Following the river through the cities reveals the area's geology, history, commerce, politics, and arts.
Starting in downtown Minneapolis, we will visit the Stone Arch Bridge, built in the 1880s by James J. Hill for the Great Northern Railroad. The bridge, now a pedestrian walkway, crosses the river next to St. Anthony Falls, which powered the mills that formed the economic basis for the city.
Nearby is the Guthrie Theater, with photos of over 50 years of plays and views of Mill Ruins Park.
We will then drive along the rim of the Mississippi River's only gorge to Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling. Built in the 1820s, the Fort overlooks the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
Fifteen miles down river from downtown Minneapolis, we will visit six Indian mounds on a bluff overlooking the river, downtown St. Paul, and the Minneapolis skyline.
Next we will drive past the State Capitol and the St. Paul Cathedral to Summit Avenue, with its over 300 Gilded Age mansions. Summit Avenue will take us back to Minneapolis where the tour will end at the Walker Art Center's newly re-opened sculpture garden.
We will a start in Minneapolis at the Stone Arch Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River and overlooks St. Anthony Falls and Mill Ruins Park. We will then tour the Guthrie Theater, which is adjacent to the park.
Next we will drive down the Mississippi to Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling.
From there will will continue downstream to Indian Burial Mounds Park, which is on a bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul.
Then we will visit the State Capitol, the St. Paul Cathedral, and a Civil War memorial, which will put us on Summit Avenue, with its 300-plus Gilded Age mansions, including the James J. Hill house and the Governor's Mansion.
Summit Avenue will take us back to Minneapolis, where our last stop will be the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Meeting Point + Tour Duration
Meeting Point Options: Hotel, Address or Intersection
Duration: 3 hours 30 min.
If the weather is nice, and if you want to walk around Minnehaha Falls, including going down to its mouth at the Mississippi (just over two miles round trip), then the tour will last a little longer.
We will drive in my 2019 Chevy Traverse (with seating for up to 5 passengers -- 6, if one or more of the passengers is petite).
- Guiding Services
- Private Transportation
Estimated Local Cash Needed
20 USD - If you want to stop along the way for a snack and/or a beverage, $20 per person should more than cover it.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Jim did an awesome job showing us (who are locals!) and our out of town guests some of the great sites of Minneapolis/St. Paul, including the Mississippi River. He was very receptive to questions and comments, and very knowledgeable about the cities. We only wish we had more time to spend with him. We will certainly ask him again, because there are so many things we didn't get to this time!