New to the Twin Cities? Here’s our Guide to Things to Do in Minneapolis

For those that are new to the city of Minneapolis and its many eclectic offerings, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the things to do. That’s why we’ve assembled this guide to help you navigate the dining, retail, recreational and entertainment options in Minneapolis. Let’s get started!

Recreational Options:

  • Chain of Lakes – Whether you want to bike, canoe, swim, suntan, paddle-board or anything else, the Chain of Lakes offer some of the best recreational opportunities in Minneapolis. The path around the lakes offers approximately 12 miles of walkable and bike-able trails, and plenty of picturesque views.
  • Mississippi National River & Recreation Area – In the middle of a bustling downtown, this 72-mile river park offers plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast, from canoeing to birdwatching to bicycling, hiking and much more.
  • Lyndale Farmstead Park – This park located in the East Harriet neighborhood has plenty of amenities including a playground, walking/biking paths, tennis and basketball courts, as well as baseball fields that are flooded in the winter to make hockey rinks. The recreation center located on the park grounds offers year-round youth programs.
  • Minneapolis Dog Parks – Help your dog make some new friends! There are seven off-leash dog parks in Minneapolis offering varying levels of amenities. For newcomers: Minneapolis law requires you to buy a permit before you can bring your dog to an off-leash park – fines can be up to $45 for offenders, so don’t risk it!
  • Lyndale Park Rose Garden – This spectacular Rose Garden is the second oldest public rose garden in the United States, and showcases 3,000 plants in 100 different varieties. It sits on 1.5 acres located near the Northeast corner of Lake Harriet.
  • Parade Ice Garden – When wintertime comes, the fun doesn’t stop in the Lowry Hill neighborhood. Head to the Parade Ice Garden and enjoy three ice skating rinks, a concessions area, plus seasonal indoor soccer and lacrosse.
  • Loring Park and Pond – Although it’s located in the neighborhood over, Lorig Park and Pond offers walking paths and plenty of lawn space perfect for a variety of recreational activities. With downtown juxtaposed against the natural elements throughout the expansive park, visitors can experience picturesque views throughout the year.

Entertainment Options:

  • Dakota Jazz Club – If you’re in the mood for delicious food and live music, make sure to visit the Dakota Jazz Club, where you’ll find an intimate cabaret setting with music every night, plus fine dining and cocktails.
  • Professional Sports Teams – U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field and Target Center all offer plenty of professional sports options. Go watch the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves and Lynx give it their all!
  • Guthrie Theater – If you stroll down North Washington Avenue, you’re likely to notice the landmark known as Guthrie Theater right off the Mississippi River. Grab tickets for one of their acclaimed stage productions or take a walk up to their scenic lookout to view the stunning river valley below.
  • First Avenue – This famed downtown music club is a must-see for any person that loves live music. You can see a variety of national and local musical artists here.
  • Walker Art Center – The most popular museum in Minneapolis is the Walker Art Center. Visitors can view contemporary art in a variety of media from renowned masters and up-and-coming artists alike through both permanent and rotating exhibitions.
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – located on the grounds of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is perhaps best known for its “Spoonbridge and Cherry” installation. However, the park boasts 11 acres featuring more than 40 sculptures from world-renowned artists, a conservatory and an arbor.
  • Basilica of Saint Mary – This famous Minneapolis church features stained-glass windows, shrines and an art gallery. The landmark also claims the title of America’s first basilica. You can tour the church and visit the art gallery throughout the week.

Dining Options:

  • Butcher and the Boar – If you’re looking for a hearty meal and a strong drink, head to this popular American eatery, with plenty of meat-focused options. Head out to their welcoming beer garden to enjoy a craft brew or bourbon.
  • Bread and Pickle – For a relaxing waterfront meal, head to Bread and Pickle on Lake Harriet. Choose from a variety of American menu items like burgers, lobster rolls and plenty of snacking options. After your meal, head to the Lake Harriet Band Shell and enjoy some live music.
  • Wise Acre Eatery – Fans of organic food should head to this farm-to-fork cafe, serving up American eats for brunch and dinner in an industrial-chic space.
  • Monte Carlo – The Monte Carlo in Minneapolis features dishes from steaks and chops to seafood and their famous chicken wings in a relaxed surrounding.
  • Cafe Ena – If you’re in the mood for something non-traditional, head to Cafe Ena, where creative Pan-Latin meals are the draw at this neighborhood eatery with a patio and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Bar La Grassa – Located off Washington Ave. in Downtown Minneapolis, this acclaimed Italian eatery offers delicious pastas, small plates and an expansive wine list in a vibrant space.
  • Marvel Bar – for an authentic speakeasy experience, head to Marel Bar and enjoy craft cocktails in a 1920s setting.

Retail Options:

  • Minneapolis Skyway System – The Minneapolis Skyway System is the largest, contiguous system of enclosed, second level bridges in the world. Spanning roughly eight miles of pathways connecting 80 city blocks, the Skyway System features a ton of places to eat, shop and drink. With additional access to Orchestra Hall, Target Center and Target Field, you’ll never run out of things to explore in the Skyway.
  • Nicollet Mall – This bustling downtown area has been home to the city’s most dynamic shopping options for decades. With the recent rehabilitation project completed, the shopping experience has improved for visitors. The area features several shopping options, including Gaviidae Common shopping mall and Saks Fifth Avenue department
  • Patina – This trendy Minneapolis boutique offers tons of unique and chic home goods products. From greeting cards to kitchen supplies to kids toys and much more, you’ll always find something interesting at Patina.

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