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The best place to find out what's happening in the Twin Cities is the free newsweekly City Pages, which lists all events. Other good sources of information are the local papers (Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press), the calendar in Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine, and the monthly Twin Cities Directory. On the Web, check out www.minneapolis.org or www.stpaulcvb.org for the most up-to-date information.

The Performing Arts

There are more theater seats per capita in Minneapolis than anywhere outside New York City. The famous Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St. (tel. 877/44-STAGE [447-8243] or 612/377-2224; www.guthrietheater.org), is one of the nation's premier classical repertory companies, set in an architecturally stunning venue overlooking the Mississippi. Three historic, renovated theaters, the State (805 Hennepin Ave.), Orpheum (910 Hennepin Ave.), and Pantages (710 Hennepin Ave.), feature a variety of entertainment, from pop music to comedy, to adult and children's theater. Get information about all three theaters from the central Hennepin Theatre District office (tel. 612/373-5600; www.hennepintheatredistrict.org). The Children's Theater Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S. (tel. 612/874-0400; www.childrenstheatre.org), presents plays for all age groups in one of America's best regional theaters.

For more than 20 years, Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall (tel. 800/292-4141 or 612/371-5656; www.minnesotaorchestra.org), has been home to the internationally acclaimed Minnesota Orchestra.

In St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio's Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St. (tel. 651/290-1221; http://fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org), is home to Garrison Keillor's popular radio show, A Prairie Home Companion. Touring companies also perform in this restored historic building. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (tel. 651/291-1144; www.thespco.org) makes its home in the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St. (tel. 651/224-4222; www.ordway.org). Minnesota Opera recitals, pop and classical concerts, and dance are also presented at Ordway Center. The Schubert Club, 302 Landmark Center (tel. 651/292-3267; www.schubert.org), brings celebrated artists to perform, provides music lessons, and commissions new works.

The Bar & Music Scene

The Warehouse District has always been considered the heart of Minneapolis nightlife, but Block E, bordered by 6th and 7th streets and by Hennepin and 1st avenues, has its fair share of dining and dancing. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N. (tel. 612/332-1775; www.first-avenue.com), is where Prince got his start (Purple Rain was filmed here). Connected to it is the Entry, a small, loud venue for local music.

For interesting music and great food visit the Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet (tel. 612/332-1010; www.dakotacooks.com). The intimate downtown club is known for its internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, as well as Minneapolis talent. BabalĂș, 800 Washington Ave. N. (tel. 612/746-3158; www.babalu.us), serves up Latin American and Spanish music (bossa nova, Afro-Cuban jazz, flamenco) and food in a classy, pre-Castro Cuban decor. Cuban entrees are available, as are over 70 rums.

Sports fans prefer the digs at NBA City, 600 1st Ave. N. (tel. 612/767-2960; www.nba.com/nbacity). The restaurant and bar adjoins the Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. "Friendly" and "casual" is how regulars describe 19 Bar, 19 W. 15th St. (tel. 612/871-5553), the city's oldest gay bar, which offers food, a pool table, and dartboards.

In St. Paul, visit the Spot, 859 Randolph Ave. (tel. 651/224-7433), the city's oldest bar, said to be in business at this location since 1885. Locals frequent the modest pub, which entertains with sporting events on TV. Two popular gay bars are Innuendo & Rumours, 213 4th St. E. (tel. 651/225-GLBT [225-4528]; www.rumours-stpaul.com), and Camp, 490 N. Robert St. (tel. 651/292-1844; www.camp-bar.com). Both clubs feature live music and dancing and a large gay crowd, but all are welcome.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.