Areas to Avoid, Minneapolis
If you have chosen to walk to the Mall of America from your hotel during the day, remember you have to return back to the hotel later. The day time walk is enjoyable, but the evening return can be daunting.
If you choose to cross the parking lot at night, be aware that you are alone out there, and many RVer's choose to park in the lot, plus we have noticed vans cruising the area. This could be a source of DANGER. You are laden down with parcels, you are tired, and often the only thought is of a warm shower and pajamas. Be wary, but even better, use the hotel courtesy van to come home. Check with your hotel for the 'pick up point' as well as times of pick up. Every hotel has one.
Courtesy Vans are free, but a gratuity for the driver would be appreciated.
Since a lot of people that visit the Twin Cities are from small towns in Iowa and the Dakotas and places where you can leave a car running with the doors unlocked in downtown for 48 hours with no problem (you know what I mean), I think much ado has been made about nothing on this page in regards to a lot of areas in the Cities. Quite frankly, it seems any place that isn't 99% white in population is considered automatically "bad" by a lot of folks. In reality, that's not true.
I'm white and have lived on Portland Avenue near downtown, on Lake Street, and many of these other supposedly "bad" areas. Yeah, you're going to see a lot of black people in some spots, but that doesn't mean they're *necessarily* going to shoot you. Try visiting New Orleans or Birmingham someday if you think some of the predominately black neighborhoods in the Cities are bad, seriously.
Definitely agree with RugbyDave that Loring Park is very, very safe. Sure, I wouldn't go walking around at 4:00 in the morning unless I were able to take care of myself. But that's pretty much true in any city or town of any size.
North Minneapolis is mostly okay, in my opinion. I mean I wouldn't worry about driving around the area--not at all during the daytime. At night I wouldn't walk around it really, again unless I knew where I was going and had some reason to do so. But it's not at all like East Side Detroit or a lot of areas in Southside Chicago. And downtown Minneapolis? I've walked around the downtown area at 2:30 in the morning many, many times, as I used to bartend at one of the clubs there. NEVER had any problems, there were always a dozen or so cop cars patrolling the area, and there aren't even any panhandlers to speak of. If you think downtown Minneapolis is bad at night, again, take a visit to Chicago, Miami, L.A., or just about any other city with a million or more people.
Just my $0.02. Take it or leave it.
why are people so afraid of predominantly black neighborhoods? people are so ready to buy into the stereotypes without even experiencing it for themselves!!
and on that note:
if you're afraid of black folks, stay out of the north side. it's people like you who got blacks living in poor neighborhoods to begin with.
if you either love black folks or you are black yourself: go STRAIGHT to the north side. that's where you'll find the best soul food, the best barbershops and hair salons, and the best after-hour parties... not to mention a whole slew of good-looking, eligible black men and women.
I know some people have said that Loring Park area used to be rough, but its not anymore! They really cleaned this place up, and now its pretty much gays and hippies here. Very nice, beautiful, tranquil part of the city. Its great -- you're downtown, but youre in a park.. just like "central park" in nyc, which is what Loring Park actually used to be called.
and ANYONE that says North Mpls isn't bad is FULLY wrong -- its REAL rough! but its really far out of the way of the tourist.. .I mean, i've never heard of anyone accidentally wandering in to North Mpls. It's totally different from most other cities in that respect.. I mean, this city is SO DAMN HUGE that it would take some serious planning to casually accidentaly wander into North Mpls :)
Its one of the most vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan cities i've ever lived in or seen. Seriously... and the winters are the BEST part of the city !
enjoy it and come move here :)
In Minneapolis, avoid Northwest areas, specifically areas north of I-394 and west of I-94. The Jordan neighborhood is very dangerous, especially if you are white. In the past year or so, there have been a number of race-related incidents. The Jordan neighborhood is northeast of Broadway, west of Emerson, and south of Lowry. Downtown is generally safe, as is far northeastern Minneapolis, especially north of lowry and east of central. I've been in this neighborhood at night and felt pretty safe. Minneapolis is also safe south of 54th St. Southwest minneapolis is safe, south of I-394 and west of Dupont or so. Most of the other areas of Minneapolis, while not all that safe, are much safer than South chicago.
The neighborhood I would avoid is whatever gated community MonteS11 lives in. Neighborhoods like north Minneapolis and Phillips are full of hard working, committed people fighting to overcome poverty and oppression. White supremacist jerks like the above mentioned poster are, happily, not typical of Minneapolis, so don't worry, kind traveler, it is safe to visit here.
I haven't been to Chi-Lake in a few years but it had a HUGE liquor store that all sorts of scummy flotsam seem to love hanging out at.
Mpls. has relatively few panhandlers but this is one of the real hot spots...it you feel kind and some one panhandles from you - just go in the liquor store & buy them a 40 oz. of malt liquor. DO IT DISCREETLY so EVERYONE doesn't think you are gonna buy 4 them!
WHY do I endorse buying a 40 oz. of Malt Liquor for these peeps? Because I've worked with homeless people and live in San Fran - Golden Gate of Panhandler's Galore...
... my point is if you're homeless in MPLS you deserve a 40 oz. of malt liquor. I knew someone who lived under a BRIDGE ALL WINTER LONG IN THIS FRIDGED HELL and FINALLY got off the street; I am amazed at this person.
Point - homeless people are human beings just like everyone else; be nice to them because you never KNOW when YOUR day might come and you have a major heath care problem -you're employer is an non empathic bastard and....well you get the idea I hope.
Okay I live on the northside of Minneapolis. It isn't that bad. Yes we have some gang members and murders. But nothing major happens. People act like the northside is gonna eat you up and spit you out. Before you judge a place, try going there and giving it a try.
Avoid the area around Lake and Chicago avenue at night... its seedy, and just dark and icky.
Don't walk around the lake or river, or in the parks alone at night... perverts like to lurk in the bushes litterally...
Parking meters are really enforced.:(
Its not a dangerous city, but its spread out so if you're in a bad area walking, it may take awhile to get out of it.. public transport isn't that great either, and taxis are really expensive.
Having lived downtown from 1996-2006, I have a pretty good perception on what's 'safe' and what's not. The actual neighborhoods in Minneapolis which generate the most media attention (north Minneapolis) are places you wouldn't be going anyways because there are no real sights there for visitors. They are like neighborhoods in any other cities with modest homes and parks. The places to use caution are downtown and the areas surronding it.
The biggest change I have noticed is the presence of open drug activity in Loring Park and downtown sidestreets (Yale Place, Harmon Place, Nicollet & Grant - Loring Towers, etc). This was NOT a common occurrance in 1996 but with the lack of police downtown today, it's something I'm afraid will get worse as the summer nears. I'm already seeing it. I know that most of this goes on matter what police do, but I guess it bothers me that this goes on as much as it does and God help the person who unknowingly rounds the corner in the middle of a deal or a fight.
Your safety downtown depends on common sense you would use in any city. Don't go out alone dressed nicely and drunk - you're asking to be robbed. I worked for the city 911 call center for years and after a while learned how the game works - most of the criminals downtown wait just before bar closing to go after people because they know the police are occupied with dispersing crowds from bars and clubs - so if you get robbed around 1-2 am, it's gonna be a long time before the cops get to you. Almost 100% of the time the crooks are long gone by then and never caught. During the day, and into the evening, downtown Minneapolis is one of the safest (and rapidly becoming the wealthiest) areas I've been in. The presence of $2 million condo owners downtown will likely result in a demand for more protection and police presence, and with the convention center being downtown, generally your stay in downtown will be a pleasant one.
People from Minneapolis (and I guess Des Moines) like to think that the North Side and parts of the South Side are really bad, but it's not true. I've lived on the south side for 4 years now (one year right by the liquor store at Lake & Chicago, which a previous person mentioned as being really bad and scary) and never had a problem.
Just don't start your car to warm it up, then leave the keys in it and the doors unlocked. And don't wander around the South Side dressed as a Halloween Indian - we have the largest concentration of urban Indians in the U.S. and AIM has centers in Mpls & St Paul. Other than that, just be smart and you'll be fine.
This place is the epitomy of temperature extremes...Mpls. is SUPER HOT AND HUMID ALL DAMN SUMMER - JUNE-AUGUST.
then like a psychotic delusion - it's Sept. - MN state fair which has usually broiled temps. - ends.
AND THEN YOU HAVE 2 DAYS OF LOVELY FALL AND BE PREPARED TO SPEND LOTS OF $$$$ ON ARCTIC WINTER WEAR.
this place is so f&cked up weather wise, it's INSANE.
Just be sensible. I am 22 and I have lived here my whole life. Minneapolis and St Paul are like any other cities. There are spotty areas around downtown to avoid, but pretty much nowhere is a good idea to be in the middle of the night unless you are in the suburbs. Still even then nighttime can be dangerous. Specific areas to avoid might be the Payne-Phalen area east of downtown St Paul and Philips on the South Side of Minneapolis. Also, I have never had a bad experience riding on the light rail and I have done it quite a bit, so use the trains and buses as they are very helpful. For the most part the Twin Cities is a great place to walk around or hang out in.
there are lots of beaches in the minneapolis area and it's very fun to go swimming after dark (even though it is technically illegal). i went to "hidden beach" around upton around south mpls/ uptown around midnight and the cops came within 15 minutes and gave us all hundred dollar tickets. they check the beaches a lot and don't hesitate to write people up.
in addition, one of the cops was telling me about how they have found men lurking around in the bushes around these park/beaches with rope, presumably to attack any girls who might go swimming at night. theres also the occasional drunk weirdo who will come upto you and try to get some of your liquor. so if you're gonna go to the beach at night and you are a girl make sure there are a couple of guys with you and that you don't wander off alone.
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 dogs at night, I should be able to without having my hand on a loaded Glock in my pocket. After all, I'm not dealing drugs or casing houses to rob. No wonder we have someone like Al Franken as a senator. Yes a guy could stay and fight but, when you are totally outnumbered with creeps, it is just not worth it anymore. A losing battle that makes life very hard for a law abiding citizen. Thank you liberals. Call it "white flight" or whatever. Show me a "black city" and I'll show you a "bad city". Statistics are not racist. Same thing has happened to the east side of Saint Paul. You can pretend you are living in a cheap rent "la la" land but, you have just been lucky so far. I suggest you get a concealed carry permit because your number will come up living where you do.