It Takes Two

Appears in the October 2021 issue.

Ready to check out two cities for the price of one six-hour road trip? Set your GPS for the Twin Cities: You’ll find Minnesota’s state capital of St. Paul on one side of the river and Minneapolis on the other. And there’s a lot more to see than Mall of America.

At Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (1256 Penn Ave. N, Minneapolis, a new summer exhibition, The Absence of Justice, features artwork about systemic racism. It will remain at the museum through December 31, along with Gather in His Name: From Protests to Healing for George Floyd, a collection of portraits and interviews by Minnesota photographer John Steitz.

If the great outdoors is also calling, the Cedar Lake Regional Trail traces former railroad lines from downtown Minneapolis to other area biking and walking trails, with plenty of fall color to take in along the way. Or make a reservation to wander the gardens and grounds of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory (1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul, 651.487.8201,, which has free admission every day of the year.

Water Works Park and Pavilion (333 1st. St. S, Minneapolis) also opened this summer near St. Anthony Falls, a natural waterfall on the Mississippi River and a sacred place for the people of the Dakota tribe, Owámniyomni. The park features winding walkways, terraced sitting areas, and Owámni (425 W. River Parkway, 612.444.1846,, the first Indigenous restaurant in Minneapolis from Sean Sherman, an Oglala Lakota Sioux chef and James Beard Award winner.

For a variety of fare in one place, stop at a food hall such as the Market at Malcolm Yards (501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis,, which opened in August in the historic Harris Machinery Co. building near the University of Minnesota campus. The lineup of nine food vendors includes Indian and Nepalese street food at Momo Dosa, Detroit-style slices at Wrecktangle Pizza, and Korean-style chicken at Abang Yoli. There’s also Keg and Case Market (928 7th St. W, St. Paul, 651.443.6060,, which offers everything from Jamaican street food to spiked ice cream floats in St. Paul’s historic former Schmidt Brewery building.