Organic eateries, chic art museums, bustling rock clubs, and trendy theaters – Minneapolis has all the trappings of a progressive, forward-thinking city. Here, there’s always something exciting happening in every corner. These are some of the best things to do in Minneapolis.
Visitors will never run out of things to do in Minneapolis. Whether you’re exploring its well-manicured parks, cheering at a baseball game, or chomping down on some of the sloppiest burgers in town, there’s one guarantee: you’ll be brushing shoulders with outstandingly gregarious locals.
Folks here are so mild-mannered that a term is coined to describe them: ‘Minnesota Nice.’
While friendly folks are enough reason to visit, the city offers a plethora of things to do, no matter the season. This fast-paced Midwestern city is easy to explore with its reliable transit, taxi, and bus options.
You’ll find that it’s easier to get around by track or on four wheels, but we advise that you take the city on foot – the downtown area is easy to navigate, and it’s easier to meander the denser areas of town by walking. Ensure you book your stay at one of these top Minneapolis hotels to make the most of your trip.
We’ve compiled a primer video of these best things to do in Minneapolis. We broke each activity down.
Table of Contents
- What is Minneapolis Known For?
- Best Things to Do in Minneapolis St. Paul (Twin Cities)
- 1. Watch Broadway Quality Theater at Guthrie Theater
- 2. Visit all of the Chain of Lakes
- 3. Visit the Minnehaha Mile
- 4. Visit Mall of America
- 5. Take a Walking Tour on the Stone Arch Bridge
- 6. Foshay Tower
- 7. Weisman Art Museum
- 8. Minneapolis Institute of Art
- 9. Walker Art Center
- 10. Visit the Bell Museum
- 11. Go All-In on Live Music on First Avenue
- Fun Things to do in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
- 12. Visit the Bakken Museum
- 13. Visit Minnehaha Regional Park and Falls
- 14. Learn About Prince at Paisley Park
- 15. Visit the American Swedish Institute
- 16. Immerse Yourself in Other Cultures at Mercado Central
- 17. Get Lost Along the Mississippi River Gorge
- 18. Holidazzle Festival, International Film Festival, or Uptown Art Fair
- 19. Restaurant Hop Along Saint Anthony Falls
- 20. Cheer on Your Favorite Sports Team at Target Field
- 21. Visit Fort Snelling State Park
- 22. Visit the Minnesota History Center
- 23. Go on a Drinking Spree at Bauhaus Brew Labs
- 24. Take a Class at Norseman Distillery
- 25. Try out Fulton Beer
- 26. Grab Some Dessert at Milkjam Creamery
- 27. Get Some Retail Therapy at the Shops at West End
- 28. Taste Your Way Through the City With These Establishments
- 29. Como Park Zoo
- 30. Minnesota State Capitol
- Things to do in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota
- 31. Visit the Mary Tyler Moore Statue
- 32. Learn the History of Minnesota Milling at the Mill City Museum
- 33. Explore Loring Park
- 34. Take an Architectural Adventure Through the Basilica of Saint Mary
What is Minneapolis Known For?
Did you know that Minneapolis is a city where many products were invented? Scotch tape, the Bundt pan, Bisquick, and even pop-up toasters were all invented in this great city. We even got the delicious Honeycrisp apple from a program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Minnesota is also well-known for its many lakes and forests and is home to the Twin Cities – Saint Paul and Minneapolis. In the Twin Cities, you will find several Fortune 500 companies, including General Mills, Land ‘O Lakes, and Target. The Mall of America, the largest mall in the United States, is also located here.
Comfort food in the Midwest is a specialty, and in Minneapolis, you will find flavors from many different ethnicities and cultures.
Historically speaking, the city remained one of our nation’s top wheat markets. The Minneapolis Grain Exchange is still one of the biggest cash exchange markets in the entire world.
With that being said, let’s dive into some of the fun things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Best Things to Do in Minneapolis St. Paul (Twin Cities)
If you’re looking to explore Minneapolis, we’ve ranked the best things to do in the city to help you build your itinerary.
While our rankings are based on our own experiences, online reviews, and traveler experiences, you’ll find that you may have your own personal preference, so take our list as mere suggestions and build your own Minneapolis adventure!
If you want to discover more, try booking a St. Paul Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure. It is a smartphone-guided walking tour that lets you explore and learn more about the area’s rich history.
1. Watch Broadway Quality Theater at Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater of Performing Arts is a landmark of Minneapolis and has been the stage for over 200 plays. It seats 850 people in its main theater and offers affordable tickets to Broadway-quality productions: an option you might not find anywhere else.
The Guthrie Theater also does things a little differently. If you are lucky, you can show up at their box office an hour before the main show begins and for rush ticket pricing, which is pretty much unheard of anywhere else today!
The theater is conveniently located next to the Mill City Museum (we’ll get to that later), so you can double up on some history and entertainment in the Mill District of Minneapolis. These museums are some of our favorite indoor activities in Minnesota for a rainy or snowy day
2. Visit all of the Chain of Lakes
Minneapolis’ most famous park is the Chain of Lakes Regional Park, which features expansive gardens and three gorgeous lakes which you can explore via a bike ride. Minneapolis is called the City of Lakes for a reason. There isn’t a ton of sprawling metropolis’ that feature this much outdoor activity.
In Minnesota, lakes are one of our most passionate attractions. The Chain of Lakes Regional Park is the most popular segment of lakes in all of Minneapolis. This series of lakes are located right in the middle of South Minneapolis, and each lake has its own unique characteristics.
The area is also a district of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, so if you love touring areas by car, you’ll love this regional park. The Chain of Lakes Regional Park includes the epic shorelines of Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), and Lake Harriet.
These lakes are part of the regional park, along with all the trails interconnecting them. Also, make a stopover at Lyndale Park, which is part of this phenomenal regional park system. This is one of my favorite free things to do since each lake has walking trails, bike paths, beaches, and sprawling green space for picnics.
If you are looking for more fun things to do, rent a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, canoe, or sailboat and tour the lakes for yourself. Alternatively, if you don’t like physical activity, watch a concert at the outdoor pavilion of Lake Harriet Bandshell Park.
In the winter, throngs of visitors skate and cross country ski on the Lake of the Isles Park. Come summer, the lake turns into a fishing spot. Around 5.5 million people visit this popular park annually.
If you are visiting a place like the Walker Art Center, you first lake to stop by would be the Lake of the Isles. If you are at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, your best starting point would be Bde Maka Ska or Lake Harriet. Check out these top beaches in Minneapolis.
See Related: Best Beaches in Minnesota
3. Visit the Minnehaha Mile
Already a shopping and dining district, Minnehaha Avenue has undergone rapid change in the past year with an explosion of small businesses sporting their own unique character. This unique area of south Minneapolis is located in the Longfellow neighborhood.
Although it is not the only place in Minneapolis to buy used items, many shops are selling a range of goods at Minnehaha Mile.
Yoga studios and alternative health centers are prominent on Minnehaha Avenue, as does high-quality dining.
Speaking of Prince…While touring north on Minnehaha Avenue, take a left on 35th Street, where you can stop by the Purple Rain House, where the Prince fictionally lived in filming the movie.
4. Visit Mall of America
If you are looking for another one of the top Minnesota tourist attractions and a way to pop out of downtown Minneapolis, well, it will have to be Mall of America.
Going to a mall is probably not high on your list when looking for something fun to do, but Mall of America is the largest mall in America, obviously, making it something you should include on your Minneapolis bucket list.
The Mall of America is much more than just shopping. It’s a theme park mixed with restaurants and a host of other activities. Think of it as a mall turned into a city.
You can stop by Nickelodeon Universe if you have kids. Nickelodeon Universe is the theme park section of Mall of America featuring water rides, roller coasters, zip lines, and other activities, making it a great thing to do for families.
If you still need to get some energy out, head over to Sea Life Minnesota, an indoor aquarium in the mall.
The mall is located outside Minneapolis in Bloomington and is one of the largest in North America. Admission is free, but you’ll need to pay for most of the attractions at the mall.
See Related: Minnesota vs Wisconsin – What’s Better?
5. Take a Walking Tour on the Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge is the second oldest pedestrian and bicycle bridge on the Mississippi River. The last passenger service was in 1978, 9 years after it was designated as a walking and biking path making it one of the best free things to do while you are in town.
Local celebrations like the Fourth of July celebration and the Aquatennial Celebration, which occurs on the late Fourth of July weekend, bring people to the riverfront near the Stone Arch Bridge.
The Stone Arch Bridge is the second oldest surviving crossing of the Mississippi River, making it one of the more popular attractions in Minneapolis. James J. Hill constructed it in 1880 to connect railway lines with Union Depot, which continues to be an important part of Minneapolis’ scenery today.
Walking the bridge, you’ll get amazing views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline, the Mill City Museum, the Guthrie Theater, and the US Bank Stadium.
Walking away from downtown Minneapolis, you’ll get great views of St. Anthony Falls and the dam that powered the Washburn A Mill, and what is now the Mill City Museum.
There are plenty of great restaurants on that side of the river, so venture into Northeast Minneapolis to get a glimpse into a trendy, historic neighborhood.
See Related: Best Ski Resorts in Minnesota
6. Foshay Tower
The Foshay Tower, also known as the IBM Building, was completed in 1929 and opened to the public on May 15th. It stands 296 feet and four inches at its completion. The Foshay is a historical tower with an Art Deco style design and is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
It was one of the first buildings completed in the city center of Minneapolis, and it became an instant landmark for the Twin Cities region because of its distinctive architecture.
The building is now the W Minneapolis, so you can stay the night in the tower or simply stop by for drinks. I’d recommend checking out the bar on the top floor to get some epic views of downtown.
The tower is located at 821 Marquette Avenue.
7. Weisman Art Museum
Looking for top things to do in Minneapolis, no matter the weather? Explore the city’s thriving art and culture scene by going on a museum-hopping trip. The Weisman Art Museum is situated at the University of Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River.
The famous art museum is worth the drive by alone. The famous architect Frank Gehry designed the museum, making it a popular Twin Cities tourist attraction just by looking at it.
The Weisman Art Museum offers exhibits with thought-provoking pieces that may be observed through social and historical context lenses.
It is open to visitors from 11 am-5 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm-5 pm. Admission is completely free, but donations are welcome.
See Related: Best Minnesota State Parks to Visit
8. Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is one of the most popular things to do in Minneapolis. The museum has been operating for over 100 years.
Art aficionados can swing by the Minneapolis Institute of Art to gawk at over 90,000 works of art from six continents spanning 5,000 years.
Admission is free, along with daily hour-long guided tours.
The museum is open for visitors from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Sunday. There is a parking fee associated with visiting the museum.
9. Walker Art Center
Thinking of what to see in Minneapolis?
Head to the Walker Art Center for the popular tourist attraction the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, theater performances, and a cross-disciplinary contemporary art collection.
The Walker Art Center is a modern art museum featuring amazing art exhibits and views of the Minneapolis skyline. In the summer, the rooftop terrace offers mini-golf.
The Walker Art Center also puts on an annual music festival called Rock the Garden on the back lawn, featuring prior performances by bands like Nathaniel Rateliffe & the Night Sweats, Alabama Shakes, and Bon Iver, to name a few.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has been open since 1977 and is easily one of the best things to do in Minneapolis. The garden features more than 100 works of art from artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly, and other modern sculpture masterminds.
The sculpture garden’s iconic piece, Spoonbridge and Cherry, is a popular Instagram photo backdrop.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the best places to take pictures in Minneapolis by a long shot.
See Related: Best Coffee Shops in Minnesota
10. Visit the Bell Museum
The Bell Museum is considered Minnesota’s official natural history museum and planetarium. It is located on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus in Saint Paul.
Formerly known as the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, you can find 10,000-year-old fossils, living plants and animals, and much more.
You can even wander outside on their green roof and observation deck as you explore the native plant landscape, geology gardens, and solar station.
11. Go All-In on Live Music on First Avenue
Live music is everywhere in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities in general. But one place is an absolute must-visit if you love live music. First Avenue is the best live music venue in Minneapolis and one of the best in the whole country!
It’s one of the top attractions in Minneapolis by far. The building was originally a Greyhound Bus Terminal, but things changed when Walter Scott, Tim Finn, Charlie King, and Jeff Murphy got together.
It took them six months to get things ready to open on April 19th, 1979, with a concert by Prince. Today it is still standing strong as an iconic concert location with a capacity of over 1,400 people.
The venue sells things like t-shirts and posters too. You’ll see things like “I Saw Prince Here” or “I Saw Lorde At First Avenue,” which make for some cool souvenirs.
They also have an impressive history of some cool shows. They hosted performances by Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters, and it is where Prince filmed his “Purple Rain” movie.
It’s part museum and part live music venue. The venue is near Target Center and Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.
Besides First Avenue, there are many other great live music venues such as The Armory near US Bank Stadium. It’s a converted armory turned massive concert hall.
It’s an excellent venue for large-scale concerts. The sound is excellent and is a great setup for a fun night in downtown Minneapolis.
Fun Things to do in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Let’s get into some more of our favorite things to do when visiting. Here’s what to do when you find yourself in Minneapolis.
12. Visit the Bakken Museum
The Bakken Museum is located in a beautiful area outside Bde Maka Ska, part of the Chain of Lakes.
Minnesota Made is a series of journalistic articles that comprise the history of medical innovation in Minnesota (Minnesota is the home to medical giants United Healthcare and Medtronic).
Tinkering with Prototypes offers the perfect space for hands-on learning. Lovers of science and engineering will be delighted by Spark of Life’s interactive exhibit, which includes a playable theremin, an antique EKG machine, and even a 60,000-volt Wimshurst Generator to give you a real idea of what it takes to power.
In addition to the supervised play spaces, you can also take guided tours of three gardens on the property.
The Healthy Heart Organic garden is home to vegetables used in meals for Healing Garden residents. Susan Hulstrand designed the Dakota Native Plants Garden with native species and a reflection pond, and Florence Bakken’s Medicinal Garden reflects Medieval Art.
See Related: Best and Fun Things to Do in Rochester, Minnesota
13. Visit Minnehaha Regional Park and Falls
One summer hotspot is Minnehaha Park and Falls in south Minneapolis. Over the years, this seven-mile loop has become a popular spot for cyclists and hikers alike to take in the sights of the natural Minnehaha Falls.
Minnehaha Falls is actually an extension of Lake Minnetonka.
Minnehaha Creek starts in Gray’s Bay of Lake Minnetonka and winds all the way through the Twin Cities to end up at this awesome regional park. From there, Minnehaha Falls continues onto the mighty Mississippi River.
The park is not just a waterfall. You can hike down the falls and wind your way through the bank of the Mississippi River for miles. Plus, there is plenty of green space for picnics and grilling.
Check out Sea Salt Eatery while you are there. They serve excellent seafood and craft beers in the summer, so you can soak up the sun while listening to the roar of the falls. They are known for being one of the top restaurants in Minneapolis.
If you are here in the winter, check out the frozen waterfall and the avid cross-country skiers touring the Mississippi River.
The best time to visit the Minnehaha Falls is midsummer, although there are plenty of things to do and enjoy year-round.
See Related: Best Waterfalls in Minnesota
14. Learn About Prince at Paisley Park
There’s no doubt that American singer and songwriter Prince is one of the city’s most beloved personalities.
So dear is the Purple One to the City of Lakes that a museum was built to celebrate his legacy: Paisley Park. This is by far one of the top things to do in the state.
This suburban Minneapolis estate is where Prince himself made and performed his iconic music. After he died in 2016, the home was converted into a museum where visitors could learn more about his life and dedication to music.
General admission tickets will take you on a 70-minute guided tour of the main floor, including the studios where the artist produced his popular hits.
You’ll also see Prince’s private NPG Music Club and meander around the spacious soundstage and concert hall where Prince rehearsed.
VIP tours offer a more comprehensive experience that includes brunches, a visit to more rooms and studio areas, a chance to view bonus artifacts from the archives, a private screening of exclusive footage, and an exclusive photo opportunity.
While you are out there, you can visit the iconic Lake Minnetonka to purify yourself in the depths of these immaculate waters.
See Related: Things to do in Excelsior
15. Visit the American Swedish Institute
The American Swedish Institute provides an overview of Swedes in Minnesota and shows the importance of Nelson Cultural Center and Turnblad mansion.
The museum is located in the former mansion of Birger Jarl, publisher of one of Minnesota’s largest Swedish language newspapers.
The estate also features many other activities such as touring the grounds and art gallery or learning about Scandinavian American culture in its traditional cooking classes, theater performances, lectures, and concerts.
The museum is located at 2600 Park Avenue in South Minneapolis and is just a 5-7 minute drive from the downtown area.
See Related: Best Things to Do in South Dakota
16. Immerse Yourself in Other Cultures at Mercado Central
The city has a long history of welcoming immigrants and learning about varied cultures is one of the best activities to do in Minneapolis.
After Somalia’s civil war, many Somalis settled in Minneapolis and made the city their home. As a matter of fact, Minneapolis is home to the largest number of Somalis in the United States.
If you’re planning a trip to the city, consider swinging by The Somali Museum of Minnesota to celebrate their traditions and art. Visitors can take classes in traditional Somali crafts and learn more about contemporary Somali culture.
Thousands of Hmong flocked to Minneapolis to flee from war and strife in Laos. Immerse yourself in their culture by heading to the Midtown Global Market, where you can nibble on Hmong snacks, buy ethnic handicrafts and dine at favorite local restaurants.
For Latin flair, head to Mercado Central for awesome food, groceries, shopping, and a peek into Minneapolis’ vibrant Latino and Mexican community. Mercado Central features around 35 shops and some of the best Mexican restaurants in Minnesota.
Check out these other great Lake Street restaurants.
17. Get Lost Along the Mississippi River Gorge
Another one of my personal favorite free things to do is touring the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park. This park features even more sprawling hiking, biking, and cross-country ski trails to fill your athletic adventures.
I love the Winchell Trail located along the river. Beyond hiking and biking, there are several beaches located along the river that locals frequent. You may even see a bonfire at night in the summer.
These trails are located on the bank of the Mississippi and the Great River Road National Scenic Byway (or West Great River Parkway), a national scenic drive that spans over 500 miles along the Mississippi River, making it a great spot for capturing beautiful colors in the fall.
From here, cross the bridge, and you’ll be in Saint Paul. Or continue south along the trail and end up at Minnehaha Park.
18. Holidazzle Festival, International Film Festival, or Uptown Art Fair
Parties are among the list of things Minneapolis citizens take seriously, so if you’re wondering what to do in the city, participate in any of the fairs and festivals that occur on nearly every occasion, all year round.
For a taste of the limelight, swing by the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival, a springtime tradition. Held every April, this film festival exhibits more than 250 films from around 70 counties with audiences of around 50,000.
For a dose of art and one of the top free things to do, head to the Uptown Art Fair in South Minneapolis to view professional works from renowned artists. Mediums include painting, jewelry, multimedia compositions, sculpture, glasswork, and contemporary art.
This is a great place to stock up on local goods, including Minneapolis-produced coffee, honey, candles, soap, and more.
If you’re visiting during the holiday season, join the Holidazzle festival, an outdoor festival that features local entertainers, glittering lights, food vendors, winter activities, and art and crafts.
You can’t forget about the Minnesota State Fair that comes to St Paul each year. Its slogan: “The Great Minnesota Get-Together.” The Minnesota State Fair is the largest in the US.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Minneapolis
19. Restaurant Hop Along Saint Anthony Falls
Begin your journey by taking a leisurely walk around Saint Anthony Falls, a charming waterfall that once powered flour and lumber mills.
Along Saint Anthony Falls, there is plenty of walking, hiking, and biking trails to get lost on the banks of the Mississippi River. You can walk all the way down to the falls and the river.
Next, walk to The Mill City Museum and do a self-guided tour of Minnesota’s history. This often-overlooked attraction is great for individuals and families alike.
20. Cheer on Your Favorite Sports Team at Target Field
Minneapolis citizens are big on sports, and you’ll surely encounter some kind of sporting event no matter the time of the year.
But why do Minneapolis locals love athletics so much?
The city is actually home to teams from all four major professional leagues: the National Hockey League (Wild), Major League Baseball (Twins), the National Football League (Vikings), and the National Basketball Association (Timberwolves).
The city also has its own Women’s National Basketball Association team, the Lynx, and several other collegiate teams from the University of Minnesota.
Target Field, located on the western side of downtown Minneapolis, is home to the Minnesota Twins. This open-air stadium has received praise from spectators and ballplayers for its exceptional views, seating, and atmosphere.
This is the perfect place to attend a game! The stadium is one of the top attractions beyond sports as well. It frequently hosts live concerts and other events.
Cheering on your favorite home team is one of the more fun things to do in Minneapolis if you’re looking for a great way to bond with the locals.
Whether on the court, field, or ice, it’s easy to get caught in the infectious team spirit!See Related: Top Things to do in Wayzata, Minnesota
21. Visit Fort Snelling State Park
Minneapolis owes its existence to the Mississippi River.
In the mid-1800s, it was the water-powered sawmills along this river that caused a boom in timber. Come the 19th century, the city’s population grew rapidly with mass immigration from Germany and Scandinavia.
Swing by historic Fort Snelling State Park, located at the spot where the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers meet, to learn about Native Americans and the location’s military significance.
You’ll learn heaps about how the fort played an integral role in the emancipation of enslaved people.
22. Visit the Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center, with its museum and library, offers the most in-depth overview of Minnesota. Take an educational trip with exhibits, crafts, music, shopping, lectures, and food.
The Minnesota History Center costs $12 for adults and $8 for children. Their hours of operation are from Tuesday-Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
These are some of the other top museums in Minnesota.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Minnesota
23. Go on a Drinking Spree at Bauhaus Brew Labs
Minneapolis locals love their alcohol, and if you’re visiting, you’ll find that beer and cocktail tasting is one of the more fun things to do in Minneapolis. Whether it be a craft beer or a delicious cocktail, you’ll find that this city doesn’t skimp on bars or breweries.
Bauhaus Brew Labs is a relatively young brewery that opened in 2014. It’s well known for adding unique twists on classic German-inspired beers (the Sky Five Midwest Coast IPA is a definite must-try).
24. Take a Class at Norseman Distillery
Want to learn how to make a fancy cocktail? Take a class at Norseman Distillery at their Cocktail Lab held each month. These cocktail-making sessions come with recipe cards, hands-on instructions, and three tastings.
25. Try out Fulton Beer
Visit Fulton Beer for one of the best garage taproom experiences. Here, simple things are done exceptionally well, from its hoppy-sweet staple Sweet Child of Vine to its sweet and delicate Lonely Blonde.
Suppose you’re looking for a craft bar-hopping experience. In that case, this tour offers an all-inclusive distillery tour and brewery tour experience where you can visit the city’s best craft cocktail establishments.
Great for visitors looking to get the full experience of tasting locally produced craft beers! Here are some of the top Minneapolis breweries to consider.
Take a Minneapolis History and 4-Bar Crawl Guided Walking Tour for even more boozy fun!
26. Grab Some Dessert at Milkjam Creamery
If you need a spot for dessert, grab boozy ice cream from Milkjam Creamery in Uptown Minneapolis. It is an artisanal ice cream shop serving up some interesting and delicious flavors. In addition to their boozy floats, they also offer sundaes and other treats with funky names.
See Related: Best Breweries in Duluth, Minnesota
27. Get Some Retail Therapy at the Shops at West End
When it comes to Minneapolis, there’s no shortage of places for retail therapy. The city is home to the Mall of America, a massive one-stop shop where you can eat, shop, or be entertained.
There’s a movie multiplex, mini-golf, an escape room, and an aquarium for visitors looking for activities beyond shopping.
American-favorite Target is also headquartered in Minneapolis. If you’re looking for activities to do in Minneapolis, head to Target’s newly renovated flagship store for travel essentials you may have forgotten to bring with you.
However, if you’re looking for something more upscale and local, swing by The Shops at West End, located near Saint Louis Park. Looking for something more leisurely?
Take a Sunday-morning stroll at the Mill City Farmers Market for delicious eats, locally grown goods, and crafts.
MILLE or Statement offers a more intimate, boutique feel and showcases accessories and pieces from new designers.
See Related: Best Pizzerias in Minnesota
28. Taste Your Way Through the City With These Establishments
Thanks to Minneapolis’ melting pot of cultures, you’ll find a thriving foodie scene in this bustling metropolitan city. There is an array of top-notch restaurants and specialty markets here, no matter what flavor you’re raring for.
Minneapolis is known for its comfort food, and you’ll find it here in all forms. Various restaurants are duking it out in the battle of the Jucy Lucy burger, a type of cheeseburger with the cheese inside the meat instead of on top.
Head to either 5-8 Club or Matt’s Bar, two burger-joint rivals, for the best cheese-stuffed burgers in town. You’ll also find some of the best Jucy Lucys in Blue Door Pub or The Nook in St. Paul; try them all and be the judge!
Ready for some more eats? At Blue Door Pub, you can get “tatchos,” which are a play on the legendary comfort food, tater tot hotdish, with a bit more Mexican flair. They are one of the best takeout restaurants in Minneapolis.
For a taste of Minneapolis’ Scandinavian roots, head to Ingebretsen’s for sausages, cheeses, and Scandinavian gifts.
Tullibee at Hewing Hotel whips up a mean Nordic-inspired dinner or brunch, while the Spoon & Stable offers some of the best blends of classic Italian, Nordic, and other fares.
Explore the city’s thriving Hmong and Vietnamese community with a delicious bowl of hot pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup with spices, vegetables, meats, and rice noodles.
For authentic pho and ramen restaurants, swing by Quang Restaurant, Pho 79, or Zen Box Izakaya.
Make sure you have the best credit card on you for all the dining rewards you will surely earn on your trip!
See Related: Minneapolis vs St. Paul – Key Differences to Know
29. Como Park Zoo
Como Park Zoo is free and open to frequent visitors all year long. With the Como Zoo, you will also find the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. The park, zoo, and conservatory are owned by the City of Saint Paul and are a part of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation.
You will also have the chance to participate in several experiences with animals, gardens, art, and other attractions.
30. Minnesota State Capitol
The Minnesota State Capitol serves as the seat of government for the US state of Minnesota and houses legislators, the governor, and the attorney general.
The building is a must-see attraction with beautiful stained glass ceilings, grand marble staircases, and unique artwork on display throughout the property.
The Minnesota State Capitol offers sweeping views of downtown St. Paul. The Minnesota State Capitol features gold horses at the top of the building. The building started construction in 1896 and was completed in 1905.
The building is in St. Paul, so you’ll need to venture away from Minneapolis. It’s a unique and iconic state capital, making the list of best things to do in Minneapolis.
Check out these best things to do in St. Paul while in town.
Need affordable airfare to take you to Minneapolis to cross off your bucket list? Make sure to book your flight early for the best deal.
Things to do in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota
Love street art? Head downtown to Eduardo Kobra’s towering mural of musician Bob Dylan at the intersection of Hennepin and 5th Streets.
This impressive piece was built in just five weeks and tells the intriguing story of the Minnesota native’s career and musical journey.
If you want to see it all, you should book a walking tour and history guide to see most of these museums in the most efficient amount of time.
31. Visit the Mary Tyler Moore Statue
You can stop by the Mary Tyler Moore statue outside the former and still legendary Dayton’s building on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress best known for her roles in the 1970s television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and movies such as “Ordinary People.”
In 1994, she became internationally known as a spokesperson for Lifetime Television.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a television series that lasted seven seasons from 1970 to 1977 on CBS. It was one of the first “single woman” sitcoms, and it spun off two other series: “Rhoda” and “Phyllis.”
The statue of Mary Tyler Moore was unveiled in 2009 at the SE corner of Nicollet Mall and W 7th Street, only a few blocks from where she grew up. It became one of Minneapolis’ most famous landmarks: Jay Leno even interviewed with it!
Pro Tip: If you are visiting in winter, use the Skyway System in Downtown Minneapolis to get around. The skyway system is an interconnected series of bridges between buildings so you can burrow your way through downtown without going outside.
If you want to see the statue, you’ll need to pop outside for just a hot second.
See Related: Best Scenic Drives in Minnesota
32. Learn the History of Minnesota Milling at the Mill City Museum
To see what was once the world’s biggest flour mill and a glimpse of what daily life was like during the Industrial Revolution, head to the Mill City Museum.
The Mill City Museum is an award-winning museum housed inside a historic building that is worth your time to check out.
The building was originally built in 1873 as once the world’s largest flour mill and includes things like the original water turbines that used to run it.
Near the museum and across the river, you can see the Washburn A Mill, a sister building during milling operations.
The Mill City Museum is now a cultural institution that explores the history of Minnesota and its role in the Industrial Revolution while looking at flour milling, labor struggles, and the General Strike.
Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children. The Mill City Museum’s hours of operation are Thursday and Friday 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. They are currently closed Monday through Wednesday.
See Related: Best Things to do in Ely, Minnesota
33. Explore Loring Park
Minneapolis is blessed with splendid outdoor sights and activities, and you’ll never run out of places to go if you’re looking for things to do.
The city ranks among the top park systems in the country, and visitors will instantly discover that every trip outside is a chance to enjoy nature.
The best outdoor activities in Minneapolis are hiking, jogging, kayaking, biking, canoeing, fishing or cross country skiing.
Loring Park is a park that is located at the intersection of Minneapolis and Hennepin Avenues downtown. Loring Park is one-third of a mile on either side of the lake, bordered by low trees and shrubs. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is next to Loring Park.
The Stone Arch Bridge is close to Loring Park, which offers a 2-mile biking or hiking trail. You can also host picnics at Johnson Lake and try tennis on the courts there.
See Related: Best Things to do in Southern Minnesota
34. Take an Architectural Adventure Through the Basilica of Saint Mary
You can stop by the Basilica of Saint Mary to see how Catholicism helped shape the region. This Beaux-Arts masterpiece is the first basilica built in the United States.
The Basilica of Saint Mary is a Roman Catholic minor basilica located in its own city along Hennepin Avenue in the streets of downtown Minneapolis. It is a gathering place for all who walk through the doors. The John XIII Art Gallery features the work of local, national, and international artists.
Ready to continue your Minnesota adventures? Veer off the trail a bit and explore everything the Minnesota Zoo offers. It is an AZA-accredited zoo located in Apple Valley. It is just about a 25-minute drive from Minneapolis. It has a 218,000-gallon Shark Reef exhibit.
Need a rental car so you can see all the sights? Book one today for your Minnesota trip.
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