I’ve always heard the summers in Minnesota are remarkable, thanks to their lake life and outdoor activities paired with beautiful weather and scenery.
What I didn't know until we toured a multitude of Twin City neighborhoods was just how gorgeous the architecture and tree-lined streets are as well as the breadth of diversity and character of the restaurants, cafes and bars. From the much anticipated cuisines of “Jucy Lucy” burgers and Scandinavian-inspired farm-to-table cuisine to the cozy "Hygge" lifestyle inside and out, Minneapolis is one fantastic city to explore!
In true form, I started with the most comprehensive place to research how to plan our 4-day weekend getaway: @meetminneapolis and minneapolis.org. Plus, it never hurts to have an old friend in-the-know and can add in some locals' favorite hidden gems!
From the true Midwestern charm of seeing “Ope!” on a doorway to the Danish-Norwegian influences infused throughout, to taking in the scenic sailboats at each and every glimmering blue lake, we soaked the Minneapolis summer life in. Don’t shy away from hopping in the car and navigating your way through the Chain of Lakes, comprised of Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, Lake Harriet, Brownie Lake, and Cedar Lake, as you find yourself in complete AWE of the unbelievable estates lining their respective lakeshores.
Minneapolis is acclaimed for their nature and outdoor offerings; from biking and hiking trails galore to kayaking, swimming beaches, gardens and parks, and outdoor music and festivals, your love for the open air is set to be satisfied.
The city is also known for their neighborhood farmers markets, patio dining, music and nightlife, arts and culture, boutique and Mall of America shopping, and of course their epically delicious food and drink. While four days was certainly not enough to do and see it all, it undoubtedly left our family with a strong desire to return to the Twin Cities for more exploration during the summer, as well as the winter activities they know how to pull off!
Visit minneapolis.org for a more robust look into EVERY thing to do in each neighborhood and an extensive list of itineraries to plan your own Minneapolis, MN trip!
For additional photos, videos, and Midwest experiences, visit @kansascitybucketlist on Instagram and www.kansascitybucketlist.com.
—-> Day 1:
Hewing Hotel: Historic Hotel | Situated in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, Hewing is one of a dozen @Aparium historic spaces converted into boutique hotels. Hewing combines its rustic Minnesota history with modern amenities for an authentic and unforgettable stay in the Twin Cities. @hewinghotel
Tullibee Restaurant: Nordic Cuisine | A premier restaurant in Minneapolis focusing on hyper-local sourcing and a farm-to-table philosophy, Tullibee works with regional farmers and freshwater fishermen to deliver brunch and dinner Scandinavian menus offering small bites and rustic entrees along with a full bar. @tullibeemn
Hewing Rooftop: Rooftop Lounge, Spa Pool, and Sauna | Take in the downtown Minneapolis skyline views 6 floors up while sipping on cocktails and light bites. Plus, enjoy a heated rooftop spa pool and a true dry sauna in the Nordic tradition. @hewinghotel
Edwards Dessert Kitchen: Seasonal Desserts | “Sweet Vibes Only.” Decadent desserts are made in house daily and range from rich chocolate hazelnut Rocher Mousse to refreshing seasonal fruit offerings and unique plated desserts. @edwardsdessertkitchen
Minnesota Twins at Target Field: Major League Baseball | Spectacular and intimate ... breathtaking views ... dazzling amenities ... and a staggering array of special features! Those are just a few things you can find in your experience at Target Field, the new world class home of Twins Territory. @twins
—-> Day 2:
The Harriet Brasserie: Restaurant | New American Cuisine in the heart of Minneapolis serving brunch and dinner Thursday - Sunday. @harrietrooster
Wild Rumpus Books: Independent Children’s Bookstore | Look for the tiny purple door! Walking into this whimsical shop is like turning a page into a children’s literary fantasy. You can also make a furry animal friend while you’re there! @wildrumpusbookmpls
Sebastian Joe’s: Ice Cream Shop | For over thirty years, Sebastian Joe’s has been hand crafting, small batches of fresh ice cream daily in South Minneapolis. @sebastianjoes
Lake Harriet: Chain of Lakes Regional Park | Walk, bike, paddle, relax at the beach, eat at Bread & Pickle, and enjoy summer concerts and live music at the Lake Harriet Bandshell all located at one of Minneapolis’s three most popular lakes. @minneapolisparks
Lake of the Isles: Picturesque Neighborhood | Take a walk around the lake and gaze at the stately homes and wooded islands—it's a leisurely 2.63 miles around—or bring a few snacks and pop a seat under a tree to soak up all that is summer in Minneapolis. @minneapolisparks
Minnehaha Falls: 53-foot Waterfall | Located within one of the oldest parks in Minneapolis, enjoy the crashing water and mist of the waterfall from a viewpoint above the falls or take a short walk down a staircase to appreciate the height of the cascade from below. @minneapolisparks
Wheel Fun Rentals: Surrey Bikes | Cycle through the heart of Minnehaha Park, cruise past Minnehaha Falls, pedal past limestone bluffs, or race along miles of the paved trails that meander through one of the Twin Cities most popular parks in these 2- and 4-wheeled modern day carriages. @wheelfunrentalsofficial
Sea Salt Eatery: Lunch & Dinner | Grab lunch at this seasonal favorite near the falls. From calamari and crab cakes to fried fish tacos and oyster po boy sandwiches, the beachy menu is the perfect complement to the sound of falling water. @seasalteatery
Elliot Park Hotel: Boutique Hotel | Located in historic Elliot Park in downtown Minneapolis, this Marriott Autograph Collection property highlights hygge in every aspect, from the warm and inviting rooms to the hotel amenities and on-site dining. @elliotparkhotel
Tavola Restaurant: Upscale Italian Kitchen & Bar | Soft candlelight, a crackling wood-fired oven, bright copper and rich wood tones enhance the mood; enjoy the wide array of mouthwatering menu items inspired by the Tuscan countryside. @tavolaitaliankitchen
First Avenue: Music Venue | One of the longest-running, legendary venues, First Avenue is the epicenter for live music and entertainment boasting a calendar filled with artists from all different genres. Local bands and larger, national acts play here and it’s the location of the iconic star wall, complete with Prince’s name emblazoned on a gold star amongst many other music legends. @firstavenue
Bob Dylan Mural: Street Mural | “The Times They Are A-Changin.’” One of the most famous murals in Minneapolis, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra’s mural depicts Dylan in the early, mid, and current era of his career. @kobrastreetart
Prince Mural: Street Mural | “Crown our Prince Initiative.” This 100-foot-tall painting depicts portraits taken of Prince throughout his life and is the newest edition in downtown Minneapolis. @hieroveiga
Aster Cafe: Riverfront Restaurant | Overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and the skyline of the city on one of the city’s prettiest streets in St. Anthony Main, the Aster is a candle-lit restaurant-bar with a sweet European patio offering live music, great brunches, craft beers, and cocktails, and a thoughtful wine list. @astercafe
Psycho Suzi's: Tiki Bar | (*NOTE: As of August 19, 2023, Psycho Suzi's will sadly close its doors; check their website for any updates!) A nationally recognized two-story tiki bar and pizza joint, Suzi’s is a Minneapolis institution with the country’s largest collection of leopard furnishings and the most awesome fake wood carpeting, plus we have the most breathtaking industrial river views from our waterfront decks. @psychosuzis
—-> Day 3:
Nina's Coffee Cafe: Coffee House | A classic coffee house in Historic Cathedral Hill. @ninascoffeecafe
Walker Art Center: Contemporary Art Museum | The museum’s multi-acre campus includes 65,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, the state-of-the-art McGuire Theater and Walker Cinema, and ample green space that connects with the adjoining Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. @walkerartcenter
Skyline Mini Golf: Miniature Golf Course | The ten-hole, artist-designed course features a new design created by the Asian American Organizing Project’s Youth Action Team called Always Have Been Sewn. @walkerartcenter
Sculpture Garden: Urban Park | Home to more than 40 outdoor sculptures, generations of artists from 10 different countries around the world created these artworks. @walkerartcenter
Surly Brewing Co. Beer Hall & Beer Garden | With a full roster of year-round beers, including Furious, Axe Man, Logic Bomb, Controlled Chaos, One Man Mosh Pit, and Grapefruit Supreme, Surly’s seasonal styles, small batches, and brand collaborations continue to innovate. @surlybrewing
O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. Whiskey Distillery | The whiskey making begins with our three triple copper pots where we make American Whiskey in the traditional Irish triple distillation style, including the flagship Keeper’s Heart Irish + American Whiskey. @osdistillingco
Excelsior Public Beach: Swimming Beach | The beach is located at The Commons and is open to the public from mid-June to mid-August. @exclakemtka
Maynards: Restaurant | Known for the best views of Lake Minnetonka and the best waterfront dining in the state, Maynards is a place the locals can call home while still serving as a main tourist attraction of the Twin Cities Metro. @maynards_excelsior
—-> Day 4:
Dogwood Coffee Co.: Coffee Shop | We enjoy lakes that freeze and the outdoor hockey that ensues. We’re collectively a pretty big nerd about all things coffee. We like imagination, devotion, black hoodies and 90’s R&B. Dogs are our preferred companions, washed our preferred coffees, and gratitude our preferred posture. @dogwoodcoffee
Matt's Bar: Bar & Grill | Now a Minneapolis landmark, Matt’s began in 1954 as a neighborhood burger eatery and has been featured on the Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food and Food Wars, where we won the best tasting "Jucy Lucy" in town. Each "Jucy Lucy" is carefully handmade with the freshest, high-quality beef and filled with the molten hot cheese you can only find at Matt's. @mattsbar