Minneapolis Travel Planning, Fun Facts, Highlights

 Travel Planning

Weather
October in Minneapolis is characterized by daily high temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 51°F (10°C) and daily low temperatures between 47°F (8°C) and 36°F (2°C). Minnesota is the driest state in the Midwest.

Air Transportation
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is 12 miles from the conference hotel - about a 20 minute drive. The cost ranges from Subway/Rail $2.25 to $17 for the Super Shuttle, to $40 for a taxi. For additional information and directions, visit the hotel website.

Transportation within the city
Consult the Minneapolis Transportation Guide.

Hotel
EAPA conference and hotel fraud warning. The EAPA room block for the Hilton Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA is now open. The hotel was renovated in preparation for the 2018 Super Bowl and offers complimentary wifi in all attendee guest rooms. Government per diem rate rooms are available. Rate: $199 per night (plus taxes and fees, estimated 13%.) Reserve your room today! Interested in finding a conference roommate to save on hotel room costs? Complete the roommate request form! The cut off date to receive the EAPA conference rate is September 17, 2018.

Hotel proximity to Minneapolis attractions
The Hilton Minneapolis, in downtown Minneapolis, offers an excellent central location. Enjoy being just minutes from things to do in Minneapolis including attractions, museums, sporting venues, business, shopping and dining. From the Mall of America (the largest mall in the United States and the twelfth largest in the world) to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. From the Minnesota Zoo to the Science Museum of Minnesota. Check out this list for more information.

 Fun Facts about Minneapolis

Did You Know That...

  • Minneapolis’ name comes from the Sioux word mini and the Greek word polis, together meaning “city of waters”.
  • The Mall of America is the size of 78 football fields – 9.5 million square feet. 
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country. 
  • The Minneapolis Skyway, an indoor pedestrian walkway system that links many downtown buildings spans 69 blocks and seven miles. It's the longest continuous skyway system in the world. 
  • The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the U.S. were done at the University of Minnesota.
  • The clock tower in the Old City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse is over 340 feet tall and has face clock faces that are larger than those on London’s Big Ben. 
  • Minnesota is the state of 10,000 lakes—and the greater Minneapolis area is home to more than 22 of them. 
  • The greater Twin Cities area has one of the highest concentrations of Fortune 500 Companies in the country. 17 corporate giants—including Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Land O’Lakes—currently call the region home.
  • Minneapolis is a mecca for outdoors cyclers. In 2014, the city was named the nation’s third most cycling-friendly urban area, ranking just below Chicago and New York.

 Highlights

Unique Attractions

  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art shelters more than 83,000 works of art that span more than 5,000 years, it's the place to go if you're an art aficionado. Whether you're interested in Ancient Egyptian artifacts or European masterpieces by artists such as Titian and Monet, this museum has what you need to get your fix.  
  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the country and home to the renowned Spoonbridge and Cherry (the piece has become somewhat of an iconic symbol for Minneapolis). For a spectacular view of the city, take a stroll across the nearby Irene Hixon Whitney Footbridge. 
  • The Stone Arch Bridge is a must-see for any architecture buff. This 2,100-foot granite and limestone bridge (featuring a total of 23 arches) was constructed in 1883. Designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1971, it is the only stone arch bridge to have ever traversed the Mississippi River. Today, you can walk or ride bikes between Father Hennepin Bluffs Park on the east bank of the river and Mill Ruins Park on the west bank. You might also visit for the bridge's impressive views of downtown Minneapolis (especially at sunset) from its perch over St. Anthony Falls. 
  • The Minneapolis Skyway is a pedestrian walkway system that is located on the second level of buildings located in downtown Minneapolis. Minneapolis is home to the largest continuous skyway system in the world. The system is all climate controlled and links 69 blocks over seven miles. The Minneapolis skyway connects hotels, restaurants and and major venues. 
  • The Mill City Museum is built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, and located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis. Built in 1874, it was operated until 1965.  A tour will take you up 9 floors to a spectacular view of the Mississippi River and the Old Stone Arch bridge. 

Fantastic Eats

  • Spoon and Stable. If you haven’t taken the time to eat at this Downtown hot spot yet, cancel your plans and head there ASAP. It’s 100% worth it, and the crew puts a lot of work and effort into the array of exquisite dishes and cocktails. While nabbing a reservation might still be a little difficult, walking into the bar hasn’t ever really been an issue -- and you can order the full menu there, or choose from the equally delectable bar-only menu. 
  • Birchwood Cafe. Using local food is more than just a slogan or trend for this restaurant. Birchwood not only knows its farmers, but partners with them, champion farming efforts and organize crop mobs for harvesting the bounty of the seasons. Those crops are then incorporated into fresh, family-pleasing fare. 
  • Blackbird Cafe is a cozy mix of modern bohemian and everybody's-welcome atmosphere. Long known for its unbelievable take on a banh mi, the refreshed dinner menu is also packed with comforting dishes given just a little tweak beyond expectations. Good to know: Blackbird also serves a divine breakfast. http://www.blackbirdmpls.com
  • Brasa Premium Rotisserie began with the radical idea that soul food can also be good for you food. Inspired by the South American cuisine, the menu centers mostly around long, slow-roasted meats adorned with house-made accents like vinegary hot sauce and pickled onions. Everything is naturally gluten-free (except the sandwiches). 
  • Gardens of Salonica. Even on a cloudy day, there's something about the interior of this restaurant that still feels like a sun drenched afternoon. Maybe it's the lively lemon spiked Greek soup, or perhaps it's the malt vinegar over the herb flecked, crispy fries. This family owned restaurant sources ingredients locally and whips them into Greek favorites like the tyro served with fresh, hot pita bread or the lamb as tender as a spring morning. 

Fantastic Shopping

  • I Like You. Unique gift shop for all. With more than 250 local artists and designers represented, i like you is redefining "handcrafted". Pee Wee's Playhouse meets the five-and-dime. From the wall-to-wall AstroTurf to the quirky displays and cheeky, charming merchandise, the whole store oozes creativity. This is where Alice buys Minnesota-made gifts to bring back to Wonderland. Not to be missed. >
  • Midtown Global Market is an internationally-themed public market offering groceries, food and unique gifts in a diverse setting that has characterized South Minneapolis for Decades. 
  • Mall of America is one of the largest U.S. retail and entertainment complexes in the world, featuring 520 stores, 60 restaurants, the nation's largest indoor theme park - Nickelodeon Universe and many other attractions. 
  • The Electric Fetus has been a gathering place for music heads and counter-culturists in Minnesota since 1968. The Fetus takes great pride in offering a huge selection of music and unique gifts, coupled with knowledgeable and friendly customer service. New and used music from local artists to international acts, in addition to books, toys, clothing, jewelry, accessories, stationery, incense, bath & beauty products, housewares, turntables and more. 
  • Textile Center. You probably did not know you were into 'fiber art' until visiting this gallery/shop/library/all-around gem. A national center for fiber art, Textile Center features four galleries, a shop containing artisan handmade gifts, a textile library and classes. Encompassing weaving, quilting, knitting, sewing, dyeing, felting, needlework, lacemaking, basketry, and beading.  
 

Debbie Mori, Manager, Association Services, at conference@eapassn.org.