The heart of Mill City beats with theaters, taprooms, history and trendy neighborhoods.
Situated on a meandering stretch of the Mississippi River, downtown Minneapolis is a hub for business, culture, innovation and nightlife. By day, it teems with executives from some of the globe’s largest companies (mega-retailer Target is headquartered here), and by night visitors flock to its world-class restaurants, theaters and music venues. Some of the best food and drinks can be found in the North Loop neighborhood, where former warehouses have been converted into industrial-chic restaurants and cocktail rooms. Especially notable are Spoon and Stable, The Bachelor Farmer, Bar La Grassa and 112 Eatery. Catch a show at one of Hennepin Avenue’s classic theaters—Orpheum, State and Pantages—or head to the internationally renowned Guthrie Theater. If you can, take in the sunset on the Guthrie’s Endless Bridge lookout, where you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of some of Minneapolis’ most iconic attractions, including the Mississippi River, St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park. If sports are more your scene, don’t miss Target Field. The home to the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball team is an architectural gem, made with local limestone and perfectly placed to frame downtown, no matter where you’re sitting (or standing). Target Center (home to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx pro basketball teams) and U.S. Bank Stadium (home to the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL) round out downtown’s stadium options.
- The Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. With some of the best contemporary art in the United States and beyond, the recently renovated Walker Art Center is a must-see inside and out.
- Eat Street. Nicollet Avenue earned its nickname “Eat Street” thanks its unique ethnic restaurants that line the thoroughfare for miles. Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Greek, German—it’s all here, plus funky coffee shops, diners, markets and doughnut shops.
- Loring Park. Located on the edge of Downtown Minneapolis West, just over the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, Loring Park is a beautiful 33-acre urban green space with a lake, fountain, plenty of benches, and bike and walking paths. On Harmon Place, one of the park’s border streets, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes.
If You Go
Public transportation is the way to go, as parking downtown can be tedious (and expensive). Light rail, bus, taxi, ride-share programs and biking are all good options.
Recommended time to spend:
At least half a day
Traffic can be jammed after sporting events, so plan accordingly. In the winter, the Skyway—a series of 11 miles of enclosed pedestrian walkways—is a great way to navigate the city.