Welcome to Minneapolis!
Locals work and play in downtown Minneapolis. They live there, too – 35,000 people call downtown home. That’s because this glittering metropolis is easy to get to, easy to get around and easily one of the most vibrant, engaging cities in America. Hot restaurants, cool shops, festive events and diverse entertainment ranging from professional sports to Broadway shows keep downtown constantly buzzing. Safe, friendly and compact, downtown is a destination and a community in one, which is what your attendees will love about Minneapolis, too.
Green isn't just a concept in Minneapolis; it's a lifestyle. As one of MSN's "World's Cleanest Cities," we strive to make every aspect of our daily lives uphold this belief. We bike instead of drive. Our transit system is eco-friendly. We harness rain through rain gardens and green roofs. Our businesses take part in green practices via green roofs to create healthier and more efficient buildings. Restaurants are sustainable and earth-friendly by using ingredients grown here in Minneapolis. With our "Green Initiatives," we make this city shine, so check out how you can experience the many green aspects of Minneapolis for yourself.
Check out the sites in two of America's premier cities while you're here. Take in a play at the famous Guthrie Theatre, State Theatre, Orpheum Theatre or Children's Theatre. See fine art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts or the Walker Art Center. Check out the great shops and restaurants along Hennepin Avenue. Or cheer the feats of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx, Twins or Vikings.
Don't stop there. Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, offers its own treasures for residents and visitors alike. Take the family to Como Zoo, the Minnesota Children's Museum or the Science Museum of Minnesota. See the Minnesota Wild take to the ice. Cruise the Mississippi on a paddleboat. Or experience live performances at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts or any of the city's other renowned theaters.
- SHOP: Northeast Minneapolis is full of independent boutiques and local shops. Take a look around Melrose Antiques for an eclectic variety of antiques and vintage items. Swing by The Bibelot Shop for cute souvenirs, home accents and Minnesota-themed gifts. Or, drop by the trendy Parc Boutique for a small shop feel and the latest fashions for women.
- PLAY: Take a walk across the iconic Stone Arch Bridge and savor a scenic view of the Mississippi River. Or, head for a night filled with good beer, good company and a mean polka band at Nye’s Polonaise Room. Hop on the Pedal Pub for a tour around historic Northeast Minneapolis, which allows you to bike, explore, socialize and have a few drinks simultaneously.
- FREE: Take a free tour of the historic Ard Godfrey House, Minneapolis’ oldest remaining frame residence. Tours are available summer weekends (special group tours available year-round upon request).
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is not part of any city but is nestled among several. The airport is surrounded by Minneapolis, St. Paul (Twin Cities) and the suburban cities of Bloomington, Eagan, Mendota Heights and Richfield. Because of this central location, you aren't far from anywhere in the metro community when you land at MSP.
A light rail system connects the airport to downtown Minneapolis and several other locations. Buses, taxis and shuttles are also available for ground transportation.
A range of services offering travelers transportation to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is available: Taxi, limousine, light rail, van and shuttle services, and car rental companies all operate at MSP. There is the Super Shuttle where advance reservations can be made. ESA attendees get about a 12% round trip discount. It makes it $12 each way. Currently there is a 10% fuel surcharge in effect. Your code for calling 1-800-258-3826 is 5TK56 or https://frs.firstinservice.com/ESA_Travel_Request_Form.php
Read more about the Super Shuttle (pdf).
Public transportation is available through Metro Transit, which provides both Light Rail Transit and public bus service within the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Ground Transportation Information: The Terminal 1-Lindbergh Ground Transportation booth on Level T is staffed seven days a week from 6 am to midnight. Staff provides information, directions and other assistance to travelers.
The Minneapolis Saint Paul railroad connection is through Amtrak’s Empire Builder, with passenger trains serving the area daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. Greyhound intercity buses arrive and depart daily to and from all parts of the country. Downtown terminals in Minneapolis and Saint Paul offer convenient access to hotels, restaurants and shopping. Call Greyhound Minneapolis at 612-371-3325. In Saint Paul, call 651-222-0507.The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) is committed to assisting our customers in achieving their sustainability goals for meetings and conventions, as well as recognizing the importance for our facility, customers, employees and community. The following sustainability efforts are currently underway at the MCC.
Light Rail Transit & Airport Stations
Humphrey Terminal Light Rail Station Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains stop at both Terminal 1-Lindbergh and Terminal 2-Humphrey and connect travelers to 17 other destinations, including downtown Minneapolis to the north and Mall of America to the south. Trains run between terminals around the clock, seven days a week, every 7 to 8 minutes during peak times and 10 to 15 minutes at other times of day. The Light Rail Transit page has more information about LRT service at MSP.
Metro Transit Map of LRT Stations http://www.metrotransit.org/blue-line-map
The Terminal 1-Lindbergh light rail station is located below the Transit Center, between the Blue and Red Parking ramps. From the Tram Level (one level below bag claim), take the tram to the Transit Center. When you exit the tram, follow the signs to the light rail station, located 70 feet underground.
The Terminal 2-Humphrey light rail station is located on the north side of the Orange parking ramp. From Level 1 near Ticketing take the elevator or escalator up to the Orange Ramp skyway. Follow the signs to the LRT station. Take the escalators or elevators down one level to the station platform.
The light rail stations are fully accessible.
Trains run every 10 minutes during peak hours and typically every 10 to 15 minutes at other times of the day.* From the airport, trains can take you to Mall of America in about 12 minutes and to the Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis in about 25 minutes. If you have a layover and plan to take the train away from the airport, please allow time to travel and return.
*While trains run 24 hours a day between terminals, times between trains can be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes between the hours of 10:30 pm and 5 am. Be sure to check the light rail schedule at Metrotransit.org if you plan to utilize this service during these hours.
•Tickets are sold at ticket machines at the rail stations.
•Light rail fares for adults are $2.25 during rush hours (Monday through Friday, 6 to 9 am and 3 to 6:30 pm) and $1.75 at other times.
•Reduced fares are available for seniors, children and persons with disabilities. Children 5 and under ride free (limit 3) when accompanied by a paid fare.
•For more information, visit the Metro Transit website, www.metrotransit.org/light-rail.
•No ticket is needed to travel between airport terminal stations.
Nice Ride is a bike sharing program dedicated to building community around a convenient easy-to-use transportation option that gives residents and visitors a healthy, fun, different way to get around town.
Nice Ride, 3834 10th Ave S, Suite 3, Minneapolis, MN 55407
See map: Google Maps
Phone Number: 612.436.2070
The official ESA travel agent, Joseph Vengersammy with First in Service Travel, has arranged for discounted flights to Portland. Please note there is a $35 fee for using his service. Contact Joseph by email at email@example.com, by phone at 212-398-6555 ext. 1290, or by mail at 130 West 42nd Street, Suite 401, New York, NY 10036. http://frs.firstinservice.com/forms/ESA_Travel_Request_Form.php
Minneapolis Convention Center will be the site of the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting. The 2002 expansion brought the entire Minneapolis Convention Center up to current ADA standards. In fact, the building received the Minnesota Access Achievement Award, presented by the Minnesota Society of Architects, for its attention to access:
- All entrances in the front of the MCC have at least one set of power-assisted doors.
- There are 3 unisex single-wheelchair restrooms.
- Wheelchair seating and sound enhancement tools are available in the auditorium.
- From the skyway, people can reach the first level of the MCC via accessible elevators and escalators.
- Wheelchairs can negotiate walkways that are carpeted (no padding) with a depth of less than one half-inch of closely woven pile. In uncarpeted areas, the flooring is terrazzo tile.
- The marshalling yard in the rear of the MCC may be used for raised van parking.
The Minneapolis Convention Center is committed to sustainability and assisting our customers in achieving their sustainability goals for meetings and conventions as well as recognizing the importance for our facility, customers, employees, and community. The Minneapolis Convention Center strives to be the best facility possible for its clients, its staff, and its community. Part of that mission includes integrating a no-waste mentality. This mindset has become the cornerstone of our sustainability program.
In the past year, we have announced three sustainability goals related to waste, energy, and water. These initiatives are in the planning and design phase. With all three goals, we have developed oversight, design, and implementation teams consisting of staff from all levels and departments in the organization.
With four distinct seasons and dozens of international culinary traditions, Minneapolis restaurants offer farm-to-table experiences you won't find anywhere else.
Take the short drive to area orchards and farms, or one of our local Minneapolis Farmer's Markets, for just-picked produce and local specialties. Sit down to a meal by an internationally-known chef at a Minneapolis restaurant. Farm fresh ingredients inspire many local chefs. Last year alone four local chefs were nominated for the James Beard Award - the Oscar of culinary - including Tim McKee of La Belle Vie and Solera, and Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa Rotisserie. Experience the flavors of Sweden, Germany and Poland -- or Somalia, Vietnam and Mexico. From fine Minneapolis restaurants to local fairs, you'll find a culture of locally-grown, globally-inspired foods that nourish body and soul. http://www.minneapolis.org/visitor/food-wine
Minnesotans know how to make the most out of nice weather and good food. When the weather is warm, dining al fresco is the top choice. Head to the rooftop of Brit’s Pub in Minneapolis in the summer and enjoy watching lawn bowling on their beautiful rooftop while munching on traditional British cuisine. Or, walk over to enjoy the view from the rooftops of Solera and Crave in the heart of the Hennepin Theatre District. Saint Paul’s WA Frost and The Liffey also top the list of patio and rooftop dining experiences.
Minneapolis Saint Paul is filled to the brim with farm-fresh fare and scrumptious dishes that will leave you hankering for more. Taste the best from our James Beard award-winning chefs like Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery, Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Tim McKee of La Belle Vie and Masu Sushi & Robata. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Gather in the Walker Art Center. Grab a pie at numerous local pizza joints like Pizzeria Lola or The Black Sheep. Enjoy Mediterranean dishes at Iron Chef contender Sameh Wadi’s Saffron. Head over to Saint Paul’s Lowertown where thrice James Beard-nominated Chef Lenny Russo uses locally-grown, farm fresh ingredients at the popular Heartland, while Meritage, which USA Today named a top place for oysters, serves up French American plates and scrumptious oysters.
Taste from around the world at many top-notch ethnic eateries. Flavors from different countries and continents, including Scandinavia (of course), South America, Africa, India and Asia, can all be found. From the south end of Minneapolis to 29th Street, Nicollet Avenue becomes Eat Street—filled with blocks upon blocks of local eateries serving up everything from Greek to Vietnamese. Try some Thai at Jasmine 26, Caribbean at Harry Singh’s and Malaysian at Peninsula. Or you can always hit up the Midtown Global Market for a little bit of everything. http://minneapolis.eater.com/
Dine Like A Local
Spotlight Matt’s Bar & the 5-8 Club: We don’t want to get in the middle of a burger war, so we’ll mention both these places for their signature Jucy Lucy/Juicy Lucy (spelling dependent on where you go). These cheese-filled burgers are beloved and have earned a national reputation (featured on Food Wars). Matt’s Bar, 3500 Cedar Avenue S., Minneapolis, 612-722-7072, www.mattsbar.com; 5-8 Club, 5800 Cedar Avenue S., Minneapolis, 612-823-5858, www.5-8club.com
Blue Door Pub: For even more Juicy Lucy goodness, head to this small restaurant and choose to stuff your burger with bites of pineapple or jalapeno. 1811 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, 651-493-1865, www.thebluedoorpubmn.com
Haute Dish: For Midwestern cuisine with style, check out this spot in the North Loop of Minneapolis. Dine on a Tater Tot HauteDish made with short ribs or bite into a lamb meatball casserole. 119 Washington Avenue N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8484, www.haute-dish.com
Bryant-Lake Bowl: Add some action to your evening. Start with a delicious bar meal before strapping on bowling shoes or grabbing a seat with a view of the stage. 810 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, 612-825-3737, www.bryantlakebowl.com
Birchwood Café: Head over to this neighborhood joint for some good old home cooking and a slice of the best key lime pie in the area. 3311 E. 25th Street, Minneapolis, 612-722-4474, www.birchwoodcafe.com
Day By Day Café: This restaurant on Saint Paul’s West Seventh Street offers up scrumptious breakfasts (and soups, sandwiches and salads, too) and a cozy patio during the summer months. 477 Seventh Street W., Saint Paul, 651-227-0654, www.daybyday.com