Minneapolis/St. Paul Travel Guide

Minneapolis is dubbed the "city of lakes," for obvious reasons, and the city prides itself on its wide range of outdoor recreations. But while Minneapolis is fairly small (about 350,000) and on the quiet side, it isn't a boring place. In fact, residents like to refer to it as the "Mini Apple." The city has a lively nightlife scene, including arts, theater and music. Most touring bands schedule at least on date in the Twin Cities -- and Prince is from the area, which says something.

 

Sights

Minneapolis has three major art museums: the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum. It also has a vibrant arts district on the northeast side of town, with a lot of galleries and cafes where artsy types hang out. Or if you're not a culture vulture, head for Minnehaha Park. One of Minneapolis' most popular and oldest parks, it features an abundance of trees, 53-foot Minnehaha Falls and views overlooking the river. One of the city's iconic landmarks is Stone Arch Bridge, a former railroad bridge and the only stone arch bridge across the Mississippi River. Other architectural sites of interest include the Children's Theatre Company, designed by Michael Graves, and 1929 Foshay Tower downtown. If you're traveling with kids, activities for youngsters abound at the interactive Science Museum of Minnesota and the fun rides at Valleyfair Amusement Park and Soak City. For more adult pastimes, there are the Guthrie Theatre, Minnesota Opera and several performing-arts venues in the Hennepin Theatre District.

                                                           

Shopping

The word "shopping" was coined in Minneapolis. OK, that's not true. But this is the home of the first enclosed shopping mall and the nation's biggest shopping center (Mall of America). It's also world headquarters of Target. The Warehouse District showcases emerging designers and decorative pieces for the home. For the kids and the young-at-heart, check out Uptown, which features local designers, galleries, boutiques and vintage clothing shops. Nicollet Mall is an 11-block thoroughfare through the city center full of high-end shops and trendy retail brands. For a flavor of historic Minneapolis and a dash of modern taste, check out the Riverfront District. For neighborhood shopping, explore Franklin Avenue, Lake Street, Linden Hills and Grand Avenue.

 

Dining and Nightlife Minneapolis is home to a thriving cafe culture. The coffee shops are where a lot of locals meet to catch up and maybe hear a little quiet music. The arts are focused in the Hennepin Theatre District. If you're looking for an after-work happy hour scene, Hennepin Avenue also has comedy clubs and nightspots. First Avenue leans toward bars and restaurants for those of more discriminating taste. If you're a Prince fan, make sure to drop by First Avenue, the Club featured in "Purple Rain."

Where to Go in Minneapolis/St. Paul

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