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Your guide to Minneapolis
All About Minneapolis
Denser and more vertical than its Twin City sister, St. Paul, Minneapolis is a dynamic contemporary city where art and culture rub elbows with parks, prairies, and the Mississippi River. To know Minnesota’s most populated city is to spend time in its diverse neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive vibe.
Downtown you'll find major sports stadiums and Nicollet Mall, where the city's major retail shops are decked out in tall glass windows. The 57-story IDS Center Tower overlooks the area and is also home to its own businesses in an urban park setting. Head a block west and you’ll stumble upon the Hennepin Avenue Theater District, home to the theaters that populate downtown with their bright neon signs, welcoming you to a late-night show. For wandering around, make sure to take advantage of the interconnecting Skyways (elevated walkways) to determine where to head first.
Just outside downtown, the North Loop is a former industrial zone now packed with the city’s buzziest restaurants, clothing boutiques, and hip cafes. A stroll over Stone Arch Bridge takes you to St. Anthony West, the oldest neighborhood in Minneapolis, with cobblestone streets lined with brick buildings showcasing upscale restaurants and trendy bars. If you’re craving a patch of green space from which to take in the fresh Minnesota air, Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park lies on the edge of the city and features miles of paths for biking and wandering along the shorelines of five lakes.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Minneapolis?
With proper planning and lots of clothing layers, Minneapolis is a great year-round destination. Although winter can be brutally cold, it’s an excellent time to ice skate and cross-country ski in local parks or visit one of the many museums. Spring can get a bit soggy, but it is lovely to see the city wake up from its winter slumber. June through August is bursting with energy and festivals, including the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, which draws artists and musicians to the riverfront. The long hours of sunlight will also give you plenty of time to fit in plenty of hiking or swimming. This is the busiest time of the year, so keep that in mind when booking your Minneapolis vacation rental. In the fall, the temperature drops, and the leaves begin to change into brilliant shades of gold and red. This is a great time to visit some of the city’s scenic spots, go apple picking, or even catch a live football game.
What are the top things to do in Minneapolis?
Stone Arch Bridge
Built for the Great Northern Railway in the 1880s, the Stone Arch Bridge is the second-oldest Mississippi River crossing in existence today. With its 23 Romanesque arches, which make it look more like a medieval European bridge than a railroad trestle, this iconic structure is now a pedestrian bridge connecting the historic neighborhood of St. Anthony Main and downtown.
Mill City Museum
Located along the Mississippi River, this museum was built among the ruins of an old 19th-century Minneapolis mill that blew up in 1878. The museum focuses on educating visitors about the mill’s role in the growth of the city. You can also ride the Flour Tower, a narrated freight elevator ride that will take you through the mill’s floors and give you a glimpse of what it was like that fateful day.
The Indoor Skyway
One of the unique things about Minneapolis is its system of interconnecting elevated walkways. Designed to clear up congested sidewalks and create additional retail space, the walkways have the extra benefit of protecting people from the harsh weather. They now also serve as vibrant public areas complete with art installations, cafes, and shops. As you walk through the nine miles of walkways, it sometimes feels as if you're walking in a hidden city within a city.