Since the opening of Huntington Bank Stadium in 2009, Dinkytown and Stadium Village have aptly taken on the role of being giant college football tailgating parties before, during and after Minnesota Golden Gophers football games. Fans hit up neighborhood restaurants and bars before packing the 50,805-seat venue, the first college or pro football stadium to receive LEED certification for its environmentally efficient construction and design. If you have a ticket to a game or concert here, don’t miss the T. Denny Sanford Athletics Hall of Fame on the stadium’s southwest end. Here, you’ll find images, artifacts and interactive kiosks that celebrate the U of M’s 22 athletic programs. Just across the street, you can catch Gophers basketball games at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion, or hockey contests at 3M Arena at Mariucci and Ridder Arena. If you're planning on attending a game as a Minnesota fan, you'll need some maroon and gold gear from Goldy's Locker Room.
Arts and cultural offerings abound on and off campus, with some of the biggest events taking place at Northrop Auditorium. Masterfully restored in 2014, the main theater seats nearly 2,700 people for concerts, dance performances and lectures. Past guests have included everyone from Bruce Springsteen to The Dalai Lama. Once housed within Northrop, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is now a shimmering multi-angular showpiece that overlooks the Mississippi River. Inside the Frank Gehry-designed building, a permanent collection of more than 25,000 pieces highlights modernist works and ceramics as well ancient Native American pottery and traditional Korean furniture.
Back on the streets of Dinkytown, the cultural tour continues with a live show at the art deco Varsity Theater. With its intimate, eclectic vibe, rich history and superb acoustics, the Varsity has become one of the most sought-after music venues in the Midwest. World-renowned artists such as Janelle Monaé, Brandi Carlile, and Mumford and Sons have played gigs here.
Looking for that college bar atmosphere? You're in luck with The Kollege Klub and Blarney Pub & Grill in Dinkytown, and Sally's Saloon and Stub & Herbs in Stadium Village. Close to Dinkytown, the Como and Prospect Park neighborhoods hum to their own tune with a variety of bars, breweries and distilleries drawing the young adult crowd. Favorites include Surly Brewing Company, Insight Brewing & Taproom, and Norseman Distillery. And new to the area are a pair of can't miss destinations — The Market at Malcolm Yards and O'Shaughnessy Distillery Co. You’ll know you’re getting close to Prospect Park territory when you see the historic water tower dubbed the “Witch’s Hat” for its prominent triangular cap.