How to Spend Two Days in Minneapolis
You’ve got 48 hours in Minneapolis and you want to see it all. But with such limited time you may be feeling overwhelmed about where to start. If you’re unsure how to plan your two-day trip, here’s an introduction to the city’s best spots. Use this as a guide of the places that will give you the true Minneapolis experience.
It’s hard to say no to a bagel for breakfast and the made-from-scratch ones at Rise Bagel Co. are irresistible. The founders of this local shop traveled to many different “bagel meccas” to find inspiration for their unique recipe. Get a classic bagel and spread or try one of their breakfast sandwiches, like the “Artisan” (organic egg, bacon, Havarti, arugula, rosemary butter, apple mustard).
Next up learn about the fascinating history of Minneapolis and its flour milling industry at the Mill City Museum. This historical spot will not only will fill you up with knowledge but at the end of the tour you will catch a glimpse of some spectacular views of downtown. (Note: Due to Covid-19 pandemic Mill City Museum is only holding outdoor tours and events). It’s definitely one of our favorite Minneapolis must-sees. When you are done make a stop at the Guthrie Theater, right next door. There you can visit the amber room and the endless bridge (part of our most instagrammable places) to see even more cool perspectives of the city’s skyline and the Mississippi River.
If you’re around during summertime on a Saturday you’ll be lucky enough to catch the Mill City Farmers Market in this area as well. Get lunch here at the many local vendors and check out activities like cooking classes, yoga, demonstrations, story tellings, tastings and live music.
Another great lunch option in the area is Zen Box Izakaya. Keep your tummy and your wallet happy at this affordable Japanese comfort food eatery. Get yourself a hearty bowl of ramen and a couple pieces of sashmi on the side. Afterwards stroll down to the Stone Arch Bridge and walk near the Mississippi River. One of Minneapolis' more popular areas for tourists and locals alike, you'll find plenty of reasons to stop and admire the city views here.
Prefer to get your steps in while shopping? Then you’ll need to make time for one of the city’s most concentrated shopping destinations,the North Loop Neighborhood. Get in on the local boutique action with places like D.NOLO (fashion-forward women’s clothing and more), Grethen House (upscale women’s fashion and accessories) MartinPatrick 3 (sophisticated Men's clothing), James & Mary Laurie Booksellers (collection of used and out of print books), and more.
If you’re starting to get hungry but not quite done shopping, head over to the Lake Street neighborhood. Both the Midtown Global Market and Mercado Central have a substantial amount of shopping options in and around their food courts, including apparel, jewelry, art, groceries, books, alcohol, and a wide variety of home goods. Lake Plaza is another food court and bazaar catering to the Hispanic community, with 84 food and retail vendors.
Otherwise, Eat Street in the Whittier neighborhood is the place to be when it comes to international flavors. German, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Jamaican, Mexican you'll find it all along Eat Street. Once you've made your pick and given your taste buds a ride, end the night with a treat at The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen. Their cakes and dessert menu is the perfect way to sustain a sweet tooth.
Hi-Lo Diner for breakfast will get your busy day off to a great start. A classic diner experience with all kinds of breakfast favorites. If you're undecided on what to try, the popular Hi-Tops, are a menu item people rave about. Because who doesn't like a donut loaded with a combination of sweet and savory toppings? Then head across the street to Dogwood Coffee Bar for some locally roasted coffee drinks.
Enjoy a breath of fresh air by walking the trails of Minnehaha Regional Park and eventually land at Minnehaha Falls, where the view is memorizing. Even in the middle of winter this is sight to see. The falls freeze and the water turns into massive icicles making everything look majestic.
You can’t leave Minneapolis without trying a Jucy Lucy burger from Matt’s Bar. This burger is made by placing cheese in the center of the patty, making sure your burger oozes with melted cheese in every bite. It's one of the foods Minneapolis is known for and shouldn't be missed.
Dedicate the afternoon at the home of one of Minneapolis’ most iconic sights. The Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture at the Walker Art Center is the most famous piece of art in the sculpture garden, appearing on Instagram feeds all over Minneapolis. Stroll around the free garden and admire the more than 40 works of art. The Walker Art Center itself is a modern art lover's paradise, bringing together diverse contemporary works on display.
End your night at one of the many restaurants in the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis. Then grab a drink and reflect back on all the memories you made in this great city. The craft beer scene has landed on Northeast Minneapolis hard. There are more than a half dozen breweries, distilleries and even the odd cidery, including numerous tap rooms serving it all. It’s a great area for a dedicated night in a craft beer bar sampling beers from across the neighborhood.
The dizzying options include the 612 Brew and its enormous indoor, wood-brick space and a small, atmospheric stone amphitheater outside. They keep about 10 of their products on tap at any given time. Bauhaus Brew Labs serves a German-American beer hybrid in their busy taproom which hosts events like film screenings, trivia and live music. Indeed Brewing Company has two taprooms, serving pints of their flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale, IPAs, “experimental brews,” and the Wooden Soul series of wild, sour and barrel-aged beer. Finally, there is Sociable Cider Werks, for those who like a little apple zing with their brewery explorations.
Travel a little outside of the Northeast neighborhood and find other unique brewery spots. You may want to try Surly Brewing, their local brews are usually a preferred choice among locals. The atmosphere is relaxed, so hang out and sip your beer at the communal table or head upstairs for some specialty pizzas. Nearby, is a whiskey distillery that hosts one of the top whiskey makers in the world. Selling both American and Irish whiskeys, O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. is a one of a kind experience. Enjoy your glass in comfort and class in their lounge type environment.
Another fun spot to end your night at is La Doña Cervecería, where you'll find them brewing a collection of authentic beers inspired by both Latin American and Minnesota culture. The space hosts plenty of live music, dancing and even some outdoor soccer tournaments.
Where to Stay:
With your short stay it’s probably best to stay somewhere central or downtown so that you have easy access to transit and can cut down on travel times.
World-class museums, craft beer festivals, top-notch restaurants, miles of bike trails, too many lakes to count on your hands, a vibrant nightlife, an incredible music scene. Sure, you could fit it all into one day—if you’re superhuman. When you come to Minneapolis, make it a weekend. Enjoy your time here and soak it all up by staying at one of our convenient hotels. Sleep over, it’s more fun (we promise!). And don't miss our special Minneapolis-only Expedia hotel deals.