A Weekend in Minneapolis
Minneapolis aka "Twin Cities" (with Saint Paul) is situated on the historical Mississippi River. As it is connected to many waterways, the city was the flour milling capital of the world. Although it continues to be a hub for industries like timber, the city also has a very strong cultural history. Minneapolis is known as one of the top music cities in America for hip-hop, indie rock and classical music. The music scene in this city was the start to a lot of well known artists including Price, Bob Dylan, and Janet Jackson.
From famous food markets to architecture and music I have put together a list of some of my must-see's for a weekend in this Midwest metropolis.
2 I The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (WAM) - The modern art museum designed by famous architecture Frank Gehry is located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on the University of Minnesota campus. The museum was established in 1934 and has a wide variety of collections from art starts including; Alfred Maurer, Charles Biederman and Marsden Hartley to name a few. The building is made of stainless steel and is an architectural dream from the inside and out. If you go upstairs to the patio, there is a great view of the river and city. There is also a shop with a cool curated collection of jewelry and books on the main level.
Frank Gehry's "Standing Glass Fish" located on the main level of the museum
3 I The Basilica of Saint Mary - It looks like a European Church landed in the middle of the city. This Roman Catholic Basilica is located downtown on Hennepin Ave. It was the first Basilica established in the USA. We were lucky to take in the interior architecture while attending a beautiful wedding ceremony inside. The Basilica also hosts music festivals and concerts, which are free to the public.
4 I Riverfront Walk - The Mississippi River brings back memories of Jr. High school days learning about the settlement in the early 17 & 1800's. The early settlers used Saint Anthony Falls for powering sawmills on the Minneapolis side. You can walk the Riverfront and historic Mill District along the Mississippi to Saint Anthony Falls. The walking time is 1 hour in total, however there is a lot of history to take in, so account of 4-5 hours total. The Guthrie Theatre is also located on the River with a cantilevered lobby that sis over the Mississippi.
5 I Architecture - Searching for places to stay in a new city is one of my fave past times. There are an abundance of unique hotels on both sides of the Twin Cities. We ended up staying at the newly renovated Lowes Hotel on 6th St and 1st Ave. They have a great restaurant and cocktail lounges and a full-service spa, however, my favourite part was the view from our room. Looking out of the wall to wall glass windows, the view of the city and the variety of architectural gems scattered throughout the city was a definite highlight.
You may want to check out the Minneapolis Skyway System - the worlds longest climate controlled walkways that link various buildings in 69 city blocks over 11 miles of Downtown Minneapolis (similar to Calgary's +15 system). I didn't get great shots of a lot of buildings I found, but i've put a list together of the most unique designs to check out:
Schmitt Music Building
Lumber Exchange Building
Witch's Hat Water Tower
McNamara Alumni Centre (U of M Campus)
American Swedish Institute
Weisman Art Museum
St. Mary's Basilica
There are also some very cool historical homes around the city. It is worth a taxi ride around the old neighbourhoods to see some of the exquisite architecture in Minneapolis.