Port of Saint Paul
Cruising and Travel

The City of Saint Paul is known as the "last city of the East" because its founders built it to fit eastern standards. The Port of St. Paul is a city of squares, parks, towers, turrets, arches, domes, and elaborate architectural adornments. Although it has big-city attractions, the Port of St. Paul has a small-town atmosphere. Easy, scenic strolls along the Mississippi connect the Science Museum and the Children's Museum.

Visitors will not want to miss the Port of St. Paul's impressive State Capitol building or historic Como Park with a conservatory, a zoo, and wonderful picnic areas. The Port of St. Paul offers natural wonders, old mansions, and modern museums in addition to unique shops and a range of lodgings and dining to meet any budget.

The Port of St. Paul has a continental climate with hot humid summers and cold snowy winters. It has one of the world's biggest ranges of temperatures for any city, and the Port of St. Paul experiences the full gamut of weather events including tornadoes, thunderstorms, ice, sleet, snow, and fog. The Port of St. Paul sometimes falls prey to cold Arctic air masses and serious winter conditions. Temperatures range from an average high of 28°C (78°F) in July to an average low of -14°C (6°F) in January. Humidity levels range from a high of about 85% in August and September to an average low of about 73% in April. Snowfall lasts from late October until early May, and as much as almost 11 inches can fall in January and March.

The Port of St. Paul's Minnesota Children's Museum offers seven galleries that give kids to 10 years old hands-on and fun learning experiences. "Funstigators" roam the facility involving kids in play activities. This Port of St. Paul museum is open from 9am until 4pm on Tuesday through Thursday, from 9am until 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 9am until 5pm on Sunday. It is closed on Monday. Admission is $8.95, although children under one years old can enter free of charge.

Permanent exhibits at the Minnesota Children's Museum in the Port of St. Paul include Earth World that immerses visitors in Minnesota's range of environments. Habitot® is designed for toddlers to experience the State's four natural habitats. Our World reflects the diverse neighborhoods in the State in a community-building experience. Rooftop ArtPark is an outdoor gallery where visitors can create their own works of art in the sandcove, climb a 3.7-meter (12-foot) tree fort, or dance under the shadow dome. World Works fosters observational skills in an action-packed hands-on environment.

The Port of St. Paul's Summit Avenue is known for its historic many buildings. The street stretches for 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles) from the Mississippi River to the downtown Port of St. Paul. A well-preserved sampling of a Victorian boulevard, Summit Avenue boasts homes, schools, synagogues, and churches. The Port of St. Paul's Summit Avenue is part of two National Historic Districts and two City of Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Districts. Historic Hill and West Summit Avenue are the National Historic Districts. Port of St. Paul city districts include Summit (or Crocus) Hill and Ramsey Hill. Most of the buildings in these areas were built between 1890 and 1920. The American Planning Association named Summit Avenue on of the country's ten "great streets" in 2008.

The Cathedral of Saint Paul is one of the United States' most distinctive cathedrals. Overlooking the downtown Port of St. Paul from Cathedral Hill, it has a beautiful copper-clad dome. In 2009, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican designated the Cathedral of Saint Paul the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. Open from 7am until 7pm every day, this Port of St. Paul cathedral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Tours of the cathedral are conducted from Monday through Friday at 1pm, except on Holy Days and civic holidays. While the tours are free, donations are greatly appreciated. Private tours are also available. This cathedral in the Port of St. Paul was designed by E.L. Masqueray, and it is one of the best examples of Beaux Arts architecture anywhere in the world. The parish is the host for regular organ concerts, and the Minnesota Orchestra and Vocal Essence present concerts here every year. The Shrines of the Nations within the Cathedral honor the saints for the different ethnic communities that helped build the structure.

River Rides is a great way to learn about the Port of St. Paul from the river. The 1.5-hour river cruises include snacks and beverages in addition to stories about the city from the captain. In addition to the regular public cruises, River Rides offers sightseeing, meal, and specialty cruises as well as holiday brunches.

The Port of St. Paul's Minnesota Centennial Showboat and Event center is the University of Minnesota Department of Theater Arts and Dance summer home. Ever summer, they bring 80 performances to the stage. From September through May, the vessels is available for private rentals. The Centennial Showboat has a 225-seat theater and two reception rooms with a luxurious Victorian d├ęcor. Completely heated and air-conditioned, the showboat operates in all Minnesota weather. The main and second decks are enclosed, and there are outdoor areas at the bow on both levels.

To learn about the river cruise and Showboat schedules, search for "St. Paul" on the Cruise Compete website.

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