Minneapolis is a city full of art and culture. Everywhere you turn there’s a statue to see, a musician to hear, or a gallery to dip into. Even the sides of buildings are proof this town appreciates art. In between modern glass skyscrapers you’ll find older brick buildings with tiny, intricate detailing that gives historical context to the metropolitan city. Plus, that friendly reputation exists for a reason. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Minneapolis, here are five things that only begin to show you what the city has to offer.
Stroll the Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center
The Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center in Loring Park is a testimony to how much we love the ridiculous, but also to how much we appreciate fine art. There are giant, modern pieces that in some cases are comical and, in others, calming. The most famous sculpture, Spoonbridge and Cherry, was constructed in the late 1980s and has been there as long as the park has. It's only one of numerous pieces that you can stand in awe of, however. There are bells, giant glass fish, geometric structures and other impressive sculptures you can see here, and visitors are welcome to walk around at their own pace and even interact with many of the pieces. You can see and touch all the different works of art, walk through the terrariums and play a humorous take on your average game of putt-putt, all for free.
See Minnehaha Falls
If you’re gonna chase waterfalls, Minnehaha is the place to do it. Sorry for the antiquated joke, but in all seriousness, you can absorb the beauty and tranquility of Minnehaha Falls for little to no effort. Minnehaha State Park, which is only 10 minutes away from downtown Minneapolis, is a peaceful break from society, just without the lengthy travel time. If you have an hour or so you can walk the duration of the park at a leisurely pace and see wildflowers, babbling creeks, the Mississippi River, and other natural wonders
Go to a concert downtown
This originally was going to say “See a show at First Avenue,” but due to unfortunate recent events (the venue's ceiling recently collapsed, requiring the spot to shut down for renovation), we’ll expand our recommendation.
You should still go to a concert if you ever find yourself in Minneapolis. Numerous musicians like Bob Dylan, Prince, Trampled by Turtles, and Atmosphere all hail from the land of 10,000 lakes and many others frequent the city while touring. The small and intimate venues, which sit on almost every block, offer a diverse selection of music and the opportunity to get up close and personal. The Ice House, for example, hosts international musicians in a small cafe; while the Triple Rock is where patrons can find hip-hop and rap artists before they hit it big. Low entry fees and a good selection of local craft beer makes finding a show and something to do downtown an easy task.
Shop in the Lowry Hill District
Despite whatever misconceptions many may have about Midwesterners and style, Minneapolis has a thriving fashion scene. One look around the city will prove that residents take pride in their individual tastes. And you probably won’t see the same outfit twice in your time there. And as cliched and wasteful as it may seem to recommend shopping in a travel piece, we’re still going to do it. Don’t worry, we’re not insisting you visit the Mall of America. Instead, you should head over to the Lowry Hill District. The quaint neighborhood boasts classic brownstone buildings that host countless boutiques and bistros that are reminiscent of Scottsdale shops, but much less intimidating or pricey.
See a play at the Orpheum Theatre
Though it seems as though most cities have an Orpheum Theatre, the one in Minneapolis has an incredible history behind it. Built in 1921, the Orpheum quickly became known as the biggest vaudeville theater in the country. Its early performers include the Marx brothers and now the theater hosts top Broadway shows and high-profile musicians. Through its renovations, the inside remains a gorgeous nod to the time in which it was built and still features many of the original decorations. It’s right off the main drag and offers a variety of shows that would make for the perfect classy night out.