Things To Do

Whether you're a theater buff, a shopaholic, a fitness fanatic or anything in between, the vast variety of Minneapolis events and venues ensures you'll feel right at home. Here, you'll find thousands of ways to fill your visiting days in Minneapolis, from fairs and festivals to five-star dining. Revel in annual events, theater, museums, shopping, dining, music and nightlife, recreation, pro sports, family fun and historical attractions.

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Annual Events

Every year, Minneapolis is flush with fairs, festivals, and parades that highlight the artistic and cultural diversity at the heart of this city. No matter the season, each month holds exciting and eye-opening affairs sure to be the highlight of your visit.
> Polar Dash
> Lake Harriet Kite Festival
> Minneapolis Boat Show
> TwinsFest
> U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
> Saint Paul Winter Carnival

> Saint Paul Winter Carnival
> International Motorcycle Show
> City of Lakes Loppet
> RV, Vacation and Camping Show
> Home and Garden Show
> Lake Home and Cabin Show
> Skyway Open mini golf tournament

> Twin Cities Auto Show
> National Collegiate Hockey Conference Championships
> St. Patrick’s Day Parade
> Macy’s Bachmann’s Flower Show
> Northwest Sportshow

> Macy’s Bachmann’s Flower Show
> Minnesota Twins Home Opener/Season begins
> Minnneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival
> Art in Bloom at Minneapolis Institute of Arts
> Get In Gear Race

> May Day Parade
> Northeast Minneapolis Art-a-Whirl
> Minneapolis and Mill City Farmer’s Markets open
> Dandelion Day at the Ard Godrey House
> Cinco de Mayo Mexican Fiesta
> Festival of Nations

> Northern Spark
> Juneteenth
> Stone Arch Festival of the Arts
> Midsummer at the American Swedish Institute
> Rock the Garden at Walker Art Center
> Twin Cities Pride Festival

> Red, White & Bloom TC Half Marathon
> Basilica Block Party
> Mill City Live Concerts at Mill City Museum
> Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest
> Dakota Street Festival
> Minneapolis Aquatennial

> Macy’s Glamorama
> Uptown Art Fair
> Loring Park Art Festival
> Powderhorn Art Fair
> Minnesota Fringe Festival
> Minnesota Renaissance Festival
> Minnesota State Fair

> Minnesota Renaissance Festival
> Minnesota State Fair
> Minnesota Golden Gophers Football at TCF Bank Stadium
> Minnesota Vikings football

> Twin Cities Marathon
> U.S. Open Racquetball Championship
> Zombie Pub Crawl
> Como Zoo’s Zoo Boo
> ValleyScare at Valleyfair in Shakopee
> HalZOOween at Minnesota Zoo
> Calhoun Square Annual Coffee Festival
> Macy’s Holiday Display
> ”A Christmas Carol” at Guthrie Theater
> Macy’s Holiday Display
> Noon Year’s Eve at Como Zoo


Deliciously diverse and always evolving, the Minneapolis dining scene packs a flavorful punch. From Uptown to downtown, the city bursts with top-notch restaurants, talented chefs and friendly staff ready to serve.

Anchored by the Target Center’s Hubert’s Sports Bar & Grill, scores of music venues and the iconic First Avenue, the Warehouse District is the epicenter of Minneapolis nightlife. A palpable energy feeds an exciting dining scene that ranges from the Monte Carlo, a classy joint with a century of service, to sleek, sexy Cosmos, a stunning temple to edible opulence. Kieran’s Irish Pub brings a bit of Ireland to Minneapolis in the form of a traditional Irish pub, while exotic Saffron exudes global taste and ambiance. Brew pubs and restaurants serve casual American fare and German specialties, while the stylish wine bars elevate bar food to an art form.

Restaurants in the city’s bustling theater district serve dramatic, inspired fare. Showcasing contemporary Italian cuisine at its finest, Marin Restaurant located in Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, never ceases to delight guests. CRAVE’s chic atmosphere and locally sourced food impress as much as their rooftop views, while the more casual Rock Bottom Brewery satisfies with handcrafted beers.

The depth and quality of downtown’s restaurants – more than 50 in the core alone – is impressive. Offerings span the globe and excite the palate: established visionaries such as Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, Vincent and Hell’s Kitchen push the culinary envelope, while Bon Appetit darlings Mission American Kitchen and FireLake Grill earn positive buzz. Ambiance ranges from simple to stunning. Clubby Oceanaire is loaded with leatherette booths and retro charm. Trendy Café Lurcat attracts the hip and discriminating crowd while cheery Brit’s Pub offers the perfect beer food and a rooftop lawn bowling court with downtown skyline views.

Co-ops have made their mark in Minneapolis and households all over the city have gone organic. But those who insist on sustainably grown organic food can go out to eat too, because many Minneapolis restaurants have the same values. A creation of long-time natural restaurateur, Brenda Langton, Spoonriver has been serving the finest gourmet natural cuisine since 2006. Minnesota sources provide the restaurant a wide palate from grass-fed beef, lamb and naturally raised pork to fresh local produce. The Red Stag Supperclub, Minnesota’s first LEED-CI certified restaurant, serves as many local and organic foods as possible while conserving water and energy and composting waste.

Four Minneapolis chefs have won and earned nominations for James Beard Awards – commonly referred to as the Oscars of the food world.

> Tim McKee, chef/co-owner of La Belle Vie and Sea Change (won in 2009)
> Alex Roberts, chef/co-owner of Restaurant Alma, Brasa Rotisserie (won in 2010)
> Isaac Becker, chef/owner of 112 Eatery (won in 2011)
> Lenny Russo, chef at Heartland in Saint Paul (nominated in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)


Kids rule in Minneapolis, where engaging museums, thrilling amusement parks and action-packed shows keep them easily entertained.

Minneapolis was named one of the “Best Cities for Families” by MSN and Parenting, in part because there are so many things to do. The area boasts 55 museums, a multitude of golf courses (there are more golfers per capita here than in any other city) and more theater seats per capita than anywhere outside New York. And that’s not all: Nearby and in the city, there are amusement parks, race tracks, casinos and the country’s largest shopping mall. Should we go on?

Mall of America, the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the country, engages little people with oodles of fun eateries and attractions, including Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park, LEGO Imagination Center and Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium, a stunning walk-through aquarium swimming with sea creatures. The Minnesota Zoo features exotic animals and a six-story IMAX Theatre showing 3-D adventures.

Bustling with exhibits and events that cater to kids, the Minnesota Children’s Museum in Saint Paul is always a hit. Saint Paul’s Science Museum of Minnesota, known for its popular experiment gallery and awesome dinosaur display, excites the mind and the senses, while the ruins of a flour mill and other milling artifacts at Mill City Museum excite the imagination about Minneapolis history along the Mississippi Riverfront. Explore a grain elevator and see Prince memorabilia inside the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul, or converse with costumed guides at several living history sites.

A swirling vortex of summer fun, Valleyfair! Amusement Park boasts speeding roller coasters, dizzying thrill rides and decidedly cool water attractions. Como Town offers kiddy rides and games within a lion’s roar of neighboring Como Zoo and Conservatory. Life moves more slowly on the Mississippi River, where paddlewheelers like the Minneapolis Queen cruise through history and the waterway’s northernmost lock and dam.

Imagination takes center stage during productions by renowned children’s theater companies, including In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Stages Theatre Company and the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company. The Minnesota Orchestra encourages active listening with a family music program, while the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (Saint Paul) hosts concerts, musicals and events that immerse kids in culture. On the field and on the court, Minnesota Twins baseball and Timberwolves and Lynx basketball excite fans of all ages.

Kids are valued customers at many Minneapolis restaurants, from playful theme eateries to old-fashioned malt shops. Busy families only boost the energy inside Minneapolis-born Buca di Beppo, where guests enjoy platters of family-style Italian fare and a bustling, happy atmosphere. Mall of America feeds kids at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Old Spaghetti Factory’s family friendly pricing and arcade ensure a good time for mom and dad.

Family Fun

With more theater seats per capita than any U.S. city outside New York, Minneapolis is a culturally progressive city that takes a commanding lead in the national arts scene. A marquee theater destination, Minneapolis Saint Paul is home to 75 professional theater groups and more than 30 performance venues.


The glittering Hennepin Theatre District is home to the opulent State, Orpheum, Pantages and New Century theaters and the country’s oldest satirical theater, Brave New Workshop. Broadway shows, headliners and home-grown shows fill the marquees. In fact, big-name shows like “The Lion King,” “Victor/Victoria,” and “Sweet Charity” made their debuts in Minneapolis before heading to Broadway. Classics like “Hamlet” grace the stage of the globally renowned Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater. From cabaret to storytelling, unique playhouses like the Illusion Theater, The Lab Theater and the Southern Theater also add flavor to the downtown scene. The sparkling Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts rounds out the scene.


Brimming with bohemian coffee shops and topical theater, the Uptown and Lyn-Lake neighborhoods of Minneapolis are always abuzz. In Uptown, Brave New Workshop Student Union draws laughs from audience members of all ages. Uptown’s edgy cousin, Lyn-Lake, is home to the Jungle Theater, which is set among a cluster of fabulous ethnic eateries. Just blocks away, funky hangout Bryant-Lake Bowl features an old-school bowling alley and an offbeat 99-seat theater. The Dinkytown and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods cater largely to the young urban college crowd with hot spots like the Mixed Blood Theatre, promoting cultural pluralism, and Theatre in the Round, the state’s oldest community theater, featuring a unique arena stage for classic productions. The Varsity Theater and Rarig Center at the University of Minnesota are popular spots for live music and theater.


In Saint Paul, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts hosts Broadway hits and also is home to the Minnesota Opera and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Minnesota Public Radio fans can look on as Garrison Keillor broadcasts “A Prairie Home Companion” live from the Fitzgerald Theater, named after the famous Minnesotan, F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Nestled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, the city of Excelsior is home to the country’s oldest continuously running theater, Old Log Theater. Prince fans may want to take a drive by Paisley Park on the way to the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres where three stages feature musicals and comedy improv as the largest Equity dinner theater in the U.S.


The only theater for young people to ever win a Tony Award, Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) produces first-rate performances that delight audiences of all ages. Time magazine named CTC the top theater in the country for kids. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in South Minneapolis uses various forms of puppetry inspired by cultures around the world to tell its stories, while the Stages Theatre Company brings children’s literature to life.


> Minneapolis is home to the largest non-juried theater festival in the U.S. – the Minnesota Fringe Festival. The annual festival packs theaters across the city every August. It’s the ideal time for lovers of the stage to experience the city’s diverse theater scene risk-free – each show is just one hour and only $12 plus a festival button. Bonus: Your festival button gets you discounts all year long!

> Minneapolis-Saint Paul is home to 75 professional theater companies.

> American Style ranked Minneapolis amond the 10 best mid-sized art cities.

Music Scene

Since the late 1950s when Minnesota-native Bob Dylan broke onto the folk-rock scene playing free shows on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota has highly impacted American music and some of the world’s most respected and well-known artists got their start in Minneapolis clubs.

The early 1980s helped define Minneapolis’ sound and launched the careers of R&B mega-producing team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, who started the band that would become The Time and was joined by Morris Day and toured as an opening act for Prince. The team then went on to produce such artists as Janet Jackson, Sounds of Blackness, Boyz II Men, Alexander O’Neal, Cherrelle and Patti LaBelle.

Also in the 80s, Minneapolis’ innovative punk scene and the rise of music-royalty Prince solidified Minneapolis’ music scene place on the map. Several bands including The Suicide Commandos, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum and The Replacements quickly rose to punk cult status and became pivotal in the development of alternative rock. Hit songs like, “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” by Minneapolis area band Information Society and The Jayhawks modern folk-rock sound, helped to further solidify Minneapolis purely original sound. But the “Minneapolis sound” was truly pioneered by Prince’s hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, R&B and New Wave. It has influenced many other musicians.

The 1990s saw continued success for Minneapolis bands. Prince introduced one of his most popular albums, Diamonds and Pearls, and Semisonic, an alternative rock band formed in 1995, topped the charts in 1998 with their single “Closing Time.” Semisonic member and Minneapolis resident Dan Wilson continues to top charts today with his songwriting for Adele, Keith Urban, Josh Groban and many more.

Home to a thriving underground hip hop scene due largely to the presence of Rhymesayers Entertainment and Doomtree – two major hip hop crews whose artists include Atmosphere and P.O.S., as well as a growing techno/dance landscape, Minneapolis is still a musical hotbed.

First Avenue has been the starting point for virtually every single band to come out of the Twin Cities, including The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Prince, Soul Asylum, Semisonic, American Head Charge, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dillinger Four, Dosh, The Jayhawks, Curtiss A and many others.

Bands and artists have performed at the nightclub and influenced the Minneapolis music scene from 1970 onward, as exemplified by the silver stars that adorn the black building’s exterior (every star has the name of an artist who has played at First Avenue or 7th Street Entry).

First Avenue also appeared in Prince’s 1984 film Purple Rain. U2 wrote part of October at First Avenue during a sound check. And Grammy Award winning alt-country star Lucinda Williams was married on stage here, following her performance at First Avenue in 2009.

Music Scene

The past perseveres in Minneapolis, where monuments, landmarks and living history sites await guided and independent exploration.

Minneapolis was born and thrived on the banks and water of the mighty Mississippi River where St. Anthony Falls fueled a lucrative flour milling industry now chronicled in one of the city’s many museums, the Mill City Museum. Built within the ruins of a 19th-century mill that was destroyed by fire, the museum overlooks Mill Ruins Park, featuring the remains of water-powered mills. Just blocks away is The Depot. Once a boarding place for trains of the Milwaukee Road Line, the renovated complex houses two hotels and an indoor water park and ice rink.

Take a walk across the Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1883, to St. Anthony Main on Main Street, a cobblestone street lined with buildings that date back to the 1850s. Attractions on Main Street include: Magical History Tours on Segways; Our Lady of Lourdes, a French Catholic church established in 1857 that still sells French meat pies; the Ard Godfrey House, once the family residence of the Maine millwright who helped put the waterpower of St. Anthony Falls to use; and Pracna on Main, the oldest restaurant in Minneapolis.

Hit all the attractions by walking the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, a 1.8-mile interpretive loop that crosses the Stone Arch Bridge that runs along St. Anthony Main and crosses the river again via Nicollet Island, a 19th-century residential district.

Built in 1902, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange was the first steel structure in Minneapolis. Five years later in 1907, the grain industry was booming and the rich economy was reflected in the Basilica of St. Mary, the first basilica in the U.S. and one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts.

Some of Minneapolis’ most popular historic sites are also the homes of the city’s most notorious haunts. The tallest building in Minneapolis until 1971, the Foshay Tower (now W Minneapolis - The Foshay hotel), built in 1929 as a tribute to the Washington Monument, is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Wilbur Foshay, while the nearby gothic Minneapolis City Hall is said to harbor the spirit of a man hanged in 1898. Although there have been no reports of the paranormal, the Lakewood Cemetery in Uptown takes visitors back through nearly 150 years of history.

The American Swedish Institute’s lavish furnishings and interiors of the former Turnblad Mansion combined with detailed exhibits to convey the stories, traditions and culture of Scandinavia, honoring a heritage shared by many immigrants and residents. A new addition in 2011 (Nelson Cultural Center) ensure this historic mansion remains relevant for another century. Also included in the long list of Minneapolis museums is the Bell Museum of Natural History, which explores the natural history of Minnesota, and the Wells Fargo History Museum, chronicling banking in the Midwest.


Highlighting world-class collections that span millennia, the city’s museums engage, inspire and educate millions each year. Boasting groundbreaking buildings and exhibits, they display tremendous foresight and reach. Nearly 60 destinations—of an astonishing 600 in Minnesota; many in and around downtown —celebrate life’s natural, artistic and scientific wonders.

Minneapolis’ globally acclaimed art museums highlight beauty in all forms. Hailed by Newsweek as “possibly the best contemporary art museum in the country,” the Walker Art Center has a building as dynamic as the events and artworks it presents. A stunning expansion, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, opened in April 2005, doubling the exhibit and performance space of this immensely popular and influential museum. Outside the Walker, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has more than 40 unique works, including the landmark “Spoonbridge and Cherry.”

With its impressive columns and wide-ranging exhibits, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts puts up a classical front – one that houses one of the largest displays of classical Chinese art and architecture in the country in 22 galleries. Considered one of America’s finest encyclopaedic museums, the institute possesses works from every age and medium, many of which reside in the museum’s Michael Graves-designed expansion.

Architect Frank Gehry, of Guggenheim Bilbao fame, brought global focus to the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, an abstract composition of stainless steel set next to the Mississippi River that opened an expansion in Fall 2011.
The museum’s warm, ethereal interiors highlight the University of Minnesota’s modern art collection.
The Museum of Russian Art is the only museum in North America solely dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Russian art and artifacts. Even the Guggenheim has borrowed art from this unique museum.

Each year, more than a million people wrap their heads—and their hands—around science at the hugely popular Science Museum of Minnesota, an interactive learning pioneer located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. Cutting-edge exhibits and colossal attractions include dinosaur fossils and a 90-foot convertible domed Imax movie screen.

The atmosphere is especially charged inside the Bakken Museum, which explores electricity and magnetism while showcasing 2,500 electrical devices dating to the 1700s.

The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting features industry equipment and memorabilia, while the Bell Museum of Natural History offers dioramas depicting life’s amazing diversity.

Outdoor Recreation

Sparkling lakes, inviting trails and rolling green spaces beautify the urban landscape and make the City by Nature an all season playground. Bike, hike, pedal or paddle – all within the limits of downtown. In a city where every resident lives within six blocks of a park, the great outdoors are highly prized.

Minnesota is famous for its lakes; Minneapolis included. There are 22 lakes within city limits, including the popular Chain of Lakes (Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake), which curls around southwest Minneapolis, drawing bikers, walkers, runners and sun seekers to the area’s hip, active neighborhoods. Boaters, swimmers and anglers can make a splash, too, thanks to convenient lake access, watercraft rentals, clean beaches and well-stocked waters.

In Minneapolis, taking the scenic route means staying in the city, where the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway meanders past gardens, golf courses, waterfalls and idyllic views. One of the only designated urban scenic byways in the country, the Grand Rounds offers 52 miles of hiking, biking, skiing and driving paths that link the city’s lakes and parks “like jewels of a bracelet,” according to Midwest Living magazine.

Having transitioned from industrial to recreational, the Mississippi riverfront delights outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs with parks, picnic areas, landmarks and monuments along miles of well-kept trails. The Audubon Great River Birding Trail, Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, which highlights unique mill ruins, a working lock and dam and the only stone railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi River, all pass through this history-rich recreational haven.

Recreation happens naturally in the city’s many parks, where offerings range from mountain bike trails to bird sanctuaries. Minnehaha Park was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha,” while Theodore Wirth Park features the country’s oldest wildflower garden and a rare “quaking bog” made of moss. USA Today identified Lake Harriet’s Lyndale Park Rose Garden, the second oldest public rose garden in the U.S., as one of “10 Great Places to Inhale the Scents of Spring.” Minneapolis parks are also abuzz in winter, attracting ice skaters, skiers and snowshoers.

It’s easy to come out swinging in Minneapolis. Minnesota has more golfers per capita than any state in the country, which means quality courses abound. There are seven public courses in Minneapolis and 170 more in the surrounding area. One of the first public golf courses in the state, Theodore Wirth, frames the Minneapolis skyline, while tranquil Minnehaha Creek graces the Hiawatha and Meadowbrook courses.

According to ACSM American Fitness Index 2011-13, on a per capita basis, Minneapolis has more:

> Recreation Centers
> Park Units
> Golf Courses
> Tennis Courts
> Ball Diamonds
> Park Playgrounds

Per capita than any other city. 

Take a self-guided tour on the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail through the Minneapolis Riverfront District or, for a longer walking, biking or blading adventure, make your way through seven beautiful districts on the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Along the Grand Rounds is gorgeous Lake Harriet, which offers a variety of activities: free outdoor concerts at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in the summer, an Asian-influenced Peace (Rock) Garden, the second-oldest public rose garden in the U.S. and much more.

Outdoor Recreation

Walking and talking pair beautifully in Minneapolis, especially when informed guides provide the narrative during insightful tours of the city’s most popular places. Operators also offer colorful commentary aboard buses, boats, streetcars and historic trains – often for little or no cost. Self-guided exploration of area history, culture and art is easy, too.

Backstage tours of the city’s highly esteemed performance venues, including the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater and the spectacular historic State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters, highlight what happens behind the scenes at these storied landmarks, from stagecraft to costume design to who has graced the dressing rooms.

With renowned museums offering frequent free tours and events, it’s easy to access world-class art in Minneapolis – and just as easy to understand it! The admission-free Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers fun and engaging family activities every Sunday, while the Walker Art Center features free performances, films, tours and more each Thursday and the first Saturday of the month. The 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden encourages leisurely art appreciation in the great outdoors, and is always free.

Riverboat, kayak, scenic railway—you name it, you can ride it, while learning more about the area than you ever imagined. Stately paddlewheelers cruise the Mississippi River. The Minnesota Transportation Museum moves visitors in many ways with its restored streetcar line and classic buses. Experience the Mississippi Riverfront area aboard the Minneapolis Queen, a paddlewheeler that goes through the river’s uppermost lock and dam or, for a truly unique experience, sightsee on a two-wheeled Segway, in a kayak led by Above the Falls Sports, on a bike by Nice Ride Minnesota, or one of the many running, food or fitness-themed tours available in the City by Nature.


Minneapolis is a world-class shopping destination. People from around the globe come to shop the city’s chic boutiques, stellar malls and diverse retail districts. Mall of America is a big reason shoppers flock here, but there are many others, including a red-hot downtown shopping zone and no sales tax on clothes and shoes.

Shopping comes easy in downtown Minneapolis, where you’ll find scores of popular merchants within steps of hotels and hip eateries. The retail beat sounds loudest along Nicollet Mall, the pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare where Mary Tyler Moore tossed her cap. Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Minneapolis-based Target’s flagship store anchor this thriving corridor. Virtually every building offers a climate-controlled skyway connection, while the convenient METRO Blue Line speeds power shoppers on a quick 35 minute trip to Mall of America.

Shoppers hungry for the best selection in the nation feed their cravings at Mall of America, the country’s largest shopping and entertainment complex. Home to more than 520 stores, retail giants Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears anchor this merchant-packed monolith. Unique shops, national flagship stores and emerging retail concepts mean something for everyone, while other attractions include Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest fully enclosed theme park; a giant walk-through aquarium called Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium; an appetizing range of restaurants and bars; and a 14-screen movie theater.

Original boutiques and signature retailers add charm and entice shoppers into the city’s many distinct neighborhoods. Hipsters prowl for high-voltage clothing and trendy home furnishings in Uptown, while sophisticates ponder elite labels and lux housewares in the nearby 50th & France area. Packed with locally owned gift shops, bakeries and bookstores, Linden Hills in southwest Minneapolis personifies the independent spirit of the city’s neighborhoods, where ethnic flavors and lifestyles vary.

Minneapolis made retail history in 1956 when Southdale Center in suburban Edina opened as the world’s first enclosed mall. This bright, airy location continually delights with myriad stores, energetic restaurants and a movie theater. Nearby Galleria refined the mall concept to further applause, showcasing high-end retailers, casually elegant dining and spa services. On the other end of the spectrum, Albertville Premium Outlets, west of Minneapolis, discount designer duds for those who crave a range of shopping experiences.

> Retail therapy comes cheap in Minneapolis. Neiman Marcus and Saks Off Fifth operate discount outlets downtown, where locally based Target sells affordable, stylish wares inside its flagship store. Albertville Premium Outlets offer 100 stores, including Banana Republic and Polo Ralph Lauren. And the bargains inside Mall of America’s discount stores are surpassed only by its mammoth interiors, which guests can gawk at for free.

> In Minnesota, there's no sales tax on clothing or shoes!


With five major sports teams, four incredible venues and some of the most enthusiastic sports fans on the planet, Minneapolis is a major-league town.

In spring 2010, the Minnesota Twins (MLB) scored a grand slam with their new ballpark, Target Field. The 40,000 seat facility was awarded LEED-Silver certification, making it the second Major League ballpark in the United States to achieve that status. The Twins Field also offers a Taste of Twins Territory featuring signature food from local restaurants and vendors.

The Minnesota Vikings (NFL) call the fully enclosed, climate controlled Metrodome home in the fall and winter. The season’s kick-off brings countless Vikings fans downtown to tailgate and show their purple pride. The Vikings' new stadium home will be complete in 2016 on the site of the former Metrodome. In 2014-2015, they will play at TCF Bank Stadium.

2011 World Champion Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) and Timberwolves (NBA), along with concerts and other public events, keep the Target Center busy year-round.

Dubbed the “State of Hockey,” it’s only fitting that Minnesota has a beautiful ice arena, the Xcel Energy Center, for the Minnesota Wild (NHL). Lacrosse was added to the long list of sports offerings in 2005 when the Minnesota Swarmplayed its inaugural season at the “X.”

Every year, the National Sports Center in Blaine, just north of Minneapolis, plays host to many amateur and professional soccer games, drawing crowds of all ages.

Revel in the summer weather at a minor league Saint Paul Saints baseball game at the open-air Midway Stadium. Always packed with quirky activities like mascot pig races and much more, fans are guaranteed a good time.

For college sports, the University of Minnesota is the largest university in the Minneapolis area and is known for its men’s and women’s hockey teams.

Check out what other travelers say about Minneapolis on tripadvisor

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