Tips on What To Do in Minneapolis - St. Paul
Only about 100 years ago, Minneapolis was occupied by farmland, but over the past few decades this Midwest city has transformed into a cultural mecca, featuring top-notch art museums and a theater scene reminiscent of New York. Minneapolis also appeals to numerous other types of travelers, including shopaholics, outdoors enthusiasts and families.
- The arts are big here: The region is second only to New York City in live theater per capita and is the third-largest theater market in the United States. The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and the Walker Art Center are well worth visits." -- TravelMuse
- Divide and conquer is the best way to squeeze the best the Twin Cities has to offer into just a few days. If you take it by foot, plan on three or four miles of walking a day." -- Moon Travel Guides
- Visit-Minneapolis.com offers travel information for both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Review suggested itineraries for recommendations and highlights, or browse dining, nightlife, theater, and culture listings, among others, to customize a trip with your specific interests." -- Smarter Travel
Art aficionados will appreciate the museums found inside the heart of the city. The Weisman Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center -- all in or near the downtown area -- are beloved not only for the works they house, but for their architecture as well. These museums are all unique in design and prominently feature examples of contemporary sculpture. Experienced travelers also recommend the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden -- home to the famous Spoonbridge & Cherry sculpture -- and the historic Stone Arch Bridge to visitors interested in sculpture and architecture.
For a bit of Minneapolis history, consider the Mill City Museum, which is housed in what was once the world's largest flour mill.
- Art is everywhere in the Twin Cities from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden featuring the famous Spoonbridge & Cherry, to contemporary art at The Walker Art Center, to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with its highly regarded Asian collection. Don't miss the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, a stainless steel and brick masterpiece in itself." -- Travel Channel
- Ever since it unveiled its futuristic Herzog & de Meuron expansion in 2005, the Walker Art Center has been the city's hottest ticket. Get there by 11 a.m. to beat the crowds (or better yet, come on a Thursday or a Friday, when it stays open until 9 p.m.)." -- Condé Nast Traveler
Minneapolis is known as the home of the country's largest indoor shopping center, the Mall of America. Boasting more than 500 stores, writers describe the mall as any shopaholic's dream.
But there are other popular shopping areas, including Uptown, home to dozens of vintage clothing stores, and Downtown's Nicollet Mall, home to several top-notch department stores and numerous boutiques. For a more unique shopping experience, recent visitors recommend the Midtown Global Market, where shoppers can peruse stalls piled high with jewelry, books and food items.
- Shopping enthusiasts from around the world make a trip to the Twin Cities for one reason only - the Mall of America. Beware of sensory overload in the four-level structure filled with hundreds of specialty shops, brand-name boutiques, and massive department stores." -- Travel Channel
- Three words: Mall Of America. Need we say more? Maybe one more thing: no sales tax on clothing. In all seriousness, there are more than 500 stores in the enclosed shopping center, ranging from the everyday department store to luxe boutiques such as Chanel (inside Nordstrom) and Burberry. For more unique shops, head to Uptown Minneapolis or Grand Avenue in St. Paul." -- Fodor's
Sports & Leisure
Downtown Minneapolis is home to the popular Chain of Lakes, which offer a beautiful outdoor setting for strolls or picnics. Watersports such as boating and fishing are also available at several of the lakes, including Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. During the third week in July, the Chain of Lakes plays host, the Aquatennial, a festival that features dozens of outdoors events, including boating contests and concerts. Recent visitors also say that Minnehaha Park -- made famous by its 53-foot waterfall -- is well worth a visit.
- Minnesota isn't called the Land of 10,000 Lakes for nothing. Rent a canoe at Lake Calhoun and disappear for the day. Enjoy an outdoor concert at Lake Harriet, or head out to Lake Minnetonka for the ultimate boating experience." -- Fodor's
- For some outdoor fun and fantastic views of the city's Riverfront District, take a walk, run, rollerblade, or bike across the mighty Mississippi on the 125-year-old Stone Arch Bridge, one used by trains but converted into a pedestrian walkway in the '90s." -- Sherman's Travel
Attractions for Kids
Both travel writers and recent visitors agree that Minneapolis is a great destination for a family getaway. The city is home to several family-friendly attractions, such as the Minnesota Children's Museum, the Minnesota Zoo and Historic Fort Snelling. The city is also home to numerous parks such the Chain of Lakes, located just southwest of the downtown area, which travel writers and recent visitors agree are perfect areas for strolling or playing outside. While you're here make sure to pay a visit to Mr. Little Guy's home near Lake Harriet. Children are encouraged to write letters to Minneapolis' legendary elf, who will then respond on miniature stationary.
- The Science Museum of Minnesota and The Minnesota Children's Museum offer educational and fun interactive experiences. There are also many outdoor opportunities for historical and educational outings, including the Minnesota History Center, Murphy's Landing, and Fort Snelling. " -- Travel Channel
- Keep an eye out for monthly special deals: Admission to the Minnesota Children's Museum is free on the third Sunday of the month. The Walker Art Center … hosts an all-out family-oriented bash on the first Saturday of the month, free of charge. The joint is hopping as families work on two crafts projects, rock out at the dance party in the auditorium, and watch offbeat films and live performances." -- Moon Travel Guides
Residents refer to Minneapolis as the "Minne-Apple" because its bustling theater scene reportedly rivals that of New York City. Every night, Minneapolis theaters offer all sorts of entertainment, from Broadway musicals to smaller, more low-key productions. However, if you want the ultimate Minneapolis theater experience, treat yourself to a show at the famous Guthrie Theater, which boasts three separate stages and offer backstage tours.
Minneapolis also boasts a fair number of nighttime hotspots featuring music by up-and-coming local artists as well as established superstars. Spend a night out at First Avenue & Seventh Street Entry, where Prince played regularly during the '80s. Other popular nightlife spots include Seven, downtown's most famous rooftop bar, and Uptown's Chino Latino.
- See at least one show while you're in town; the Guthrie Theater recently relocated to a stunning Jean Nouvel-designed compound on the Mississippi River, with three separate stages … be sure to grab a drink at the fourth-floor Target Lounge and stroll out onto the building's 175-foot cantilevered 'Endless Bridge.' Backstage tours let you poke around the costume and prop workrooms." -- Condé Nast Traveler
- The Guthrie Theater tops the best-of-the-best list, garnering international acclaim as one of three theaters around the U.S. to attract London's Royal Shakespeare Company. The Hennepin Avenue Theatre District brings Broadway to Minneapolis, or for something different, try one of the many experimental theaters." -- Fodor's
- Of course, anywhere around the colleges or universities is a party waiting to happen. The area called Seven Corners near the West Bank is often jumping, and the Warehouse District in Minneapolis is another favorite." -- Travel Channel
Plan Your Trip to Minneapolis - St. Paul
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