Fun Wallet-Friendly Activities
See the Wooly Mammoth at the Bell Museum
The Best Budget-Friendly Activities in Saint Paul
Looking to get away on a budget? Saint Paul is a city full of destinations and fun wallet-friendly activities that you can enjoy during your stay. History, art, parks, markets, and more are just a few of the things available to experience this season. Here’s your guide to the best budget-friendly trips in the capital city.
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Take a tour of one of Saint Paul’s many historic sites to learn about the city and its well-known landmarks. For those into politics, visit the place where government decisions are made, and learn about the Minnesota State Capitol’s history during a free guided tour. As the second-largest, self-supported marble dome in the world, it’s easy to spot the beautiful architecture and decorative art throughout the building.
Just steps away in downtown is the famous Landmark Center. Built in 1902, the Landmark Center is full of storied history. What used to be the Federal Court House for the upper Midwest has evolved into a cultural center for arts and entertainment. Both public-guided and self-guided tour options are available to see this gem in Saint Paul.
Stop by Union Depot to learn about history, recent renovation, sustainability initiatives, and more with a tour of the iconic landmark. The Depot currently serves as a transportation hub and event center.
Right on the outskirts of downtown lies the Wabasha Street Caves, the only remaining Gangster Era site in the city. During Prohibition, the caves acted as a restaurant and casino—and a notorious gangster hot spot. Take a tour to learn about the history of the location and the haunted legends that surround it.
If you’re up for a spring stroll, take a walking tour of historic Summit Avenue—the longest stretch of Victorian mansions remaining in the country. Along the tour, see famous sites including the Cathedral of Saint Paul, James J. Hill House, F. Scott Fitzgerald House, and many more.
Day of Discovery
Art, history, science, and more are all at your fingertips. Saint Paul is home to museums of many interests—and many provide affordable (and free!) admission to explore. Located in downtown Saint Paul, the Minnesota Museum of American Art is the oldest art museum in Minnesota. Right now, you can take a tour of the museum’s exterior exhibitions in windows and skyways surrounding the Pioneer Endicott building—with the interior galleries set to open in fall 2023.
For history buffs, stop by the Minnesota History Center to browse exhibits, see live programs and performances, and explore the state’s vast history. With easy accessibility, affordable admission, and a welcoming atmosphere for people of all ages and interests, the History Center is the perfect place to bring the family for a day of discovery.
At the University of Minnesota Saint Paul, the Bell Museum displays Minnesota wildlife, native plants, and solar exhibits. Check out the digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits, outdoor learning experiences, and more to get an inside look at the life systems throughout the state.
A Walk In The Park
Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter; Saint Paul can be explored year-round. Home to a variety of gardens, artwork, and amusement attractions, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is the perfect place to embrace any season in all its glory. The zoo and conservatory are free to attend, 365 days a year, and hosts special events throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back afternoon where you can embrace the nature around you, the Twin Cities’ park system is ranked No. 2 in the nation, making outdoor recreation easily accessible in and around Saint Paul. Check out a local favorite, Harriet Island—located right on the Mississippi River. Amid the beautiful city views of the downtown skyline, have a picnic or take a stroll along the park’s perimeter. Just steps away is Raspberry Island, a small park on the river. The island includes a walking path, planting beds, benches, and lighting during the evening.
Try Something Different
There’s no need to break the bank when trying out local food options in the city! Stop by Keg and Case Market for a unique lineup of food, drink, and retail. Throughout the spring and summer, weekend markets welcome new vendors and a calendar of various entertainment as well.
For a warm day outside, locally sourced produce, maker crafts, plants, and more are offered year-round at the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market. The market is operated by the Saint Paul Growers Association, allowing only locally grown produce to be sold. Take in all the smells and sights every weekend starting at the end of April.
Have you found other budget-friendly ways to explore Saint Paul? Share your adventures with us using #MYSAINTPAUL!