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“Take a Drive to the Past”
Review of Summit Avenue

Summit Avenue
Ranked #3 of 128 things to do in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Old, wealthy St. Paul neighborhood with Victorian mansions.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Start at the St. Paul Cathedral and drive towards the Mississippi River along this iconic boulevard. One block from the Cathedral, stop and tour the magnificent James Hill Mansion. Then, continue your dive down Summit Avenue where you will pass one of the homes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the William Mitchell School of Law, magnificent late 1800 and early 1900 mansions, the home of the governor and finally St. Thomas University. Well worth the drive.

Thank mkjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful street"
in 17 reviews
"scott fitzgerald"
in 22 reviews
"mississippi river"
in 33 reviews
"governor's mansion"
in 13 reviews
"hill house"
in 25 reviews
"beautiful drive"
in 10 reviews
"university club"
in 8 reviews
"walking tour"
in 16 reviews
"both sides"
in 9 reviews
"tree lined street"
in 6 reviews
"slow drive"
in 4 reviews
"paul cathedral"
in 16 reviews
"wide sidewalks"
in 5 reviews
"bike ride"
in 8 reviews
"jj hill"
in 5 reviews
"twin cities"
in 17 reviews
"take your time"
in 4 reviews
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259 - 263 of 336 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2013

Lovely, grand old homes. Easy access to St. Thomas University and everything else in St. Paul. Take a stroll (-:

Thank terter1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Great fun exploring the childhood neighborhood of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Sinclair Lewis and August Wilson also lived on this lovely avenue, but we weren't able to locate their homes.

Thank MereMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

If you're ever in the Twin Cities area for any reason, a drive down Summit Avenue is an absolute must. St. Paul has been very proactive in preserving its historic buildings, and the level of preservation on Summit Avenue and its surrounding neighborhood is just astonishing. Summit Avenue is four and a half miles of Victorian and Edwardian-era homes from Selby Avenue to the East River Boulevard, plus numerous colleges and churches of varying ages. Very little of 19th century Summit Avenue was torn down and very few residences were built later than the 1960s, so Summit Avenue is truly one of the best preserved old residential boulevards remaining in the United States.

1  Thank Jackie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2013

On a cool, windy May Saturday afternoon, with the sun fighting through an overcast sky, we had a wonderful walk from Victoria Street to the St. Paul Cathedral and back. The first half mile is pleasant, wth a mixture of mansions, churches, and the odd rambler or two. A wedding was taking place at one church, and it was nice to see a children's garden at another. But the great part is after Dale Street. First there is the F. Scott Fitzgerald row house (identified by a small placque), beautifuly restored mansions, the great old Commodore (on a side street but visible from the Avenue - it had once been a residential hotel for the better off, and had a gracious bar open to the public that I visited many years ago), the Summit University Club, the Germanic American Center (they are happy to host receptions and other events), and a funky chain saw tree stump carving of a glamorous 19th Century woman. And then one comes upon the mansion built by Louis Hill, the loyal son of the railroad baron, and the James J. Hill mansion. Louis clearly wanted to do something different than his father, but his home is just not that attractive. The JJ Hill mansion is imposing (and make sure to take the tour - it is fascinating), with an incredible view of the center of St Paul - Hill wanted to make it clear who was at the top. But back at Louis' home - one has been focusing on that and when you look off the the Northeast you suddenly see the dome of the St. Paul Cathedral looming over the big houses on that side of the street. The juxtaposition of the JJ Hill mansion and the Cathedral is just terrific, both at the Summit of St. Paul.

The Western length of Summit Avenue, from the Mississippi River, by the University of St. Thomas, Macalester College, and on to Lexington Avenue and Victoria Street, has its own charms, but it is that Eastern stretch that breathes of history that I find spectacular.

2  Thank Andrew E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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