Hundreds of green building professionals from around the Midwest will gather this month in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the annual IMPACT conference and expo.
Now in its seventh year, IMPACT is where you can learn about best practices and proven methods from leading architects, engineers and contractors in sustainable design and construction.
Headed to Saint Paul for IMPACT? We’ve created a guide on where to visit in Minnesota’s capital city during your trip.
Quick facts about Saint Paul
- Population:Approximately 302,398, as of July 2016
- Number of LEED-certified commercial buildings in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area: 323
- Fun fact: The city was originally called Pig’s Eye before it was officially named Saint Paul
For those flying into the city, the closest airport to the conference location, Saint Paul RiverCentre, is the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Visit the city’s tourism website for more information regarding city bus service, car rentals, hotel shuttles and light rail transit.
Where to visit
Historical landmarks and museums
Founded in the mid-1850s, Saint Paul is a city with a rich and colorful history. The area is home to over 100 landmarks listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Victorian-era homes like the Alexander Ramsey House and several world-class museums. Some spots to check out include:
- Cathedral of Saint Paul—Modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the cathedral is one of the most prominent buildings in the city and offers weekday guided tours.
- Science Museum of Minnesota—The museum offers exhibits exploring technology, natural history, physical science and mathematics. It has five permanent galleries, 10 acres of outdoor exhibits and an IMAX theater.
- Minnesota History Center—The museum and library features interactive exhibits about Minnesota’s state history and is managed by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Parks and recreation
You can find numerous parks, nature reserves and hiking trails within the Saint Paul area, including:
- Como Park Zoo and Conservatory—The scenic zoo and conservatory offers free admission and is home to indoor and outdoor botanical gardens and a variety of animal exhibits, including polar bears, giraffes and gorillas.
- Rice Park—The downtown park boasts a large fountain and is a popular spot for festivals and concerts throughout the year.
If you have a few extra hours to spare during your stay, some shopping and retail centers to visit include the Mall of America and Grand Avenue. For a full list of places to shop, visit the city’s tourism website.
- Mall of America—Located just outside of the Saint Paul area, the Mall of America is the largest shopping mall in the United States, with more than 500 stores and an amusement park.
- Grand Avenue—This long avenue is home to a variety of shops and restaurants and spans 25 blocks.