Can you help a Trojan out?

Goldcard

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Looking forward to a trip to your city for the USC game. Having never been there before, I can use a little direction and assistance in a few areas. Is it best to pick a downtown hotel, or one nearer to the stadium? I have no idea where the stadium is in relation to downtown, but I will be checking that out. I will have a rental car. I see where many of the downtown hotels have some pretty expensive valet parking.....is that the norm? Would prefer a hotel with self serve parking.

Also, any suggestions of things to see while I'm in the Twin Cities would be appreciated. Also interesting bars and resturants that are local favorites. Also wondering if I should drive the car to the game, or take public transportation.

Thanks for any help you can give me. Its much appreciated. Heres to a competitive, and injury free game....

FIGHT ON!
 

Gopher Bandanna Guy

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I love helping out visiting fans on post like these. We have such a great number of folks on Gopherhole that can't steer you wrong. Here's my recommendations (a google search on any of these will get you more details)

Hotels - not much immediately by the stadium aside from the University Ave Radisson. Its a bit pricey on game weekends, but you will be right where you need to be for the game. The stadium is less than a 5 minute walk away, and you are right next to campus, and in the heart of Stadium Village which has a number of bars and restaurants.

If you are looking for more of an overall Minneapolis experience though, I'd recommend the Holiday Inn Metrodome. I usually stay there on game weekends and its always been great. Its on the other side of the river, adjacent to the West Bank of campus, and is located in an area called Seven Corners. They have self-serve parking in a ramp right next to the hotel, and there are free shuttle buses that run you down to the game from there. There are also a number of great bars right in that area that you can walk to. Its also a short drive or cab ride to downtown if you want to check out that scene.

Some things to do while in the 'Cities': Check out the Sculpture Gardens west of downtown, roll out to the MOA (Mall of America) and make fun of all the Iowans, the Science Museum in St. Paul, any of the great Art Museums in town, Twins game (I believe they are playing the A's that weekend), or check out some of the great parks along the Mississippi.

Recommended Bars/Restaurants: Pre-/post-game = Stub and Herbs (a Gopher institution), Maxwells on Washington, Nye's Polonaisse Room, Red Dragon (in Uptown) or Senor Wongs (in St. Paul) for polynesian cocktails, Manny's for a great steak dinner, Jax Cafe for a great sunday brunch, Bryant Lake Bowl for phenomenal food and bowling, or perhaps Matt's Bar on Cedar for a mean cheeseburger.

Hope that helps. I'm sure others will have some great suggestions too.
 

norman dale

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As someone who has traveled to a lot of college football destinations

I find that inquiries to the home team message boards will revel more accurate and needed information than any travel guide or internet tourist site will provide. Especially the info needed for a college football fan.

My unsolicited advice from a local:

1) If you are definitely staying in downtown Mpls (and I would BTW) I would wait till the last second to book a room and do it on priceline.com by naming your own price. If you have never used priceline before there may be some research you need to do but basically follow the links provided and select downtown Mpls as your search area and only choose 4 star hotels. Since the Twins have a weekend series that weekend vs. the A's it may be slightly more difficult to get a great price but DT Mpls has an overabundance of hotels and in no way will there not be one available. If doing the priceline thing start your bid with ~ $50 and work your way up by $5 - $10per day increments. You will only be slotted in one of three hotels: the Hilton, the Hyatt or the Marquette. All nice and centrally located, especially if you get a car. I've done this at least a half-dozen times on weekends and never paid more than $65 per night even with conventions in town.

http://www.minneapolis.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/MSPMHHH/index.do;jsessionid=UGQJPN3QNNIKECSGBJC3EWQ

http://www.marquettehotel.com/

2) If staying at the Hilton or Hyatt I believe self-parking at their garages is ~ $17 per day and you can come and go as you please. Note sure about self-parking at Marquette as it is located in the IDS Tower (the tallest building in Minnesota).

3) Downtown Mpls is the epicenter of the Mpls nightlife. Although if you spent all your time downtown you will in no way get a collegiate-like atmosphere. You will be surrounded by a vibrant social scene which if the weather cooperates at that time of year could remind one of the Gaslamp district in San Diego. Granted, there will be NOT be as many bars or restaurants (or smoking hot hostesses standing outside the restaurant enticing one to come in) as the Gaslamp entails but it will be clean and safe and if you stick to the main areas along Nicollet Avenue or Hennepin Avenue you will not want for a place to wet your lips or satiate your appetite. Without knowing your tastes and amount of $$$ one would want to spend I'd hate to point you in the wrong direction but the below links have more than enough information pertaining to downtown Mpls restaurants. Personal favorite however is http://www.112eatery.com/. Tough to get a seat unless you have reservations altough a single to slide onto the bar pretty easily I would guess.

http://www.citypages.com/restaurants

http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/73?tag=main_menu_boards;menu_boards

4) I'll let others sound off on the "what to do" question. Sometimes the locals get jaded and take things for granted although not doubt taking in a Twins game will garner some suggestions given the opening of Target Field. This too will make the comparison to the Gaslamp District appropos.

5) Transportation to game. My question is: Will you be drinking? If yes and don't want to drive afterwards I'd take a taxi as it is only about 2 miles from campus to downtown. If not worried about the drinking situation then you "may" want to drive but be forewarned that there is a dearth of parking on the U of M campus and surface lots on the East Bank (where the stadium is) are for parking pass holders only - both in the ramps and surface lots. Although these lots will not be totally full the powers that be at the U only want the people paying for parking in advance to park on the East Bank. You could get get a day of game spot on the West Bank and take a free shuttle over the river if you decide to drive but since that is only about 1 mile from DT Mpls it may not be worth it. Read up on your options at the following:

http://stadium.gophersports.com/prk_parking_transportation.html

6) I'd expect Matt Barkeley to go 18-23 for 289 yards and 3 touchdown passes in about 2&1/2 quarters of play and your offense to rush for 265 in a 49-10 win.
 

badgergopher

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Know that you don't 'have' to rent a car. You can fly in and take light rail west to the 'Mall of America' or North to downtown within blocks of a lot of hotels. You can get tickets to a Twins game while you're here (also on the rail line). You shoudl be able to find a shuttle to the Gopher/SC game from downtown or can take public transport to the west bank where you can grab a free shuttle. Parking on campus on gameday is not good unless you buy a pass with your tickets.
 

Donovan

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Linked is a thread that should give you all you need. It's from last year when Cal came to visit and one of their fans had the exact same questions as you.

http://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/showthread.php?t=7505
Good job finding that link, I was thinking the same thing.

Here are some other ideas, depending how many days you're going to be here for:

* Are you bicyclist? If yes, rent a bike, there are some awesome bike trails. We recently moved past Portland as the best community for bike trails in the country.
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicycles/where-to-ride.asp

The loop at the bottom of this map is great, around the lakes, over to Minnehaha Falls along the Mississippi River and then cut back across the Greenway trail back to Lake Calhoun (approx 20 mile loop).
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/bicycles/bikemap-sharedlanes.pdf

* Go for a walk (see map above) around either Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet or Lake of the Isles, or all three! There are great walking and bike trails around all of them.

* If you like antiques (a lot of stores), head over to the town of Stillwater on the St. Croix River, about 40 miles east of Minneapolis.
http://www.ilovestillwater.com/
.
 

holereader

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dude - the Twins are in town that week end

stay down town - check out the Twins and Gopher/USC games - you'll figure out the rest - if you're travelling to an away game you've been to this rodeo before
 

Schnauzer

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A request to help a Trojan? I have never helped one before, although I have worn them on several occasions. :)

So, here is my first try at helping a Trojan...

First, there is lots of good advice already. All the suggestions come from slightly different points of view but they are all good ones depending on what you are looking for. I like Normandale's suggestions and Gopher Bandana Guy suggests a central location (Holiday Inn Metrodome) that is very close to both the game as well as down town.

Perhaps post something about what you are looking for during your visit. Are you looking for a party/bar scene? Cultural stuff? Events? Shopping? It might help streamline the advice you are getting here.
 

RodentRampage

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Where to eat? Would you go to Philadelphia without trying a Philly Cheese Steak? Or Chicago without trying a Chicago style hot dog? Well, in Minneapolis, you need to try a Juicy Lucy. It's a cheesebuger with the cheese cooked inside of the hamburger patty. There are two places that claim to have invented it: Matt's Bar at 3500 Cedar Avenue South http://www.mattsbar.com/, and the 5-8 Club at http://www.5-8club.com/ at 5800 Cedar Ave South. The 5-8 Club has a larger menu, and a nicer atmosphere, but I prefer Matt's, although they are both good. I like Matt's old neighborhood bar atmosphere. Both of these places were featured on Man v. Food.

As far as places to go, I could help you out more if I knew what sort of things you liked to do. Target Field is a great place to catch a baseball game. Minnehaha Falls park is great, and it's right in the city, only a couple miles south of downtown. A drive down Minnehaha creek is nice. I'd also recommend a drive around some of our many lakes.
 

Goldcard

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Thanks so much......

for all the valuable input that I have received. What a great response! I am printing all of this info out for reference when I get to Minnesota.

In reply to a question about my age, and what I'm looking for. I'm old enough to be retired and roadtrips to USC's football games is something I really enjoy. I enjoy interacting with fans of all ages at the places I visit. I will only be in Minneapolis for 2 or 3 days, and of course one of them being game day so I don't have a lot of time. I'm renting a car because I'm flying into Omaha so I can visit my many relatives in Nebraska and then drive up to Minnesota for the game. From what I'm gathering thus far, leaving the car parked game day, and taking a tram seems to make the most sense.

Today I'm going to the Autormobile Club to pick up maps and tour books of Minnesota. After I peruse those I may be back with more questions. Oh....another question just popped into my head. Do you think the game will be a sellout? Also, if any of you folks are planning on attending the game out in Los Angeles next year, and I can be of any assistance, I will certainly try to help.

Thanks again for your time and energy to help make my trip back to Minnesota a wonderful experience.....

Go Golphers....Fight On!
 

MrGopher

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Yeah, it'll be sold out. It's not every year we host the likes of USC.

Would you mind leaving behind a spare linebacker or two for us when you leave? We will really need them for the rest of the season. Thanks in advance!! :p
 

mnboiler

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Depending on what way you take from Omaha and enjoy walking around college campuses, Iowa State in Ames would be a good stop. When I visited there they had a decent campus to walk around and enjoy. Its also about half way so it would be about time to stop and have a break. Just a quick stop off that wouldn't always be on all the travel guides.
 

idagopher

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other attractions

Como Park and the Aster Art (if it still exists) for that special local feel
 

RodentRampage

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Matt's > 5-8
That's my feeling too, although I like 5-8 too. Matt's are a little greasier, the way a fine burger should be. The 5-8 has a choice of cheeses, while Matt's just gives you one, but it's the right one. The 5-8 has a larger menu, which is good if you have to go with someone for whom Matt's menu wouldn't cut it. My wife doesn't eat meat, so it's easier to get her to agree to going to the 5-8.
 

badgergopher

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Thanks again for your time and energy to help make my trip back to Minnesota a wonderful experience.....

Go Golphers....Fight On!
Goldcard, you can answer one question for us. Do they still sell beer at the coliseum? They stopped selling beer in Minneapolis when the Gophers moved from the off campus metrodome to the on campus TCF stadium last year.

A former Trojan x'91
 

Sam

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Matt's bar is solid...

If you're a golfer, i would recommend that. Golfing here in the summer is second to none.

Other than that, the sculpture garden is cool...they usually have a mini golf course there too in the summer where local artists and companies design the holes. That's always a good time.
 

oak_street1981

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Shamrocks and the Blue Door are way better than both.
I agree, Shamrocks' (plus The Nook by Cretin) and the Blue Door put those other two places to shame.

Neighborhood bars in St. Paul like Grand Tavern and Costello's also make hamburgers that put the 5-8 or Matt's to shame.

For that matter, Famous Dave's actually cooks up a really great cheeseburger.

Lastly, out of towners should never be encouraged to stay in Bloomington by the Mall so they can take the train downtown. Talk about missing out on the best of Minneapolis. They even get that on the Iowa Rivals board.
 

MNWolfman

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Goldcard, you can answer one question for us. Do they still sell beer at the coliseum? They stopped selling beer in Minneapolis when the Gophers moved from the off campus metrodome to the on campus TCF stadium last year.

A former Trojan x'91
They stopped about 3 or 4 years ago, but there are rumblings they will bring it back.
football is the cash cow for SC athletics, and as a private university, they need all the revenue streams they can generate.
 

Goldcard

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Badgergopher.....

In reply to your question about the sale of beer at the colieum, no....not for the last few years. President Sample put a stop to that, but he is leaving this year so who knows about the future. However, I have not heard of any move to restore the sale of beer at the coliseum.

Sorry about being so late with my reply, but I haven't checked into this message board for several days.

Hope some of you Gophers will make the trip out to L.A. for our game next year. We have a strong tailgating presence and its very festive on game day.....

Go Gophers, & Fight On!
 

cphockeyman

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Event: Pillage in the Village Sept 17

For all you Trojan fans and Gopher fans who are looking for something to do on Friday night, we present the 1st Annual Pillage in the Village, a pub crawl at Stub and Herbs, Campus Pizza, Big 10, Sally's and Applebees. Check out our event page on Facebook for further information. We'll be adding details as we get closer to the 17th.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=136147006428266

Hope to see you there!
 

GopherFB

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I would highly suggest seeing a Twins game if you are around on Friday or Sunday for it.
Target Field is the greatest of the 15 or stadiums I've visited and along with the Gophers game, it should give you a good feel for MN Sports fans.
 
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