serene little oasis with a view of downtown. And it’s free! Information can be found on the Walker Art Center website listed above.
Whatever activities suit your fancy, the Minneapolis St Paul area has something for every ASPR member coming into town for our conference…so, step outside and enjoy!