It makes me so sad when I go back to home to Maryland and people can’t even conceptualize the fact that my family moved from the suburbs of D.C. to Minn-e-so-tahh. To them, this area of the country is about as relevant as Siberia. The only things they seem to associate with this northern state is cold, corn and Fargo accents. “What is there even to do there?”, I hear like a broken record. Uff da people! It so far from the truth that Minnesota is a barren and frozen wasteland and I have put together a list to show you why!
Maybe we don’t have an ocean here, but Minnesota has more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. It is home to over 10,000 lakes, both big and small. During the summer you can find me at my favorite one, Lake Calhoun. Located in Minneapolis, Lake Calhoun has a walking trail, beaches, volleyball and a ton of green space to hang out. While there, make sure to stop by Tin Fish and grab some fish tacos.
See a Show
It is said that Minnesota has the second amount of theater seats outside of New York. There are some amazing theaters here such as the Ordway, The Hennepin Theater Trust, The Brave New Workshop and the renowned Guthrie Theater. I have seen a plethora of shows such as The Phantom Of the Opera, Wicked, A Chorus Line, Beautiful, Kinky Boots, Once and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in the past few years.
Mill City Museum
This Museum is the ruins of what was once the largest flour producing mill in the country. You sit in an old lift and it moves up and down, floor to floor as you learn about an incredibly interesting time in Minneapolis’s history.
Go and check out the beautiful 53 foot waterfall located in Minnehaha Park. If you’re here during the wintertime, you might get to experience the falls frozen, which you can walk behind. The park also has sculptures, biking and hiking paths, a picnic area and a garden.
Midtown Global Market
The Midtown Global Market was built with the intention of celebrating all cultures. The large building is filled with stalls that have food and items from around the world. There are also classes like cooking and dance as well as youth outreach. Where else can I go and get a gyro, a bubble tea and a macaroon in one building?
Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair runs August 23rd-September 3rd. Here you can find pretty much any food on a stick, see a concert, view beautiful art, go on some terrifying rides, shop around the world in the Grand Bazaar and watch animals being born at The Miracle of Birth Center. So many activities!
The American Swedish Institute
This stunning mansion from the 20th century is both a museum and culture center. Built by Swedish immigrant Swan Turnblad, this incredibly beautiful building is one of my favorite places to visit. Pro tip: to see the world’s most breathtaking decorations, go during Christmas. To eat amazing food, stop by the restaurant inside called Fika for some delicious Swedish cuisine.
St. Anthony Main
St. Anthony Main is an area of buildings located on Nicollet Island. It is across from St. Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River. You will find a ton of people chilling out and enjoying their day at the many restaurants that line the streets. A night time during the summer, movies are shown on a large screen in Father Hennepin Bluff Park, just across the street from many of the restaurants.
-10 degrees out? No problem! Minnesotans don’t let the cold winter months get in their way. Instead of staying inside and complaining (cough cough at my Maryland people), they built above ground tunnels that run throughout all of Downtown Minneapolis. They are the largest continuous system in the world! They connect to restaurants. hotels, stadiums and even churches. Go and wonder for hours in these climate controlled sky tunnels.
So should you put Minnesota on your next vacay spot? You betcha.
*This list is very Minneapolis heavy, I will a have St. Paul list soon!