Minneapolis Travel Guide

  • MN Renaissance Festival
    MN Renaissance Festival
    by goodfish
  • Mississippi from the Ford Bridge
    Mississippi from the Ford Bridge
    by goodfish
  • MN Renaissance Festival
    MN Renaissance Festival
    by goodfish

Minneapolis Highlights

  • Pro
    goodfish profile photo

    goodfish says…

     Lots of outdoor activities, inexpensive, diverse, good local theater and music 

  • Con
    lkdahl profile photo

    lkdahl says…

     cold as heck in winter 

  • In a nutshell
    Faracy profile photo

    Faracy says…

     cheaper than Seattle, trendier than Milwaukee 

Minneapolis Things to Do

  • Mall of America

    One should see the biggest Mall in the US whenever visiting Minneapolis. It's really big I don't have time to scan the whole mall. It is located in Bloomington area. The mall has over 500 stores and numerous restaurants in the second floor. Kids will also love this mall because of Nickelodeon Universe, SEA Life, Lego store etc. It's just very busy...

    more
  • Downtown

    11/1/2013 NOTE: Gaviidae has been sold to a new owner and an overhaul of the property is expected. I'll revise this review as more information becomes available. Downtown Minneapolis isn't the shopping mecca that many big cities are; our largest concentration of retail stores are at malls in the suburbs. Gaviidae (Gah-veh-day) Common is one...

    more
  • Nicollet Mall

    We enjoyed walking through downtown. We stopped at coffee bars, a restaurant with outdoor tables, and did a lot of people watching. We enjoyed the local Mom & Pop shops that had more charm than the chains. We even took a picture in front of the statue of Mary Tyler Moore.

    more

Minneapolis Hotels

Minneapolis Restaurants

  • Hell's Kitchen

    If you staying in downtown Minneapolis, Hell's Kitchen is a must. Come to think of it, it is a must wherever you are staying. Not only is the food great and the service excellent, the place is fun. Many things are homemade, e.g., peanut butter and jelly, ketchup, and hot chocolate with whipped cream. They have breakfast standards (that you may mix...

    more
  • Stella's Fish Cafe

    Stella's in Uptown is best enjoyed during the warmer months, when you can dine upstairs, outside on the patio. They have the best view of downtown Minneapolis. Definitely a place to go for the atmosphere/view. I have been there once and had a po' boy. It was not that good. But, I would definitely be willing to give it another try with another dish....

    more
  • The Local

    It was a beautiful Fall day when we were there, so we ate lunch outside; however, you may want to have a pint sitting on one of The Local's comfortable couches next to a fireplace. The menu is a newspaper called "The Local Times, Official Newspaper of the Number One Irish Whiskey Bar in North America." If you don't feel like trying one of their...

    more

Minneapolis Nightlife

  • First Avenue & 7th Street

    Most happening after 11pm or whenever there's live music. Music varies depending on the night, anything from salsa to metal to techno. It's dark, the beat doesn't stop, and if nothing else it's a great place to people watch. Pretty much anything goes - you can go from leather and studs to the typical preppy club attire.

    more
  • Eating / Drinking

    Another one of the great new “Nordeast” taprooms, you’ll be lifting your pints within view of their fermentation tanks. They have 4-6 of their craft beers on tap including a couple of in-and-out seasonals, and you can sip al fresco during the warmer months. It was crazy busy with happy pubcrawlers on the last afternoon we were there so it looks...

    more
  • Live Music

    This is THE place to hear live jazz in downtown Minneapolis. The Dakota spotlights national and local jazz, blues and other genres in an intimate, club-like setting. We saw New Orleans bluesman Jon Cleary, and Dr John here not long ago and both were fabulous. They also serve good food but I wouldn't recommend it unless it's a special occasion: a...

    more

Minneapolis Transportation

  • By Bus

    Holiday inn metrodome is right on the busline, easy to get to the Orpheum Theatre, Nicollett Mall, First Avenue Bar (where Prince was discovered). It's a .50 cent ride on the bus as long as your staying in Minneapolis-we didn't know this so paid the $1.75 price as listed on the entrance of the bus, still cheaper than cab fair, and easy to get...

    more
  • By Bicycle

    Biking is huge here and a great way to explore the Twin Cities on a sunny day. Minneapolis was rated the best biking city in the country by Bicycling Magazine, and we're #2 for percentage of commuters who cycle to work. We have 92 miles of streets with dedicated bike lanes and another 85 miles of off-street paths with more being developed every...

    more
  • Combined Suggestions

    If you have to be stuck anywhere in the U.S. for a delayed or cancelled flight, this is the place. Travel + Leisure readers voted it the "cheeriest and most welcoming airport in the nation” in 2012 with high marks for cleanliness, design, amenities, ease of check-in and security. This is the largest port in a six-state area, the 17th busiest in the...

    more

Minneapolis Shopping

  • Mall of America

    Yes, it's here. Yes, it's the biggest in the U.S. Yes, we get a little sick of being famous for a big giant mall. Yes, there are WAY better things to do. Best reason to go here? To stretch your legs when it's too cold to be outside. And watch the people. Or take the kiddies to ride the rides. By all means, give the mall a look-see but please...

    more
  • Shopping Centers / Other Malls

    Honestly, this is a GREAT place to shop for all kinds of things. From clothing to home furnishings to luggage. It is an outlet mall, but don't let the word outlet scare you. It's still quality stuff with stores like BCBG Max Azria, Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren. This is NOT a place for those looking for a unique Twin Cities shopping experience....

    more
  • Sports / Recreation

    If you were ever forced to go to the Mall of America and are just determined that you are not going shopping, check out the Explore Minnesota USA Store. At this store you can learn just about anything that you might want to know about visiting and enjoying Minnesota. You can buy and/or make reservations for any activity from operas to hunting...

    more

Minneapolis Local Customs

  • People

    It's best not to overgeneralize and expect that the behavior of several Minnesotans represents the people as a whole. We have a lot of diversity (typically more in the twin cities area), which means a lot of different personalities. I've lived here my whole life and have encountered both rudeness and kindness--just like with any other place on the...

    more
  • Sports / Recreation

    Many of the great paths around our urban lakes, parks and riverfront areas are split into two: one for walkers/runners and one for bikers/bladers. Look for markings indicating which is which or just watch what others are doing and follow along. These paths can converge at points so if there's just one walkway and it doesn't have indicated lanes for...

    more
  • Weather / Water

    The "Twin Cities" have devised many strategies for surviving the cold weather. One is the many "skyways" and connecting tunnels among the buildings in downtown Minneapolis. Another is the covered [if unheated] pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi Riverthat leads to the university. The road is on the level under the pedestrian level.

    more

Minneapolis Warnings and Dangers

  • Areas to Avoid

    I grew up in S. Mpls. and have lived on the north side a few times. Back in the 60s and 70s Lake street and even the north side was not too bad. Now it is a different story. It has been infested with dirtballs. Listen to yourselves, "don't go out at night", "don't act paranoid", "don't talk to strangers", what a bunch of crap. If I want to walk my...

    more
  • Be Aware

    In a (fairly) recent article in the Star Tribune (local newspaper), many people have gotten injured leaving a Downtown club or bar when it closes. Most clubs close around 2 am, so to avoid being mugged or stabbed, use common sense and leave before drunk people come out in droves. If you need to, call a cab. However, that doesn't mean Downtown is...

    more
  • Driving / Parking

    Clearing Minneapolis - and some suburban - streets of snow after a big winter storm requires that vehicles be removed from streets being plowed. The city(s) will issue a formal Snow Emergency alert to give citizens and visitors a few hours to move their cars, and no parking will be allowed on EITHER SIDE of streets with a red “Snow Emergency Route”...

    more

Minneapolis Tourist Traps

  • Mall of America

    As a local of Minneapolis, I have been to the Mall of America many times. Each time I'm there, somebody ends up dropping at least $50 to $100 on food and other things. Lots of stores have higher prices because the Mall has so many tourists. The biggest offenders: Nickelodeon Universe. The deal is, you get either a ticket with "points" added onto...

    more
  • Valley Fair

    Valleyfair is an amusement park at the far south end of the cities. While not as big as some, it is still very fun and enjoyable. Valleyfair has three large rollercoasters, a water amusement park, plenty of rides, and an Imax Theatre. Picnic grounds are onsite, and they welcome large groups. Every kid who grew up in the Twin Cities has great...

    more
  • It's hard to find a deal in the Mall of...

    As a local of Minneapolis, I have been to the Mall of America many times. Each time I'm there, somebody ends up dropping at least $50 to $100 on food and other things. Lots of stores have higher prices because the Mall has so many tourists.The biggest offenders:Nickelodeon Universe. The deal is, you get either a ticket with "points" added onto it...

    more

Minneapolis What to Pack

  • Weather Wise

    something water proof is always good.. Minneapolis is known for being cold... That being said, most locals own a pair of snow boots (the garrish things that your mom maybe made you wear as a little kid) but never wear them.. I haven´t worn know boots for years.. I just wear regular shoes, or my zip up regular boots in the winter.. Spring is wet,...

    more
  • Be Prepared to Take a Dip

    - If you want to take the Light Rail, don't pack a large bag. During Twins (baseball) games, the train is packed and your bag might not be able to fit in if it's huge. - Be prepared for sudden rain- or even hail (yes, there is hail in the summer). - Take sunscreen and a hat! The sun can burn you, even here.- Minneapolis is a wonderful city for...

    more
  • Bring your bike

    Minneapolis is a surprisingly bike-friendly city. There are extensive networks of bike trails and dedicated bikepaths along major roads.

    more

Minneapolis Off The Beaten Path

  • Art / Architecture / Museums

    Nicollet is the only inhabited island on the Mississippi and was named for Joseph Nicollet, who explored and mapped the mighty river in the 1830's. This 48-acre limestone oasis was once a busy industrial center of factories, mills and ice houses. It was also, for a time, a fashionable address so while the early commercial structures are mostly...

    more
  • Neighborhoods

    1,840 acres to hike with rampant wildlife,picnic shelters,indoor amphitheater,a children's playground,and a water slide/pool facility. Take I-94 east past downtown St. Paul to McKnight Road and take a left. Both park entrances are on the left off of Lower Afton Rd.

    more
  • Other CITIES

    Here's what a climbing website had to say: "Taylor's Falls (Interstate State Park), St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin & Taylor's Fall, Minnesota. A truly picturesque (and crowded) gorge on the St. Croix River, Taylor's Falls offers fine toproped and lead climbing on good-quality Precambrian basalt rock. 30 to 70 foot-high cliffs hold several hundred...

    more

Minneapolis Sports & Outdoors

  • Spectator Sports

    After years of political wrangling, threats by the owner to move or contract the team, Minnesota and Minneapolis openned the state of the art $545 million Target Field. ESPN The Magazine ranked Target Field as the #1 sports stadium in North America, beating out such notable stadiums like the new Dallas Cowboy stadium and the new Yankee field. It is...

    more
  • The Vikings

    The best wide receiver in the NFL, Randy Moss! Well, he is definitely the most talented receiver. In fact, he's probably the most talented athlete in the league, but he's a bit of a headcase. If he only had the heart to match his talent, he'd be unstoppable. They call him "The Freak" but to me he's a big mystery. Update: The Vikings traded Randy...

    more
  • Twin Cities Marathon

    A friend of mine ran this marathon in October 2012, and so a group of us went with her to cheer for her and support her. It was her second time running it and she always loves it--she says you get to see the whole city and some really pretty areas. So if you're a marathon runner, why not give this one a try?On the other hand, I actually really...

    more

Minneapolis Favorites

  • Mall of America

    I hate shopping, especially in busy malls during the weekend, but Mall of America was a totally different experience. The mall is huge, but it is not intended only for shopping lovers. Inside the building there is big entertainment complex, for kids and for adults, unique restaurants, movie theater and so on.

    more
  • Downtown

    This Romanesque Revival pile was designed by the firm of Long and Kees, who would just three years later create the plan for the much more "refined" Minneapolis City Hall a few blocks away. Wikipedia describes this building as "Richardsonian Romanesque," but I don't see very much Richardson here! This was the tallest building outside New York City...

    more
  • Combined Suggestions

    One thing I really like to do during the summer is grab a bottle of wine and head down to the bandshell at Lake Harriett. During the summer there are nightly free concerts put on by a variety of local groups. The music provides a nice background to a lovely lake and (usually) a pleasant group of people. This isn't exactly a hopping event, but if...

    more

Instant Answers: Minneapolis

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

73 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Minneapolis
Minnehaha Creek / Falls
Things to Do
Walker Art Center / Sculpture Garden
Things to Do
Seasonal Events
Things to Do
Other Art / Architecture / Musuems
Things to Do
Minnesota Zoo
Things to Do
ST.PAUL
Things to Do
Night Club
Nightlife
Dancing
Nightlife
Combined Suggestions
Nightlife
Zoo / Parks / Gardens
Off The Beaten Path
Lakes / Rivers
Off The Beaten Path
Theater / Concerts
Nightlife
Brit's Pub
Nightlife
The Walter Library
Off The Beaten Path
STILLWATER
Off The Beaten Path
Weather
Warnings and Dangers
ST. PAUL
Off The Beaten Path
Buca di Beppo
Restaurants
Sea Salt Eatery
Restaurants
By Plane
Transportation
Lake Calhoun
Off The Beaten Path
Driving
Local Customs
Famous Dave´s Barbecue and Blues
Restaurants
The Quest
Nightlife
Matt's Bar
Restaurants
Chino Latino
Restaurants
By Car
Transportation
Napa Valley Grille
Restaurants
Coming soon
Transportation
People
Favorites
Seasons
Favorites
Minnehaha Falls
Favorites
Lakes / Rivers
Favorites
Information / Sources
Favorites
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
Things to Do
North Minneapolis is NOT bad, have common sense
Warnings and Dangers
Lakewood Cemetery
Things to Do
Meals on Wheels
Restaurants
Gaviidae Common
Things to Do
Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel
Things to Do
Map of Minneapolis

View all Minneapolis hotels