Before the St. Paul Minnesota temple was constructed, members had to make a two day trek to Salt Lake City to attend the temple. Then in 1985 the Chicago Illinois temple was built which cut the drive time to about 10 hours on average. A temple was desperately needed in this area and faithful members had been praying for a temple for years. This is the only temple in Minnesota and is located in Oakdale, a suburb of St. Paul. It is considered one of the smaller traditional temples, which can usually be built within a year. The site is a heavily wooded area. The gray granite stands out among the many trees surrounding the temple. There are reports that missionary work in Minnesota started in the 1830's, but the area was somewhat dormant for a number of years. With few converts and most members migrating to Utah, it wasn't until the 1870's that there was a real rise in conversions. In 1900, the first Sunday School was organized in Minneapolis. The first Stake was not organized until 1960. Baptisms have steadily grown and there are now 8 stakes in Minnesota.
If you're near the temple in Oakdale and need a place to eat, try Baja Sol Tortilla Grill for some fast Mexican food and a salsa bar. If burgers are more your style, Five Guys Burgers & Fries will grill you a juicy hamburger with your choice of toppings. If you're heading into the St. Paul area, stop by Brasa Premium Rotisserie for some juicy meats and sides as well as vegetarian meals. Red's Savoy Pizza makes their own sauce and their own sausage for their specialty pizzas. If you have a big appetite, Colossal Cafe will definitely try to calm your hunger pains with their big Meatloaf Sandwich and fresh biscuits. Grand Ole Creamery makes their own malted waffle cones to hold their homemade gourmet ice cream. With 31 daily flavors, you'll be sure to find a favorite.
If there's a model train lover in your group, take them to Twin City Model Railroad Museum for a look at model trains in action. The Science Museum of Minnesota has hands-on exhibits and an Omni Theatre. Visit Como Park Zoo & Conservatory to see a plant conservatory and some zoo animals. To learn about Minnesota's history, check out the Minnesota History Center. A museum that teaches you about history while engaging you in interactive, well-thought out experiences. More than hands-on, it's living the exhibits. The Minnesota State Capitol offers tours of the domed building that houses the Legislative and Supreme Court chambers.