The Most Beautiful Parks in Minneapolis

Benjamin M. Smith

Minnesotans are quite proud of the natural beauty native to their state. Even in Minneapolis, the most populous city, nature is quite easy to find in the surrounding lakes and parks. Here, Culture Trip highlights five of the most beautiful parks that the outdoorsy traveler should be sure to visit on a trip to Minneapolis.
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Loring Park

Located in the Central Community of Minneapolis, Loring Park offers a convenient natural environment that is well connected to many of the city’s other attractions, and has amenities to accommodate every and all passersby. Named after the “father of Minneapolis’ parks”, Charles Loring, this 34-acre park entertains a steady following of cyclists, walkers, basketball and tennis players, not to mention leisure seekers who come for the views!

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet provides the southwest side of Minneapolis a great outdoor venue for live music, sailing and fishing on its grounds. It is a popular site for music shows and movies in the summer, which are typically offered in its large band shell. Be sure to check out the “elf house” located on the premises, carved into an old ash tree. Local legend says that travelers could leave a letter under the door of the house and expect a response in a few days.

Powderhorn Park

Just south of downtown Minneapolis, Powderhorn Park is the pride and joy of the residential district that surrounds it. This park hosts a variety of celebrations every year, being the final stop of the annual May Day parade, a popular 4th of July firework show, and an annual art fair venue in August. Be sure to check out the beautiful Victorian homes that border the park, as this district of the city is one of the oldest in Minneapolis.

Minnehaha Park

The natural beauty of Minnesota is best captured in this 170-acre park, although Longfellow also found time to write about this park in his poem, “The Song of Hiawatha”. The main attraction in this park is the Minnehaha Falls, a roaring tribute to Minnesota’s abundance of fresh water. Be sure to check out the Longfellow House Hospitality Center, the perfect introduction to the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway -one of the biggest trails in the Minneapolis area.

Lake of the Isles

Lake of the Isles is the perfect park to catch up with a friend, grab a coffee and enjoy this peaceful lake in the middle of the city. Connecting Cedar Lake with the larger Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles is unique in its two inland islands, frequently kayaked to and explored. Lake of the Isles provides ice skates to rent during winter, and a shelter with coffee and hot chocolate to warm up in after a brisk skate.

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