Minneapolis–Saint Paul is the most populous urban area in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and is composed of 186 cities and townships built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers. The area is also nicknamed the Twin Cities for its two largest cities, Minneapolis, with the highest population, and Saint Paul, the state capital. It is a classic example of twin cities in geography. The area is part of a larger U.S. Census division named Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, the country's 16th-largest metropolitan area. As a reminder that there were actually two cities, people started using the phrase Dual Cities around 1872, which evolved into Twin Cities. It is also common for those within the Twin Cities and in out-state Minnesota to shorten the reference to simply The Cities. Despite the Twin moniker, the two cities are independent municipalities with defined borders and are quite distinct from each other. Minneapolis has been likened to a West Coast U.S. City and is somewhat younger with modern skyscrapers. Saint Paul has been likened to an East Coast U.S. city or a European city with quaint neighborhoods, and a vast collection of well preserved late-Victorian architecture. It is often said that St. Paul is the last city of the East and is the westernmost East Coast city, while Minneapolis is the first city of the West and the easternmost West Coast city. Also of some note is the differing cultural backgrounds of the two cities: Minneapolis was influenced by its early Scandinavian/Lutheran heritage and boasts the largest Somali community in North America, while St. Paul was influenced by its early French, Irish and German Catholic roots and currently hosts a thriving Hmong community. Today, the two cities directly border each other and their downtown districts are about 14 km apart. The Twin Cities are generally said to be in east central Minnesota. The cities draw commuters from as far away as Rochester, St. Cloud, Albert Lea, Mankato, La Crosse and Eau Claire.
Minnehaha Creek is a tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from Lake Minnetonka in the west and flows east for 35 km through several suburbs west of Minneapolis and then through south Minneapolis. Including Lake Minnetonka, the watershed for the creek covers 470 km2. The creek might have been unremarkable except for the 16 m Minnehaha Falls located near the creek's confluence with the Mississippi. The site is not far from Fort Snelling, one of the earliest white settlements in the region. The falls are now located in Minnehaha Park.
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edited by mobydick74
Added by Lucky