The Perfect Walking Guide to Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge | © Meet Minneapolis/Flickr
Minneapolis Skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge | © Meet Minneapolis/Flickr
Photo of Kelsey Roseth
26 February 2018

Let’s face it – we could all benefit from taking a few more steps each day! If you’re traveling to Minneapolis for the first time or have lived here your entire life, a walking tour of the city’s downtown is an excellent way to get in your 10,000 steps while soaking in the city’s sights and sounds. Here’s a 5-mile walking tour for Minneapolis.

Start here: U.S. Bank Stadium

The state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium hosted tens of thousands of football fans for 2018’s Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. Start here, and before you begin your hike, check its calendar and see if you can purchase tickets for a Minnesota Vikings game or an event in the evening. After strolling through downtown Minneapolis for five miles, you’re likely going to want a rest.

U.S. Bank Stadium Station, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 777 8700

Stop 2: Gold Medal Park

This trek around Minneapolis blends big-city energy with enchanting outdoor experiences. Next stop is Gold Medal Park, a 7.5-acre green space in Minneapolis’ Mill District. It’s designed to nurture contemplative moments and artistic awareness. Follow the park’s spiral walkway to its centerpiece – a sculptural observation mound.

Gold Medal Park, Second Street and 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 904 5607

Stop 4: Mill City Museum

Built in 2003 in the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum educates its guests on the intertwined histories of the flour industry, Mississippi waterfront, and the City of Minneapolis. Inside, there’s an observation deck with expansive views of the river, an exhibit gallery, a multimedia Flour Tower show, and the movie “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat.”

Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 341 7555

Stop 5: Stone Arch Bridge

From Mill City Museum, stop by the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center before heading north on West River Parkway. There, you’ll have panoramic views of the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam, St. Anthony Falls, and the surrounding Mill District. If you’re up for a brief history lesson, follow the rangers for a short walk to the lock walls, and learn how the falls changed the course of history.

Stone Arch Bridge, 100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 230 6400

Stop 6: Nicollet Island Pavilion

Meander along the winding Mississippi River on West River Parkway until you reach Hennepin Avenue, then follow that road until you’re on Nicollet Island. One side of the island hosts DeLaSalle High School while the other side is home to Nicollet Island Pavilion, a popular place for glamorous weddings. If there isn’t an event going on, stroll along the island’s brick pathways and witness the beauty of Minneapolis’ downtown skyline.

View from Nicollet Island | © Jason Riedy/Flickr

Stop 7: St. Anthony Falls

Walk from Nicollet Island along SE Main Street, which is on the other side of the Mississippi River from where you started. At the intersection for SE 3rd Avenue, you can turn right and walk along the lovely paths in Father Hennepin Bluff Park, Historic Main Street Park, Pillsbury Park and Water Tower Park. There you’ll be able to view the roaring water of St. Anthony’s Falls.

2 SE 3rd Ave, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Stop 8: Punch Neopolitan Pizza

Head back to Hennepin Avenue and stop for lunch at Punch Neopolitan Pizza. Its mouthwatering pizza pies are baked hot in a wood-fired oven. Dining at Punch Neopolitan Pizza is an experience, and if you eat in you can appreciate the restaurant’s abundant energy. Close to the pizzeria are popular local stores including Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese, known for its award-winning cheese, and and Bibelot Shops, which is popular among shoppers seeking carefully chosen gifts and an artful shopping experience.

210 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 623 8114

Stop 9: Minneapolis Central Library

From Punch Pizza, walk along Hennepin Avenue, crossing the bustling bridge and walking until you reach the Minneapolis Central Library. Book lovers beware – it’s easy to spend a long time at this spectacular library, so keep an eye on the time or you may end up browsing for hours. Grab a coffee at nearby Dunn Brothers Coffee to get some energy to wrap up your walking tour.

300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN, USA +1 612 543 8000

End here: U.S. Bank Stadium

When you leave the library, head one block southwest to South 5th Street. If your feet are still feeling energetic, explore this area of downtown Minneapolis and visit exceptional eateries and stunning shops. If you’re ready to wrap up your hike, walk along this street until you reach U.S. Bank Stadium, where you started. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back – that was a lot of walking! Way to get those steps in.

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