"The license plates—“Land of 10,000 Lakes”—are misleading. The number of lakes is actually closer to 15,000. Throw the Mississippi River into the equation, and you can see how the preponderance of water dominates life in the Twin Cities. With 949 lakes lying within the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, outdoor recreation is an important part of people’s daily routines. There is an estimated acre of parkland for every forty-three Twin Citians, ranging from grassy city oases and the famed Minnehaha Falls in south Minneapolis to public parks that contain everything from Indian burial mounds to botanical gardens.
The abundant natural beauty that enthralls both visitors and residents of Minneapolis–St. Paul also tantalized seventeenth-century French explorer Jean Nicolet, who traveled south from Canada along the Northwest Passage seeking a route to China. Instead, Nicolet found Dakota and Ojibwe tribes, eager to exchange fur pelts for blankets, knives, tobacco, and tools. This eTrail is one complete vacation written with families in mind. It’s loaded with exciting things to do, family-friendly places to lodge and dine, recommended side trips, local sources of information, and detailed travel directions."