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5 Facts About Minnesota's Capital: How Well Do You Know St. Paul?

By    |   Friday, 10 April 2015 06:59 AM

For many, the first city that comes to mind when Minnesota is mentioned is Minneapolis, which is the biggest city in the state in terms of population and a center for industry, sports and tourism.

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But just across the Mississippi River sits St. Paul, the second largest city in the state when it comes to population. Sure, it’s a little brother when it comes to the number of people living within the city limits, but St. Paul offers plenty for locals and tourists alike, so much so that it has a legitimate claim to being on an equal level as Minneapolis. After all, St. Paul is the state capital and touts itself as the “Most Livable City in America.”

Here are five facts about St. Paul to let you know how significant this city is:

1. St. Paul touts itself as a quality place to live and is ranked often on lists showcasing the best cities in America, one of the highlights when it comes to facts about St. Paul. Just how good is this city? According to the city’s website, in 2011 alone, it was featured in the top echelons for cities in the following categories by the following publications: Best quality of life and business friendliness by Financial Times; Xcel Energy Center in Top Stadium Experiences by ESPN Magazine; and best job markets in the United States by Forbes (including Minneapolis). In 2010, Forbes named the Minneapolis/St. Paul area Third Best Market for Young Professionals, among many other accolades. Many media references include Minneapolis and St. Paul, the “Twin Cities,” both play an integral role in the success.

2. St. Paul embraces its history as a hotbed of prohibition-era gangster life, not exactly something you would expect to hear from locals when it comes to facts about St. Paul. Sure, it’s a little rough, but this is a claim-to-fame nonetheless. According to the St. Paul Convention & Visitors Bureau, the city originally was a bit ashamed. “It now has no qualms about polishing up its bad-boy past and selling the romance of gun molls and guys in pinstripe suits.”

According to a quote on the bureau’s website, gangster Alvin Karpis said in his autobiography, “Of all the Midwest cities, the one I knew best was St. Paul, and it was a crooks’ haven. Every criminal of any importance in the 1930s made his home at one time or another in St. Paul.”

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3. St. Paul has more city shoreline along the Mississippi River than any other American city, according to the city’s website, and that is big among facts about St. Paul. And that’s significant when you consider that the river passes through many major metropolitan areas as it goes from upstate Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

4. St. Paul is home to two professional sports teams, the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League and the St. Paul Saints of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Xcel Energy Center hosts the Wild and brings in the best hockey players in the world to play in the top worldwide league. The Saints play in a baseball league that is one of the most recognizable independent franchises in the nation. According to baseballreference.com, the capital city has played host to a minor league baseball team continuously since 1993 and before that, the Saints had teams from 1901-1960 without any breaks despite two world wars.

5. St. Paul has the longest stretch of restored Victorian homes in the United States, according to visitsaintpaul.com, a tribute to history when it comes to facts about St. Paul. Summit Avenue is known worldwide on tourism websites and the American Planning Association named Summit Avenue within both the Summit-University and Summit Hill neighborhoods one of the 10 best streets.

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For many, the first city that comes to mind when Minnesota is mentioned is Minneapolis, which is the biggest city in the state. But across the Mississippi River sits St. Paul, the second largest city and capital city of Minnesota.
facts, minnesota, capital, st paul
Friday, 10 April 2015 06:59 AM
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