Twin Cities are a Lonely Planet top U.S. travel destination for 2013

Believe it or not, as far as Lonely Planet is concerned, you're looking at one of the country's top travel destinations.
Believe it or not, as far as Lonely Planet is concerned, you're looking at one of the country's top travel destinations.

With temperatures plummeting, most Minnesotan travel fantasies inevitably fixate on locales further south.

-- Minneapolis is one of the most "unexpectedly romantic" cities in the country, says Yahoo
-- Portland douses some Haterade on Mpls after regaining's Best Bike City honor
-- Minneapolis sixth-horniest city; St. Paul considerably less aroused, study finds

So it might come as a surprise to learn that in a list published yesterday, Lonely Planet names the Twin Cities as one of the "Top 10 travel destinations for 2013." If someone you know ends up taking Lonely Planet's advice sometime between now and our next 60-degree day, just be sure to advise them to dress appropriately!

First, here's how Lonely Planet introduces the list:

Every year our US-based editors team up with Lonely Planet's expert authors to compile a list of US destinations that are prime for the next year. Best in Travel 2013 already covered two places we think the world should be looking at - San Francisco and the Gulf Coast - but here we wanted to dig deeper and shine a light on 10 places in the US that travelers should add to their wish lists for the coming year. Our 2013 picks are literally all over the map: once-in-a-lifetime northern lights, new top-tier museums, moose trails, Polynesian paradise and barrels of bourbon. Enjoy, and send us a postcard!

And here's what author Robert Reid has to say about the eighth-ranked Twin Cities specifically:

Lake Wobegone might be 'the little town that time forgot, and the decades cannot improve,' but time has been much kinder to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St Paul. Minneapolis is often called the country's best bike city and the Nice Ride bike-share system with its web of new bike lanes proves the point. The St Anthony Falls Heritage Trail is a 2-mile path along the banks of the Mississippi River. Plan time for Uptown's Bryant-Lake Bowl, an old bowling alley with seriously good food (think artisanal cheese plates). And pay homage to the epicenter of Twin Cities' music scene, First Avenue & 7th St Entry - hometown hero Prince sometimes comes by (seriously). St Paul is quieter, but key to see. Pedal over for a meal at the Hmongtown Marketplace, with authentic Lao dishes, and a show at the Fitzgerald Theater, where Garrison Keillor tapes his Prairie Home Companion.

Let's review: Nice Ride... hiking... biking to St. Paul... yeah, you might want to tell that friend or relative considering a Twin Cities vacation to hold off for a few months, unless they have a high tolerance for icy coldness or are excited about the prospect of a white Christmas.

If you're curious, here's the entire top 10 list:
1. Louisville
2. Fairbanks, Alaska
3. San Juan Islands, Washington
4. Philadelphia
5. American Samoa
6. Eastern Sierra, California
7. Northern Maine
8. The Twin Cities
9. Verde Valley, Arizona
10. Glacier National Park, Montana

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