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Daycations in the Twin Cities: What To Do if You Need a Vacation, but Only Have a Day

By Lavender June 4, 2009

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The Twin Cities is packed with excellent record stores for those die-hard collectors willing to sift through piles, rows, and stacks of albums, albums, albums. Shopping for records all throughout town is an excellent way to spend time getting to know the Cities, and have a minivacation while staying close to home.

Minneapolis is home to Treehouse Records, Hymie’s Vintage Records, and Electric Fetus. These stores are devoted to the avid collector’s every fantasy. Except for Electric Fetus, which stocks many goodies any record-lover would drool over, the stores are records-only, making the search somewhat easier. Other recommended shops are Know Name Records in Minneapolis and Eclipse Records in St. Paul.

Another fun slice of amusement heaven the Twin Cities has to offer is the trendy but ever-so-enjoyable day of what hipsters deem “thrifting.” This entails going all over the metro looking for classic, vintage styles that are cool to bring back to modernism.

Via’s Vintage, although a bit pricey for ancient clothes, has racks of classy, one-of-a-kind pieces that would boost anyone’s style rating. Blacklist Vintage is the store to go to if you’re looking for unique clothes and a lower price than Via’s. From feather hats to moccasin boots to vintage dresses, Blacklist is a must-go-to shop for a day of thrifting. Other such stores include Buffalo Exchange, Everyday People, Rewind Vintage, and Value Village.

If you hit all those stores, and still come home with a penny to spare, you just may want to top off your Minneapolis daycation by tossing that well-saved coin in the Heffelfinger Fountain in Lyndale Park’s Rose Garden. It’s a site worth seeing, and a great addition to the day.

Minnesota is a lake haven, and the Cities offer numerous ones to play in. Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet are all massive bodies of water that provide more than just a beautiful dreamscape.

Minneapolis offers boat rentals as a way to traverse the waters, and spend some time outdoors. Renting a kayak at Lake Calhoun costs $11 an hour, or $15 an hour for a double kayak. If kayaking isn’t your style, the more relaxed pedal boat costs $16 an hour for a single, and $21 an hour for a double. Taking a stroll around the lakes is also fun way to spend the afternoon, weather permitting.
The “City of Lakes” certainly offers more to do than just parade around the water, and hit up the shops.

Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is an exploratory-history collection, documenting the flour milling industry that made Minneapolis the city it is today. According to <www.Millcity.org>, Minneapolis once was considered the “Flour Milling Capital of the World,” and the city was built around the mills. The museum is a place to gain an understanding of the role the milling industry played in the development of the city, providing an inside look at what Minneapolis was like years ago. Head to the Web site for information about upcoming events to add to your Minneapolis daycation list.

A trip to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul is another way to take a daycation, while staying close to home. The best part is, it’s free. A day at Como Park entails a lot to discover: the Blooming Butterflies Exhibit, featuring hundreds of flittering creatures (starting mid-June); the Summer Flower Show, displaying a wide array of organic beauty (running all summer through October); and visiting cougars, polar bears, and puffins.
Whether your day is spent knocking down some pins—and beers—at Memory Lanes; taking a stroll down Nicollet Mall; or touring any of the beautiful museums in the Twin Cities, one thing is obvious: You don’t need to leave the comfort of your town in order to take that much-needed daycation.

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