We crossed the river! That phrase has never meant much to me since I'm a transplant but people here like to play up the faux rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Scott and I have already walked around a huge chunk of Minneapolis and though I will never tire of exploring all of its nooks and crannies, I do like to change things up.
For this walk, I chose a few spots to serve as our destinations. To save on time, we drove our car to Cretin Avenue and Summit Avenue and parked across from the University of St. Thomas campus. We walked along Summit Avenue until Fairview Avenue. We stopped at Whole Foods-the first one in the Twin Cities which has been there since 1995. I am not sure if this is happening but the internet tells me that they may be relocating to Snelling and Selby.
We walked a bit more and as I suspected, discovered Macalester graduates walking around in robes which meant we'd be crashing their commencement while looking around campus. Even though I lived near the college when I lived in St. Paul, I've never toured the campus. We just did a quick lap around campus but someday I hope to have an alum show me around. My first impression is that it was a typical small school. I didn't find any of the buildings particularly beautiful.
We then picked up our pace because Scott thought I was being too pokey taking iPhone photos. We walked along the streets parallel to Snelling Avenue until we hit Aldine Avenue and took that until we found Burning Brothers Brewery in a pretty industrial area. We were 45 minutes early so we backtracked and walked along University Avenue and discovered Dickerman Park, Iris Park, and a festival at the YMCA. We made our way back to the brewery but we were still a bit early so Scott suggested we sit at a picnic table at the YMCA Child Development Center. It was oddly relaxing and Scott later told me it was his favorite part of the day (he's not hard to please, I guess).
Burning Brothers opened their doors and they greeted us by saying "what can we help you with" which I found to be kind of odd because there is exactly one reason to go to a brewery. They had one beer on tap, Pyro. It was a sorghum based American pale ale. I was glad they offer half-pints since I'm not really drinking that much alcohol these days. We talked to them about their brewing process since they are completely gluten-free. It was surprising to find out that they use malt extracts rather than start with the grain. By the time we were ready to leave the taproom was starting to fill up. It's so fun to see the number of people enjoying taprooms around the Twin Cities. I'm definitely glad we stopped for a beer.
After leaving Burning Brothers, we opted to stay on Thomas Avenue which runs parallel to University Avenue and is mostly residential. I'm glad we did because we ran into Groundswell where we stopped for lunch, funny stores at Snelling and Thomas Aves, a beautiful church, and it was easy to get downtown to stop at our next destination - Tin Whiskers Brewery.
Once downtown, it was fun to walk near the Minnesota State Capitol. I have never been inside - something I need to change!
We arrived downtown on the west side or the Minnesota State Capitol and walked around the outside of of it. We continued south through downtown. The Lowertown area of St. Paul is getting more development and just this week the Lunds grocery store opened which is a big deal for people who live and work in the area. We made our second beer stop at Tin Whiskers which had opened the previous day. It was a fun environment and several tables had groups of people playing board games. Scott's favorite drink of those we tried was the stout. After Tin Whiskers, we headed to the recently renovated Union Depot.
We walked west along the Mississippi Rive with the intention of going to Summit Brewery. Thankfully I thought to double check their taproom hours and we realized we weren't going to make it in time. We changed course and walked toward Summit Hill. We stopped at Irving Park Historic District, a beautiful neighborhood that transports one to another place and time. We walked up Summit Hill and walked by so many beautiful mansions before stopping by my first apartment when I moved to the Twin Cities. I lived at Lincoln and Dale in the Oakview Apartments. We continued our walk on Grand Avenue and it was fun to check out new businesses and ones that have been there for more than 12 years (I lived in the neighborhood in 2002). We stopped for dinner at Brasa Premium Rotisserie, a much needed fuel stop. We were both starting to get pretty tired and sore. We walked on Grand until Hamline Avenue and then we walked down Summit Avenue. We celebrated passing our distance record for the year and when we got close to the car we realized we were so close to 18 miles that we'd walk around until we hit it. There was a trail down the middle of the boulevard so we only had to walk an extra block! It was a wonderful day and makes me excited to explore more new spots this year!
What a great day! I would walk 18 miles every day if I could.
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family