One city, three price points: A weekend in Minneapolis

BUDGET

Getting there

One-way rates from $74 during frequent sales; 10-day advance; AirTran, Delta/Northwest.

Stay

The Hotel Minneapolis, a downtown Doubletree Hotel, is connected to the city's 8-mile skyway system, a network of glass tunnels leading to 80 blocks of specialty shops, restaurants, attractions. From $104 a night (Music in the City package) or from $129 with a $20 per stay dining credit for the restaurant's award-winning restaurant Max (two-night minimum stay); thehotelminneapolis.com.

Eat

Broders' Pasta Bar serves nearly two dozen traditionally tossed pastas, risottos, gnocchi. This charming neighborhood spot offers its wine and appetizer menus alfresco and daily specials. Entrees $9-$16; broders.com, 5000 Penn Ave. S., 612-925-9202.

Experience

Over 100,000 items are on display along with one of the country's top collections of Asian art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; free daily admission; closed Mondays; artsmia.org. Road trip (rent a convertible) along the 52-mile Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

MODERATE

Getting there

One-way, 7-day advance rates from $249; AirTran, Delta/Northwest.

Stay

Located on the Mississippi River, the Nicollet Island Inn offers romantic stays with over-the-river views of downtown and Stone Arch Bridge. Guestrooms feature Sleep Number beds, Aveda products, Egyptian cottons, robes. Weekend rates in a corner room with a four-poster bed and park/river views from $189; nicolletislandinn.com.

Eat

Broders' Pasta Bar serves nearly two dozen traditionally tossed pastas, risottos, gnocchi. This charming neighborhood spot offers daily specials and alfresco seating for wine and appetizer choices. Entrees $9-$16; broders.com, 5000 Penn Ave. S., 612-925-9202.

Experience

The second biggest state event, the Uptown Art Fair, features 400 artists Aug. 7-9; free; uptownminneapolis.com. The oldest basilica in the country, the Basilica of St. Mary, offers free docent-led tours after 9:30am and 11:30am Masses (meet beneath the pulpit); mary.org.

SPLURGE

Getting there

One-way, walk-up Business Class from $448; AirTran, Delta/Northwest.

Stay

Two landmark buildings mark the location of The Hotel Chambers with modernistic rooms, suites and original artwork. Natural lit guestrooms feature high ceilings, large windows that open, walk-in rain showers, spacious closets, custom beds, Wi-Fi. One package includes two tickets to the Walker Art Center, an art tour within the hotel, a token for the Art-O-Mat machine (a converted cigarette vending machine that dispenses original art; artomat.org), valet parking. Stays in Junior Suites range from $425-$575; chambersminneapolis.com.

Eat

Cozy, yet chic Mission is a top choice for power lunch, romantic dinner or appetizers and small plates during the cocktail hour. Upscale American entrees from $22-$32; missionamericankitchen.com, 77 S. 7th St., 612-339-1000.

Experience

Enhance a long weekend to attend a one-night Loggins & Messina concert, Sept. 1, State Theater; $53-$103; hennepintheatredistrict.org, 824 Hennepin Ave. Relax on a four-hour Lunch and Lock Cruise from Harriet Island across the Mississippi from downtown St. Paul with top scenery and historical narration while passing through one of America's deepest locks; every other Saturday through Oct.; $40; riverrides.com.