Closely tied to the adjoining St. Paul, Minneapolis is a seamless amalgam of natural wonders and touristy delights. Its vibrant topography sliced by the meandering Mississippi River, Minneapolis is not only soaked in exuberance but also a certain kind of quintessential American allure. The city is an expansive mosaic of laid-back coffee shops lining paved yet wind-beaten alleys, eateries offering scrumptious local fare and almost as many theaters as New York. However, the history of this city and its home state go far beyond imagination, the very history which has helped it acquire its present-day dynamic tenor. Minnesota was primarily inhabited by Dakota Sioux - with the occasional incursion from French explorers - until the United States built a fort nearby in 1819. Saint Anthony Falls, central to Minneapolis, proved revolutionary in powering the city initially through its use for grist mills and later for its hydroelectric potential. General Mills founder Cadwallader C. Washburn patented his roller technology in this city, allowing pure white flour to be made much more efficiently than before. The city hosts a menagerie of lakes, parks, and gardens, while its flourishing cultural scene is framed by the Walker Art Center and the Mill City Museum. A massive shelter of landmarks, monuments, and contemporary high-rises, this city, although having adopted a progressive stride, remains rooted in its very core.