Despite landing atop lists of 'most affordable' and 'most livable' cities – and in a state ranked the USA's happiest – Minneapolis seems a bit underappreciated. But after its turn in the spotlight for this year’s Super Bowl, that just might change. The city worked hard to spruce up for the big event, in particular with renovations to downtown’s main thoroughfare Nicollet Mall introducing groovy light features, art installations and innovative social spaces.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden also got a revamp, with 18 new works by famous chiselers. And Target Center, the city's NBA and WNBA arena, got a fan-friendly $145 million makeover. Meanwhile, new boutique hotels and modern farm-to-table restaurants (heavy on local ingredients) are popping up with cool verve.