Rivers and Lakes

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and Minneapolis is known to house a few, too. The mighty Mississippi roars through our city, and our lakes are 24/7 ready for fun: liquid or frozen.

Morning
Enjoy breakfast downtown at any one of our fabulous restaurants—from celebrity chefs to local favorites and ethnic specialties—we're sure to have something for every taste. Or savor breakfast at Nicollet Island Inn, surrounded by panoramic views of the Mississippi River.

By car or by bike, tour the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway and discover the beauty of the Mississippi River and our Chain of Lakes. The Grand Rounds is the only National Scenic Byway in the United States that is located within an urban area. Stop at the free Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum to enjoy the beauty of the Mississippi River and the building designed by architect Frank Gehry. Then visit Minnehaha Falls for another stunning display of the mighty Mississippi and the only waterfalls in the United States that is located within a metro area.

Afternoon
Stop for lunch on the Mississippi River bank at Pracna on Main Historic Dining Saloon, the oldest restaurant on the oldest street in Minneapolis. After lunch, take a stroll across the Stone Arch Bridge to Mill City Museum. Located within the ruins of the historic milling district, the museum is packed with interactive exhibits, an eight-story Flour Tower and fun for visitors of all ages.

Or, enjoy lunch in the heart of Uptown at Barbette, just blocks from Lake Calhoun. Then tour the Bakken Science Museum & Medicinal Garden on the west side of Lake Calhoun.

Take a ride back in time on a Como-Harriet Street Car Line at Lake Harriet. Stroll along the lake or visit the bird sanctuary, rose gardens (second oldest public rose gardens in the U.S. with 60,000 blooms in peak season) and peace gardens near Lake Harriet.

Evening
Savor dinner as you cruise down the Mississippi River aboard the Minneapolis Queen Paddlewheeler, which provides a beautiful look at historic Minneapolis. Or, relax on the patio of Spoonriver in the Riverfront District. Next door at the Guthrie Theater, take in an amazing view of the riverfront area from a bridge-like cantilever that suspends from the lobby over the Mill Ruins Park.

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  • Just across the street from the Walker Art Center is the first major urban sculpture park in the United States - the 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. At its center is the beloved Twin Cities icon, the found-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry. During the summer, spend the afternoon hitting the greens at the artist-designed mini-golf course.
  • The Minnesota Historical Society has been sharing the stories of Minnesotans for over 165 years! Join us for programs and events at 26 historic sites and museums statewide. Visit our website to learn more.
  • An interactive museum with both permanent and changing exhibits. The Minnesota History Center hosts concerts, lectures, family days and other special event throughout the year. The building is also home to the Gale Family Library and archives, a research destination for schoolchildren, family historians and academics. The Minnesota History Center's distinctive architecture adds a unique ambiance for events from 50-1,500 guests. Constructed of Minnesota granite and limestone with marble accents, the History Center's spaces offer classic flair with grand vistas of the State Capitol, Cathedral of Saint Paul and the downtown Saint Paul skyline. The Minnesota History Center is one of 26 historic sites and museums operated by the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Minnesota's largest public garden on 1,000 acres, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is open year-round and offers seasonal tours of beautiful display gardens and plant collections.
  • Journey back in time to a 16th-century village. This Minnesota tradition features entertainment, artisans, food, history and more! We also coordinate and host weddings on-site, and coordinate events on- and off-site year-round.
  • Completed in 1905, the Minnesota State Capitol is used by the Minnesota Governor, Supreme Court, Senate and House of Representatives. Designed by Cass Gilbert, who was known for his classical style and pioneering skyscrapers, the Capitol features the second-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world, works by important 19th and 20th century artists and battle flags from the Civil and Spanish-American Wars. While currently undergoing a three-year renovation, the Capitol remains open to visitors for daily tours. The Minnesota State Capitol is one of 26 historic sites and museums operated by the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • This annual exposition is Minnesota's best-attended event. Plus, fairground buildings are available for off-season rental. They can handle large-audience events that others cannot.
  • The Minnesota Wild are a professional hockey team in St. Paul, MN. We offer season group tickets to assist you in entertainment.
  • Minnesota Wine Country Tours provides Small-Group Winery Tours for individual, group or corporate needs accommodating groups of up to six people in large comfortable SUV's. Free pick up and drop off at local hotels.
  • A world-class casino with over 4,000 slot machines, 88 blackjack tables, high-stakes bingo and Las Vegas-style entertainment, the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel features 586 elegant rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants and championship golf course.

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