Roseville MN (Minnesota) is proud of the fact that it’s ‘Perfectly Positioned’ for a visit to Minneapolis and St Paul and I would have to agree! It’s the only town to border both of the cities to the North and is located just off the I-35W giving quick access to many places in the Twin Cities! Roseville dates back to the mid 1800’s and holds a few crazy USA ‘firsts’, it was home to the very first Target store in America and the first McDonald’s in Minnesota!
Disclosure: My trip to Roseville and the surrounding areas, was hosted by the Roseville Visitors Association. As always, opinions are my own!
Residence Inn by Marriott
One of the benefits of basing yourself in Roseville, is that it offers a quieter alternative the hustle and bustles of the larger cities, yet still close enough to be a ‘part of the action’. I stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott Minneapolis St Paul/Roseville, in a quiet business park area. The hotel is newly renovated and offers everything for a comfy stay.
For just $20 a night extra, you can upgrade from a studio room to a 2 bedroom suite with (as it says on the tin): 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large sitting area, dining room, a full kitchen (with Marriott popcorn for a snack!) and 3 TVs. My favourite part was the real fireplace which was much needed during the worst April blizzard in 10 years! The fire was on a timer so it simply turned itself off after a while. The WiFi had great connectivity…being an expat I video chat home a lot from hotels so the video quality is a great way to gauge this!
Other facilities at the Residence Inn that I loved was the free breakfast (egg, sausage, oatmeal, waffles, cold items etc), the gym (last minute workout before my 5K race in Downtown Minneapolis) and the swimming pool and hot tub (much needed relaxation AFTER my 5k race!). There’s even an outdoor basketball court and a 2 mile walking path! On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the hotel also holds social evenings.
And being in Minnesota, they even have salt and snow shovels available to use if your car gets buried in a blizzard…!
Roseville also has some of the cheapest lodging tax in the area 😉
Another Roseville first! The Bent Brewstillery is Minnesota’s first brewstillery! It’s a mash up between a brewery (beer) and a distillery (spirits/whiskey). The taproom is right next to where the magic happens, you can see giant barrels and fermenters through the fence! My favourite way to experience a micro brewery is to have a flight of beer, which is a great way to sample several flavours, especially when the Bent Brewstillery offer so many unique choices!
They stole a little piece of my heart when I discovered that one of their year round beers called “Nicked” has the London Eye and Big Ben on the beer tap handle and the can! Yay, England! Another London style beer is called Enuff, being from Essex this is spot on pronunciation! I also tried the Pub Stout with Coconut which was AMAZING and the Plum Surprised…very fruity!
A blizzard doesn’t stop the taproom from opening, but it did unfortunately cancel the Saturday food trucks! They also offer free tours of the brewstillery on a Tuesday. If there are no special events going on, there’s plenty of popcorn and board games to keep you entertained.
Grumpy’s Bar and Grill
The name is what drew me to Grumpy’s and it certainly didn’t disappoint, I had fun just reading the menu, it’s full of sarcastic comments and descriptions! It’s a bit like Minneapolis/Roseville’s cheaper answer to Dick’s Last Resort…just in written form rather than verbal abuse! They have daily events and a breakfast menu at the weekends (available until 3pm)…just in case you can’t find anything on the regular menu which is HUGE. Of course the food was tasty as well!
(Read the Mock Duck BBQ Sandwich!)
The Roseville Visitor Guide
I recommend picking up a copy of the Roseville MN visitor’s guide (the Residence Inn had them in the lobby area). It’s jam packed full of information and inspiration of things to do while in the area. The coupon book in the centre is an awesome resource to help save pennies during your visit to Roseville. Such as: lodging discounts, attraction/tour discounts and coupons that can be used at the local restaurants…including a buy one get one free draft beer coupon for the Bent Brewstillery…you can thank me when you’re drinking your free beer!
St Paul – 10 Minutes Away
The city of St Paul is just 10 minutes from Roseville. I visited Can Can Wonderland, an artistically creative indoor mini golf course, complete with vintage arcade games and a huge range of unique cocktails and milkshakes! As a mini golf fanatic, I thought this course was absolutely brilliant. $14 – over 12 yrs, $10 under 12 and military.
There are so many attractions in the St Paul area! The Minnesota State Fair takes place during the last week of August at the fairgrounds located in St Paul (just 5 minutes from Roseville). I had planned to visit Como Park Zoo and Conservatory…a FREE attraction (although there is a suggested voluntary donation of $3 for an adult and $2 for a child), however the blizzard cut my trip short, although I’m sure the polar bear was absolutely loving life! (The zoo was OPEN though even with the bad weather conditions). The Wabasha Street Caves look really interesting, as does the Science Museum of Minnesota! The Cafe Astoria located on Grand Ave serve colourful coffees which would be an Instagrammer’s dream…I’m gutted I missed out!
Downtown Minneapolis – 10 Minutes Away
Just like St Paul, Downtown Minneapolis is just 10 minutes from Roseville too! Even in the snow, the journey only took 15! I took part in the 5K Hot Chocolate Run in which Minneapolis is one of the annual host cities. The run starts in Boom Island Park, crosses the Mississippi River, continues along the W River Pkwy before crossing back over the river on the Stone Arch Bridge which was a former railway bridge. It’s a good job there was a blizzard during my run because I would have stopped to have taken about 5 million photos of this area and my race time would have been awful. I had seen the Stone Arch Bridge from the I-35W and was desperate to take a picture of it but alas, it just wasn’t meant to be.
(On top of the Stone Arch Bridge in a blizzard)
On the left (out of shot) is the St Anthony’s Falls. Just to the right in the picture above is the Mill Ruins Park area and the Mill City Museum. I hear from a fellow Midwest Blogger that this is well worth a stop!
I loved the look of the architecture in Downtown Minneapolis but as you can see, the weather really wasn’t on my side so I was unable to just wander around and take it all in, I could barely open my eyes because of the heavy snowfall!
As an expat, driving along University Avenue was fascinating. A lot of this road is home to the University of Minnesota and you go by a whole line of fraternity and sorority houses with the greek letters on the front! It’s something that Brits would consider a stereotype from films but it really does exist! It feels like you are driving along a movie set!
*Tip* There are hundreds of different parking lots in Downtown Minneapolis. I used Best Parking to find the car park with the best rate as some can be very expensive. This site was recommended in the Hot Chocolate run participant guide!
Bloomington – 20 Minutes Away
If there isn’t enough to keep you entertained in Roseville, St Paul AND Minneapolis, 20 minutes from Roseville is Bloomington, MN! Bloomington is where the absolute monster that is the Mall of America is located! You could easily spend a day at the Mall alone! Not only are there over 500 shops to choose from, but you’ll also find North America’s largest indoor theme park and multiple other attractions including a Sea Life centre!
As you can see, even on a blizzard hit weekend I still managed to cram so much in to my visit to Roseville! Roseville has an average summer temperature of 70F/21c and an average winter temperature of 19F/-7C. As you can see, there are plenty of indoor attractions to visit on a cold/rainy day but there are equally multiple ways to enjoy the outdoors on nicer days too! Visit the Roseville Visitors Association website to start planning your trip. Or you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter!
Thanks again to the Roseville Visitors Association for their awesome hospitality!