Since this year’s Super Bowl, Minneapolis has made its way onto travelers’ radars (and for good reason). Artsy warehouse districts, award-winning cuisine, and breathtaking waterways are just a few of the things that make this Midwestern city a hidden gem. With only 24 hours, it’s difficult to experience all the City of Lakes has to offer, but with this guide, you’ll uncover the prime destinations that give Minneapolis its charm.
Greet the morning among hand-woven blankets and locally crafted white oak furniture in one of Hotel Alma’s seven unique guest rooms. A short walk from the city center, Alma encompasses the charm of Minneapolis’ first neighborhood, and the location of the city’s up and coming destinations. The James Beard semifinalist, Restaurant Alma, sits on the hotel’s ground level in case guests get hungry during their stay, and the hotel’s cafe offers the finest local coffee selections – the perfect way to start a day before exploring the city.
Run around the Chain of Lakes
Head South for the morning to explore Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes, a paradise for any biker, runner, or kayaker. Connected by a number of pedestrian paths, the lakes offer an escape from their urban surroundings. Take a break to lounge under Lake of the Isles’ massive weeping willows, or stroll the pathways of Lyndale Rose Garden overlooking Lake Harriet. With 50 miles of parkway, it’s no wonder Minneapolis was named the fittest city in America.
Eat breakfast at The Lynhall
Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$
Visit the The Lynhall for a post-workout reward. This counter service restaurant has the atmosphere of a local coffee shop, and the menu of a five-star restaurant. Benedicts, tartines, hash; deciding what to order may be the the most difficult part of this trip. But wait, don’t get too full, their house-made pastries and tarts make for the perfect dessert.
Wander galleries at the Institute of Art
Art Gallery, Art Museum
After breakfast, take a short walk to the city’s free art museum. Featuring three stories of contemporary galleries, oceanic sculptures, Korean prints, and more, the museum is home to some of the Midwest’s most impressive collections. The establishment itself acts as a work of art, designed by acclaimed New York architects in the early 1900s. One of its best features: floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views of the downtown skyline.
Admire the city atop the Guthrie Theater
Head north to the city center and make a quick stop at the Guthrie. This famous theater is known for more than the fabulous performances it showcases – its fourth floor boasts the Endless Bridge, an observatory overlooking the Mississippi River and old mill district ruins. Among the many spectacles to be seen from the deck: A neon Pillsbury sign from the 1940s, and a pedestrian bridge built as a Mississippi railway crossing in 1881.
Uncover history at the Mill City Museum
History Museum, Architecture Museum, Ruins
Step back in time and visit a Minneapolis that was once the “flour milling capital of the world.” Neighboring the Guthrie, the Mill City Museum stands within the ruins of the Washburn A Flour Mill, destroyed by an explosion in 1878. Now, the ruins host Minneapolis’ most fascinating learning experience, and the most beautiful landmark in the city.
Grab a beer at Modist Brewing
Craft Ale Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Downtown’s North Loop district was once an industrial warehouse neighborhood. Now, microbreweries, art galleries, and boutiques crowd the streets. In one of these historical buildings sits Modist, representing everything good Minnesotan beer is: Hoppy, malty, and delicious. Enjoy a tasting flight or go behind the scenes with a brewery tour to learn about the crafting process. With over 70 breweries in the city, these guys know what they’re doing.
Stroll along the Mississippi River
Experience the mighty Mississippi along the West River Parkway. Stretching almost nine miles throughout the city, the trail offers the best river views Minneapolis has to offer. Near the old mill district, St. Anthony Falls attracts visitors from across the world. Used as a source of power for mills in the 1700s and 1800s, the falls have been a crucial aspect of the metropolis’ history. They now offer a gathering point for those interested in the river’s history and culture, a must-see for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.
Enjoy dinner at The Bachelor Farmer
Restaurant, Contemporary, European, $$$
Minnesota’s Scandinavian roots are deep, and the acclaimed Bachelor Farmer pays homage to them. Honoring the north’s rare ingredients and local farms, its dishes are consistently fresh and unique. Plus, with a menu that changes daily, there’s always an element of surprise. Visit on a Sunday night to enjoy the restaurant’s weekly short rib dinner, a homey evening for family and neighbors to gather and dine.
Grab a nightcap at Young Joni's Back Bar
Bar, Italian, $$$
End your night across the Mississippi in Minneapolis’ arts district. Young Joni has been hailed as one of the city’s best new restaurants – but tonight, you won’t be dining. Head to the alley bordering the restaurant to find an inconspicuous door leading to a secret back bar. The speakeasy-style joint has fabulous cocktails, and award-winning pizza from the connected restaurant if you need a midnight snack.