SUG Road Trip! MWSUG in Minneapolis, MN


Last time on our road trip, I headed out West for the WUSS Conference in Long Beach, California. Now, I’m going North — to the Midwest, to be precise! Minneapolis, Minnesota is the home of this year’s Midwest SAS Users Group (MWSUG) Conference and the next stop on our virtual road trip.

From September 16-18, the city of lakes will host hundreds of SAS users from the Midwest and beyond. As always, there’s an exciting lineup of conference speakers, including SAS’ Vice President of Publications, Kathy Council, who will be delivering the keynote address. With so much to offer first-timers and seasoned conference-goers, if you’ve never been to Minneapolis - even if you don't live in the Midwest - I encourage you to attend MWSUG. The conference and city are definitely worth the visit!

This year’s conference will be held in the Hyatt Regency, a newly renovated venue in the heart of Minneapolis. Close to the best restaurants, shops and museums that Minneapolis has to offer, you’ll find plenty to do when the conference events are over. Just minutes from the hotel is the beautiful Loring Park, the largest park in the city. Minneapolis is known for its many parks, lakes and greenways, and the city is consistently ranked one of the best parks systems in America—perfect if you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Visitors are often surprised by Minneapolis’ vibrant arts scene. The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is the largest art museum in the city and has a fabulous permanent collection as well as many special exhibits (Admission is free!). Check out the awesome Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for a larger-than-life artistic experience. Even cooler, Minneapolis’ Skywalk System, a series of suspended, enclosed walkways, connects shops, restaurants and landmarks all over downtown — turning the city into a viewable work of art! The culturally conscious SAS user will be pleasantly surprised at the variety and accessibility of the arts in Minneapolis.

Of course, if you’re not artistically-minded, there’s still plenty for you to do before, during and after the conference. The Mall of America, home to hundreds of stores, dozens of restaurants and an indoor theme park with several roller coasters, is an absolute must for shopaholics. And just outside the city is the Minnesota Zoo, known for its spacious exhibits and numerous walking trails. Both of these locations and many others are family-oriented, too — so why not bring the kids along?

And I couldn’t write an article about Minneapolis without mentioning its most notable neighbor, Saint Paul. Often referred to as the “twin cities,” Minneapolis and Saint Paul are less than an hour apart,  Their proximity means that visitors have double the sites to see! Some of Saint Paul’s many highlights are: the Cathedral of Saint Paul, one of the most prominent and architecturally stunning cathedrals in America; and the Fitzgerald Theater, where you can see live performances of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion along with many other programs. The MWSUG conference may be in Minneapolis, but no trip to this area is complete without a visit to Saint Paul.

I’ve never been to Minneapolis , but I can honestly say that after doing all this research, I really want to go! It sounds like Minneapolis is a fun-filled and family-friendly city, a perfect balance between nature and culture, and the ideal location for this year’s MWSUG conference. This event — and all of the SUG conferences — are open to all SAS users, so even if you aren’t from the Midwest, you should still consider attending. Even if the city’s many attractions aren’t enough to entice you, you’ll be among some of the best and brightest SAS users in the country. Sign me up!

Do you live in Minneapolis or Minnesota? What is your favorite attraction? Will you offer to give a guided tour?


About Author

Dylan Sweetwood

Editor, SAS Loves Math!

Summer intern for SAS Americas Marketing and Support and full-time student at Stanford University.

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