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Layover Ideas Minneapolis-St Paul Airport MSP

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Top 5 Layover Ideas for Minneapolis-St Paul Airport

Long layovers can be a drag, but not when you're at the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport. From shopping and entertainment complexes to natural parks and historic sites, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your layover. Here are the top 5 layover ideas at MSP airport.

1. Mall of America

Located in Bloomington, the Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States. Home to over 500 stores, 60 eateries, a 14-screen movie theater, an indoor amusement park, and an aquarium, it offers a unique shopping experience that's hard to match. With strollers, wheelchairs, changing stations in restrooms, lockers, a wedding chapel, walking program, post office, and an array of department stores, restaurants and fast-food establishments, you can easily spend a few hours exploring this massive mall.

2. Summit Avenue

Summit Avenue showcases the country's longest span of Victorian homes, providing a picturesque view of the city. The tree-lined avenue includes the Governor's Mansion and the townhouse where author Fitzgerald once lived. You can also catch a tour at "Empire Builder" James J. Hill's spectacular mansion. Best viewed at twilight, this historic avenue is a must-visit.

3. Fort Snelling State Park

Just minutes from the MSP Airport, Fort Snelling State Park is a collection of impressive buildings made of native limestone. Designated as Minnesota's first National Historic Landmark, the fort provides a gathering place for Native Americans, fur traders, and settlers. Today, you can hike, bike, ski, fish, canoe, or simply take in nature. The park also hosts numerous events, making it a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls

Built by railway baron James J. Hill in 1883, the Stone Arch Bridge offers stunning views of St. Anthony Falls and downtown Minneapolis. This beautifully restored bridge provides a serene path for viewing the falls, whose churning power first made Minneapolis a milling capital. The surrounding area is a designated historic site containing architectural ruins and significant buildings and bridges.

5. Orpheum Theatre

Opened in 1921, the Orpheum Theatre was the nation's largest vaudeville house and was later converted into a movie house. After renovations in 1994, the Orpheum hosted numerous Broadway musicals. It is a favorite among concert fans and the lecture circuit. Whether you're a fan of theatrical performances or simply appreciate historic architecture, the Orpheum Theatre is worth a visit.

Helpful Tips & Resources

Need help navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport? Look no further than iFly.com for expert tips and advice. Here are some helpful tips to help you travel stress-free through MSP Airport:

  • Don't let heavy bags slow you down! Make use of our airport's complimentary baggage carts, available for all travelers in the baggage claim area.
  • If you have some time before your departure, relax, grab a bite at one of MSP's restaurants, peruse the shops, or jump on the free internet and surf galore!
  • If you are flying in business or first class (or are a member), check out where the airline club lounges are located.
  • Once you have passed through security, you can use the airport map to find your gate, as well as the various restaurants and shops that are available on your route.
  • Surf to your heart's content. Jump on Minneapolis-St Paul airport's internet (free!)
  • For those (dreaded) early-morning flights, consider one of the airport hotels on or near MSP to spend the night prior to your flight. In many cases your parking for the trip's duration is free!
  • Have a flight arriving and want a fast way to get to your destination? Here are a few taxi and limo airport service providers that service the airport.

Nearby Attractions for an Extended Layover

If your layover at Minneapolis-St Paul Airport extends beyond 12 hours, you have the opportunity to explore some of the city's most iconic attractions. With a bit of planning, you can use this time to immerse yourself in the local culture, history, and natural beauty of the Twin Cities. Here are some attractions you can visit within a 12-48 hour layover.

1. Minneapolis Institute of Art

Art lovers should not miss the Minneapolis Institute of Art, home to over 90,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history. The museum's extensive collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, textiles, and decorative arts. It's a great place to spend a few hours, admiring masterpieces from around the world.

2. Minnehaha Falls

Just a short drive from the airport, Minnehaha Falls is a 53-foot waterfall located in Minnehaha Park. This natural attraction is a perfect spot for a picnic, a leisurely walk, or even a bike ride. The park also features a variety of sculptures, including the famous statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha.

3. Mill City Museum

Built into the ruins of what was once the world's largest flour mill, the Mill City Museum offers a fascinating look into the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the Mississippi River, and the city of Minneapolis. The museum features interactive exhibits, a panoramic view of the Mississippi River, and a baking lab where visitors can learn about the art and science of making bread.

4. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Located in St. Paul, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is home to a wide range of animals and plants. From the exotic animals in the zoo to the beautiful flowers in the conservatory, there's something for everyone. It's an ideal place for families with children to spend a day.

5. Nicollet Mall

Nicollet Mall, located in downtown Minneapolis, is a shopping and entertainment hub. This pedestrian-friendly mall features a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. It's a great place to grab a bite, do some shopping, or just enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

Updated on: November 22, 2023