2021 Travel Dates to the World Class Cities in my Back Yard: Fav Photos

Cher’s Photo Favs for 2021

01 January 2022

The World Class City in my Back Yard!

During most of 2021, travel outside of the United States was discouraged and often impossible due to the continued threats by COVID-19 and its variants. When I realized that I had two world class cities and numerous world-class sites in my back yard – right here in Minnesota – I set out to explore the world and world-class cities just outside my back door. I began by looking at my home town through the eyes of traveler. I asked: what would I want to see if I were visiting here for the first time?

I embarked on Travel Dates with my favorite fellow traveler, my fabulous husband, Skip – as well as other family & friends.

Exploring the World Class Cities in my Back Yard!

Welcome to a 2021 version of Cher’s Top Ten Places – & more – to Visit in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA – including a section of Farther Afield!

Here are some of my favorite photos – of my favorite places – with links for your further enjoyment in the blogs I wrote about each one.

Sculpture in Ice

Our year of Travel Dates began on a sunny, cold Minnesota winter afternoon with a drive around Minneapolis in the hunt for the Art In Ice Exhibition by the Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art) around the Minneapolis parks and lakes.

I love sculpture! Especially I love sculpture as displayed in the gallery of the great outdoors! Not surprisingly, much of my visits and favorites included sculpture!

Chinese Celestial Horse

Ice version of the Chinese “Celestial Horse” at the Mia.
P.C. Cher B. – 2/2021

Your Dog

Your Dog” at the Mia by Yoshitomo Nara.
P.C. friendly fellow traveler. 2/2021

Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees

Ice version of Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” at the Mia.
P.C. Skip B – 2/2021

Sculpture Gardens

Sculpture in the Grand Outdoor Gallery of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum showcases world famous art by world famous artists.

Blue Cock

Cher with the Big Blue Rooster – “Cock” by Hahn at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
P.C. Mary L. – 7/2021


Cher & Mary L at “LOVE” by Robert Indiana in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
P.C. friendly fellow traveler. – 7/2021


Cher enjoys the outdoor sculpture garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, Minnesota.
P.C. Skip B – 7/ 2021

Sculpture in Public Spaces

We embraced local history with iconic and revered sculpture in the streets and public buildings

Lucy” in Rice Park, St. Paul – by local “Peanuts” cartoonist, Charles Schultz

Skip & Cher with “Lucy” character by local cartoonist Charles Schultz in Rice Park, St. Paul.
P.C. kind fellow traveler – 9/2021

“Father of Waters” – aka Mississippi River – in Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda.

Cher rubbing the big toe of the “Father of Waters” in rotunda of City Hall, Minneapolis.
– 9/2021P.C. Skip B

Grain Miller” outside the Pillsbury “A” Mill, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis

Cher with “Grain Miller” outside the Pillsbury “A” Mill, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. Reminiscent of her great grandfather who worked in this mill in 1888
P.C. Skip B – 9/2021

Sculpture Honoring Minnesota Greats

Minnesota is home to many great people with international fame! Here are just a couple whose lives and legacy we explored.

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, sculpture in downtown Minneapolis of favorite daughter who made us famous with the the Mary Tyler Moore Show!

Cher with Mary Tyler Moore Sculpture on Nicollet Avenue, downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
P.C. Skip B – 8/2021

Coach Herb Brooks, Olympic “Miracle on Ice” Hockey legend

Skip & Cher with sculpture of Herb Brooks, Minnesota Hockey Great, in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.
P.C. friendly cafe server – 8/2021

Prince, iconic Minnesota musician; sculpture outside Paisley Park, his Minnesota home/museum

Cher with Prince symbol at Paisley Park, Chanhassen Minnesota.
P.C. Skip B – 9/2021

An Immersion in Famous Art

Great art came to town with the Van Gogh Immersion Exhibit I enjoyed with my daughter, Amy, for her birthday. It was almost like traveling to Amsterdam – but with a whole lot less time – and money!

Starry Night”emerges

Cher & Amy take selfies in the exhibition mirrors.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Gogh” to Van Gogh!

Cher at the fun entrance to the exhibit.
P.C. Amy B – 8/2021
Cher taking a selfie in the mirrors throughout the exhibition.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Nature in the City of Lakes

Minnesotans fully embrace our fabulous lakes, especially during the summer. Our travel dates lead to exploration of the “City of Lakes” – Minneapolis – Chain of Lakes. It was filled with diversity and surprises in the 5 major lakes: Bde Maka Ska/Calhoun, Cedar, Harriet, Brownie and Lake of The Isles.

Brownie Lake

Brownie Lake.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Lake Bde Maka Ska/ Calhoun

Lake Calhoun / Bde Maka Ska.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Nature in Islands, Rivers & Waterfalls

With the Mighty Mississippi River flowing through the heart of both Minneapolis and St. Paul, we discovered the treasures and secrets of its numerous islands – and the lore of the historic St. Anthony Falls.

Raspberry Island, St. Paul

St. Paul Rowing Clubhouse on Raspberry Island, Mississippi River, with Harriet Island in the background, St. Paul Minnesota.
P.C. Cher B 8/2021

Nicollet Island, Minneapolis

Nicollet Island on the Mississippi River, Minneapolis.
P.C. Cher B 8/2021

St. Anthony Falls & Hennepin Island, Minneapolis

St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River from the Stone Arch Bridge, Hennepin Island on th e right and Lock and Dam on the left.
P.C. Cher B 8/2021

Nature in Gardens & Cemeteries

Minnesota is filled with beautiful landscapes and natural settings. We explored these settings not only in luscious Gardens but also enchanting Cemeteries

Lakewood Cemetery

Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, next to Lake Bde Maka Ska / Calhoun.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, Minnesota.
P.C. Friendly Arb Gardener – 9/2021

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, Minnesota.
P.C. Cher B – 9/2021

Scandinavian Roots

Minnesota is home to many Scandinavian immigrants, including all four sets of my Swedish grandparents. Exploring my Scandinavian Roots began this year at the American Swedish Institute, the Norway House and Swede Hollow Park.

Swede Hollow Park

Cher at Swede Hollow Park, St. Paul.
P.C. Karen B – 5/2021

American Swedish Institute

Front of the Trumbull Mansion at the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis.
P.C. Cher B – 5/2021

Norway House

Cher at the Norway House, Minneapolis.
P.C. Michele H – 5/2021

Tall Places with Grand Views

Showcasing the mighty Mississippi River and magnificent architecture, we had the opportunity to enjoy scenic views from tall places!

Raspberry Island from the law library at the St. Paul Government Center

View of Raspberry Island and Mississippi River from atop the St. Paul Government Center.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Stone Arch Bridge from the Guthrie Theatre

Skip & Cher on the Guthrie Theater cantilever with view of the Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi River, Minneapolis, MN
P.C. kind fellow traveler – 9/2021

Foshay Tower Observation Deck.

Cher atop the Foshay Tower, Minneapolis.
P.C. Skip B – 8/2021

Magnificent Places of Worship

Minneapolis & St. Paul have magnificent places of worship with art and architecture which I believe rival many places in Europe.

Pieta replica at St. Paul Cathedral

Replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta (St. Peter’s, Vatican City) at the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

St. Paul Cathedral

Skip & Cher in worship center of Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul, MN.
P.C. fellow traveler – 8/2021

Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis

Cher on sculpture of immigrants, special exhibit at Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, MN.
P.C. Skip B – 8/2021

Grand Government Buildings

We often think of government buildings only for their function. We were instilled with awe and pride as we discovered the grand architecture and sculpture we discovered!

St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Government Center.

“Vision of Peace” Onyx sculpture in the lobby of the St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Government Center.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021
Art Deco designed St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Government Center.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul

Skip in the rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021
Minnesota State Capitol with the quadriga of gold horses.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Minneapolis City Hall & Hennepin Country Government Center

“Father of the Waters” marble sculpture in the rotunda of Minneapolis City Hall.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021
Minneapolis City Hall &Hennepin County Government Center, Minneapolis.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

Farther Afield: St. John’s University & Abbey

A good Travel Book always includes a section of Farther Afield, stepping just outside the main cities. For us, this included a day trip to St. John’s University & Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota – about 1 hour northwest of the Twin Cities. It is easily accessible by car via an interstate highway. Highlights were seeing some of the areas for which it is famous (besides being a great university!)

St. John’s Bible

Cher with pages of the St. John’s Bible, illuminated Scripture.
P.C. Skip B – 8/2021

St. John’s Abbey world famous Bell Tower

St. John’s Abbey Bell Tower.
P.C. Cher B – 8/2021

St. John’s Potter, Richard Bresnahan

Cher with famous potter, Richard Bresnahan, in famous St. John’s pottery studio.
P.C. Skip B – 8/2021

Dining & Drinking

Travel is incomplete without sampling the local culinary delights! We enjoyed local breweries, quaint outdoor cafes and lots of ice cream shops!

St Paul Brewing

St. Paul Brewing, St. Paul, Minnesota.
P.C. our kind server 8/2021

The Astor

The Astor on St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
P.C. our kind server. 9/2021

Ice Cream near St. John’s University

Ice Cream stop in St. Joseph, Minnesota, new St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota.
P.C. Our kind server 8/2021

As we move forward into 2022. . .

We plan to continue with our Travel Dates in the exciting places in our backyard. We’ve barely scratched the surface!

After two years of sticking close to home, we ventured out into the world in January 2022 with time at the sunny, white sand beaches of Clearwater Beach Florida and a southern Caribbean cruise. Check back for upcoming blogs on these adventures!

2 thoughts on “2021 Travel Dates to the World Class Cities in my Back Yard: Fav Photos

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