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Minneapolis is the lively, prosperous, and most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Nicknamed the ‘Mill City’ due to its world-leading levels of wheat flour production, we bet you didn’t know that Minneapolis is also the birthplace of many useful inventions like Scotch tape and pop-up toasters. Today, Minneapolis and its twin city, St. Paul, jointly attract millions of visitors every year looking to experience its rich arts institutions, famous park systems, vibrant nightlife, and classic architecture.
However, there is one attraction in the suburbs of Minneapolis that people from all over the world come to experience and that is the magnificent Mall of America. Spread across a whopping 4,870,000 sq ft (452,000 m2), it is the largest mall in the western hemisphere. Book your Minneapolis car rental in advance with Enjoy Travel for the best deals. Prices for Minneapolis car rental start from just $45 per day for a subcompact car like a Misubishi Mirage.
Guide to Minneapolis
Minneapolis lies at the head of the Mississippi River, just north of its confluence with the Minnesota River. With adjoining St. Paul to the east, it forms the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the largest conurbation in the state of Minnesota. Thirteen lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks, and waterfalls make it abundantly rich in water. Minneapolis also has around 170 parks with one of the nation’s best park systems.
Climate in Minneapolis
Minneapolis has a humid continental climate with warm humid summers and cold snowy winters. As such, the best time to visit the city would be between June and August. It is the peak tourist season when people venture outdoors, spend time by the many lakes, and attend festivals like the famous Minneapolis Aquatennial.
Today, Minneapolis is known for its abundant wheat production and is regarded as the flour milling capital of the world. It also has a thriving music and performing arts scene and has launched the careers of legendary musicians like Bob Dylan and Prince. Minneapolis has a vibrant multicultural population composed of immigrants from Scandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin American nations like Mexico.
Things To Do in Minneapolis
Discover a world-class art museum
Among the best things to do in Minneapolis is a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It is a government-funded fine art museum displaying an encyclopedic collection of more than 80,000 objects from across the globe and spanning five millennia. Art aficionados will be enthralled by their splendid collection of Asian art, considered one of the best in the United States. These include samurai armor, jade jewelry, ceramics, and traditional Chinese architectural elements. You will also find classical European statuary, as well as paintings by legendary artists like Titian, Monet, Picasso, Rubens, and Rembrandt in the halls of the Minneapolis Museum of Art. After drinking in the museum’s remarkable exhibitions, stop at the Agra Culture Kitchen and Press eatery for a quick bite.
Witness a magnificent sculpture exhibit
An 11-acre outdoor exhibit, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a beloved attraction in the Twin Cities area, drawing in thousands of tourists every month. After being merged with the Walker Art Center in 2017, it now is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the United States. There are around 50 permanent and temporary sculptures, some of which are interactive. This green landscaped garden is framed by the Basilica of St. Mary and skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis in the background, making it a popular place for photos. While there, do not miss the modern and whimsical Spoonbridge and Cherry sculptural fountain by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Weighing a total of 7000 lbs, the cherry whimsically spouts water into the spoon and pond beneath. The pond itself resembles a linden seed, a nod to the rows of linden trees planted close by. Apart from the sculptures, the garden is also home to the Cowles Pavilion & Regis Promenade, the Alene Grossman Memorial Arbor, and Flower Garden with seasonal displays.
Stroll through a picturesque park
Sprawling along the banks of the Mississippi River, the 167-acre Minnehaha Regional Park is an ideal recreational spot away from the bustle of the city. It is home to the 53-feet-high Minnehaha Falls, made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, ‘The Song of Hiawatha.’ The limestone bluffs of the park provide a lovely backdrop for Insta-worthy shots, and during the winter, the waterfall freezes over and you can experience the thrill of walking behind a curtain of ice. This park is one of the oldest in the city and fun things to explore here include strolling through a pergola garden, playing disc golf with friends, or going for bike rides. You can also live show at the Minnehaha Bandstand and grab a bite at the Sea Salt Eatery. During the summer, there is a wading pool for kids to splash around in. This park is the perfect family-friendly outing.
Catch a show at a world-renowned theatre
Founded by the acclaimed theater director, Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the Guthrie Theater is a center of the dramatic arts. It covers performance, production, education, and professional training. This world-famous theatre opened in May 1963 with a production of ‘Hamlet,’ and today it has a resident company that produces classic and contemporary plays on three stages. On average, there are nine productions every year on the main stage. Some recent shows include Guys and Dolls, As Yuu Like It, and A Christmas Carol, the latter of which is a holiday tradition. The theater also offers guided backstage tours on Friday and Saturday mornings. Apart from the theater, the premises also boasts two world-class restaurants and views of the majestic Mississippi River from the Endless Bridge viewpoint.
Eating Out in Minneapolis
Minneapolis has always had good restaurants where you can enjoy a hearty meal, but in recent times, the number of great dining options has dramatically increased. Some of our favorites in town include the following:
Hai Hai gives tropical paradise vibes and serves mostly South Asian dishes. You should sit on their big outdoor patio and try the water fern cakes and banana blossom salad along with the turmeric and dill fish. Savor over-the-top caviar or a donut chicken liver sandwich at the luxurious Grand Café. Manny’s Steakhouse is a traditional eatery serving massive steaks and strong cocktails. Relish thick-cut bacon and a side of crispy hash browns here. A restaurant for all occasions, Spoon and Stable is always packed and reservations are scarce. However, you can enjoy bar-only options like smoked pork tacos or duck meatloaf sliders. Italian Eatery has a pasta-heavy menu where you can opt for delicacies like the squid ink rigatoni and sriracha zucca, all of which are made in-house.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is the main and largest airport serving the state of Minnesota. It is located within 10 miles of both downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul.
Getting Around Minneapolis
A large variety of public transport modes are available in the Twin Cities area, including bus, bike-share, and light rail. Metro Transit is the primary public transport operator and maintains a network of buses, light rail, and commuter trains. The light rail connects Minneapolis to downtown Saint Paul and the airport. Metro Transit also offers fast and frequent service to most tourist attractions including the Mall of America as well as both the downtowns.
However, for maximum convenience and flexibility to see the city and its surroundings - maybe even a quick jaunt across the Canadian border! - in your own time, we recommend renting a car instead.