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BEST VIEW Minneapolis 2010 - The High Bridge

Crossing the High Bridge is one of the most dramatic ways to get from one bank of the Mississippi to the other: 520 feet long, 160 feet up, and buffeted by brisk winds, it's intimidating in a way that no other span in the Cities is. But if you've lived in St. Paul any amount of time, you know there's no sight more breathtaking than when you round the bend of Smith at the southeast end of the bridge and capture the wide, bluff-perched vista of the city in all its humble glory. The view starts with the cathedral front and center, perched above it all in its 19th-century grandeur, then sweeps you around to come eye-to-eye with the longstanding, tree-lined neighborhoods that border West Seventh Street. Look one way and there's downtown—the Science Museum, the Central Library, the First National Bank building; turn the other and you can almost see clear to Fort Snelling. And if you have the nerve to look down, the same riverboats that once inspired Mark Twain are docked beneath. St. Paul is frequently regarded as the less flashy half of the Twin Cities, but it's impossible not to feel as if it's all out there for you, revealing every corner of its beauty, when you cross that bridge.

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