Best Sightseeing - 2011
Indian Mounds Park
It's not hard to encounter St. Paul's history—the places previously frequented by the gangsters, brewers, pioneers, and politicians. But to discover its ancient history, look to the bluffs across the river from downtown. It's sometimes easy to forget the Twin Cities had a rich culture and history far predating settlement by Europeans in the 19th century. Indian Mounds Park once contained more than 30 burial mounds, believed to have been remnants of the Hopewell culture, dating back over 2,000 years. When they were first excavated by scientists in the mid-1800s, they revealed simple internments accompanied by mussel shells, projectile points, perforated bear teeth, and copper ornaments. Stand next to these mounds and look out over the bluffs for a beautiful view of the river and the industries it's supported—train tracks, highways, the St. Paul airport, and downtown. Seeing all this "progress," note that today only six burial mounds remain; the rest were destroyed in its name.