When you have a layover in Minneapolis, consider yourself lucky! Sure, it can sometimes feel like a drag when you have extra time between flights; however, there’s a lot to do in Minneapolis that you can fit into a short amount of time. With these suggestions, you’ll be able to make the most of your layover and be back through security before your plane boards.
If you have three hours…
You have time for a quick trip to the Mall of America if you have about three hours between flights. The Mall of America, often called MOA by locals, is only a few miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The mall opened in the 1990s, and it has about 40 million visitors each year. The facility is one of the largest malls in the United States, and the largest one if you count floor size. With more than 500 stores and the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, you’ll wish your layover was longer. To get there from the airport, either catch an Uber, local taxi or take the Light Rail Transit.
Mall of America, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN, USA, +1 952 883 8800
If you have five hours…
Beat the airport blues and get outdoors. If you have a five-hour layover in Minneapolis, consider visiting the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It’s close to the airport and accessible by taking the Metro Transit. The refuge is along the Minnesota River, and it was formed to provide habitat for the migratory waterfowl, fish, and other species threatened by commercial and industrial development. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set aside more than 14,000 acres of land for wildlife and wildlife-dependent recreation. At no cost, you can learn about the multiple habitats within the refuge at its two visitor centers, and witness nature by bird-watching, biking, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
If you have seven hours…
Seven hours is just enough time to make it to downtown Minneapolis for a little sightseeing. Check out the Walker Art Center, a world-class multidisciplinary and contemporary art center that is home to the popular Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Plan to spend about two hours at the Art Center and approximately 1.5 hours at the Sculpture Garden. You can get there via the Metro Transit. Once you’re done, you can snag dinner at Cafe Lurcat. The restaurant offers American cuisine and is known for having one of the best summer patios, the best burgers, and the best wine bar in the Twin Cities. Make sure to reserve a table before you go.
If you have twelve hours
The longer the layover, the more you can enjoy Minneapolis. Take the Metro Transit’s Blue Line to Minnehaha Regional Park. It’s one of the city’s oldest and most popular parks, with a 53-foot (16-meter) waterfall that’s the main attraction. Experience limestone bluffs and river outlooks as one of the park’s 850,000 annual guests. When it’s warm, you can walk, bike, play disc golf and enjoy the garden and wading pool, or you can play with pups at the Minnehaha Dog Park. And when it’s cold, the waterfall freezes, making for a beautiful sight. There’s a Punch Neapolitan Pizza nearby, which is a pizza place popular with locals. If you still have time, check out the John H. Stevens House Museum to explore local history or grab a drink at Venn Brewing Company before heading back to the airport.
Minnehaha Regional Park, 4801 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 230 6400
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