The capital of Minnesota is somewhat dwarfed by its “twin” city, Minneapolis, a thriving and modern metropolis, but St Paul has managed to retain its considerable charm and individuality. Life is much less hectic here, although the people are just as friendly.
My walk begins at Rice Park, a popular square near the center of the downtown area. On the northern side of the square is the beautiful Landmark Center, a former Federal building which has been lovingly restored. The center houses the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Other sides of the park feature the Ordway Music Theater, a popular entertainment venue, and the Public Library.
Leave the square by walking south on Market Street, and then turn left on Kellogg Boulevard, to reach the Art Deco City Hall & Courthouse. The interior of this prominent city landmark is especially interesting.
Continue eastward on Kellogg Boulevard, and turn left on Sibley Street, to reach Mears Park, a lovely place to stroll and relax. Now, turn left on 6th Street E, and then right on Minnesota Street, then left on 10th Street, and right on Cedar Street, to find the Minnesota State Capitol, with one of the world’s largest unsupported domes. It is considered one of the nation’s most beautiful capitol buildings. Be sure to tour the stunning interior, as well as the grounds.
Exit the area by walking southwest on John Ireland Boulevard, and then turn right on Selby Avenue, to visit the Cathedral of St Paul, a beautiful Roman Catholic Church which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed to resemble St Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.
After your visit, continue west on Selby Avenue, and turn left on Virginia Street, then left again on Summit Avenue, to see the James J Hill House, former home of the Great Northern Railroad founder, and an elegant Victorian residence.
Now, walk northwest on Summit Avenue to Kellogg Boulevard, and turn right, then right again on 7th Street West, and then left on Walnut Street. Around the corner at Exchange Street is the Alexander Ramsey House, another splendid Victorian mansion, the former home of the territory’s first governor.
Next, walk eastward on Exchange Street, and turn right on Kellogg Boulevard, past the Excel Center, and then turn left on Washington Street, to return to Rice Park.