City weekends

  • Chicago as you like it

    Chicago is like one big theme park. The thing is, you have to bring your own theme. I have one every time I go there: Blues and bicycling. Museums and dim sum. Skyscrapers and food tours. That's because the possibilities are endless. There's so much to do in Chicago that it's easy to bounce around like a kid in a candy store, overwhelmed by choices, as time runs out.

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  • Pinching pennies in Chicago

    If you love to visit Chicago, as we do, you have a compelling reason to look for discounts when you’re visiting — the more you save, the sooner you can return. Then we signed up for local deal listings. Then we started looking for free things to do.

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  • Chicago at Christmas

    Visiting Chicago during the holidays, I'm always bowled over by how merry everyone is. Can it be . . . Chicago Nice? It's either that or pixie dust.

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  • Rah Rah Rochester

    In Rochester, a tourist from the Twin Cities is a novelty. Tourists from anywhere are a novelty, though patients and medical professionals come from around the world.

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  • Globe-trotting in Chicago

    everything about Chicago is ethnic. Chicago is a mosaic, a city of neighborhoods settled by waves of immigrants who arrived to dig its waterways, build its railroads and work in its slaughterhouses. One of its first neighborhoods was Bridgeport, settled by Irish canal workers in the 1840s and the stronghold of Mayor Richard J. Daley and his son Richard M. Daley, the current mayor.

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  • A jolly holiday in Minneapolis

    During the holidays, there's no place like home. In fact, it's the perfect getaway. Every year, I go to downtown for the festivities. I go to a holiday show at the Dakota nightclub and Handel's "Messiah" at Orchestra Hall. I stop by the Holidazzle holiday village in Loring Park. I don't stay overnight. I live here, after all.

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  • On the river in Minneapolis

    The Falls of St. Anthony wasn't a very tall waterfall. But it was broad and thundering, and the only major drop on the Mississippi. Description de la Louisiane'' and Jonathan Carver's 1778 "Travels through the Interior Parts of North-America,'' both of which exaggerated its height.

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  • Party in Milwaukee

    Once, I thought of Milwaukee as the ugly duckling of Midwest cities, a colorless runt with the grit of Chicago but none of its allure. Silly me. It’s true that downtown Milwaukee, during the day, is not exactly flashy.

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  • Sightseeing in St. Paul

    It's ironic, considering its past, that St. Paul is such a wholesome destination. Liquor brought the first white resident to Minnesota's capital; he was Pierre Parrant, a swinish, one-eyed former voyageur named Pig's Eye. He set up his first tavern near Fort Snelling, but was rousted in 1837 by officers who were tired of the trouble it caused.

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