• An Insider's Look at St. Paul's Unsavory Past

    FROM THE Fall 2022 ISSUE
    Photo credit: Wabasha Street Caves

Do you ever wonder what St. Paul was like in the era of gangsters and organized crime? With the help of the Wabasha Street Caves’ Saint Paul Gangster Tours, you can learn from a mobster (in costume) about what life was like as outlaws in the city, the places they would frequent, and the crimes they committed. 

“The tour goes all over St. Paul and the surrounding area,” says Edward D. Lindem, the Wabasha Street Caves’ director of themed entertainment, who oversees all actors, tour guides, and performers on staff. “[The tour features] sights like [the former] Hamm’s Brewery and an apartment building where John Dillinger had a shootout.” 

Wabasha Street Caves offers the gangster tours year-round every Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m. Groups of 25 or more can book a private tour for outings and special events, and reservations can be made via phone. 

“This tour is so unique because your guide is an in-character gangster,” Lindem says. “Ranging from John Dillinger to Nina Clifford and BabyFace Nelson, you get to hear about their [lawlessness in the city] and about when St. Paul wasn’t so ‘saintly’.” 

Each tour covers history from the 1920s and 1930s, including the corruption of the St. Paul Police Department, prohibition, bank robberies, and more. 

“Though we are speaking about gangsters, molls, and hit men, it is told theatrically,” Lindem says. “It doesn’t feel like you are stuck in a classroom, and you are able to come off the tour knowing more about the history right in our backyard that you may have never known before.” 

Some 35,000 people of Native American heritage call the Twin Cities home, and sites across the area have indigenous cultural roots.

Since winning the 2022 James Beard Best New Restaurant in the nation, Owamni by the Sioux Chef in Minneapolis has brought Native American cuisine to the forefront of fine dining in the eyes of foodies. It is one of many indigenous businesses in the Twin Cities. 


Explore Minnesota Tourism is accepting nominations for the agency’s tourism awards through Jan. 10, 2023. The awards honor people, marketing campaigns, and other initiatives that promote Minnesota as a destination.

To be considered for an award, a form must be submitted for each nomination. Please share specific details about each nomination including examples, goals, results, return on investment figures, accomplishments, etc. Supporting documents and creative elements help the Explore Minnesota Awards Committee score each submission.


Readers of Condé Nast Traveler chose the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America as the 28th best hotel in the world and the top hotel in the Midwest.

Since it opened in November 2015, the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America has set a new standard for luxury. Now, the readers of Condé Nast Traveler have chosen the hotel as the 28th best in the world and the top hotel in the Midwest in the 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards.