Minneapolis Travel Guide
Minneapolis is the larger, more cosmopolitan half of the Twin Cities (a metro area bisected by the Mississippi River, with the state capital, St. Paul, on the east side). It’s been a go-to cultural center for decades, whether for dramatic productions at the Guthrie Theater, avant-garde art at the Walker Art Center, or live bands at First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, which Prince put on the map with his iconic film Purple Rain. Winters are legendarily long and cold, a perfect time to spend indoors at the behemoth Mall of America. But locals make the most of summer with outdoor activities that include biking or boating on one of the surrounding lakes that give Minneapolis its nickname, the “City of Lakes.”
Reasons to Visit Minneapolis
Best Bet: The Guthrie Theater
Housed in a dramatic blue metal-and-glass structure in the Mill District on the banks of the Mississippi, the Guthrie Theater is the Twin Cities’ premier performing arts venue. Productions are held year-round on the Guthrie’s three stages—from musicals to Shakespeare to experimental pieces workshopped in the theater’s studio space.
Off the Beaten Path: The Weisman Art Museum
While the Walker gets deserved attention, the Weisman Art Museum, located on the University of Minnesota campus, is also worth a visit. Designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, its curvilinear silver exterior is a striking work of art in itself. The museum’s permanent collection focuses heavily on American modernism, as well as significant collections of ceramics, Native American pottery and traditional Korean furniture. Admission is free.
When to Visit Minneapolis
Winters can be frigid, but locals embrace the cold with annual events such as the Holiday Market, a take on traditional European Christmas markets, held at Peavey Plaza in November and December. As a city with lakes, wetlands and a major river, Minneapolis’ summertime is extremely humid. Cool off at Minnehaha Park, south of downtown, where you can feel the spray from the 53-foot waterfalls.
Minneapolis Travel Tip
The Twin Cities is a culturally diverse area. Head out of your Minneapolis hotel and get a feel for that flavor at the Midtown Global Market, where you can sample foods from vendors specializing in the cuisines of India, Korea, the Middle East and more.