Road Scholar : Home
Great American Get-Together in Minneapolis

Program Number: 21499RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/21/2014 - 5/28/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Price starting at: $2,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

A world-class museum, American humorist Garrison Keillor's bookstore, an innovative theater company, even the Mighty Mississippi itself — experience it all on our Great American Get-Together in Minneapolis! In this latest stop on our series, Minneapolis and St. Paul host a lively collection of speakers and activities. See five miles of the nation’s most impressive collection of Victorian mansions, once home to the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Discover the iconic "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture and explore masterpieces of world art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Weisman Museum. Hear about the history of the Twin Cities, from its Swedish community to the scandals of gangsters John Dillinger and Ma Barker in the 1930s. And learn about "Minnesota nice." When an affable local asks, "How are you doing?" they really want to know.


• Go backstage at the architectural prize-winning Guthrie Theater and attend a performance.
• Celebrate the Fourth of July in true 1800’s fashion as we delight in a military dress parade and mock battle at Historic Fort Snelling along the sparkling Mississippi River.
• Learn why Minneapolis is known as the "City of Lakes" as you gallivant around several of the 20 lakes within the city limits and discover the fascinating impact they have on the city's culture.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles. Standing up to one hour at museums. Mostly level terrain; some gravel garden paths.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.


The 24 lakes now contained within Minneapolis inspired Minnesota schoolmaster Charles Hoag to combine the Dakota word for water with the Greek word for city, resulting in today’s modern moniker. Once the global center of the timber milling industry, Minneapolis is the state’s largest city and adjoins twin city and Minnesota capital St. Paul.

Newly renovated hotel in the heart of bustling downtown Minneapolis.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
  Minneapolis, MN 7 nights
 Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Guests will enjoy a striking new lobby, luxurious new guestrooms and suites and a brand new restaurant and market place. The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis pays tribute to the unique culture of Minnesota, with sleek mid-century Scandinavian decor highlighted by a spacious lobby featuring an expansive stone fireplace framed by rustic wooden logs. The hotel’s premiere downtown location provides convenient access to an incredible array of Twin Cities attractions, from shopping to sports to theater.
  Contact info: 1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403 USA
phone: 612-370-1234
  Room amenities: Rooms include an oversized work desk, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, iron / ironing board, coffee maker and 32" flat screen TV with cable / satellite TV channels.
  Facility amenities: Onsite restaurant, bar, business center, athletic club, indoor heated pool, gift shop, and hair and manicure salon.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for current rate Be sure to mention you are part of the Road Scholar group.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel for current rate Be sure to mention you are part of the Road Scholar group.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in begins at 3:00 PM. Road Scholar registration will be from 3:00 - 3:30 PM on Level 2 of the hotel. Orientation begins at 3:30 PM. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 9:00 AM after morning wrap up session. Hotel check out by 12:00 PM. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Minneapolis the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the hotel at prevailing rate- currently $17 self parking or $28 valet (per 24 hour period- subject to change). Parking is in a covered parking garage with 6'6" clearance (most vans will not clear). No RV or motorcycle parking.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Minneapolis, MN
  Nearest city or town:  Minneapolis
  Nearest highway: I-94, I-394, I-35
  Nearest airport:  Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  From End of Program
  Location: Minneapolis, MN
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar group transfer
Advanced Reservations Required


A GROUP TRANSFER WILL BE INCLUDED FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BOOKED THEIR AIR THROUGH ROAD SCHOLAR (this transfer is valid only on the program start and end date). The shuttle times will depend on scheduled flights. Early arrivals, late departures and those who are transferring on their own will be responsible for their own transportation. See "Getting There" section for transportation options. Please schedule flights to arrive before 2:00 PM the first day of the program.


Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


From Airport




Public Transportation
MetroTransit Light Rail
phone: 612-373-3333


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


24 minute ride time 


You must pay for your ride before boarding the train. Take the Blue Line (Hiawatha) from the airport to Nicollet Mall Station. Walk 0.66 miles to the hotel (walk a short distance NW on 5th St S, turn left on Nicollet Mall, walk approximately 6 blocks SW on Nicollet Mall) or take the nearby "free ride" bus along Nicollet Mall (see attachment in preparatory materials for an area map). Or, you could take a taxi from the station. Visit for more information.


Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$40 - $45
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately 20 minutes. Could vary due to traffic. 


Taxi service at the Lindbergh Terminal is accessible via the Tram Level. Signs direct passengers one level up to the cab starter booth, where airport staff will assist passengers in obtaining a taxi. At the Humphrey Terminal, taxi service is available at the Humphrey Ground Transport Center, which is located in the Humphrey Parking ramp on Level 1. A $6.50 fare will be displayed on the meter at the onset of your trip. This fee includes a $2.50 flag drop and a $4 airport access fee.


Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


From Bus Terminal






The Greyhound bus station is located at 950 Hawthorne Ave in Minneapolis, less than 1 mile from the hotel. For information on fares and schedule, contact Greyhound at 1-800-231-2222 or visit Catch a taxi to the hotel.


Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


From Train Station






Travel Time:


20 minutes (could vary depending on traffic) 




6 miles


The Amtrak station, Midway Station, is located at 730 Transfer Road in St. Paul, approximately 6 miles from the hotel. For more information on fares and schedules, contact Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 or visit Catch a taxi from the station to the hotel. *Please note: Amtrak will move service to St. Paul's Union Depot sometime this year (not the Midway location where it stops now). The date is still TBD. Be sure to check your final destination with Amtrak.


Minneapolis- Hyatt Regency


To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar group transfer
Advanced Reservations Required


A GROUP TRANSFER WILL BE INCLUDED FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BOOKED THEIR AIR THROUGH ROAD SCHOLAR (this transfer is valid only on the program start and end date). The shuttle times will depend on scheduled flights. Early arrivals, late departures and those who are transferring on their own will be responsible for their own transportation. See "Getting There" section for transportation options. Please schedule flights departing after 11:00 AM the last day of the program.




From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$16 one way per person
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Time varies due to traffic and ride share 


Upon arrival, follow the signs to the lower level baggage claim and collect your luggage. For Terminal 1 arrivals, follow the signs for "Hotel Shuttles and Scheduled Vans" to the SuperShuttle ticket counter located in the center of the Ground Transportation Atrium. For Terminal 2 arrivals, use the ground-level crosswalk or second-level Skyway to proceed to the Ground Transportation Center, located directly across the street from Terminal 2. Visit for more information.

Driving Directions
  Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (from 35W) Follow signs for downtown to the 11th St. exit. Take 11th St. to 2nd Ave. Turn left on 2nd Ave. Continue past Convention Center (2nd Ave will turn into E. Grant St.). Turn right at Nicollet Ave. Hotel and parking ramp will be on your left.
  Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (from 94 heading east) Follow 94E. Take North 4th St. exit Turn right onto 2nd Ave S (be sure not to turn on 2nd Ave. N. You need to cross Hennepin Ave. and Nicollet Mall). Continue on 2nd Ave. S past the Convention Center (2nd Ave will turn into E. Grant St.). Turn right on Nicollet Ave. Hotel and parking ramp will be on your left.
  Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (from 94 heading west) Follow 94W, stay in far right lane to the 11th St. exit. Take 11th St. to 2nd Ave. Turn left at 2nd Ave. Go past Convention Center (2nd Ave will turn into E. Grant St.). Turn right at Nicollet Ave. Hotel and Parking ramp will be on your left.
  Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Intl Airport) Exit right out of airport and follow signs to 494 West. Take 494W to 35W North. Follow signs for downtown to the 11th St. exit. Take 11th St. to 2nd Ave, turn left. Continue past Convention Center. Turn right at Nicollet Ave. Hotel and parking ramp will be on your left.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation / Welcome Presentation
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Note: The large group will be split into smaller groups with a maximum of 40 participants. The order of the daily schedule will vary per group.

 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3 p.m.

Program Registration: After getting your room assignment, please go to the Road Scholar desk on Level 2 outside Northstar Ballroom to pick up your Arrival Packet.

Orientation: The orientation begins at 3:30 PM. Enjoy a warm welcome and introductions to staff and your fellow participants. We will review the schedule and discuss responsibilities, schedule changes, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, contact numbers for key staff and answer all your questions.

 Dinner: Enjoy a sumptuous meal at our lovely hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
 Evening: Have an enjoyable evening as you get to know your fellow adventurers eager to begin their week of a Twin Cities Celebration! Delight in an original Radio Thriller performance designed by the Guthrie Theater specifically for Road Scholar participants. This uniquely customized radio drama will be presented by the team who brought us the popular series Shades Brigade. Produced in the style of the golden age of radio and performed live on stage with two Guthrie actors performing all the characters and sound effects. This Road Scholar original piece will undoubtedly be a fun, lively, and engaging way to start off your week!
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Twin Cities Delight Lecture / City of Lakes Field Trip / Minneapolis Institute of Art Field Trip
(Thursday, May 22)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Before an illuminating motor coach exploration of Minneapolis, the Get-Together keynote speaker provides an overview of your week in the Twin Cities. How did Minneapolis become an incredible theater hub — second only to New York City in the U.S. in number of theater seats? What inspired the architectural designs of Cesar Pelli, Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel that stand tall throughout the city? Why did the likes of John Dillinger, Ma Barker and other infamous gangsters consider Saint Paul a “safe city?” And why did railroad and lumber barons choose a five-mile stretch of St. Paul’s Summit Avenue a haven for the country’s largest number of Victorian mansions? These questions only scratch the surface of the coming week’s adventure.

We start by letting you get your bearings aboard a motor coach in this “City of Lakes” — 22 lakes within its boundaries and all in a “green urban environment.” Led by our favorite architect, you’ll get an insider’s view of the building of Minneapolis and its tree-lined streets and lakeside boulevards. And the city is never more beautiful with spring blossoming in all its glory.

 Lunch: At one of our local favorite eateries.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is spent in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with its extraordinary exhibitions and one of the country’s finest, wide-ranging art collections — Rembrandt to van Gogh, Monet to Matisse, Asian to African. Expert art docents take you on a custom-designed exploration of this art lover’s paradise. You’ll also enjoy time on your own to explore MIA treasures: Chinese bronzes, Frank Lloyd Wright furniture, a Chinese reception hall, ... so much to see, where to start?
 Dinner: Enjoy a delightful dinner in the lovely ambiance of a nearby restaurant. The mouth-watering options are plentiful.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Speaker: “Cultural Mecca” / Mississippi River Cruise / Mill City Museum/ Riverfront Walk
(Friday, May 23)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Spend the morning with two colorful, expert instructors gleaning an insider’s perspective on why this hidden, Midwestern treasure flourishes as a cultural Mecca. Funding for the arts is a state and city-wide corporate endeavor and it accounts for prolific art and theater, not to mention architecture known the world over.
 Lunch: Board the 125-passenger paddle-wheeler the Mississippi Queen for a lunchtime cruise on the Mississippi.
 Afternoon: Having enjoyed a peek into the history of downtown Minneapolis during your lunchtime cruise, disembark the Mississippi Queen for an exploration of the Mill City Museum — built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill — on the historic Mississippi riverfront. The film “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat,” narrated by one of Minneapolis’ favored entertainers, kicks off this historical adventure. Learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the Mighty Mississippi and the founding days of Minneapolis. Travel through the life of the milling industry as you ride through the levels of the museum to the ninth story, where you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the river and a panorama of the city.

Later, we’ll explore the lovely Minneapolis Riverfront to learn about its dramatic past and bright future. We’ll cross the Stone Arch Bridge for a spectacular view of St Anthony Falls, the historic buildings surrounding it and downtown Minneapolis. Learn about people who have worked here, as well as the history of this area, once the milling center of the world.

 Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own to explore local fare.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Iconic Sculpture Garden / Riverfront Walk / Weisman Museum / Free Time / Gangsters in the Cities
(Saturday, May 24)
 Breakfast: At our hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a glorious Minnesota morning outdoors at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the country’s largest urban sculpture garden. Led by an expert, learn about more than 40 sculptures, including Frank Gehry's "Standing Fish," and the famous and enormous "Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. This is the unofficial icon of Minneapolis.

Coach to the University of Minnesota campus to explore the Weisman Art Museum, an architectural marvel designed by Frank Gehry. A campus landmark on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the building presents two faces — from the campus side a brick façade that blends with existing brick-and-sandstone buildings, and from the river side, curving and angular brushed-steel sheets that are an abstraction of a waterall and a fish.

 Lunch: On your own to discover your favorite little eatery.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time before dinner. Your Group Leader will suggest things for you to do on your own. You may also see a list of Free time Opportunities at the end of this Daily Schedule.
Optional 30 minute self-guided tour of inside of Minnesota's capitol. Bus will depart from hotel at 2:00PM and return at 3:30PM.
 Dinner: Enjoy a lovely dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: A lively night of entertainment starts off with a bang as “Edna the Kissing Bandit” joins us, bringing to life St. Paul’s colorful history through the tumultuous era of gangsters and prohibition. From John Dillinger to Baby Face Nelson and, of course, Ma Barker … the country’s most notorious criminals holed up in “safe” St. Paul in the 1930s.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Twin Cities Art/ F. Scott Fitzgerald / Swedish Lunch / American Swedish Institute
(Sunday, May 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Open the morning with a fascinating ringside seat to learn about the vibrant visual and performing arts community in Minneapolis and St. Paul. What accounts for this cluster of creativity and what are the results?

In the latter half of the morning, delve into the Twin Cities’ literary lights. The focus will be F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose home at 599 Summit Avenue we’ll view in Saint Paul, as well as his influence on the area.

 Lunch: Enjoy Swedish delicacies at the American Swedish Institute and learn about "fika," a Swedish social institution. This is a daily break that is more about friends gathering to chat than the coffee and treats that accompany it.
 Afternoon: With an expert docent, delve into the Swedish heritage of the Twin Cities at the magnificent Turnblad Mansion, former home to Swedish immigrant newspaperman Swan J. Turnblad and today home to the American Swedish Institute. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, history comes alive at this French Chateau-style mansion with its beautiful blend of period rooms and galleries showcasing art and artifacts.

Enjoy some free time before dinner. Your Group Leader will suggest things for you to do on your own. You may also see a list of Free Time Opportunities at the end of this Daily Schedule.

 Dinner: Enjoy a superb meal at the hotel.
 Evening: Relax to the strains of exquisite music at a classical music concert by Flying Forms at a nearby venue.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: St. Paul and Victorian Mansions Via Coach / Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books / Minnesota History Center / Minnesota State Capitol
(Monday, May 26)
 Breakfast: At our hotel.
 Morning: Begin your day exploring historic St. Paul and lovely Summit Avenue by coach. You’ll be in awe of the incredible expanse of Victorian mansions built over a century ago — lining Summit Avenue for five miles! You’ve learned about author F. Scott Fitzgerald, now see where he lived, along with lumber barons and railroad millionaires.

Also on Summit Avenue, see the homes of Garrison Keillor and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Then swing by Common Good Books — this is Garrison Keillor’s bookstore — and spend a few minutes perusing the racks of this neighborhood bookstore and talk to a local author. Among notable books is architectural photographer Karen Melvin’s “Great Houses of Summit Avenue and the Hill District,” which takes you inside some of the grand Summit Avenue homes you’ve just experienced.

Then, at the Minnesota State Capitol, relish a look at one of the most beautiful capitol buildings in the nation — its marble dome second only in size to that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. You’ll get a historical panorama dating from early days to current political doings

 Lunch: At the Minnesota History Center café.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a captivating afternoon at the Minnesota History Center, exploring subjects as diverse as Charles Lindberg, Spam, wartime Minnesota, ice fishing, and butter sculptures from the Minnesota Fair. Don’t miss the Tornado House, where you step in and relive an actual tornado passing over your “house.” It’s an unforgettable experience!
 Dinner: On your own to explore many sumptuous options of local fare.
 Evening: At your leisure.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: A Guthrie Theater Experience: Architecture / Backstage / History / Performance Prep / Evening Performance of 'Crimes of the Heart'
(Tuesday, May 27)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: A memorable Minneapolis theater experience — culminating in Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” — awaits you today at the stunning Guthrie Theater, where an expert leads you on daylong illumination into the every aspect of the Guthrie — including the reasons Sir Tyrone Guthrie chose Minneapolis above all other cities to build his grand theater. Discover the architectural mastery of Jean Nouvel, French architect of the Guthrie, and winner of the 2008 Pritzker Award, the world's most prestigious architectural prize, for his brilliant design of the Guthrie. Cantilevered endless bridge, twilight-blue metal facade, two story-high images from Guthrie plays screen-printed onto steel panels — all exclaim a fascinating artistry. Go backstage to view its state-of-the-art costume and scene shops to understand how the Guthrie has taken stagecraft to a new level on its three stages.
 Lunch: At the Guthrie’s Sea Change restaurant, where James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee designed a core menu that focuses on sustainable seafood.
 Afternoon: Continue preparation for your upcoming evening performance of “Crimes of the Heart” with our Guthrie Theater expert, who enlightens you through lecture and discussion. By afternoon’s end, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the classic theater words, “Curtain Up!”
 Dinner: Enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: The pinnacle of your adventure in the Twin Cities is at hand at the renowned Guthrie Theater when you take your seat in the thrust stage performance space for “Crimes of the Heart,” a deeply touching Southern Gothic screwball comedy in which three young Mississippi sisters gather in their hometown to await news of their hospitalized grandfather. With troubles in life and with the law, the Magrath sisters navigate their pasts to seize the future in an imaginative and touching story. Writer Beth Henley won the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for her brilliant work.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Program Wrap-Up / Airport Transfers
(Wednesday, May 28)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will have a brief wrap-up session with our Group Leader to share and discuss program highlights. The program concludes with this session. Airport transfer available for those who booked their air through Road Scholar Travel Services.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Minneapolis, MN Basilica of St. Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary – America’s first Basilica – is a stunning, sacred place designed in Beaux Arts style by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray. But The Basilica is more than an important architectural Landmark. It’s a center for the arts, refuge for those in need and a beacon of hope for the metropolitan area.

-Built from 1907-1915, the vision of Archbishop John Ireland

-Stained glass windows tell the story of Mary’s life

Located at: 88 N. 17th St. Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  Cathedral of Saint Paul
This, the fourth Cathedral of Saint Paul, was the dream of Archbishop John Ireland, who secured the site in 1904. The Archdiocese was growing and Ireland saw the need for a "great Cathedral" to replace the third Cathedral, which was 46 years old at the time and too small for the growing congregation. One of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture, the Cathedral was designed by E. L. Masqueray.

The cornerstone was laid on June 2, 1907. The first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1915. Work continued on the interior for decades. On October 14, 1958, it was consecrated by Archbishop William O. Brady, securing its place among the premier houses of worship in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historical Buildings in 1974.

The Minnesota Orchestra and Vocal Essence are some of the groups that present concerts at the Cathedral each year. The waves of immigrants that flooded into Minnesota in the late 19th and early 20th centuries fueled the diversity that the archdiocese still enjoys. The Cathedral of Saint Paul has always been an open and welcoming community of faith. The Shrine of the Nations is a testament to the important roles that immigrant communities have played in the history of the Cathedral. These shrines surrounding the sanctuary honor saints who were important to the many different ethnic communities that helped to build the Cathedral that we see today.

Tours of the magnificent Cathedral of Saint Paul are held every Monday through Friday at 1:00 p.m. Tours are free of charge, though donations are gratefully received. Private tours may be scheduled by contacting Mary Connelly at 651.228.1766. Tours are suspended on Holy Days and civil holidays.

Located at: 239 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, MN For additional information, visit

  Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is operated by the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department. The zoo features a seal island, a large cat exhibit, a variety of aquatic life, primates, birds, African hoofed animals and a world class polar bear exhibit.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a half acre indoor and outdoor facility with a number of different wings dedicated to a variety of plant life including bonsai trees, ferns, orchids and seasonal flowers.

Information from For additional information call 651-487-8200 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

  Foshay Tower
The Foshay Tower, now the W Minneapolis – The Foshay hotel, is a skyscraper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Modeled after the Washington Monument, the building was completed in 1929, months before the stock market crash in October of that year. It has 32 floors and stands 447 feet (136 m) high, plus an antenna mast that extends the total height of the structure to 607 feet (185 m). The building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is an example of Art Deco architecture. Its address is 821 Marquette Avenue.

The Foshay Tower marked a significant landmark locally in the push skyward, as the tower was the first in the city to surpass the height of Minneapolis City Hall, completed in 1906. It remained the tallest building in Minneapolis until the IDS Center surpassed it in 1972.

Located at 821 Marquette Ave S. Minneapolis, MN

Open Monday through Saturday from 10am-6pm Sunday from 11am-5pm

No ticket sold 15 minutes before closing. For additional information, visit

  James J. Hill House
Completed in 1891, the James J. Hill House, in St. Paul, was the largest and most expensive home in Minnesota. It contained 36,000 square feet on five floors including 13 bathrooms, 22 fireplaces, 16 crystal chandeliers, a two-story skylit art gallery, a 100-foot reception hall, and a profusion of elaborately carved oak and mahogany woodwork. Sophisticated technical systems throughout the mansion provided central heating, gas and electric lighting, plumbing, ventilation, security, and communication.

Information from For additional information call 651-297-2555 or visit their website.

Located at: 240 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN For additional information, visit

  Loring Greenway
Following the tremendous success of Lawrence Halprin’s design and conversion of Nicollet Avenue into the pedestrian-friendly Nicollet Mall in 1967, and the 1973 design for Peavey Plaza by M. Paul Friedberg + Partners, this 20-acre project, also by Friedberg, was designed to connect Loring Park, the oldest mapped park in the city to Lawrence Halprin's Nicollet Mall.

Whereas earlier projects catered to the city’s business and commercial sectors, the Loring Park Redevelopment District aimed to encourage high-density, low-rise development (residential and a hotel complex). The results were 2,500 residential units and a 1/3-mile greenway.

Unlike other greenways constructed during this time, multiplying in suburban areas and taking advantage of their natural resources, this greenway was urban in nature. It was composed of a series of open spaces, beginning with an entry plaza along the mall, and moving westward, by way of a pedestrian bridge spanning La Salle Avenue, to conclude at Loring Park, where a new mist fountain was constructed as a terminating focal element. The rich sequence of pedestrian-scaled spaces includes diverse water features (fountains, sprays, channels), pavilions with tables and chairs, public sculpture, a sunken playground, shuffle board courts, and a site-specific furnishing palette of kiosks, bollards, seating and lighting.

Access next to Hyatt Hotel. For additional information, visit

  Lyndale Park Rose Garden
Showcasing 3,000 plants in 100 different varieties, the Lyndale Park Rose Garden is the second oldest public rose garden in the United States. Located near the northeast corner of Lake Harriet, the 1.5 acre garden was designated an official All America Rose Selections (AARS) test rose garden in 1946.

Information from For additional information call 612-230-6400 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

  Mall of America
As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Mall of America features 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore, including Nickelodeon Universe, the nation's largest theme park. Plus, there's no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota!

Information from For additional information call 952-883-8800 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

  Minneapolis Central Library
The stunning Minneapolis Central Library is conveniently located in downtown Minneapolis between Hennepin Avenue, the city's arts and theater district, and Nicollet Mall, the backbone of the city's business and shopping districts.

Designed to reflect residents' civic pride and deep commitment to education and literacy, Minneapolis Central Library offers nearly 100 percent access to its collection, the center of the third largest per capita public library collection of any major city in America with a collection of more than 2.4 million items--including books, DVDs, music, government documents and more.


• Designed by Cesar Pelli, the world renowned architect

• Other projects by Pelli include Manhattan's World Financial Center and the Wells Fargo Financial Center in Minneapolis

• Opened Saturday, May 20, 2006

• Eye-catching canopy roof that projects over Hennepin and Nicollet entrances

• 8,140 square-foot atrium links two buildings that make up the library

• Combination of transparent and translucent glass with seasonal Minnesota imagery such as water, snow, trees and prairie grass

• 18,560 square-foot "green" roof planted with low-growing, sun- and drought-resistant ground cover

Located at 300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  Minneapolis City Hall
Minneapolis and Hennepin County founders had a grand vision for their city when construction of the City Hall and Courthouse began in the 1880s. Just a decade prior to this it had become readily apparent that the existing -- and geographically separate -- city hall and county courthouse buildings had increasingly inadequate space for serving the needs of a rapidly growing frontier town. Finally, with much deliberation, a decision was made to join the two entities under one roof with the guidance of a committee comprised of both City Council members and County Commissioners.

The City Hall and Courthouse was built between 1887 and 1906 on the site of the first public schoolhouse west of the Mississippi River. Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis each occupied half of the building. The County ceremoniously moved in November 11, 1895 and the City followed on December 15, 1902. A 1904 Minnesota Statute decreed that both parties were to share in the care and regulation of the building under the direction of the Municipal Building Commission.

When completed, the City Hall and Courthouse had more than enough room for government functions - a blacksmith shop, a horse stable, a wool brokerage, and a chicken hatchery rented the building's excess space. After 1940, things started getting crowded and, despite major modifications, the only solution was a new building. Hennepin County moved most operations across the street into its new Government Center in 1975.

Located at: 350 S. 5th St. Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  Minneapolis Park & Recreation
Minneapolis Park and Recreation is one of the premier park systems in the United States. Its picturesque lakes, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work.

The Minneapolis Park System consists of 182 park properties, including local and regional parks, playgrounds, golf courses, gardens, picnic areas, biking and walking paths, nature sanctuaries and the 55-mile Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Together, these properties total nearly 6,732 acres of land and water.

Information from For additional information call 612-230-6400 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

  Minnehaha Park
Overlooking the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks, attracting over 850,000 thousand visitors annually.

Located at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, the 193-acre park features a 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs and river overlooks. The park contains oak, elm, silver maple, basswood, hackberry and cottonwood trees, as well as native and prairie woodland wild flowers.

Sea Salt Eatery Offers fresh seafood April through October.

Located at 4801 South Minnehaha Park Dr. Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
The Arboretum, in Chanhassen, features more than 1,000 acres of magnificent gardens, model landscapes, and natural areas-from woodlands and wetlands to prairie-with extensive collections of northern-hardy plants. Tour the Arboretum on 12.5 miles of garden paths and hiking trails.

Information from For additional information call 952-443-1400 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

  Science Museum of Minnesota
The Science Museum of Minnesota, founded in 1907, is a large regional science museum located on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul. The Science Museum's programs combine research and collection facilities, a public science education center, extensive teacher education and school outreach programs, and an Imax Convertible Dome Omnitheater to provide science education to our audience of more than a million people per year.

The Science Museum's building is 370,000 square feet, built into the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. The museum's 70,000 square feet of exhibition space includes a 10,000-square-foot temporary exhibit gallery and five permanent galleries covering the topics of palaeontology, physical science and technology, the human body, peoples and cultures of the Mississippi River, and the museum's collections. The Mississippi River flows just outside the windows of the museum and past the museum's ten acres of outdoor exhibits and programming space.

Located at: 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN or call for more information at: 800-221-9444. For additional information, visit

Both downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul both have a skyway network linking together buildings and attractions. Minneapolis' Skyway system links 69 city blocks and Minneapolis has 8 miles of skyways - the largest system in the world.

When it's freezing cold, or horribly humid and hot, the Minneapolis skyways are a climate-controlled haven. Yes, people from other cities think we are like hamsters in a exercise run. But it's bliss to leave your coat at the office in winter or not worry about sunburn in the summer.

Getting into Minneapolis Skyways

The glass skyway tunnels are obvious. Getting into them can be less so. A couple of buildings have "Skyway Connection" marked on their doors, but most assume you just know the way in.

Actually it's quite easy to get in. Usually, going into any building with tunnels going in and out on the second floor, and the way to the skyway is marked or you'll be able to see the way. If it's rush hour or lunchtime, just follow the crowds!

Navigation in Minneapolis Skyways

Navigating the skyway system can be tricky. Most look very similar and there's only a few signs, and fewer maps. It's also easy to get disorientated in Minneapolis' skyways, since most office buildings and most tunnels look the same. Add distracting shopping malls and attractions and it's easy to get lost if you are not familiar with the system. A map is an essential piece of equipment.

Minneapolis Skyway Maps

If you are in Minneapolis the free magazine Downtown Guide is widely distributed in magazine racks in Minneapolis skyways, and has a skyway map printed in the back.

When are the Minneapolis Skyways Open?

The opening hours of the skyways in Minneapolis are controlled by the buildings they link.

Minneapolis' skyways are not open 24 hours. Most open from early morning until late at night. The skyways are open fewer hours on Sunday, usually closing in the early evening. For additional information, visit

  The Loft
Founded in 1974 (incorporated in 1975), The Loft Literary Center is one of the nation's leading literary arts centers. The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature.

Their core values are that literature is essential, writing can be taught, inclusiveness is imperative, boldness brings excellence, community makes them strong, and wise management fuels their success.

Each year the Loft engages more than 3,000 beginning, intermediate and advanced writers in learning opportunities, hosts more than 100 authors in readings and dialogues that draw more than 10,000 people, connects with more than 160,000 unique visitors through digital resources on our website, collaborates with at least 30 local and national organizations to enrich the literary environment and, through contracts, awards, and grants, pays writers more than $400,000.

In their evaluations, 96% of students report that their class helped them improve their writing, 91% identified their next steps as a writer, and 94% would recommend their class to others.

Located at: 1011 Washington Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  The Museum of Russian Art
Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), is a member-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of all forms of Russian art and artifacts. The only North American museum of its kind, TMORA features a dynamic rotation of originally curated exhibitions showcasing extraordinary works of art seldom displayed in the United States. Through the Museum’s educational programs and diverse exhibitions, visitors can explore new perspectives on the history, heritage and art of Russia and surrounding cultures.

Through the universal language of art, visitors to TMORA explore new and unique perspectives on Russia, a country with a recorded history that spans over one thousand years. Recognizing the importance of educating current and future generations about Russian art and related cultures, TMORA’s exhibitions are designed to provide our guests with an opportunity to examine important artistic achievements and historical events through the works of the region’s most esteemed artists.

Housed in a beautifully renovated historic building, the Museum’s multi-level galleries provide a tranquil and intimate setting for TMORA’s exhibitions and educational events. We look forward to welcoming you to The Museum of Russian Art, a cultural venue like no other.

Located at 5500 Stevens Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN For additional information, visit

  Walker Art Center
Formally established in 1927, the Walker Art Center became the first public art gallery in the Upper Midwest. The museum’s focus on modern art began in the 1940s, when a gift from Mrs. Gilbert Walker made possible the acquisition of works by important artists of the day, including sculptures by Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and others. Today the Walker Art Center ranks among the five most-visited modern/contemporary art museums in the United States.

Information from For additional information call 612-375-7600 or visit their website. For additional information, visit

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

AIA Guide to the Twin Cities: The Essential Source on the Architecture of Minneapolis and St. Paul

Author: Larry Millett

Back to the Cabin

Author: Dale Mulfinger

Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook (1950)

Author: Betty Crocker

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians

Author: Anton Treuer

Great Houses of Summit Avenue and the Hill District

Author: Karen Melvin

Leaving Rollingstone

Author: Kevin Fenton

Main Street

Author: Sinclair Lewis

Minneapolis Madams: The Lost History of Prostitution on the Riverfront

Author: Penny Petersen

Minnesota’s 20th Century: Stories of Extraordinary Everyday People

Author: D.J. Tice and Richard Olsenius

Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines

Author: Jack El Hai

O What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound

Author: Garrison Keillor

Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel

Author: Garrison Keillor

Rez Life

Author: David Treuer

St. Paul Union Depot

Author: John Diers


Author: Jon Hassler

Storm Front

Author: John Sandford

Tamarack County

Author: William Kent Krueger

The Florist's Daughter

Author: Patricia Hampl

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The North Star State: A Minnesota History Reader

Author: Anne Aby, ed.

Through No Fault of My Own: A Girl's Diary of Life on Summit Avenue in the Jazz Age

Author: Coco Irvine


Author: Sarah Stonich

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768