The Best Minneapolis Tours to Explore the City this Summer

Get an insider’s take on the best of the city with these Minneapolis walking tours, boat tours, and sightseeing tours exploring local culture, food, landmarks, and the natural beauty of Minnesota. Whether you’re in town for a weekend, a few weeks, or are a new resident wanting to get to know the area better, there’s a tour for everyone.

Walking Tours and Biking Tours

Preserve Minneapolis Summer Tours

Explore Minneapolis’s historic neighborhoods and notable architecture with local experts on historic preservation and urban design. From the stately Lowry Hill homes owned by Minneapolis’s brewery magnates to the city’s oldest existing cemetery (Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery), these tours will give you a totally new perspective on Minneapolis history.

Tours are offered throughout the week at varying times through the summer months, and cost $14 per person. Check the online calendar to register.

Taste Twin Cities Food Tours

For some people, travel is all about how many meals and snacks you can fit into each day. If this sounds like you, Taste Twin Cities Food Tours offers a variety of walking tours exploring the Mill District along the Minneapolis River, the best local chocolate, Downtown Minneapolis' Skyway, and brewery crawls.  

Most walking tours are available April through October (some with interior options are offered year round). Tours are $48-$78 per person, and include food and drink samplings along the tour.

Self-Guided Stroll Through Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Take in more than 600 native plant species in this 15-acre public garden and bird sanctuary with this self-guided tour from garden curator Susan Wilkins.With 20 stops featuring highlights throughout the garden, this tour is an excellent way to enjoy the garden's boardwalks, forest paths, upland garden, and more.

The Garden is open Tuesdays through Sundays 10 am-6 pm, Thursdays 8 am-8 pm, and closed on Mondays. Have questions as you explore? Garden guides are available during open hours to help out!

Minnesota Historical Society Tours

Who better to reveal the history of Minneapolis than the local history experts themselves? The affordable Minnesota Historical Society tours explore landmarks like the Minneapolis Riverfront, Historic St. Anthony Falls, and the Summit Avenue Neighborhood—featuring Gilded Age mansions.

Many tours are available daily from Wednesday through Sunday. Tours are $10-$15, Minnesota Historical Society members save 20%.

Human on a Stick Minneapolis Segway Tours

Minneapolis boasts the first—and largest—Segway tour company in America! Human on a Stick’s wind energy-powered Segway fleet will take you around local landmarks like the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Stone Arch Bridge, Mill City Museum, and Guthrie Theater and offer a deep dive into local history, art, and architecture.

Daily 3-hour tours are $80 on weekdays, $90 on weekends, and include safety training, snacks and beverages, a local restaurant coupon, and entrance to the Mill City Museum. Riders must be age 12+.

The Fit Tourist Biking Tours

Minneapolis is touted as one of the country’s top biking cities, and the Fit Tourist will give you the two-wheeled adventure to prove it. Explore the city’s bicycle trails past waterfalls, lakes, and landmarks with a few memorable hours of guided riding.

Daily 3-hour tours are $49.95 (price includes bike and helmet rental). 

Landmark Tours

Target Field Tour

Love baseball? Take a 90-minute tour of the Warehouse District home of the Minnesota Twins! You’ll explore parts of the LEED-certified ballpark that aren’t open to most guests on gameday, from the press box to suite levels and the many works of art and memorabilia that call Target Field home. 

Adults $18, students (15+) $13, children 6-14 $9, children 5 and under free. Seniors (55+) and military personnel $15. Public Tours are limited to a maximum of 25 guests per group and up to four groups per time slot. The tour is ADA accessible and complimentary wheelchairs are available.

Lakewood Cemetery Tours

Discover the history, art, architecture, famous memorials, and gardens of Minneapolis’s lakeside cemetery founded in 1871—just four years after Minneapolis was incorporated—with a one-hour guided tour or a self-guided tour of the Lakewood Memorial Chapel

Guided tours are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and take place Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. 

St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center and Lock and Dam

Free ranger led tours of this modern engineering marvel are offered daily at 11am and 2pm during the summer months. You'll learn about the history of the river, Minneapolis's mill legacy, and the lock itself, taking in panoramic views of the Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam, St. Anthony Falls, and Downtown Minneapolis's mill district.

Fun fact: With a lift of 49 feet, the lock at St. Anthony Falls accounts for more than 10% of the total height change of the Mississippi River between the Twin Cities and St. Louis, MO.

Self-Guided Tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Walker Art Center has put together a fun, kid-friendly tour sheet that reveals some behind-the-scenes stories of a few popular sculptures at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and gives kids of all ages the chance to imaginatively interact with the public works of art. 

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is free, requires no tickets for admission, and is open from 6 am to midnight 365 days a year.

Boat Tours

Wilderness Inquiry Mississippi River Canoe Adventures

Explore the watery wilderness in the heart of the city on a guided trip in a 24-foot cedar strip canoe. Trips are designed for paddling beginners and seasoned boaters, and will take you from Hidden Falls Regional Park to Harriet Island in 2-3 hours.

Paddle trips are $45 ($25 Youth), and are available for small groups of 3-12 friends and family members.

Paradise Charter Cruises and Minneapolis Queen

Set sail from Bohemian Flats Park for a narrated sightseeing cruise along the southern route of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway—past the UMN campus, St Anthony Falls, and great views of downtown Minneapolis—aboard a historic paddleboat. Dinner and lunch cruises are also available.

Public cruises are available daily from Mother’s Day through the 3rd Weekend of October, and cost $36-$50 per person. 

Paddle Bridge Guide Collective Kayak Tours

From the Heart of Minneapolis tour (where you’ll see the Great Blue Heron rookery and the old Port of Minneapolis) to the Mississippi River Gorge tour, Paddle Bridge’s seasoned kayak guides are passionate about making the beauty of Minneapolis and the sport of kayaking available to everyone.

Tours cost $45-$60 for single paddlers and $90-$180 for tandem kayaks for two. Tours are available seven days a week.

Minneapolis Water Taxi

Hop aboard Captain Greg Hoseth’s solar-powered 6-person boat to explore the Mississippi up close, from Boom Island Park to the Upper Lock of St. Anthony Falls.

Cruises are offered daily. A 1-hour private day cruise is $70, which includes up to 6 passengers per boat. Evening—Sunset or City Lights—cruises are $90. Children under 10 are required to wear life jackets.

UffDa Adventures PaddleTap Boat Tours

Paddle a boat around Lake Minnetonka or White Bear Lake as you peddle your feet to turn a paddlewheel and enjoy local beers or BYOB. Here’s a helpful video if you’re curious about the mechanics of the operation. (Don’t feel like powering the boat yourself? They also offer “LazyTap” no-paddling tours on a large, double-deck party pontoon.)

PaddleTap tour prices vary depending on capacity: 0-6 guests $50/seat, 7-10 guests $45/seat, 11-13 guests $40/seat, 14-18 guests $35/seat. LazyTap Boat is $5/higher per person.