Whenever I visit a city, I like to get my bearings by riding on the Hop-On Hop-off (HOHO) buses. And when I visit a city that has none, I’m leery and thinking that the city must not have much to see. Well… Minneapolis has changed my mind! Things to see and do in Minneapolis
- Mall of America. OMG, this place is amazing! Located in Bloomington, MN and a mere 45-minute metro train ride from downtown. After more than 20 years it is still the largest mall in America (with plans to expand even more) but the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park at it’s core is jaw-dropping! Made me wish I was a child again.
- Paisley Park. The home/studio of recently deceased music icon, Prince. Located in Chanhassen, MN, a small town of little significance except that the ‘Purple One’ decided to make his mark there. Two months after his death, the concrete barriers are still up to the protect tourists and devotees alike from being run over by freeway traffic. While I visited there were many families gazing at the memorial artwork hung on the high fence surrounding the property and parents were telling their children about their favorite Prince songs and his influence on the their lives and the music industry. It is 40-45 minutes outside of Minneapolis but worth the drive (or Uber/Lyft ride) if you’re a fan of the artist.
- Good Eats. What self-respecting Midwestern city doesn’t have great food? Seriously, I only ate two meals a day because while the servings were not obnoxiously large they were filling and tasty and I made sure nothing was left on my plate.
- River Cruises. Did you know that the Mississippi River runs through Minneapolis? I didn’t! The Padleford Riverboats take off from the beautiful Harriet Island Regional Park across the river from St. Paul. I took the Beer & Bacon Cruise on Saturday night. Your ticket includes an appetizer (mini-BLt sandwiches), dinner, and either four small cups of different local brews or one 16-ounce can (additional beer and liquor can be purchased). They top the evening off with cold-candied thick bacon strips and chocolate shortbread for dessert.
- 10,000 Lakes. An outdoorsman’s dream!
- Jobs. Minneapolis has the fifth largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the USA.
- Skyline. I found myself looking up and stopping to take pictures most of the time while walking the downtown streets. The city is rife with glass and steel but not-your-average cookie-cutter dull-colored skyscrapers. No. There is some creativity in the architecture here. Enough to make me think that the next time I visit, I will find that great spot to photograph the skyline in twilight.
- Friendly locals. At the ballpark and hotel, on the cruise on my Lyft rides, during dinner, and even at the mall I spoke to countless people either born and raised in Minnesota or their family migrated there.
- Pro Sports Teams. Three of the four professional teams stadiums, field or arena are literally within walking distance of each other and central downtown. This is the way a cosmopolitan city should be. Four or five blocks from Nicollete Mall is Target Center where the Timberwolves play basketball and behind it is Target Field where the Twins play baseball. I enjoyed watching the Twins beat the Texas Rangers on Sunday’s Military Appreciation Day.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the things and places and people that I’ve seen or encountered on my 4th of July weekend jaunt to Minneapolis but you’ve really got to experience it yourself.
There’s a whole lot of fun to be had!