Known as one half of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis is filled to the brim with yummy eateries, famous places to shop and explore, and a theatre district that rivals any other city in the U.S.
Whether your stay is during the winter (and it gets cold! Negative 20 degrees!) or the dead of summer, there are many luxury accommodations and things to do right in the thick of things.
Radisson Hotel Minneapolis
The Radisson offers a prime location just steps away from shopping and entertainment. The rooms are spacious and luxurious and this four star hotel pampers guests with services such as the complimentary health club, whirlpool, high-speed internet and a 24-hour business center. I especially enjoyed the Sleep Number Beds available in each room. With the push of a button, change your mattress from plush to firm. 35 S 7th St, Minneapolis. (612) 337-9766 www.radisson.com
Best Western the Normandy Inn & Suites
This hotel is five blocks from the Metrodome Stadium (Twins & Vikings), and the Minneapolis Convention Center. Government, bank and commercial buildings are an easy walk as are Orchestra Hall, the Orpheum and State Theatres, the Warehouse District and other entertainment venues. Guest rooms and suites are spacious, clean and very comfortable, with large work tables and free wireless Internet.
Are you hungry? There are so many choices of scrumptious foods throughout the city. Here are a few delectable morsels to choose from.
This is no ordinary breakfast place. It's "damn" fine food! Located within the heart of downtown, you'll discover a beautifully renovated historical building with old brick archways, a spirited and helpful wait staff, original art depicting a gothic theme over the fireplace by world-renowned artist Ralph Steadman, and the best breakfast and lunch in town. The restaurant's unusual moniker is a reference to how hot it gets in the kitchen and the style and charm of the restaurant is as great as its food. Not one to be missed!
89 S 10th St., Minneapolis
Brasa is located at 600 E. Hennepin, Minneapolis. Brasa bills itself as a premium rotisserie and serves only two dishes: Marinated & Spice Rubbed Rotisserie Chicken ($11.50-$14) and Slow Roasted Berkshire Pork Shoulder ($11.50-$14), with a combo plate for $14.50. But there are generous sides to add on to any choice. I tried the creamed spinach with jalapeno, which had just enough kick without burning my throat. Try Brasa's cabbage salad: it's not your typical coleslaw. White cabbage is portioned into fine pieces, coated with a tangy salad dressing, and grouped with parsley and mint. Other sides: Marinated chickpea and barley salad, grits, rice and pigeon peas with local smoked ham, chive-flecked potato salad; plantains; collard greens; fried yucca sticks; pickled garden vegetables; yellow rice with stewed rosada beans; garnet yams with andouille sausage; and plain black-eyed peas with Berkshire bacon. Any of these sides can be had in a combo plate of four for $11 (for you vegetarians), or on its own in a takeout portion sized to serve four for $7
If you're looking for an elegant seafood restaurant, the Oceanaire is the place for you. Fish in any form is their specialty. Nestled in the Hyatt Hotel, the restaurant is steps from downtown and offers scrumptious choices like Ultra-Fresh fish, including steak-cut Alaskan halibut, seasonal favorites like fresh Copper River salmon or hard-to-find delicacies like true Dover sole or bluefin tuna.
1300 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis.
Prices: $31 to $50
What to do:
Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden Gallery Admission $10 adults; $8 seniors (65+); $6 students/teens (with ID) The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The Mississippi once flowed through this site, resulting in an abundance of peaty soils perfect for gardening.
In 1988 the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the Walker collaborated to turn a section of the grounds into the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. In 1992 it was expanded from 7 to 11 acres, making it the largest urban sculpture garden in the country. There are more then 40 works on permanent view, in addition to temporary installations that keep the Garden experience fresh.
Mall of America
Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. The 4.2 million square foot compound is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe the nation's first Nick theme park; Underwater Adventures Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; a 14-screen movie theater and more. The Mall is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown.
The Guthrie boasts three stages, a full-service restaurant, pre-show dining, numerous bars and some of the best views of Minneapolis to be found in the city.
Hennepin Theatre District
Minneapolis has one of the most influential theatre districts in the nation. Take a tour to learn this extensive theatre localities' lush history. Visit a playhouse, including exclusive access to the theatre interiors. It's a side of the theatre the general public seldom gets to see. The tour is designed to give an up-close and personal introduction to the theatres, focusing on the stars that have played in each venue and the history of the buildings. Guides spotlight architectural details of these landmark edifices, providing an insider's perspective on how a theatrical production is put together. $5. (612) 373-5696
University of Minnesota
Art galleries, museums, concerts, and theater productions are found side by side with lectures, seminars, and other learning experiences at the University to create a community rich with opportunities and activities. Some of the things to do on campus are: wBell Museum of Natural History - Connecting people with the natural world through art and science exhibits, hands-on activities, and renowned wildlife dioramas.
Heritage Gallery, McNamara Alumni Center
Step into University history.
Photos, videos, memorabilia. Kerlan Collection, 113 Andersen Library - Internationally acclaimed collection of children's books.
The Raptor Center - Rehabilitation facility for birds of prey.
Ted Mann Concert Hall - More than 100 free public concerts each year. Northrop Memorial Auditorium - Home of the exciting Northrop Dance Season, jazz series, and touring performing arts headliners.
U Film Society, Bell Museum Auditorium - The best international and independent films and visiting filmmakers. University Theatre, Rarig Center and Barbara Barker Center for Dance - Classic and experimental theatre with the broadest repertoire and lowest ticket prices in town.
There's no better place to escape to than the historic Minneapolis Warehouse District. You'll find lots of cool clubs with hot music. If you want something a bit more relaxing, visit a sidewalk cafe, a great place to relax, have a bite, and watch the world go by. Or take a break with a stop in a gallery or shop. Take advantage of the Hiawatha Line and see the Twins play or just take a ride! Hit the spot, the pulse of downtown Minneapolis (612) 334-3131
So forget about the weather! Minneapolis offers tons of options. Enjoy this vibrant, pulsing metropolis for what it really is: A Mecca of culture, activities, fun and food.