4th Street Fantasy Conversation…
continues June 24-26, 2011 in Minneapolis, MN

Getting There


If you're driving, the directions on the hotel's website are good with one exception. Do NOT go north of I-494 on 35W if you can help it. There is major construction causing slow-downs. Take 494 west to Hwy 100, go north on 100, then take I-394 west, take first exit, Park Place Boulevard, turn left at the stoplight, the overpass to hotel is on the right.

If you want to check for other construction, you can use the Minnesota Department of Transportation website.

If you are coming into the area from the east (like Wisconsin or further away) on I-94, and it's rush hour - between 7-9 am or 3-6 pm on a weekday - you may want to use the bypass instead of coming in on I-94, which goes through both downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. Take I-694 to Highway 100, go south, then take I-394 west, take first exit, Park Place Boulevard, turn left at stoplight, the overpass to hotel is on the right. (I-694 is slightly shorter, and may have less traffic, especially since I-494 goes past the Mall of America.*)


The website for local public transit is www.metrotransit.org. There is a trip planner that can give you details of getting from the airport or other sites to the hotel.

Rush hour for public transit is Monday-Friday, 6:00-9:00 A.M. & 3:00-6:30 P.M; buses and light rail are more frequent but the fares are higher. For both buses and trains, fares are $2.25 rush hour, $1.75 the rest of the time. Bus drivers can't make change, but the machines at the light rail can. The train ticket is good on the buses; if you take a bus first, be sure to ask for a transfer.


If you're coming into the airport, and want to take a shuttle van, Super Shuttle will be about $21 each way. They strongly suggest making reservations, though they have a 24 hour booth at the airport. They can also make transportation arrangements for other locations. Super Shuttle number is 612-827-7777 (local) or 1-800-BLUE-VAN.


The hotel has a van, available 7:00 am-10:30 pm (which means last pickup would be 10:30 pm) and is not available weekends. It holds a maximum of 13 guests, and will go to places in a 5 mile radius of the hotel. This does NOT include the airport. It's on a first-come first-serve basis, and it's highly recommended you reserve your place through the front desk. The hotel number is 952-542-8600.


If you're coming by plane, and want to take public transit instead of renting a car, or taking a van, follow the signs for ground transportation, then for the light rail. You have to buy your ticket from a machine before you go down to the platform itself. Tickets are good for 2 ½ hours, in any direction, but you can only buy a one-ride ticket at that location. The trains are frequent, every 8 minutes during rush hour, every 10 minutes during the day, every 15 minutes after evening rush hour. (On Saturday and Sunday, it can vary more, and may depend on such factors as whether there's a Twins game, because the light rail has a station at the Metrodome.) It will take about 25 minutes to get from the airport to downtown. You can ride to the end of the line, the Warehouse District Station, and call the hotel for a pick-up if it's during the times they run the van.

To take public transit all the way, get off at the Nicollet Mall station. You''ll be at 5th St, go south on Nicollet Mall to 9th St. There are frequent buses on Nicollet Mall if you don't care to walk. [Note from the webmaster: "Nicollet Mall" is a section of Nicollet avenue which is only open to public transit.] On 9th St, get the #9 bus, which runs every half hour, more frequently during rush hour, and will take about 20 minutes; the route is somewhat circuitous. If you are waiting during rush hour, and see a #649 bus, you can take that instead; it will get you to the hotel in 10 minutes instead of 20. The bus stop is about 150 feet from the hotel, which will be straight ahead in the direction the bus has been traveling. Pull the yellow cord for a stop when you can see the large Doubletree sign on the top floor of the hotel, or tell the driver where you need to get off at Wayzata Blvd. and Park Place. Minneapolitans are usually helpful and knowledgeable. Cross the street with the signals; it's a dangerous intersection.


If you're coming by Amtrak, you have to walk about 3 blocks south on Transfer Road to University Avenue. There you can catch the #16 bus, which is about every 10 minutes most of the day. It will take about 20 minutes to get downtown, and will arrive in at 4th and Nicollet, so you need to go five blocks south on Nicollet Mall, then proceed as above. This trip will work well if you are coming in by train from the west, and arriving in the early morning. When the eastbound train arrives around 10:30 pm, the #9 is once an hour, and by the time you get downtown, there will be only one more bus to the hotel, and the hotel van will no longer be in service. There are usually cabs waiting at the Amtrak station when the train comes in.

If you come by Greyhound, you're in luck. The #9 bus stop is at 10th Ave and Hennepin, a block away from the station. Again, proceed as above. Megabus stops in the warehouse district of Minneapolis, at the 4th St. parking garage. You'll have to walk a couple of blocks east to Hennepin Avenue, then south to 10th to catch the #9 bus. Or walk to Hennepin and take a bus to 10th. Many buses run on Hennepin. Both the Greyhound station and the Megabus stop are probably within range for the hotel shuttle as well.


If you are coming in by plane and renting a car, and have time enough to go the scenic route, try this. When you leave the airport, instead of going west, go east on Highway 5. Get off at Highway 55, and go north about 2 miles. Turn left on 46th St, then left again on Minnehaha Blvd. Go around the traffic circle, then into the parking lot. This is 5 miles and about 10 minutes from the airport. There is a bridge over Minnehaha Falls, and if you want to stretch your legs, you can go down the stairway and see the Falls up close. If you wish to go straight to the hotel, go back to Hwy 55, go north on 55. Follow 55 to I-94, a take that west to 394, then take the Highway 100 south/Park Place Boulevard exit. Exit at Park Place Boulevard, turn left at stoplight and take overpass to hotel on right.

If you wish to see more of the area, go back to the traffic circle, and go west, across the small bridge. You are now on East Minnehaha Parkway. You can follow this to Lyndale Avenue. Go north on Lyndale to Lake Street, and follow Lake west. You will go around the north end of Lake Calhoun. There is a Y intersection, follow the right hand path, to get on Minnetonka Blvd. Follow it to Louisiana Ave, turn right. Follow Louisiana to Cedar Lake Road, turn right. Turn left at Park Place Blvd, go a couple of blocks, and the hotel will be on the left.