Other ways to get to the Minnesota State Fair besides a free Park and Ride lot or parking there

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Parking at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds is a headache. Don’t do it.

And in 2019, Metro Transit’s free Park and Ride shuttle lots have filled up quickly, some days before 11 am.

So how the heck do you get to the Great Minnesota Get Together? Here are some out-of-the-box options:

  1. Metro Transit’s Express service lots from the suburbs have much more parking. However, your trip to the Fairgrounds will be a lot longer. If you buy your ticket when you board, it’s $6. If you purchase them on Metro Transit’s app, it’s $5. Get a list of the Express lots here. For the 2019 State Fair, Lyft is offering a discount to get you to an Express service lot. Get the discount code here.
  2. There are a couple regular Metro Transit routes worth looking into. First is route 960. It goes from downtown Minneapolis right to the Fairgrounds, and the trip will take 25 minutes. The other option would be to take the Green Line Light Rail to Metro Transit’s A Line rapid bus line, which goes up and down Snelling Avenue. You can leave your car along University Avenue and take the train to the Snelling Avenue station. The bus will drop you off right at the main gate.
  3. Take a taxi! There is a taxi stand outside of gate 9 at the south end of the Fairgrounds. That’s the gate I walk out of each day, and I see a slew of taxi drivers ready to take Fairgoers home.
  4. Take a motorcycle to the Fairgrounds. The State Fair has a motorcycle parking lot of south of Como Avenue where parking is $9. Motorcycles can park in any State Fair lot, but the $9 rate is only valid in the motorcycle lot; otherwise it is $15 to park.
  5. Stay at a hotel and have them drive you to the State Fair. Make it a fun weekend and book a hotel room that offers a shuttle to the Fairgrounds. They’ll drop you off at Gate 9 at the south end. The State Fair has a list of area visitors bureaus posted here.

If you would like to stick with the free Park and Ride option, know that you can get dropped off at a Park and Ride, even if the lot is full. The buses run to the lots, even if they’re full. People on my Facebook page warned folks that you need to be careful parking in neighborhoods around Park and Ride lots as some have received parking tickets.

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