What to do and see in Minneapolis, United States: The Best Places and Tips

March 25, 2018 Christa Meece

With its gleaming skyscrapers set amid glittering lakes, Minneapolis makes for an attractive and fun getaway. A truly year-round destination, the city offers activities for every season. In winter, one can explore the downtown area through more than seven miles of glass-enclosed skyways. In addition to keeping you warm, they create a lively thoroughfare filled with specialty shops, restaurants and services. Whether you want to escape the winter cold or the summer warmth, the Mall of America offers shopping, dining and entertainment options for any time of the year and every member of the family. Art lovers have plenty to see at the Minneapolis Art Institute, Walker Art Center and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, which all house world-renowned collections. The theater scene is thriving. With more than thirty theaters, Minneapolis has more seats per capita than any U.S. city except New York. See a Broadway show and enjoy dinner and live jazz at a fabulous restaurant. With kids in tow, check out the Science Museum of Minnesota, where visitors can produce their own video, or come face to face with a shark at the UnderWater Adventures Aquarium. In summer, the action moves outside. Known as "The City of Lakes," Minneapolis has 22 lakes located within city limits and many more in the surrounding area. In town, hordes of locals and tourists in-line skate or stroll around Lake Calhoun, stopping for ice cream along the way. Just outside of town, Fort Snelling State Park offers outdoor recreational activities from hiking to biking and golf to boating. No matter when you visit, Minneapolis offers lots for everyone to enjoy.
Restaurants in Minneapolis

1. Minneapolis Institute of Art

2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404-3506 +1 612-870-3131
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 2 reviews

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Travel through 4,000 years of world history as you view more than 80,000 works of sculpture, photography, paintings, drawings and prints.

Reviewed By Mimz1641 - Miami, Florida

Rarely do you get a free museum with so much to see. Only noticed one exhibit which was not free. If I had to compare I would call it the Met of Minneapolis. Three floors of culture and you could easily spend three hours getting lost there. Highly recommend!!

2. Chain of Lakes

400 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1411 +1 612-661-4800
Excellent
86%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 334 reviews

Chain of Lakes

Three separate lakes (Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet) all surrounded by pedestrian paths.

Reviewed By robertrmpls1 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Whether ice skating or watching pond hockey and ice sailing in winter, or canoeing in spring, summer and fall, the Minneapolis chain of lakes offers great fun, exercise( walking, running or biking) around lovely lakes in gorgeous Neighborhoods overlooking the city scapes. Listen to free concerts at Lake Harriet bandshell. Participate in fun runs marathons and other events. There is always something to do all year long. Beaches for swimming, food vendors for refreshments, the chain of lakes has it all. A great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet only a mile from it.

3. Lake of the Isles

2500 W Lake of the Isles Pkwy, Franklin Ave and Logan Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55405-2332 +1 612-661-4800
Excellent
81%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 275 reviews

Lake of the Isles

Reviewed By Patricia P - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lake is the Isles is by far my favorite lake to walk around in Minneapolis. The atmosphere of this lake is quite different than others; it is relaxing, peaceful, calming, and quiet. Love this lake!

4. Riverview Theater

3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406-3504 +1 612-729-7369
Excellent
84%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 175 reviews

Riverview Theater

Reviewed By PurpleMN - Minnesota

The prices are good, the popcorn is delicious they use real butter and the movie screen is nice. Seats are basic, no fancy leather reclining but that's okay. I would rather see a movie here. They have some great special events off and on as well, example just saw the Academy Award Documentary Short Nominations last week. Everyone in the audience clapped after it was over. Remember to bring cash for tickets as they don't take credit cards here.

5. Guthrie Theater

818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1252 +1 612-377-2224
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 924 reviews

Guthrie Theater

THE GUTHRIE THEATER is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training, known for its dynamic productions of classic and contemporary plays. Open to the public year-round, this award-winning cultural destination houses three theaters, dramatic public spaces and distinctive dining. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie is located in the historic Mill District of Downtown Minneapolis and features a 175-foot cantilever bridge which overlooks the Mississippi River. When it opened in 2006 Time magazine called the building "a 21st century dream factory." Visit the Guthrie to see a show, grab a cup of coffee and explore the building, shop at the Guthrie Store, or to simply take in the extraordinary riverfront views. Backstage tours are Friday and Saturday mornings.

Reviewed By Deirdre h - Minneapolis, Minnesota

I'm biased, but this is one of the most beautiful theaters in the country, and certainly in the Twin Cities. Fabulous restaurant downstairs with a raw bar, and if you eat at the bar instead get the burger! Upper restaurant has a more limited menu...MoreDeidre, thank you for the kind review. We appreciate you taking the time to tell us about your experience.

6. Target Field

1 Twins Way, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1418 1-800-33
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Target Field

Reviewed By teacherpam88 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Target Field is one of the gems of the metro area. The outdoor stadium is well designed with excellent sight lines throughout the venue. It also has convenient parking garages connected by skyway as well as a light rail station.
Local foodies relish the vast array of food options and microbrews. Oh...and the team is fun to watch, too!

7. Minnehaha Park

4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417-2373 +1 612-230-6400
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Minnehaha Park

One of the city's oldest and most popular parks.

Reviewed By teacherpam88 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnehaha Park just keeps getting better. Where else can you find such a splendid urban park replete with a magnificent waterfall-beautiful in all seasons but especially awe inspiring as frozen cascades! The park has sonething for everyone: a historic home to tour, an excellent seafood restaurant (Sea Salt), walking and bike paths,picnic areas, quad bike rentals, and hiking trails. And entrance is free.

8. Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

400 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1411 +1 612-661-4800
Excellent
78%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

40+ Miles Of Bike Trails Throughout The City

Reviewed By AndyB5542 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

We did a big loop around Minneapolis. We started at the Sculpture garden. We took the trail into downtown and visited a brewery. Next we biked along the river down to Minnehaha falls and a bite to eat. We biked along the lakes and back to the Sculpture garden. 22 easy miles.

We could have done more, but that was enough. The trails are well maintained, and well marked. They have maps along the way, to help you keep your directions.

9. Basilica of St. Mary

88 N 17th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1295 +1 612-333-1381
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 287 reviews

Basilica of St. Mary

Nation's First Basilica

Reviewed By SonofAslan - Burnsville, Minnesota

We recently saw the Messiah performed here by the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. What a perfect setting for this. The cathedral is not overly massive, but has amazing detail and in beautifully balanced. We'd recently been to Notre Dame in Paris, and this seems like a smaller version, if that's not sacrilege. Plus the acoustics were excellent for a concert of this type.

10. The Museum of Russian Art

5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419-1933 +1 612-821-9045
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 323 reviews

The Museum of Russian Art

The Museum of Russian Art is the only museum in North America devoted to preserving and presenting all forms of Russian art and artifacts. Housed in a beautifully renovated historic building, the Museum’s multi-level galleries provide a tranquil and intimate setting for TMORA’s exhibitions and educational events. Now on view: Women in Soviet Art: focusing on the representation and self-representation of women in Soviet art, this exhibition explores the roles and perspectives of women under the Soviet system from the 1950s–1980s.Jewish Life in the Russian Empire: Exhibited for the first time in 1867 at the seminal ethnographic exhibit in Moscow, the photographs depict a unique record of Jewish life in Tsarist Russia. It tells the story of Jewish communities within the Pale of Settlement, a region where permanent residency of Jewish peoples was allowed. Jewish Life in the Russian Empire will be on display in the lower gallery.

Reviewed By Jeffrey K - Wausau, Wisconsin

What a beautiful venue! We've been there a number of times. Usually there is at least one excellent exhibit but currently there are three.

I didn't expect that the nesting dolls exhibit (in the basement) would be interesting but it really is fascinating.

FYI, their most loved painting has been moved to the gift shop while the three galleries are in use. The young woman in the gift shop told us a little history of the painting. Oh well, I still love it!

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