Its origins in timber and as a flour milling capital go back to the city's abundance of water, including 22 lakes, 170 parks and wetlands, the Mississippi River, and creeks and waterfalls.
The most important and artsiest town on the prairie, Minneapolis is home to extravagant museums, rowdy rock clubs, ethnic restaurants and edgy theaters. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to do. Minnesota natives are friendly, attitude-free, and embody "Minnesota Nice." Count the times they say, "Have a great day," rain or shine.
The Mississippi River is home to one major natural waterfall, Saint Anthony Falls. It is located just northeast of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many dams were constructed along the east and west sides of the falls in the mid-to-late 1800s to support the milling industry that spurred Minneapolis' expansion. In 1880, a steeply sloping timber apron was built atop the central face of the falls to prevent downstream erosion. The concrete apron, which is most visible today, was rebuilt in the 1950s. Over the years, a series of locks was constructed to extend navigation to upstream locations.
When you're visiting Minneapolis, don't miss the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater. Built-in 2006, and designed by Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie's Endless Bridge was one of the world's most extended cantilevers (unanchored protruding structures). Overlooking the Mississippi River falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, the observation tower looks out on the West River Parkway and several historical landmarks that account for Minnesota's beginnings. You will also find windows inside the Guthrie that offer different views of skylines from various vantage points, much like the Amber Box in the Dowling Studio Lobby located on the ninth floor.
The Foshay Tower was the first skyscraper built in Minnesota. As a symbol of abundant consumption in the 1920s that resonated throughout the United States, the Foshay Tower is significant to Minneapolis and Minnesota as a unique architectural design and engineering example. This historic hotel is surrounded by a contemporary art scene, independent music, and thriving theaters, fashionable shopping, and acclaimed dining. As an added bonus, the observatory deck provides visitors with breathtaking views of the city. It is home to a small museum worth exploring.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a top-notch attraction for travelers of all ages and interests. As a standalone attraction, the 11-acre outdoor exhibit is beloved by many. This garden was built in 1988 and has drawn millions of tourists with its roughly 60 sculptures, many of which are interactive. The garden was renovated in 2017 after working with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. Visitors to the park are drawn to Spoonbridge and Cherry, a massive spoon sculpture in the park center, and the Love sculpture by Robert Indiana, which is found in cities around the globe.
Our love for the Sculpture Garden wouldn't be complete without mentioning all the incredible exhibits within the museum itself. As one of the top five most visited modern and contemporary art museums in the United States, the Walker Art Center is one of the most popular galleries in the country. The organization also offers classes, workshops, lectures, and screenings. The Walker is always dynamic, and there is always more to see, causing us to plan our next visit on our way out of the door.
A good time to visit Minneapolis - St. Paul is between June and August. Residents and visitors venture outside and play in the lakes as temperatures hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the peak tourist season in summer, and festivals and farmer's markets are plentiful. During early fall, leaves change, and temperatures are comfortable, making it a great time to visit.