Tour Your Hometown: Jenna of Wander the Map
1. For starters, where is your current hometown and how long have you lived there?
My current hometown is St. Paul, Minnesota. We just moved back to the area a little under a year ago, but my husband and I have lived around the “Twin Cities” area for over 8 years in total.
2. For many people, travel is not always feasible or desirable all year round. How do you make the most of your hometown when you are not traveling?
St. Paul is located right next to Minneapolis and in the middle of many wonderful suburbs, so we have a lot to explore right at our doorstep. To make the most of our hometown, we visit local festivals and events, wander around museums, indulge in as many outdoor adventures as possible and we don’t ignore the activities that many locals might think of as touristy, such as tours of the Wabasha Caves or visiting the Foshay Tower Observation Deck. These activities are popular for a reason, and in our opinion, not exploring them because we live here isn’t a good excuse!
3. What is the most creative technique you use to save up for your travels while you are at home?
One of the ways that we save for traveling is by collecting frequent flier miles and hotel points to save us money when we are on the road. We have enrolled in airline dining programs, received sign up bonuses on credit cards and collect points from our daily spending—all of this allows us to build up miles and points that we can use to save on traveling expenses. We also sell items on Etsy as well as photo prints from our travels; any money we make on these endeavors goes into our travel fund!
4. What is the best part of your hometown that other visitors should know about?
The art and culture scene in Minneapolis/St. Paul is really fantastic. We are second to NYC in the amount of theater seats per capita; Broadway plays run consistently, concerts can be found most any night of the week, there are plenty of museums, craft breweries are popping up around every corner, and art is everywhere you turn. In addition to the great culture, we also have plenty of nature and outdoor activities to take advantage of, such as parks, lakes, biking trails and so much more.
5. Finally, we can’t forget about the food! Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown and why?
There are too many! Currently though, I would have to say my favorite places are two burger spots, Red Cow and Blue Door Pub—I can’t decide which I like more. The Red Cow has inventive burgers, a long list of craft brews, and the poutine with braised beef and Summit beer cheese is to die for; the menu is basically a creative approach to traditional pub food. And, the Blue Door Pub has a menu full of creative “Jucy Lucy” varieties, aka the Twin Cities’ signature burger with cheese on the inside. The Blue Door Pub takes the concept and turns it on its head by stuffing the burgers with more than just cheese…delicious!
Jenna Kvidt is a co-creator of the website, Wander The Map, which focuses on adventure travel and cultural explorations around the world. She has a passion for the outdoors, music and arts, and seeks them out both at home and while traveling. You can find her tweeting from @wanderthemap or on Facebook and Instagram.