Mpls reps the U.S. on this morning's Today Show as one of 13 hot destinations in 2013 [VIDEO]

Minneapolis represents the U.S. on Travel and Leisure's list of 13 travel picks in 2013.
Minneapolis represents the U.S. on Travel and Leisure's list of 13 travel picks in 2013.
screenshot from the Today Show

What list features Nepal,  Uco Valley in Argentina, Zambia, and... Minneapolis?

Last month, Minneapolis topped a full five categories in Travel and Leisure's annual survey of 35 cities across the country. Now, the magazine is handing us a more exotic honor: one of the 13 best places to travel in 2013. The roundup isn't just for domestic trips, like Lonely Planet's recent list, but for visits anywhere in the world.

Nilou Motamed, the magazine's features editor, stopped by the Today Show this morning to discuss the list, and tell the two surprised hosts why Minneapolis is the only U.S. destination to make the cut.

See Also:
- Twin Cities have country's smartest, most attractive people, says Travel and Leisure
- Twin Cities are a Lonely Planet top U.S. travel destination for 2013
- Climate change could make Mpls the new NYC, says The Economist [VIDEO]

As one of Today's hosts says, "I'm not sure people associate Minneapolis with a hot destination, but you say it is."

Motamed jumps in to explain, well, first, that her in-laws are Minnesotans, and second, that Minneapolis has become "kind of a foodie mecca, which is kind of hard to believe." She goes on to attribute the restaurant resurgence to the Scandinavian influence of "New Nordic" cuisine, and its attendant farming-n-foraging (check out our cover story on the movement).

The Bachelor Farmer (and its rooftop garden) and newly-opened Union get shout-outs, and Motamed names the W, Le Meridien Chambers and the Mall of America's upcoming Radisson Blu as chic places for travelers to spend the night.

"Minneapolis is having a moment," Motamed concludes, before adding a questionable, "You heard it here first."

Both hosts agree, with one exclaiming, "The people are so nice there," and the other qualifying his endorsement with an original, "just don't go at the height of winter."

The only other travel picks that made it into the three minutes of Today Show talk were Puerto Rico (new hotels), Charlevoix in Quebec ("winter wonderland" family skiing), and Basilicata in Italy (citrus groves, the Adriatic Sea, Francis Ford Coppola's hotel).

Here's the rest of the list and, below, this morning's discussion about why we're great.

Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica
Basilicata, Italy
Puerto Rico
Charlevoix, Quebec
Uco Valley, Argentina
Gold Coast, Australia
Marseilles, France

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