Weekend City Picks: Minneapolis
Perched near the tip of the Mississippi, Minneapolis is the cultural capital of the Upper Midwest, with theater seats, live music and stellar restaurants to spare. The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is a hidden gem with abundant natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for travelers with a love of the great outdoors.
Arts & Entertainment
Minneapolis’ downtown riverfront is lined with historic industrial buildings like the one that houses The Soap Factory, a boundary-pushing art gallery specializing in immersive multimedia exhibits. Every Halloween, the Factory transforms its basement into an artist-designed house of horrors that is thought-provoking and blood-chilling in equal measure.
Just across the river is The Guthrie, the most celebrated theater in a town known as a destination for drama. A modern architectural marvel, the massive sapphire building holds three theaters, several bars, a full-service restaurant and one of the best views of Minneapolis from the “Endless Bridge” lobby jutting out over the Mississippi.
The Mill City is a rock’n’roll town, and no place exemplifies it better than First Avenue, an iconic downtown rock club converted from a bus depot. The venue’s walls are lined with stars memorializing performances by legendary acts, from the White Stripes to Bob Dylan, and of course, Prince, who filmed the climactic concert scenes from Purple Rain there.
Food & Drink
Sitting in the shadow of the iconic Foshay Tower, Manny’s is perfect for those who love to live large. Massive, perfectly aged steaks are the specialty here, but don’t overlook the truly spectacular bar program, with handcrafted cocktails and one of the best selections of Scotch in town.
Minneapolis is experiencing a craft-beer boom, and Surly’s gigantic new destination brewery is quickly becoming a mecca for pint lovers. Specializing in left-of-center brews and bold flavors, Surly’s heavy-metal theme and tattooed bartenders are a glorious departure from tradition. There’s even a fine-dining restaurant specializing in beer-pairings upstairs, for those looking for a touch of class.
Exuding all of the elegance of the nearby Orpheum Theater, Marin is a multi-tiered palace of New American cuisine in the heart of Downtown. Several dining rooms are available upon request, including a rooftop lounge, intimate wine cellar and a lush courtyard. Curious tipplers can even attend a monthly cocktail class in Marin’s handsome Library Bar.
Celebrating the seasonal traditions of the heartland, The Bachelor Farmer, helmed by Chef Paul Berglund, is a revelation of fresh, sustainable dining in Minneapolis’ formerly industrial North Loop. Berglund and his staff use locally-sourced products whenever possible, even growing their own produce in a small farm on the restaurant’s rooftop.
The Foshay Tower was Minneapolis’ first skyscraper, constructed with all of the Art Deco panache that the roaring twenties had to offer. The Foshay’s 30th floor observation deck may no longer be highest in the city, but it still provides fantastic views.
Built atop the ruins of the world’s largest flourmill, the Mill City Museum tells of Minnesota’s early industrial history through fun, interactive exhibits. Drop the kids off at the Baking Lab while you take in the 9th floor observation deck for stunning views of the nearby St. Anthony Falls.
Minneapolis’ obsession with the stage starts young, and the Children’s Theater Company is a fantastic destination for plays aimed at kids of all ages. Featuring some of the best young-adult acting talent in the nation, the CTC is also a farm-league for the city’s up-and-coming thespians.
Fitness junkies with discerning tastes should look no further than Steele, a luxury fitness center aiming to class up the gym experience with spa-like locker room amenities, attentive personal trainers, and the finest exercise equipment available.
Kosama aims to turn group fitness on its ear by utilizing cutting-edge technology, innovative applied-nutrition techniques and a diverse range of classes to get you the results you truly desire from your workout regimen.
One Yoga combines Minneapolis’ love for the ancient discipline with the city’s uniquely grassroots politics, resulting in a non-profit studio designed to make the physical and spiritual benefits of Yoga accessible to all communities, regardless of their experience or finances.
Minneapolis is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the country’s best biking cities, and the Greenway is major reason why. The 5.5-mile trail runs parallel to Lake Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, along a former railroad corridor, creating a “bike highway” and walking paths separated from car traffic.
The true charm of Minneapolis lies in its natural beauty, and no park in the city exemplifies this better than Minnehaha Falls. Featuring a majestic 53-foot waterfall that freezes into a breathtaking ice castle during the winter months, this park also contains miles of hiking trails leading to limestone bluffs and the Mississippi.
Minneapolis’ chain of lakes is a sprawling system of waterways on the western edge of the City, with Calhoun being the largest and most popular. With several beaches, abundant opportunities for boating and paddle-boarding and even fishing, Calhoun is a must during Minneapolis’ summer months.
Combining technological innovation with natural beauty, Webber Natural Swimming Pool is the first of its kind in America. It eschews chlorine to clean its water, utilizing filtration derived from plants in a nearby pond instead.
Located just south of the city but easily accessible via the Light Rail, the Mall of America is the nation’s largest indoor shopping mall. This gargantuan building contains a theme park, aquarium, movie theaters, a comedy club and a huge range of retail outlets specializing in everything from high-end fashion to LEGOs.
Located just Northwest of Downtown, The North Loop neighborhood is the new epicenter for all things hip in Minneapolis, containing a plethora of upscale dining, retail boutiques and art galleries. Arrow specializes in hard-to-find casual labels from America and abroad for both men and women.
Simply put, MartinPatrick is the finest menswear boutique in Minneapolis, featuring an impeccably curated collection of new and vintage clothing, furniture and decorations. Its bright, modern North Loop retail space will leave you feeling like a million dollars, even if you just stick to window shopping.
With family ties to the Lululemon empire, Kit and Ace’s North Loop boutique specializes in immaculately crafted performance apparel. With its innovative in-house fabric known as Technical Cashmere, Kit and Ace is bringing ingenuity and refinement to the drab world of exercise clothing.