LGBT Travellers

Minneapolis has one of the country's highest percentages of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents, and the city enjoys strong LGBT rights. Pick up the free, biweekly magazine Lavender (www.lavendermagazine.com) at coffee shops around town for info on the scene. Top picks:

Wilde Cafe It features amazing baked goods, riverfront digs and a Victorian ambience worthy of its namesake, Oscar Wilde; Lavender once ranked it 'best cafe.'

Gay Nineties This long-standing club has dancing, dining and drag shows that attract both a gay and straight clientele.

Pride Festival One of the USA's largest, drawing more than 300,000 revelers.

Media

City Pages (www.citypages.com) Weekly entertainment freebie.

Pioneer Press (www.twincities.com) St Paul's daily newspaper.

Star Tribune (www.startribune.com) Minneapolis' daily newspaper.

Tourist Information

Minneapolis Visitor Information The staff at this downtown tourist office will bend over backwards to help you set up an itinerary, sort out transportation, or find a place to eat or drink. In addition to the piles of brochures and maps, there's also an on-site souvenir and gift shop.

Travel with Children

Note that there are many other top sights for little ones in St Paul, at the Mall of America and Fort Snelling.

Minnesota Zoo You'll have to travel a way to get to the respected zoo in suburban Apple Valley, which is 20 miles south of town. It has naturalistic habitats for its 400-plus species, with an emphasis on cold-climate creatures. Parking is $7.

Valleyfair If the rides at the Mall of America aren't enough, drive out to this full-scale amusement park 22 miles southwest in Shakopee. The animatronic dinosaur park ($5 extra) is a big hit. Save money by booking tickets online. Parking costs $12.

Children's Theatre Company This local troupe is so good it won a Tony award for 'outstanding regional theater.'