Starting to plan how you are going to spend your vacation days this summer? Make the most of them and plan a long weekend getaway to Minneapolis. This Midwestern city has a lot to offer, especially in the summer months. A trip to Minneapolis is kinda like a two for one deal with the adjoined St. Paul making up the second half of these Twin Cities. There is always something going on between Memorial and Labor Day; check out this events calendar to see if there are any attractions happening during your stay.
Minneapolis is a bit spread out and to see the whole city over a long weekend it’s best to have a rental car. All of its best attractions are just a short drive apart, but would be hard to cover on foot. If you want to be in the center of the action, a downtown Minneapolis hotel might be best for you. However, if you like to stay in a quieter and trendier area then check-in at one of Uptown’s hotels near Lake Calhoun.
Day 1: Downtown
Start your tour of the Twin Cities at one it’s most iconic landmarks, the Spoonbridge and Cherry. Take in the popular sculpture located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden outside the Walker Art Center, which is also worth a visit.
From there head to the heart of downtown Minneapolis. If the Twins are in town, make the trip to the new Target Stadium to see the team in action.
After the game, finish the day with one of the best views of the city skyline from the Stone Arch Bridge. From here, you’ll get to see the full skyline while standing over the Mississippi River. If you are up for some nightlife, head to the North Loop (Washington St. between Plymouth & Hennepin), home to some of downtown’s best late night spots.
Day 2: Uptown
Leave the big city for a bit of nature and head to what the locals call Uptown. One of the biggest draws to the area is Lake Calhoun. Take a morning walk around the lake or rent a bike and explore the extensive network of bike trails. Uptown is full of trendy restaurants, bars, and shops to fill your afternoon. Start where Hennepin Avenue & Lake Street meet, and wander your way around the neighborhood.
For happy hour head over to the nearby Steel Toe Brewing or the slightly further afield Surly Brewing Co. for local craft beer. To keep the buzz going, make your way to Lake Street for food and drinks in a lively part of town.
Day 3: Local Favorites
Be sure to save enough time during your long weekend to take in some of local favorites. One of Minneapolis’ must eat meals is the famous and highly disputed Juicy Lucy. A few places in town make this Minneapolis burger with the cheese cooked inside the patty. Depending on who you ask in the Twin Cities you’ll get a different answer on which is the best. The most popular places to try a Juicy Lucy is either Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club; both claim to have invented the sandwich.
For a desert with less debate head over to the Grand Ole Creamery and have a heaping dish of what most locals agree is the best ice cream in town.
After fueling up with some Minneapolis favorites it’s time to tackle the 500+ stores inside the Mall of America. The second largest shopping mall in the United States is located just a few miles away from downtown and the airport. In addition to shopping, there are more than 50 restaurants and an even an indoor amusement park complete with roller coasters.