Minneapolis is full of wonder with lots of things to see and do. The city is bursting with style and has some great shopping areas, like the Warehouse District and Hennepin Avenue, for those who like to shop til they drop. Or if you would rather spend your afternoon seeing what the city has to offer in terms of culture, then you’re in luck. Soap Factory is the best place to check out innovative, up-and-coming artists, and the Mill City Museum showcases Minneapolis’s history.
Of course, you have to see the city’s main attractions. But follow our lead, sneak a little off the beaten track, and make like a local in a nearby bolt-hole. Whether you’re in need of a reviving coffee, a light lunch, or something stronger, we know just the place.
See: Mill Ruins Park / Stone Arch Bridge
In its prime, this riverside region was an industrial powerhouse. Now, it’s a picturesque park dotted with winding pathways and Instagram-worthy ruins of old mills. Walk, bike or rent a motorized scooter to explore. You won’t want to miss wandering the Mill City Museum, smelling the fresh produce at the farmers’ market or watching St. Anthony Falls from the historic Stone Arch Bridge.
Then Visit: Aster Cafe
Why dine indoors when you can eat under the trees on Aster Cafe’s European-style patio? Sip a craft beer or cocktail while listening to live music and overlooking the mighty Mississippi. Impress your partner—or your friends—by ordering a round of one of the cafe’s rare whiskeys.
See: Guthrie Theatre
Built in 1963 and then rebuilt in 2006, this shiny black monolithic structure houses some of the city’s biggest theatrical events, as well as visiting shows and musicals. But this space is best known, still, for its deft in-house productions of Shakespeare’s works.
Then Visit: Day Block Brewing Company
Day Block Brewing Company pairs pizza and beer, arguably one of the world’s most iconic duos. And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, this chic industrial brewpub serves up flights of bacon with complementary sauces. It’s to die for!
See: Frederick R Weisman Art Museum
You can’t miss the shimmering steel silhouette of the Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry. But don’t be fooled by the architectural hysterics—the real story’s on the inside. Within, the museum’s collection features early 20th-century American artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, and the dazzling tale of American Modernism. It’s strong on Oriental ceramics too.
Then Visit: Kitty Cat Klub
Head to the Dinkytown district for food and happy-hour specials at one of the area’s best bars (according to the locals). You can check the calendar online to scout out the next dance purr-ty and to preview the superb beer-and-wine menu.
See: Lake Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun)
Part of the city’s delightful Grand Rounds scenic park, Lake Bde Maka Ska is the largest lake in Minneapolis and connects to the city’s Chain of Lakes. Edged by leafy parks, walking trails, picnic tables and fishing spots, this is where metro Minneapolis meets Mother Nature. On sunny days, you can rent a boat for a day’s sailing, take a boat tour, or stretch out and soak up the rays on North Beach.
Then Visit: Bryant-Lake Bowl
Bryant-Lake Bowl is part restaurant, part bowling alley, part theater. Chow down on locally sourced and sustainably raised cuisine at brunch before catching a comedy act or striking out on the old-school bowling lanes. And you can do it all with a pint in hand.