The Minnesota metropolitan area strikes a unique balance between city and nature — and between history and hip. More than 18 million visitors visit the region every year for outdoor fun, world-class art museums, rowdy rock clubs, culinary gems, and spectacular theater performances. The area (population: 3.2 million), once known for its flour mills and Mississippi River ports, has a knack for welcoming the novel, while preserving the best.
The Expo 2023 USA-Minnesota site is in Bloomington, located next to MSP International Airport, and home to the iconic Mall of America®, the 14,000 acre Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, over 9,000 hotel rooms, and countless restaurants and entertainment options.
Just to the North of Bloomington is Minneapolis and its neighbor, Saint Paul, known as the Twin Cities. Minneapolis is Minnesota’s largest city and St. Paul is the state capitol. Together, they are routinely recognized as two of the healthiest, fittest, greenest, cleanest, most educated, family-friendly, livable cities in the entire United States. With dozens of parks, trails and green space including the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a national park site that boasts 72 miles of public riverfront, no Minneapolis-Saint Paul resident lives more than six blocks from a natural space.
Minnesota is full of surprises. Here are just a few you may discover during your visit:
World class cuisine and cultures
Savor flavors from cultures around the world who have found a home in Minnesota. While the area’s Scandinavian and German roots are still evident, some of the United States’ largest Hmong, Somali, Liberian, and Native American communities, as well as increasing Latino and Indian populations reside in the cities.
Miles of city trails
Run, bike, ski, skate, or stroll along miles of well-kept trails and parkways — including the Midtown Greenway, the longest urban bike trail in the country!
A vibrant art and music scene
From globally recognized names to small independent venues, Minnesota is a thriving cultural center for music, arts, and theater. In the same day you could attend a Shakespeare play at the Guthrie Theater, a big music act at First Avenue, and enjoy the massive public art garden at the Walker Art Center. Visitors can also see Prince’s home and creative sanctuary Paisley Park, which is a short ride away from the Expo site.
Glimpses of American history
Built within the ruins of a 19th-century mill that was destroyed by fire, the Mill City Museum overlooks the mighty Mississippi River where waterfall-powered mills once fueled a lucrative flour industry.
Hailed by Newsweek as “possibly the best contemporary art museum in the country,” the Walker Art Center was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, and features the landmark “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje von Bruggen.
The cities also boast a Michael Graves-designed expansion of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Frank Gehry’s Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and Jean Nouvel’s riverfront Guthrie Theater.
Not only is there no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota, but also the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the United States – the Mall of America – welcomes over 43 million visitors annually. This shopping mecca boasts 2.5 million square feet of retail space, over 500 stores, two luxury hotels, countless entertainment options that range from nightclubs to the Nickelodeon Universe® theme park, LEGO Imagination Center, and a stunning walk-through aquarium swimming with sea creatures called SEA LIFE.
WHY MINNESOTA IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO HOST AN EXPO
- Expo 2023 will showcase Minnesota’s global leadership in a wide range of economic, social and civic arenas, including healthcare and wellness.
- Expo 2023 aligns with public goals to attract talented people to our region, to promote science and technology-related careers, and to boost tourism, trade and foreign-direct investment.
- Expo 2023 will attract 10 to 15 Million tourists to Minnesota and generate hundreds of millions of Internet visitors.
- Expo 2023 is a private-public partnership with funding coming from the private sector and significant bi-partisan support.
- Expo 2023’s greatest legacy will be introducing this beautiful state and its people to millions of people from around the world who will remember, appreciate and fall in love with Minnesota and become future students, business owners and citizens. Young people will become visions of the future – tech creators, students, etc. The image of Minnesotans in the world, in addition to the above, will show Minnesota as a wonderful host to the entire planet.