15 Best Things To Do in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis with a population of 413,651 is the larger one of twin cities of Minnesota- Minneapolis-St Paul, both located on the banks of Mississippi river. The city abundant with water and natural scenery boasts of lots of things worth seeing and lots of memories to be made. The extremely friendly and courteous locals make one visit the city again. Minneapolis has got so much to offer that covering all in one trip might not be possible in a short span of time. Without further ado, here is the list of top tourist attractions in Minneapolis.

Let's explore Minneapolis points of interest and 15 best things to do in Minneapolis:

1. City Hall

The building of the City Hall is sometimes referred to as the Municipal building and is a registered National Historic Landmark.  Whether one is history buff or an architecture appreciator or not, one would definitely be smitten by the elegance and majestic of the structure. The inside of the hall is astounding and one can feel the history emanating from it.  The stunning rotunda and the Father of Waters statue are worth watching, especially after sunset when they are lit. One can rub Father of statue’s toes, who knows one might get bestowed with good luck. The hall is also known to be haunted and draws paranormal enthusiasts from all over the world.

2. Guthrie Theatre

Named after the founder Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theatre was opened in 1963 with Hamlet being its first production. Even after 40 years since its inception, the theatre remained true to its commitment to offering Shakespearean plays staging classic and contemporary productions on three different stages. The friendly and helpful staff and ever ready to assist and guide the visitors. The theatre also provides guided backstage tours to its visitors on Friday and Saturday mornings. Even if one has been unable to get himself a ticket to one of the stupendous plays, one can take his time to explore the beautiful structure overlooking the Mississippi River.  

3. Basilica of St. Mary

Basilica of St. Mary,Minneapolis - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The cathedral designed by famous architect Masqueray was the first basilica to be established in the United States. The structure of the church is astounding, and the interior comprising of lots of colored glass, big altar, statues and the impressive dome is gorgeous. The talented choir who provide chorus music on Sunday mornings are worth listening too. If one appreciates the beauty of Romanesque architecture and tradition of Catholic worship, then this place is a must to include in the trip to Minneapolis.

4. Chain of Lakes

Rightfully called the “Gem of the city,” Chain of Lakes Regional Park has five different shorelines connected by pedestrian trails and lush greenery. Wishing for a day to relax in the lap of Mother Nature? This is the perfect place for boating, biking, strolling, sunbathing or even just relaxing on the park bench. One can spot families having cheerful picnics, people taking selfies, and sailboats and sailboards. It doesn’t matter if one visits it with family or alone, the relaxing and soothing atmosphere and ambiance is sure to rid one of worries and tiredness.

5. Mall of America

A visit to any tourist destination is incomplete without a trip to a shopping destination. Mall of America housing over 500 stores is a perfect place to shop till you drop. And what’s best? There’s no sales tax charged on the goods purchased. Even if one isn’t keen on having some extra shopping bags to carry back home, one can enjoy several family-friendly attractions complete with 25 different exciting rides. The mall also boasts of the Sea Life Aquarium and offers the visitors to discover more than 4,500 sea creatures. 

6. Minneapolis Institute of Art

Founded in the year 1889, this museum shelters a collection of approximately 80,000 pieces from a wide variety of culture and spanning over 5,000 years of world history.  On display are variety of things to see, from paintings, drawings, and prints to sculptures and photographs. It is one of a kind facility which provides special effects consisting of light, sound, and aroma which is very unique and impressive. 

7. Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The National Civil Engineering Landmark built in 1882-83 is a must-visit location for any architecture buff. The 2,100-foot granite and limestone bridge features a total of 23 arches. The bridge which aided the city’s development by increasing the movement of goods and people is the only bridge to have ever been built across the Mississippi River. One can have a peaceful bike ride between Father Hennepin Bluffs Park on the east side and Mill Ruins Park on the west while enjoying the spectacular views of Downtown Minneapolis. Visitors vow that the best time to adore the architecture is dusk when the lights are turned on and are reflected beautifully on the river water.

8. Minnehaha Park

The 193-acre city treasure Minnehaha Park is one of the oldest and most popular parks in the city and receives a whopping 800,000 visitors every year. The beautiful park houses 53-foot-high majestic and breathtaking Minnehaha Falls and also the statues of the chief characters of Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha-Hiawatha and Minnehaha. One can find respite from the city’s hustle bustle here by strolling through the garden, riding a bike through the well-paved path or playing outdoor games in volleyball courts and playground.

9. Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The Weisman Art Museum is located at the University of Minnesota and is designed by the avant-garde architect Frank Gehry. The building is an attention-grabbing four-story structure made of stainless steel which is sure to make one wonder about the exact shape of the magnificent building. The museum features a collection primarily on traditional Korean furniture and ceramics, American Modernism, and ancient Mimbres pottery from the American Southwest. 

10. American Swedish Institute

The American Swedish Institute is a beautiful tribute to the American-Swedish heritage. Tourists put it near the top attractions of Minneapolis as it gives a pleasant understanding of the past one didn’t know about. The museum houses three floors depicting the history and Swedish culture. The house built around 1900 is a fun and educational place to visit.  Visitors can browse through the original carved oak, Swedish glass, fine art and textiles on display.

11. Fort Snelling

The designated National Historic Landmark and a “national treasure,” the fort located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi river is a perfect location for someone who enjoys interactively learning history. Significant efforts have been put into detailing the video and displays throughout the site to make the tour of the fort more informative while being enjoyable at the same time.

If visiting during special celebrations, one can have the opportunity to see the cannons firing, live music by the historic band, actors re-enacting battles and also the lives of the people who lived in the fort.

12. Walker Art Center

Even if one is not an art enthusiast, a stroll through the Walker Art Center is definitely worth a few hours. The facility founded by lumber baron Thomas Barlow Walker is dedicated to contemporary art comprising of sculptures, paintings, and photographs of both European and American artists. The award-winning center hosts 700,000 visitors each year attracting them with numerous exhibition galleries, a theatre, lounges, eateries, and terraces. One of its major attractions is the Sculpture garden which stands adjacent to it.

13. Sculpture Garden

Places to visit in Minneapolis - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The Walker Art Center houses a lovely 19-acre urban space showcasing more than 40 famous pieces of art. One of the most famous sculptures is of the Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. Park with great artworks is a pleasant place to stroll around, getting some exercise with some scenic backdrops. One can enjoy an evening breeze while watching a baseball match in the adjacent playground. The garden after receiving major renovations in 2017 has become greener than ever and is a must-see and visit destination for visitors of all ages.

14. Children’s Theatre Company

Whether one is in the company of children or not, Children’s Theatre Company is definitely a must-visit site for an enjoyable and affordable visual treat. The theatre excels in presenting plays for all ages including ones to inspire the current generation. Many of its productions are based on classic children’s literature and are performed in beautiful sets by impressive performers. The plays backed by beautiful acoustics and great stage props are presented from January through June. Age is no bar to enjoy a fine play in this facility.

15. The Escape Game

Anyone visiting Minneapolis cannot miss out the 60-minutes of adventure and thrill at the Escape Game. The visitors are formed into a team and are asked to select an exciting challenge which they need to complete in an hour and escape. The atmosphere is incredibly engaging, and the staff is very helpful and courteous. Who says that a visit to any tourist location is just about historical monuments and landmarks? The Escape Game is a must experience to get the adrenaline pumping and the gears of the brain working.

Author
After five years of her teaching career, Shraddhanvita decided to make 'travel' her passion. For her 'a rolling stone does gather moss'. She is a wanderlust driven soul, a poet, a pluviophile, and a humanist. Fascinated by nature's bounty, she finds ...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Must see places in Minneapolis ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Minneapolis tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1256 times in trip plans
    Target Field

    Tags: Sport, Stadium, Entertainment, Games

    Address: 353 N 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a baseball field in the Downtown area of the city. It is the home ground of the Minnesota Twins. The team got its name due to the name of the twin cities, Minneapolis- Minnesota. This stadium ...Read more

  2. # 2 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1087 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Institute Of Arts

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum

    Address: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a government funded art museum that is spread over a large area of around 8 acres. The place was earlier known as Morrison Park. The Park Board Museum Fund is the main sponsor of this museum. ...Read more

  3. # 3 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1026 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    Tags: Garden, Sculpture

    Address: 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This is the largest urban sculpture garden in the garden. The garden features some of the master pieces of world famous artists and sculptors. There are over 40 permanent exhibits and the others keep ...Read more

  4. # 4 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 451 times in trip plans
    Lake Harriet

    Tags: Water Sport, Lake

    Address: Minneapolis MN 55419

    Timings: 06:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    It is a lake in the south western part of the city and is surrounded by a park land. It is just beside the Calhoun Lake and forms a part of the Chain of Lakes. It is the deepest among all the lakes of...Read more

  5. # 5 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 483 times in trip plans
    Walker Art Center

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum

    Address: 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    It is a multidisciplinary contemporary art museum that was the first of its kind in the Mid- West. It is also rated among the top 5 museums of the country. The museum was first set up as a private gal...Read more

  6. # 6 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 237 times in trip plans
    American Swedish Institute

    Tags: Art And Culture, Museum

    Address: 2600 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407, United States

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a vibrant museum and culture center in the Philips West neighborhood of the city. This is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It is the best place if you want to get knowled...Read more

  7. # 7 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 594 times in trip plans
    Lake Of The Isles

    Tags: Lake

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This lake is the most beautiful in the city and is connected with the Lake Cedar and the Lake Calhoun. It is known mostly as a winter skating and ice hockey destination. There are also a number of sta...Read more

  8. # 8 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 428 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Skyway System

    Tags: Bridge

    Address: Minneapolis, MN

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    It is an interlinked connection of all the foot bridges of all the 69 blocks over the 11 miles of the Downtown area of Minneapolis. It helps pedestrians to walk around in comfortable climatic conditio...Read more

  9. # 9 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 218 times in trip plans
    University Of Minnesota

    Tags: Educational Site, University

    Address: Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is the largest and oldest university of Minneapolis. It is a public research university with several campuses. Minneapolis Campus: This overlooks the Mississippi River and the St. Anthony Falls....Read more

  10. # 10 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 284 times in trip plans
    TCF Bank Stadium

    Tags: Sport, Stadium, Entertainment

    Address: 420 SE 23rd Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is an outdoor stadium in the campus of the University of Minnesota. It is the home ground of the Golden Gophers as well as the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football Lea...Read more

  11. # 11 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 193 times in trip plans
    Weisman Art Museum

    Tags: Art Museum

    Address: 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    This is an art museum situated inside the campus of the University of Minnesota and used as a teaching museum since 1934. The museum has been named after Frederick R. Weisman who was a famous art coll...Read more

  12. # 12 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 213 times in trip plans
    Nicollet Mall

    Tags: Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    This is an 11 block portion that runs through the heart of the downtown area of the city. This is an awesome shopping mall where you get the latest trends starting from things that are of the flee- ma...Read more

  13. # 13 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 183 times in trip plans
    Lake Harriet Rose Garden

    Tags: Garden

    Address: 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis, MN 55409, United States

    Timings: 07:30 am - 10:00 pm Details

    The Lake Harriet Rose Garden, popularly known as Lyndale Park Rose Garden is a paradise on earth where you will feel like being transferred to a world of roses of all colours and size. With a mission ...Read more

  14. # 14 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 181 times in trip plans
    St. Anthony Falls

    Tags: Waterfall

    Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This waterfall located downtown of Minneapolis in the north eastern part was the only natural waterfall at the time it was formed. Later it was replaced by a concrete apron as the falls had partially ...Read more

  15. # 15 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 118 times in trip plans
    Grand Round Scenic Byway

    Tags: Outdoors, Park

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a linked series of parks of the city that makes a roughly circular pattern. There are also pathways for automobile Traffic as well as for pedestrians and cyclists. Much of these places were bu...Read more

Activities And Tours

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