Our most memorable spots in Minneapolis

» Best Western Normandy Inn
, inexpensive, (612) 370-1400.
Forget the first part of this downtown inn's name, because with touches like free, fresh-baked cookies and milk six nights a week, it doesn't feel like part of a chain. Okay, the rooms are somewhat outdated, but the price is right, the medieval castle look is kind of retro cool, and biz travelers take note, it's one of the first stops for the limousines servicing the airport.

» The Saint Paul Hotel, expensive, (651) 292-9292.
This historic 1910 hotel in neighboring St. Paul makes us feel oh-so grown-up (the staff addresses you by Mister or Miss) and oh-so European (a formal tea is served each week). The price makes us feel pretty adult as well, but, hey, if it's good enough for Calvin Coolidge and Crown Prince Aldof of Sweden, it's good enough for us.

» Maverick's
, inexpensive, (651) 488-1788.
A sandwich is a sandwich, right? Not at Maverick's. You've got your choice of pulled pork, sliced turkey, tender brisket, and best of all, hot, medium-rare roast beef. And while the sandwiches are simple (a heap of meat on a toasted bun wrapped in foil), they're also fast, cheap, and so yummy you'll have no need for condiments.

» Osteria I Nonni, expensive, (651) 905-1080.
Some people think you have to go all the way to New York to get good, authentic Italian food in the U.S. But those who've been to this intimate Lilydale trattoria know better. Not only do they cure their own meats here, they boast one of the best Italian wine cellars in the country. Our favorite dish? It's hard to choose, but the tender, slow-cooked osso buco is particularly magnifico.

» Grumpy’s Bar & Grill
, (612) 340-9738.
We love a good jukebox, and at Grumpy’s, we found one. The selection is large and covers rock, country, punk, the oldies, you name it. It’s also within walking distance of the Metrodome, so we often cruise here before or after a game.

» Walker Art Center
, (612) 375-7622.
The name is a tad misleading, because curator extraordinaire Philip Bither books everything from music to dance, lectures to theater acts. It’s definitely worth checking to see what’s on tap when you’re in town.

» The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway
, (612) 320-6446.
If you were inspired by Lance Armstrong’s record ride in France earlier this year, hop on a bike and pedal your way around this 50-mile loop and soak up the sensational Minneapolis scenery along the way.

» Legends Club
, (952) 226-4777.
Sure, you want to play Hazeltine, the area’s famed course and site of the Ryder Cup in 2016, but you have to be a member. So pack the clubs and head to the Legends Club instead. Last year, Golf Digest saw fit to name the pristine public links one of the 10 best new upscale courses in the country.