Lonely Planet calls Minneapolis “the artiest town on the prairie,” acknowledging the bustling city’s rural roots, its event calendar bristling with theater openings and art shows and its artist-friendly coffee shops. Visitors can check out the city’s seven-acre sculpture garden, lakeside cycling paths, historic Fort Snelling, Saturday morning farmers' market and the zoo. The 15th busiest airport in the U.S., the Minneapolis airport served 32 million travelers in 2009. While you're visiting Minneapolis, you can beat the rush to the ticket counter by booking rooms in a hotel near the airport.
Mall of America
Love it or hate it, Minneapolis is home to the massive Mall of America, which contains over 520 stores and 50 restaurants and attracts millions of visitors each year -- including 5,000 couples who have chosen to get married there since its 1992 opening. Guests staying at the Holiday Inn Bloomington-Airport in Minneapolis enjoy free shuttle rides to the shopping extravaganza. Round-the-clock airport shuttles are also free. Shoppers who didn’t burn enough calories walking the half-mile loops around each mall level can work out at the hotel’s on-site fitness center or relax tired muscles in the hot tub.
The Super 8 Bloomington/Airport motel offers reasonable accommodation for budget travelers. Rooms come with recliners; guests pay extra for in-room whirlpool tubs and rooms permitting pets. Free perks include airport shuttle transportation, continental breakfast and wireless Internet access. On-site amenities include a workout room and business center. Guests traveling from Minneapolis to other destinations can arrange to leave their car at the motel.
Minneapolis offers numerous sightseeing attractions and activities for family vacations. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Minneapolis features family-friendly packages that incorporate tickets to Nickelodeon Universe, Underwater Adventures Aquarium and the Mall of America; continental breakfast; and a pizza-and-soda dinner. The hotel partners with area restaurants for local dinner delivery for nights when dragging the kids out after a long sightseeing day doesn’t seem like a pleasant option. Families can chill out in the hot tub or splash around in the pool, or explore nearby bowling, jogging, skiing and volleyball facilities. Guests can book free 24-hour airport shuttles.
Airport hotels can offer luxury and elegance. The Sofitel Minneapolis, located within 10 miles of the airport, provides guests with walk-in rain showers, flat-screen high-definition TV and oversize work spaces. Rooms include wireless Internet access and special safes for laptop computers. The on-site French restaurant and bar, renovated in 2010, serves upscale and gourmet dishes. Romantic packages feature chilled champagne and handmade chocolates; golf packages include a round of golf at the nearby 18-hole golf course.
- modern minneapolis image by geophis from Fotolia.com