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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  • 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.
  • The National Sports Center is a premier destination for amateur sports. Their campus is filled with 8 hockey rinks, 50 soccer fields, and a 50,000 square foot sports hall.
  • Nickelodeon Universe is the nation's largest family indoor theme park with over 30 remarkable rides and attractions shape the seven-acre park, which also features nine places to eat, entertainment and shopping.
  • Step into a reconstructed fur post from the winter of 1804. Meet a French Voyageur, a British fur trade clerk and visit an Ojibwe encampment. The visitor center houses an expansive exhibit gallery with a 24-foot birch canoe, a 30-foor tall stone fireplace and a gift shop. The Snake River heritage trails are open year round for hiking, snowshoeing and skiing. The North West Company Fur Post is one of 26 historic sites and museums operated by the Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Located on the east bank of the Minneapolis Riverfront District, the Northeast Business Association offers Old St. Anthony (the birthplace of Minneapolis) and 50-plus restaurants and retail shops.
  • Padelford Packet Boat offers narrated Mississippi River cruises May through September, as well as dinner and brunch, trips and private charters. St. Paul riverboats carry 315, 510 and 730 passengers.
  • Paradise Charter Cruises has been providing private charters on beautiful Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River for over 18 years. They are ideal for corporate or personal events, as they accommodate for groups from 10 to 150.
  • Pinstripes is a unique dining and entertainment venue, featuring a bistro with exceptional Italian/American cuisine and wine; bowling and bocce; a year-round outdoor patio and fire pit; and event space and meeting rooms accommodating 20-600 guests. Enjoy Sunday Brunch, lunch or dinner; private parties; weekend live blues and jazz; craft beer wine dinners; parents tot play dates and many other exciting promotions. We look forward to meeting you!
  • Running Aces Harness Park offers fun and excitement for all ages. Bet on live/simulcast races across the country, enjoy fine dining and take advantage of the sports bar open daily.
  • From sharks to sea turtles, and jellyfish to seahorses, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium showcases over 10,000 sea creatures underneath the Mall of America. Throughout your 75 minute experience you will to come face to face with animals never before seen in Minnesota, giving you a new level of excitement and understanding of the world's oceans. You will be amazed by our 300 foot long tunnel and 1.3 million gallons of water.

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