Minneapolis is located on the Mississippi River just north of the Minnesota River over the heart of an artesian water basin. This location at St. Anthony Falls gave rise to a huge flour-milling industry with global companies such as General Mills and Pillsbury getting their start here. In addition to the Mississippi River, multiple lakes dot the city's landscape, providing recreational opportunities year round. Near the geographic center of North America, there are warm, humid summers, a brief, but pleasant Spring and Fall, heavy winter snows, and frigid low winter temperatures. Minneapolis is the larger twin in the "Twin Cities" moniker; the smaller twin of St. Paul borders Minneapolis on the east.
Known locally as the "Mill City" or "City of Lakes", Minneapolis has grown into the dominant American business center between Chicago and Seattle. The city is corporate headquarters for a wide variety of companies, from banking and investment firms to retailing giants to global advertising agencies. The three dominant towers make a stunning impact, are virtually identical in height, and are all designed by world-renowned architectural firms. The arts scene thrives, with one of the largest theater communities in North America. During 2005 and 2006, the Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Children's Theatre, and Minneapolis Central Library have all opened spectacular new facilities or additions designed by cutting edge architects.
Minneapolis maintains active sister city relationships with Santiago, Chile, Harbin, China, Kuopio, Finland, Tours, France, Ibaraki, Japan, Eldoret, Kenya, Cuernavaca, Mexico, Novosibirsk, Russia, and Uppsala, Sweden.