Top Things to Do in Minneapolis | Midwest Living

Top Things to Do in Minneapolis

The larger of the Twin Cities does everything on a grand scale. It has more theater seats per capita than any city outside New York, it has the largest mall in America, and its miles of trails trace the second-longest river in America—the Mississippi. Check out our guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.


Guthrie Theater The Mississippi riverfront theater draws crowds for first-class performances; this year’s lineup includes Guys and Dolls.

Mall of America Seven Yankee stadiums could fit inside the Bloomington mega-mall, home to 520 stores, a Nickelodeon theme park and an aquarium. 

Mill City Museum Ride the Flour Tower, an eight-story elevator show about the city’s rich milling history. A ninth-floor observation deck overlooks St. Anthony Falls.

Minneapolis Institute of Art Admission is free to view the permanent collection of more than 89,000 objects, which includes European tapestries and Turkish embroideries. 

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden A two-year, $33 million makeover reinvigorated the popular attraction with environmentally friendly landscaping and 16 new pieces of art.

Minnehaha Park Hikers and bikers on the 10 miles of trails stop to see the Mississippi River, limestone bluffs and 53-foot-tall Minnehaha Falls.

Minnehaha Park

Minnehaha Park

Nicollet Mall A 12-block pedestrian thoroughfare balances big-city feel with eclectic hidden gems. Highlights: the Dakota Jazz Club and Brit’s Pub (with lawn bowling on the roof).

Target Field Families pack the downtown stadium to cheer on the Minnesota Twins while savoring local fare like polish sausages from Kramarczuk’s. Kids 14 and under get a thrill from running the bases after Sunday games.

Twin Cities Food Tours Expect international flavors—Neapolitan-style pizza, old-world Polish treats—and Minnesotan history on this three-hour walk.

U.S. Bank Stadium The Vikings' $1.1 billion stadium hums even on nongame days; catch a concert or take a behind-the-scenes tour.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Weisman Art Museum Frank Gehry’s gleaming silver building houses the University of Minnesota’s collection of more than 20,000 objects, including numerous pieces of American modernism.

Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum


112 Eatery A cheeseburger and an egg sandwich appear on the menu next to creative dishes like Chinese fried eggs.

The Bachelor Farmer A rooftop garden produces veggies that show up in items such as toast with shaved pork pastrami and fresh cow’s milk cheese.

Bar La Grassa James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Becker crafts twists on traditional Italian food.

Borough For lunch it’s hard to beat the Parlour Burger, a mix of ribeye, brisket and sirloin. Dinner in the former warehouse building goes fancy with choices like octopus, quail and scallops.



Butcher and the Boar German classics get modern updates, such as a Berkshire pork chop with hard cider sauce.

Hai Hai Each shareable plate shows chef Christina Nguyen’s understanding and creative interpretation of Vietnamese food.

Hell’s Kitchen You can’t go wrong with anything at this underground joint known for its Mahnomin porridge (wild rice, cream, berries and hazelnuts).

Milkjam Creamery Flavors both familiar (Grandma’s Blueberry Crumble) and unexpected (Indian Elvis, a combo of peanut butter, banana and curry) guarantee a choice for every taste bud.

Nighthawks Diner + Bar Chefs grind, cure and smoke meats on-site, elevating dishes like pulled pork and burgers. Neon purple lights at the bar illuminate 20 taps with local and regional brews.

Midtown Global Market Shop for ethnic groceries and ready-made foods at an indoor market.. 

Pizza Luce The namesake pizza comes topped with Italian sausage, garlic, onion and mounds of gooey mozzarella. Mashed taters and bacon star on the popular Baked Potato Pizza.

Red Stag Supper Club A green restaurant in northeast Minneapolis offers a Friday fish fry featuring seasonal catches.

Salty Tart Bakery A must-stop for oatmeal cake.

Smack Shack Go all out with the lobster boil: a whole lobster with corn on the cob, Polish sausage, red potatoes, coleslaw and milk bread.

Spoon and Stable James Beard Award-winner Gavin Kaysen churns out French-inspired cuisine made with seasonal Midwest ingredients, like duck breast with green wheat berries and kale. Two-story-tall brick walls, large windows and skylights brighten the former horse stable in the North Loop. A lovely final touch: A tin of petits fours arrives with the check.

Surly Brewing Company You might have to wait for a seat in the cavernous beer hall, but it’s worth it for beers like the hoppy Surly Furious and top-notch pub food.

Spoon and Stable

Spoon and Stable

Travail Kitchen and Amusements  Music thumps and chefs cheer when the doors open for the 5 p.m. seating of the nearly three-hour culinary masterpiece at this Robbinsdale restaurant. Chefs prepare at least 10 courses and on some nights parade past guests to dole out avocado mousse and hot-pepper macaroni accompanied by a symphonic soundtrack.

Young Joni Chef-owner Ann Kim continues her success with gourmet wood-fired pizza at her third area restaurant. But diners can also branch out with dishes inspired by her Korean heritage: Korean beef short ribs and grilled whole fish.


Alma Seven rooms in a historic building come with handwoven vintage rugs and custom furniture made from local white oak. Round out your stay with contemporary American dishes at the casual Cafe Alma, or the prix fixe, dinner-only Restaurant Alma.

The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel The renovated train depot offers comfy modern rooms (some with whirlpools), plus beer and wine flights at the Stone Arch Bar.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Minneapolis Downtown The renovated 1910 Plymouth building offers two-room suites accented with local artwork plus an excellent hot breakfast buffet.

Hewing Hotel Framed hatchets, exposed timber and brick, and custom Faribault Woolen Mills throws reflect the artsy vibe of this former warehouse in the North Loop. On-site restaurant Tullibee serves Nordic-inspired cuisine.

Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis The owner’s art collection adorns guest rooms at this boutique hotel in the heart of the theater district and near Nicollet Mall.

Loews Minneapolis Hotel This super-luxe hotel spares no detail, even when it comes to pets. Four-legged family members dine on gourmet room service.

Radisson Blu Mall of America A lobby awash in a blue glow welcomes guests to this hotel attached to the Mall of America. A spa and indoor saltwater pool offer a soothing break from shopping.

Radisson Blu Mall of America

Radisson Blu Mall of America

For more information: Meet Minneapolis

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