After a week off on vacation coming back to the grind was not at the top of my list of things I had to do this week, but it is necessary to be able to afford to have experiences like I had while staying in Minneapolis. Coming from a mid-west city I think I generally expect every metropolis to be booming and an urban jungle of activity, Minneapolis was none of these.
In my time visiting the city it was interesting to observe how the weather and landscape really affects the lifestyle and culture of a given area. Minnesota being known more for it’s outdoor scenery and activities, it was amazing to see how that affected city life. Everyone road their bikes or walked to most places and the city was sprinkled with tons of smaller parks that were often built around a water source of some sort. Below is a list of some of the sites I visited while exploring the area.
- Gold Medal Flour Mill and Mississippi Riverfront – This again was awesome to experience because I come from a “river town” that turned into a city built alongside the Mississippi River. The fantastic quality of this city is that they built a pedestrian bridge that spans for miles and crosses over the river. As you can see it is more rough than the St. Louis riverfront, making the Mississippi look like white water rapids.
- Minneapolis Sculpture Park featuring Walker’sArtist Designed Mini-Golf – As I stated the city has many little parks scattered all over the place. This park in particular was fascinating because it is home to an 18 hole artist designed mini-golf course. The holes span from ping-pong tables with fixed paddles sticking out to bump you ball off of, to a hole that turns into a foosball game where you use yard gnome figures to putt your ball into the hole. There is also a giant cherry on a spoon…so…
- Lake Harriet and the Como-Harriet Street Car Line – This area was beautiful and would be where I would spend all of my time if I lived in this city. Lake Harriet is part of an area referred to as the Chain of Lakes and it connects to three other lakes. There is a walking trail that will take your around each lake, a fantastic walk up eatery stand, a Japanese garden, a special local hidden gem known as the tree gnome, and the historical Como-Harriet Street Car Line. I walked miles this day and it was completely worth it!
- Duluth, MN and Lake Superior – So me and my wife have many things we do, one of them is to try and see all the Great Lakes within our lifetime. This goal lead us to take a day trip two hours outside of Minneapolis to Duluth, MN. Needless to say Lake Superior lived up to it’s name and seemed like the ocean spanning so far out that you couldn’t see the other side. This sounds like a ridiculous statement to make but I have never experienced that at a lake in Missouri. Aside from this natural wonder Duluth also has a few great micro-brew pubs, an array of great shops, and is home to one of the only two Ariel Lift Bridges ever built in the US.
- Minnehaha Park and Lock and Dam No. 1 – This was another park that is built around a very impressive waterfall called Minnehaha Falls which is a tributary of the Mississippi River and connects with the river not far from Lock and Dam No. 1. Minnehaha Park not only has the falls that has a natural wading pool to cool off in, it also houses a band stand located right next to a local walk up seafood eatery called Sea Salt. The Lock and Dam No. 1 is not far from the falls and is accessible to a self guided tour throughout the year.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about the neat places I found to experience in Minneapolis and I encourage you to visit this area if you’re looking for a truly relaxing getaway. I also suggest bringing a camera because their in no lack of picturesque landscapes to capture.