Roseville, Minnesota: Gateway to the Twin Cities

Continuing my “Midwest Summer Tour”, the Twin Cities of Minnesota was on my list of places to check out this summer. The nearby town of Roseville promotes itself as “perfectly positioned” near the Twin Cities, but I was skeptical. 10 minutes from downtown? My Chicago brain refused to believe any suburb could be conveniently located to the downtown area, but I decided to give it a shot. Hey! What do you know, not every metro area has gridlocked, soul-sucking traffic like Chicago! Much to my surprise, I was able to reach many spots within St Paul and Minneapolis within 10 minutes of my Roseville hotel, and I also found some fun things to do right in Roseville! There are tons of options for lodging, dining and shopping right in Roseville, many of which are also dog-friendly!

Bent Brewstillery

Roseville’s Bent Brewstillery started with a Mr Beer hobby kit and has grown into an award-winning operation. They offer a rotating selection of craft brews and spirits, including Poitin, which is a potato-based spirit. The owner, Bartley, has taken an innovative approach to business with unique ideas like partnering up with a local restaurant to use their potato peels to make the Poitin. Bent Brewstillery is dog-friendly (no kitchen) but they also have a rotating schedule of food trucks outside so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach. The brewstillery also has a calendar of special events, such as a visiting astronomer the weekend I visited. Bailey enjoyed the backroom tour while I enjoyed sampling each of the spirits!

Bartley, owner of Bent Brewstillery giving us a back-room tasting

Rosedale Center

If shopping is your jam, you will probably make a beeline for the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington. I consider shopping to be more of a chore, so visiting Mall of America is about as appealing to me as Disney World. That said, I had errands while I was in town (I like to take advantage of free parking and light traffic when I’m not in Chicago!) and found nearby Rosedale Center. I was pretty stoked when I found out there is no sales tax on apparel in Minnesota, so it was a great place to stock up on some basics.

Reservoir Woods

Reservoir Woods is one of many parks within Roseville city limits, with several multi-use trails throughout. Finding the main entrance was tricky, and we ended up coming in through the back. In hindsight, I wish I had printed out a trail map so I would have been more comfortable exploring. We stuck to the main paved trail, but saw several single-track trails veering off into the woods. There is also an off-leash dog-park here. This is a great, quick escape for a dose of nature as you hardly even realize how close you are to homes and streets.

Reservoir Woods, Roseville

Minnehaha Falls Park

Located in Minneapolis, Minnehaha Falls is a great urban oasis. The main attraction of the park is the 53-foot waterfall. There is a trail along the river and spots where you can soak your paws along the way, which was much-needed on the 90-degree day we visited. The park also features a wading pool, disc golf course, volleyball courts, public art, historic sites and the Sea Salt Eatery. Pay lots are readily available and inexpensive.

Mill City Museum

With temps soaring into the 90’s, it was time to let Bailey chill in the A/C while I explored downtown Minneapolis a bit. I headed to the Mill District and the Mill City Museum. The whole neighborhood is a restored industrial area which now includes the museum, a waterfront park and some cool loft apartments. The museum entrance ($12) included a ticket to the Flour Tower, where we ascended the old grain elevator and were treated to animated scenes from the history of General Mills when the elevator doors opened on each floor. The museum also had interactive exhibits for kids and a great gift shop full of local specialties. (I’m a sucker for museum gift shops!)

The observation deck also provided excellent views of the Mississippi River, and the Stone Arches Bridge.

Night Photography

I love night photography and the Twin Cities were a great place to give it a go. The skyline and numerous bridges are so photogenic, and I felt pretty safe walking around at dusk with all of my camera equipment. Many people stopped to chat, mostly about my dog, of course. (Story of my life – everyone knew an Airedale in their youth, apparently!)

Residence Inn Roseville

I stayed at the Residence Inn, Roseville for the weekend. I love extended stay hotels because I feel like I could totally just move right into one! (I actually did live in one for 5 weeks when relocating to Chicago and I was in no hurry to move out!) The Residence Inn is pet-friendly and didn’t prohibit leaving B alone in the room, as many hotels do. The pet fee is $75, which is high, but as an extended stay, it’s a reasonable fee if you are staying several nights. In addition to the indoor pool, the hotel also has a nice outdoor area with grills and patio furniture. Rooms here are slightly less expensive than staying downtown, but once you factor in free parking, it’s definitely a great deal!

Have you been to the Twin Cities? What’s your favorite spot?

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Roseville Minnesota

I was a guest of The Roseville Visitors Association. These are solely my personal opinions and I was not financially compensated for this post.

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32 thoughts on “Roseville, Minnesota: Gateway to the Twin Cities

  1. Interesting post as I know nothing about this area, but have to say – love that you have an airedale! I grew up with 4 different airdales (at different times) and they are a family favorite. I hardly know other people with airedales so had to mention that! Glad you found so much to do in Roseville and that it was a short drive to the city! #theweeklypostcard

    • See?! Everyone knew an Airedale growing up, but you don’t see them very often now. Super fun dogs, lots of energy!

  2. Your dog is adorable! The waterfall looks really impressive. I stayed at a Residence Inn when I relocated and loved it too. It definitely makes you feel more at home than a regular hotel. I also love their happy hours! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  3. Wow what an interesting area! I have never considered visiting Minnesota before, but I like the sound of a dog friendly Brewstillery! That view from the observation desk is awesome! You rarely see cool bridges like that in the US. Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    • There is so much to do in Minnesota – especially if you like lakes! The north woods are pretty incredible, too…just bring your bug spray!

  4. Howdy from Texas! OK can we say how cute that dog it?? Love how the dog is tagging along on the adventures! I love to explore more of Minnesota other than Minneapolis – this place looks delightful!

  5. Scott and I have some dear friends in Minneapolis who visit us annually, and I really feel like it’s our turn to go up there and see them. I haven’t been to Minnesota since college, and even then it was August and the weather was 40 degrees the whole week! I need a redo.

    • Yikes, that is crazy! It was over 90 when I visited in June…Midwest weather is a total crapshoot!

    • Great area to visit – smaller than Chicago so it’s not overwhelming (or expensive), but still plenty of options!

    • I know…if I’m going to be in the area, I’ll definitely plan to stock up on shopping!

  6. What an amazing doggy you got!!! I always scroll through a post before reading it and I just had to stop at all the pictures. Bailey is just super cute! Have never been but I like the brewery (also because it is doggy friendly) and because they have foodie trucks out front.
    I try to take a picture of my dog it just keeps moving haha – the best shots I have of him is when he is running!!

  7. Love finding off-the-beat locations and places I have never heard of before, such as this one. It looks really great and I love all the green. Thanks for sharing!

  8. That’s awesome that you have fun destinations nearby! Love those night photos and what a cute pup! I definitely want to visit that brewstillery when I visit.

  9. I’ve only ever been in the area to use the airport, so this was all new to me. I love how many parks seem to be nearby despite the urban layout. And it really does look there is so much to do in town (love that there is a dog-friendly brewery). I’m now really tempted to follow in your footsteps!

    • It’s a fun weekend trip – our Midwest summers are so short, we love to get outside as much as possible.

  10. Minnehaha Falls Park and the Mill both look amazing! I love posts like this because these are places that I may never have thought to check out otherwise, but it looks lovely! I’d love to go on a walk up to that waterfall

  11. What an interesting article. I used to live in Minneapolis almost 18 years ago and have not been back. From your post. it has really changed…a lot! Mill City did not exist at the time. This has definitely made me curious to go back and visit again.

    • You should go back – it’s always fun to see how a city has changed. I lived in Seattle 10 years ago and wow, it’s so different!

  12. Yep…Rob’s one of those people with an Airedale in his youth, and every time he sees one, he goes gaga over it. We’ve been to Minneapolis and really enjoyed it, especially the Mill City area. It’s very pretty. We have not been to Roseville, though. Maybe on our next trip – those parks look so inviting! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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