Complete City Guide To Minneapolis, Minnesota

January 26, 2016 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Visiting the Twin Cities area in Minnesota will offer you plenty of things to see, unique tours, cultural events, entertainment venues and even some historic sites. The biggest problem you may have when planning a trip to Minneapolis is deciding what to see and wondering if you will be able to fit it all in during your limited time in the city. It is no wonder why some refer to Minneapolis as the “Minnie-Apple” and compare the many activities available to those in New York City.

Where To Sleep

When booking your vacation in Minneapolis, you will find a variety of places to stay. This area is home to budget hotels, luxury hotels, campsites, resorts, boutique hotels and vacation homes. No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, you are sure to find the perfect place to lay your head down after a long day of exploring. Popular hotels in the area include Loews Minneapolis Hotel, Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, The Saint Paul Hotel, Hotel Ivy and The Grand Hotel Minneapolis.

Where To Eat

Culinary standards are high in Minneapolis, with many of the local restaurants using fresh, local ingredients. You are sure to find restaurants that serve classic American cuisine and some ethnic options such as French, Italian, Greek, Mexican and Thai. To get the most out of the dining options in Minneapolis, consider taking a food tour. These tours will take you to some of the hottest restaurants in town.

Some popular restaurants and food trucks to visit during a stay in Minneapolis include Betty Danger’s Country Club, Café Racer Kitchen, Colossal Café, Emmett’s Public House, the Butcher and the Boar and Heartland Restaurant and Wine Bar. Other restaurants in the area that are worth a try include L’Etoile du Nord, Nighthawks, Paddy Shack at Half Time Rec, Revival and Spoon and Stable.

Related: Best Restaurants In Minnesota Worth The Hype

Photo Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

What To See

Minneapolis is home to many things to see and do, that there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy while on vacation in the Twin Cities area. You are sure to find a variety of art museums, rock clubs, quaint eateries and hip and edgy theaters throughout the Minneapolis area.

Art fanatics will want to make sure they visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Minneapolis is also home to other must-see attractions such as the Minnesota Zoo, Target Field and the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Other popular activities in Minneapolis include taking a craft brewery tour, exploring the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, visiting the Mall of America and paddle boarding on the Mississippi River.

In addition to all of the sites to see, those visiting Minneapolis will want to make sure they take advantage of the great outdoors. Visitors can go hiking, biking and swimming at the many parks and area lakes. This city has definitely found a good combination of nature and urban environment that can be enjoyed no matter what the season is.

Related: Best Parks In OC For A Winter Nature Walk

Tips For Visiting

When visiting Minneapolis, there is a chance you could wander off into a tough neighborhood. Some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the area that should be avoided include Jordan, Willard-Hay, Near North, Folwell, Cedar-Riverside, Phillips and Powderhorn (northern areas). As long as you stay near your hotel and close to the touristy areas, you should be safe.

Those traveling in the winter months will want to make sure they have enough warm clothing, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outside. Summer is the complete opposite with extremely hot temperatures, so during the summer, make sure to stay hydrated and take time to cool off during the day.

Visiting on a budget? Follow the college kids. Minneapolis is home to many schools, and the college kids know where to go for affordable entertainment, dining and drinking.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

How To Get Around

One of your best options for getting around once you have arrived in Minneapolis is via taxi or rental car. You can also opt to take the Green Line LRT, which runs 24 hours a day and will take you between Minneapolis and St. Paul. You can also take the Northstar Line, which is a commuter train that connects the northwest suburbs to the Downtown area, ending near Target Field.

Take a ride on the historic trolley that will take you between Lakes Calhoun and Harriet. This restored trolley is operated by the Minnesota Streetcar Museum and is a unique way to get around the city and see all of the sites. Depending upon where you are staying and what you want to see, you can also walk or bike your way around the city.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.

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