Plan the perfect weekend getaway
4 fun-filled itineraries
Weekend Getaway Ideas
Discover your perfect weekend itinerary for shopping, family fun, or a trip with friends. Here are 4 fun-filled itineraries to visit the capital city’s historic neighborhoods, dine on seasonal offerings from local restaurants, and make memories with friends and family at museums, markets, sporting events, and more.
1 | Shop Saint Paul
Treat yourself with a weekend exploring the unique shops in Saint Paul! Spend your Saturday on Grand Avenue, a stretch of retail paradise in the heart of one of Saint Paul’s iconic residential areas. Before you hit the shops, fuel up with a signature latte and freshly baked pastries at Café Latte, a family-owned staple in Saint Paul (and stop back later for a slice of their infamous turtle cake).
Find a fashion collection from small designers all over the world at ATELIER957, and visit trendy boutique Trade Winds for fair-trade and sustainable style. Pick up a new read at Red Balloon Bookshop, find the cutest gifts to give at Good Things, or discover Celtic jewelry and glassware at Irish on Grand. Toast to your shopping success at Salut Bar Américain’s daily happy hour, then top off the day with their “petit plats,” or shareable plates of seafood, cheese, and breads.
Sundays on Selby Avenue can’t be beat. The French Hen Cafe, featuring French and Creole-inspired food made with locally sourced ingredients. All its food offerings are excellent, but we’d especially recommend the savory crepe or salmon scramble. As you meander down Selby, you’ll find timeless wardrobe staples and statement coats at IDUN and the perfect shade of lipstick at LipEsteem. Shop secondhand and vintage at Lula and Everyday People Clothing Exchange, and find adorable trinkets and decor at Patina.
2 | Family Fun
The Minnesota Children’s Museum, located downtown, is three floors of pure family fun. Little ones can splash around at the Waterworks exhibit, explore magical castles and shipwrecks, and let their imaginations run wild! While downtown, it’s worth a visit to Candyland, a snacks and confections store the whole family will love. Go on a family safari at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, where you’ll encounter lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! While the zoo is free, reservations are required, so don’t forget to plan ahead.
Your future scientist will love the Science Museum of Minnesota. Spend hours learning about everything from the Mississippi River to the mighty dinosaurs on three floors of interactive exhibits before being swept away in an immersive movie experience at the Omnitheater. For even more science fun, visit the Bell Museum to learn about natural history through world-famous dioramas. See moose, cranes, and even a wooly mammoth, and wonder at the night sky together in the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium.
Dinnertime is also playtime at Can Can Wonderland. This whimsical attraction has mini-golf, zany abstract sculptures, arcade games, a full menu of kid-approved foods (aka chicken tenders and pizza), plus a pour-it-yourself tap wall for adult chaperones.
3 | Besties Getaway
Grab your pals for a few days in Saint Paul to indulge your creative side, shop local, and reconnect with friends over a meal at one of Saint Paul’s fantastic restaurants. On Fridays, the only thing better than eating out with friends is cooking it together. Saint Paul’s Cooks of Crocus Hill invites your friend group to learn the ins and outs of cooking with a fall-themed cooking class. Learn how to cook with your favorite fall ingredients like maple syrup, pecan, apple cider, and butternut squash, then savor the delicious fruits of your labors. Be sure to plan ahead—these classes are a hot ticket!
Keg + Case West 7th Market was once a historic brewery and has since transformed into a home for 20+ shops, restaurants and artisans. You’re sure to find something you love—whether it’s Pimento Jamaican Kitchen’s authentic street food, an all-natural lotion from Soapy Toads, or a sustainably-made candle at Roseline’s Place. As the day wears on, channel your energy into something creative. Novices and artistic types alike will enjoy a private group class at Pig’s Eye Pottery, one of the highest-rated Pottery & Wine experiences in the state.
What could be a more classic night out than dinner and show? The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is one of the best performance venues in the Twin Cities and is conveniently surrounded by several swanky dinner spots. Enjoy a meal complemented by a selection from the critically acclaimed wine list at the St. Paul Grill, located across the street from the Ordway inside the historic Saint Paul Hotel. Also nearby, dine on crab cakes and shrimp at Kincaid’s Fish, Chops & Steaks or wood-fired New American fare at Momento, one of Saint Paul’s newest must-visit restaurants.
Best friends and Sunday brunch are a match made in heaven. Hope Breakfast Bar’s mouthwatering brunch menu has everything from classic egg scrambles and southern fried chicken and waffles to innovative takes on French toast. Indulge your sweet tooth at The Buttered Tin, the restaurant and bakery founded by “Cupcake Wars” winner Alicia Hinze.
4 | Urban Escape
Gather a crew and explore the city’s riverside trails, breweries, and sporting events—and let loose!
Be transported back to Saint Paul’s gangster era with a historic tour of the Wabasha Street Caves on Friday. Spend the afternoon exploring the stories of the city’s Prohibition-era or go on the eerie Ghosts and Graves bus tour to learn about the ghosts that haunt the buildings of Saint Paul. While you’re in the neighborhood, pay a visit to Wabasha Brewing Company and El Burrito Mercado, a local favorite for authentic Mexican food.
On Saturday, hike down Saint Paul’s well-maintained walking and biking trails to Hidden Falls Regional Park and see—you guessed it—the hidden falls! While you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit to the Two Rivers Overlook. Here, you’ll take in views of where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers merge, an important historic and spiritual site for the Mdewakanton Dakota people and a trading and military site for early Americans.
And now, let the West 7th brewery tour commence! First up is Summit Brewing Company, which is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of Twin Cities craft brewing. On Saturdays, the brewery offers tours for groups of up to 15 people and a guided tasting of four award-winning beers. Don’t forget to make a reservation for this popular activity.
Stop by Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery, an official Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Site which serves German-style beer, bratwurst, schnitzel, and strudel. It’s a great place for beer, lunch, and a taste of Saint Paul’s heritage. Across the street at Bad Weather Brewing Company, try the Hopcromancer (a citrusy IPA) or the Orange Cream Ale. The brewery conveniently offers a free shuttle from the taproom to the Xcel Energy Center during Minnesota Wild home games. While you’re there, stock up on all your Wild gear at the Hockey Lodge.