Minneapolis - St. Paul Neighborhoods & Towns
Because there is no real dividing line separating the Twin Cities, it's sometimes difficult to determine what city you're actually in. However, understanding the distinct personalities of Minneapolis' neighborhoods might help clarify any Twin Cities confusion.
Downtown Minneapolis shelters several architectural marvels, such as the Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Central Library. The downtown area also boasts a world-class theater district with several historic theaters, as well as a lively restaurant and nightlife scene. Visitors suggest checking out the Nicollet Mall, one of the city's most popular shopping districts. Downtown Minneapolis is also home to the famous Chain of Lakes (Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet), a popular area and the location of the city's annual Aquatennial Festival.
Known as the Minneapolis equivalent of New York City's Greenwich Village, Uptown is a blend of bohemian and cosmopolitan style, featuring numerous coffee shops and vintage clothing stores. Located south of downtown Minneapolis, take a stroll through the neighborhood to Lake Calhoun, which is one of the city's favored recreational areas. Just south of Lake Calhoun is the Linden Hills neighborhood, where you can find plenty of antique shops and gift boutiques.
If you're looking for a place to eat, the Northeast District (also known as "Nordeast"), located on the opposite side of the downtown area from Uptown, boasts a large assortment of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Early in the 20th century, many Eastern European immigrants flocked to this area — making it an area rich in ethnically diverse cuisine. Restaurants range from Mexican and Mediterranean to Asian and American.
Located northeast of downtown Minneapolis, across the Mississippi River, is the Dinkytown neighborhood. Although University of Minnesota students often eat meals or party in Nordeast, they have also claimed a whole section of Minneapolis as their own. The Dinkytown area reflects the interests of college students, with plenty of bookstores, music stores, coffee shops, restaurants and clothing boutiques.
St. Paul also offers its fair share of tourist attractions, including the Minnesota History Center, the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Children's Museum. Como Park attracts a lot of visitors with the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and the Como Golf Course. Other tourist attractions include the Cathedral of St. Paul and Summit Avenue, which is known for its Victorian architecture. Just west of central St. Paul is the Cathedral Hill district, home to a variety of bars and cocktail clubs.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is a very safe place to visit. Residents are friendly and willing to help you out if you lose your way. But as is the case in most cities, being cautious never hurts. Stick to well-lit areas when walking around at night, and be extra mindful of your valuables, especially when riding the light-rail. If you're visiting during the winter, keep an eye out for icy patches on the road, which can sometimes be hard to spot when driving at night.