Minneapolis City Living & Tourism Guide

Known as the “City of Lakes” for its natural beauty and proud of its dedication to cultivating progressive prosperity, the city of Minneapolis has established an extraordinary reputation for its vibrant economy, diverse recreational opportunities and overall livability.

With more than 400,000 residents, Minneapolis is the most populous city in Minnesota, the county seat of Hennepin County and the hub of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, which encompasses a total of 15 counties. Minneapolis’ enviable location by the navigable head of the Mississippi River has made it an economic force and a popular place to live ever since its official incorporation in 1867. Besides the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is home to 13 lakes within its city limits, as well as scenic waterways, natural wetlands, cascades and ample parkland.

In its early years, Minneapolis fostered a healthy economy that was driven primarily by the timber industry and the nation’s foremost sawmill and flour milling companies. Over the years, Minneapolis’ economy diversified to include major finance, retail, transportation, energy and technology sectors, and the city has emerged as a respected member of the global economy. Thanks to its excellent neighborhoods and highly rated educational system, Minneapolis consistently ranks among the most attractive cities to raise a family, start a business or expand an existing company’s footprint.

A genuine city of neighborhoods, Minneapolis offers an unsurpassed variety of districts and communities in which to explore, eat, drink and make a home. A modern gem in downtown Minneapolis is the city’s world-renowned skyway, a climate controlled, above-ground tunnel system that covers about 80 square blocks and spans approximately 11 miles overall.


general mills minneapolis officeServing as the corporate headquarters of six Fortune 500 firms as well as a host of other major companies, Minneapolis ranks second behind only Chicago among the most prominent economic hubs in the Midwestern United States. The economic landscape of Minneapolis is wide and diverse, which tends to draw a highly qualified and educated work force to the city. Nearly every leading sector of the nation’s economy is represented in Minneapolis, including companies from the fields of technology, international finance, energy, health care, medical devices, railway transportation and manufacturing. Education, life insurance, traditional and digital publishing, agriculture, machinery, chemical engineering and internet companies also play key roles in the city’s economic picture.

Thanks in part to its excellent technology infrastructure, highly lauded research universities, award-winning medical facilities and forward-looking energy policies, Minneapolis has earned coveted spots among the best cities for young professionals by publications such as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Popular Science and Forbes.

The roster of Fortune 500 companies that have established their headquarters in Minneapolis include such prestigious names as Ameriprise Financial, General Mills, Target, Thrivent Financial, U.S. Bancorp and Xcel Energy. Target, the massive retailer with thousands of locations throughout the country, has an extremely rich history in the city. The Target company traces its roots to an original location in downtown Minneapolis in 1902. It later expanded dramatically throughout the region and the nation.

Wells Fargo, ABM Industries, CenturyLink and Capella Education Company also rank among the biggest employers in Minneapolis. One of the most respected trauma centers in the nation, Hennepin County Medical Center, another of the city’s leading employers, represents Minneapolis’ shift in focus toward exceptional health care services. The center is recognized for its expertise in stroke treatment, transplants and trauma surgery.

Helping to boost the city’s distinctly cosmopolitan flavor, Minneapolis also houses U.S. offices for foreign firms such as Canadian Pacific, Voya Financial, Colopast and Accenture. The Royal Bank of Canada, a multinational giant with world headquarters in Toronto, also maintains a substantial presence in Minneapolis, offering comprehensive banking, brokerage and wealth management services.

Minneapolis has a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s leading manufacturing bases. Manufacturing firms based in the city produce products such as electronics, machinery, medical and dental devices, and food products. The city’s factories also manufacture goods such as structural steel, thermostat parts, tools, burglar alarms, lawn mowers and sprinklers.

Due in part to strong high-tech programs at the University of Minnesota and smaller technical colleges in the region, Minneapolis has seen a surge in employment in the technology industry in recent years. Including startups and small firms, at least 1,000 high technology companies call the Minneapolis area home. Prominent positions in the city’s high-tech sector include engineers, computer scientists, graphic artists, web developers and coders.

Minneapolis hosts a thriving tech startup community led by entrepreneurs creating and promoting innovative social media platforms that build upon the growing popularity of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, home to historic brick warehouses and former factories that range up to 10 stories in height, is embracing its new role as a vibrant hub of high-tech startup activity.

Minneapolis is home to the headquarters of the Ninth Federal Reserve District Bank, which serves Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. A full range of savings and loan institutions, insurance companies, local and regional banks and venture capital establishments round out the financial industry scene in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis region has earned superb ratings in economically significant categories such as median earnings, low poverty rates, college graduation rates, low unemployment, and affordability of homes for young professionals, according to The Atlantic magazine.

Minneapolis also earned a position in the top 10 American cities with the most resilient economies, best potential for future employment growth, and educational achievement of the workforce, according to a report by CBS News.

Even with all the economic activity, Minneapolis is consistently ranked among the 25 biggest cities with the lowest costs of living.

With the Minneapolis economy on a sustained upswing and firing on all cylinders, construction has been proceeding at a hot pace in the city. Multi-unit housing, commercial properties housing small businesses, and new health care facilities are driving the construction boom.


minneapolis neighborhoodsRanging from the traditional to the edgy, from the historic to the cutting-edge, and from the quiet and relaxing to the exciting and stimulating, Minneapolis offers a neighborhood for every taste. Whether you are looking to explore natural beauty, dine at a world-class restaurant or take in a memorable concert, you can find it in one of Minneapolis’ neighborhoods.

Although Minneapolis’ most established neighborhoods traditionally defined themselves primarily around local schools, organizations or commercial destinations, the city’s continually evolving cultural scene is always creating newly defined districts offering fresh experiences to residents and visitors. Spend a little time exploring the various facets of the city, and it’s easy to realize that each of Minneapolis’ unique communities has its own unique personality.


Start in the heart of the city, Minneapolis’ downtown neighborhood, where dynamic sections of Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue are hopping with activity that includes shops, restaurants, cocktail lounges, wine bars, nightlife and Broadway-style theaters. In fact, with theaters such as the Orpheum, State, Pantages, Cowles Center and Brave New Workshop gracing the neighborhood, downtown Minneapolis ranks behind only New York City in the number of live theater seats per capita. Patrons of the arts may enjoy Broadway plays, local productions, musicals and modern dance shows, among many other forms of entertainment.

By taking advantage of downtown’s world-famous skyway system, pedestrians can go all the way from one end of the neighborhood to the other while avoiding cold weather during the winter months and enjoying a great selections of restaurants and stores along the route. Often compared to similar systems in Houston, Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, the skyway in Minneapolis is the most extensive of its kind in the world. When the weather is nicer, you can grab a bicycle at one of downtown’s Nice Ride Minnesota stations, visit the neighborhood’s world-renowned clothing shops, and discover why Minneapolis was voted the nation’s “Most Bikeable City.”

Eat Street

A 17-block commercial district centered around the southern section of Nicollet Avenue and 26th Street, Eat Street is home to dozens of eateries specializing in ethnic fare such as Italian, Mexican, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Caribbean. Many of the restaurants are intimate, independently operated, family-owned establishments. Don’t miss the Minneapolis Institute of Art, one of the nation’s most celebrated fine art museums, which is notable for its rich variety of paintings and expansive collections of African and Asian art. The neighborhood also hosts Vertical Endeavors, a state-of-the-art rock climbing facility that draws outdoors enthusiasts from around the nation.

Franklin Avenue

Located just moments from downtown and easy to reach by foot, cab or light rail, Franklin Avenue allows you to explore Minneapolis’ famed Native American heritage. Native American art galleries, jewelry shops, food stores and restaurants thrive in the neighborhood, which serves as the centerpiece of the Minneapolis American Indian Cultural Corridor. You can buy fine Native American crafts at a selection of gift shops, visit artisan coffee shops and drop in to Franklin Street Bakery, one of the city’s best bakeries. The neighborhood is also home to the American Swedish Institute, which celebrates the role of Swedish culture in the city, in the state of Minnesota and throughout the nation.

Lake Street

A thriving commercial district located within South Minneapolis, Lake Street stands out as one of the city’s most fun hot spots. It features hundreds of bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, including signature Minneapolis destinations such as Morrissey’s Irish Pub, World Street Kitchen, Common Roots Cafe, Chino Latino and Bryant Lake Bowl & Theatre. The diverse neighborhood also has locally owned and operated dance companies, improvisational theaters, fine art studios and photography galleries.

Linden Hills

Known for its charming scenery, tree-lined streets, cottage-style Craftsman homes and quaint boutiques, Linden Hills ranks among Minneapolis’ most desirable residential neighborhoods. The Christmas movie “Jingle All the Way” was filmed in the neighborhood to showcase its whimsical setting and classic American architecture. Nestled between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun, Linden Hills contains seemingly endless miles of walking trails, inviting bookstores, family-owned shops and gourmet yet accessible restaurants. Longtime neighborhood favorites include Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream, a farmers’ market in the spring, summer and fall, the gift shop Bibelot, and Tilia’s for a relaxing brunch. Bands and musical productions take the stage at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.


Taking its name from the iconic intersection of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street, Lyn-Lake has cultivated a dynamic arts scene highlighted by galleries, literary festivals, music, theater and even standup comedy. Artists and art lovers appreciate the wide selection of charming homes, condominiums and duplexes that are regularly on the market in the neighborhood. LynLake Brewery is a reliably popular meeting place for craft brews, beer tastings, tunes and some of the city’s most challenging trivia contests.

Midtown Phillips

One of the city’s most historically important neighborhoods, Midtown Phillips grew up around Midtown Exchange, the former and long vacant old Sears and Roebuck building. The historic art deco structure has been transformed into a diverse mixed-use facility with hotel space, retail shops, condominiums and lofts. You’ll also find Minneapolis’ well-known May Day festival, the Midtown Global Market, the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and the ArtCar Parade in this artsy community.

North Loop

One of Minneapolis’ signature neighborhoods and located just a stone’s throw from downtown, the North Loop has repurposed blocks of old-time brick warehouses into trendy condominiums, award-winning restaurants, hot clothing stores and charming boutiques. With a healthy blend of young professionals and long-term residents who enjoy the neighborhood’s pockets of peace and quiet, the North Loop features modern high-rises, classic architecture and even Target Field, home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins. The highly praised restaurant Spoon and Stable, led by James Beard Best Chef Award winner Gavin Kaysen, also calls the neighborhood home.

Northeast Minneapolis

One of the hottest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Northeast Minneapolis, which includes the Historic Mississippi Riverfront, contains an impressive collection of fine art galleries, artists’ studios, theaters and intimate performing arts centers. Known by local residents by the endearing term “Nordeast,” based on the way the Eastern European immigrants who originally populated the area pronounced it, the neighborhood is home to outstanding bars, taverns, restaurants and delis. Hundreds of working artists live and create in the community, which hosts arts and crafts fairs, art walks, unique gift shops and festivals during the warmer months. Visitors and residents also enjoy gorgeous parks, walking paths and historic architecture.

Attractions within the neighborhood include the Mill District, hailed as the “birthplace of Minneapolis,” which blends breathtaking views of the Mississippi River with refreshing tree-lined parks and walkways. It also hosts a wide variety of cultural events. Don’t miss the exhilarating St. Anthony Falls or the popular Mill City Museum. Cross the Stone Arch Bridge to discover the cobblestone-lined venue Old Main Street and its restaurants and breweries.

South Minneapolis

Home to classic Minneapolis communities such as Kingfield, Powderhorn Park and Longfellow, South Minneapolis has emerged as one of the city’s true hidden gems. Riverview Theater’s tasty popcorn and classic atmosphere, Minnehaha Park’s 53-foot waterfall and the dining destinations Nighthawks, Blackbird, Kyatchi and Pat’s Tap stand out as neighborhood highlights. Craftsman-style bungalows populate the quiet, leafy streets of the neighborhood, making it one of Minneapolis’ most desirable residential districts. Longfellow House serves as headquarters for the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a panoramic tour of the city by foot, bike or car that spans 50 spectacular miles.


Immortalized in a hit song by Prince, “Uptown” is now known for its lakefront trails, restaurants, theaters, performing arts centers and upscale homes and apartments. Nestled by gorgeous Lake Calhoun, the neighborhood offers miles of trails for strollers, skaters, bikers and joggers. The Uptown Theater and Lagoon Cinema are attractive destinations for movie lovers. The annual Uptown Art Fair draws hundreds of thousands of visitors, including some of the nation’s most sophisticated art collectors. The top restaurants in the area are Lucia’s, Namaste Cafe, Galactic Pizza and Stella’s Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar. Hit up Libertine or Muddy Waters for some creative cocktails.

Warehouse District

If you like the classic look of old-time brick warehouses and manufacturing spaces, you’ll love the Warehouse District, which is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Having enjoyed a tremendous renaissance in recent decades, the Warehouse District has evolved into a neighborhood of luxury lofts, high-rise apartments and condominiums, and hot new nightclubs and restaurants. Bars, taverns and dance spots such as the Loon Cafe, Brothers Bar & Grill and Cowboy Jack’s line the neighborhood’s visually striking streets.

West Bank

Enjoy a remarkably diverse selection of ethnic cuisine in the West Bank neighborhood, which features authentic and delicious Indian, Mediterranean, Somali, Ethiopian and Chinese eateries. Creative and tasty tavern fare is available throughout the community, and hot dog fans come from far and wide to visit The Wienery to get their fix. Local performing arts spaces include the Theatre in the Round, the Comedy Corner Underground and the Ted Man Concert Hall.

West Broadway

Hailed for its easygoing style and welcoming atmosphere, West Broadway, located in the northern section of the city, is home to some of Minneapolis’ top arts and culture scenes. You’ll find great destinations such as the Capri Theater, Freedom Square festivals, and Theodore Wirth Park. One of the most scenically diverse neighborhoods in the city, West Broadway is the home of attractive natural gardens, relaxing hiking trails and expansive acres of parkland.


An intimate commercial district in central Minneapolis that traditionally has been home to locally owned small businesses, Dinkytown is largely populated by students attending the nearby University of Minnesota. Vescio’s Italian restaurant has been a popular destination for six decades, and notable spots Burrito Loco, Annie’s Parlour and The Book House are also located in the community. Bob Dylan lived in the neighborhood early in his career before skyrocketing to fame in New York City.


minneapolis historyOfficially incorporated in 1867, Minneapolis traces its earliest roots to the late 17th century, when pioneering French explorers first arrived in the region and encountered members of the Native American Dakota Sioux tribe, who were living on the land in the area. As more settlers from the East arrived in the region, the United States government took over the territory and established outposts such as Fort Snelling in the early 1800s. Fur traders, settlers and early business owners expanded commerce in the area throughout the middle of the 19th century, culminating in railroad service between Chicago and Minneapolis in 1867, the year of the city’s founding.

John H. Stevens and Franklin Steele, two of the region’s most important pioneers, are recognized as the founders of Minneapolis. Stevens established ferry service across the Mississippi River in the outpost that later became Minneapolis, thereby earning permission from the government to homestead on the site. His original house has been preserved as a museum that is now located in Minnehaha Park. tours of the home are available. Stevens went on to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate. Steele, a Pennsylvania native, foresaw greater opportunity in the West and arrived in the region by steamboat to open and operate a store. He ended up controlling a half-mile of prime riverfront property, harnessing the power of St. Anthony Falls in the Mississippi River. He went on to build a fortune through a suspension bridge on the river, the lumber trade, and real estate deals that ultimately included the purchase of Fort Snelling.

By the late 1800s, Minneapolis was building a strong reputation as one of the nation’s most prominent centers of the lumber industry. It had established businesses in sawmills, flour milling, iron works, the production of machinery for railroads, cotton mills and paper mills. The immense hydropower generated by the Mississippi River earned credit for driving the fledgling city’s considerable economic force. The massive company General Mills emerged as one of the most successful and longest lasting firms from this era.

Throughout the 20th century, Minneapolis gradually shifted from a pure industrial hub to businesses such as banking, financial services, transportation, health care, education, and eventually technology.

Minneapolis became a political force with the rise of Hubert H. Humphrey, who served as the mayor of Minneapolis before going on to become a U.S. Senator, Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson, and the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1968 election.

Architecturally, the 20th century also saw Minneapolis develop its distinctive skyline. Early skyscrapers included the Rand Tower and the Foshay Tower, both from 1929. Later notable structures included the IDS Center (1974), 33 South Sixth (1983) and the Campbell Mithun Tower (1985). Today, the remains of many of the grist mills, sawmills and flour mills from the city’s milling heyday have been repurposed into scenic riverfront parks and recreation areas.

Weather and Climate

minneapolis weatherMinneapolis residents experience a wildly divergent range of weather patterns, stretching from bitter cold periods in the heart of winter to hot, humid summers — and virtually everything in between.

Typical average daily low temperatures in the coldest winter months are about 12 degrees Fahrenheit in December, 7.5 degrees in January and 13 degrees in February. Average daily highs for those months check in at about 27 degrees in December, 24 in January and 29 in February. The city can expect an average snowfall of approximately 55 inches annually, with about 100 days per year with an inch or more of snow cover, according to the National Weather Service. One of the most powerful blizzards in the city’s history hit Minneapolis on Halloween of 1991, dropping 28 inches of snow on the region over the course of several days.

Thanks to its physical location on the northern and central prairie, Minneapolis has some of the coldest average winter temperatures of any major metropolitan area in the United States. In fact, the city’s winter temperatures are quite comparable to those in Anchorage, Alaska. However, many Minneapolis residents embrace the cold weather, taking advantage of recreational opportunities such as ice skating, sledding, snow shoeing, ice fishing and cross country skiing.

Summers are typically hot and humid in Minneapolis, with average daily highs of approximately 79 degrees in June, 83 degrees in July and 80 degrees in August, according to National Weather Service statistics. Average lows check in at about 58 degrees in June, 64 in July and 61 in August. Summers are ideal for hiking, fishing and camping in the Minneapolis region.

Spring and fall weather is more temperate, with average highs of about 58 degrees in both April and October. Average lows are about 37 in April and 39 in October.

Minneapolis receives an ample share of rain, with the city’s average annual rainfall clocking in at 30.6 inches and 112 days of the year seeing at least some rain. Lightning and thunder showers are common occurrences throughout the spring, summer and fall months in Minneapolis. High winds, hailstorms and even tornadoes may accompany those thunderstorms, particularly in the summer.


Clearly, the defining physical feature of Minneapolis is water in its myriad forms, from the rushing Mississippi River to the city’s famous lakes to various creeks, ponds and marshlands. The source of water in the region can be traced to glaciers, ice sheets and ice blocks that dominated the area thousands of years ago, eventually forming Minnesota’s trademark lakes and the bed of the Mississippi River. Even today, Minneapolis is situated upon an artesian aquifer, and 6 percent — or about 3.5 square miles — of the city’s official surface area of approximately 58 square miles is covered by water. Minneapolis contains 13 major lakes as well as several major wetlands areas and ponds. A series of freshwater lakes dubbed the “Chain of Lakes” is comprised of Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.

Geographically, the 45th parallel runs through Minneapolis, with a placard marking this milestone located on a rock near the intersection of Wirth Parkway and Golden Valley Road near the central part of the city.

The oldest streets in Minneapolis ran parallel to the Mississippi River, in a southeasterly direction, before the city’s growth led to a more traditional east-west and north-south grid layout. The confluence of the two led to some unique intersections with odd orientations that still can be found in some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods.

Almost since its inception, Minneapolis has taken pride in its dedication to large amounts of parkland within the city limits. Today, the city’s park system encompasses 10 square miles of land, trails and waterways, with many of their segments interconnected. Theodore Wirth Park is the biggest park in the city, and Minnehaha is well known for its eponymous waterfall.

Minneapolis is home to a wide range of migratory and other types of birds, including cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, goldfinch, nuthatch, hawks, mourning doves and even bald eagles. Anglers visit Minneapolis lakes and ponds hoping to catch bass, musky, northern pike, crappies, sunfish and catfish.

While the city’s official elevation is listed as 830 feet above sea level, elevation levels in Minneapolis actually range from approximately 686 feet to 974 feet. The intersection of the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek has the status of the city’s lowest point. Although a plaque in the city’s Deming Heights Park claims that site has the city’s highest elevation, the actual highest point is in the vicinity of Waite Park in northeastern Minneapolis.


Things to do in Minneapolis MN

things to do in minneapolisWhether it’s a lovely summer evening, a brisk fall morning or a bracing winter afternoon, Minneapolis contains a wealth of recreational opportunities, cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, scintillating nightlife and just plain fun that will keep you busy all year round.

Basilica of St. Mary
Located downtown on an entire city block and featuring stunning architectural craftsmanship and detail, the Basilica of St. Mary is the oldest Roman Catholic basilica in the country.

Boom Island Park
One of the most picturesque spots in all of Minneapolis, Boom Island offers sites for weddings, picnics, barbecues, boating, biking, and one of the few remaining lighthouses along the Mississippi River.

The Depot Minneapolis Ice Rink
The last train departed this historic former railway station in 1971, but the visually striking building, now home to two hotels, stands as a monument to the glory days of rail travel. In addition to hotel rooms, you’ll find meeting space and entertainment venues. In the winter, the main attraction is a fully operational ice skating rink.

Guthrie Endless Bridge
This cantilevered walkway and observation deck extending from the landmark Guthrie Theater offers a view that some people claim is the most spectacular vista of the Mississippi River you’ll ever experience. The sweeping view from the Endless Bridge, which extends from the theater building between the fourth and fifth floors, takes in the Stone Arch Bridge as well as the falls area. Best of all, you don’t need a theater ticket to enjoy it. It’s open to the public without charge, and it’s open seven days a week.

If you are fortunate enough to be in Minneapolis for the Fourth of July, don’t miss one of the nation’s most magnificent fireworks displays. Prime viewing areas for the pyrotechnics include the Stone Arch Bridge, Gold Medal Park, Mill City Museum and Lake Calhoun.

First Avenue
One of the most famous and influential dance clubs in the nation, First Avenue has been an integral part of the Minneapolis nightlife scene since 1970. The venue helped launch the career of Prince and many other notable acts.

Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway
Encompassing 50 miles of parkway that covers the most scenic natural areas of Minneapolis, the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway offers up close and personal access to the city’s lakes, creeks, woodlands, riverbanks, wetlands, canals, lagoons, gardens and historic bridges. It also features more than 50 interpretive sites and a series of information kiosks. The byway contains seven officially designated segments, including Downtown Riverfront; Chain of Lakes; Minnehaha; Mississippi River; Northeast; Victory Memorial; and Theodore Wirth.

The Hitching Company Carriages
Take a horse and carriage tour through the most scenic and historic regions of Minneapolis, including Main Street’s cobblestones, the Stone Arch Bridge and the unforgettable Mill District and Mississippi waterfront. Don’t forget your blanket!

Lake Calhoun Park
This scenic lake features three beaches, biking paths, sailboat docks, archery, picnic areas, softball, soccer, volleyball and archery. You can rent canoes, kayaks, bicycles and paddle boards. It’s tough to beat the view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline while paddling or sailing your boat through the middle of the lake.

Loring Park
Centrally located in Minneapolis, this park provides a peaceful sanctuary from the nearby bustle of the city. It offers fishing, a wading pool, ice skating, basketball, tennis, a dog park and a bandstand. It’s just perfect for a quick summer midday getaway.

Lyndale Park Peace Garden
Savor the sanctuary and tranquility of a genuine Japanese peace garden. On your stroll, you’ll come across “The Spirit of Peace,” a bronze sculpture by local artist Caprice Glaser that was dedicated in 2006 as an official International Peace Site. The Peace Garden Bridge is highlighted by decorative copper sasi blocks and inlaid Minnesota granite.

Mall of America
Mall of America (commonly, locally known as “MOA” or “the mall”) is a shopping mall located in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States (a suburb of the Twin Cities).
Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor theme park in the center of the mall. The park features roller coasters, among numerous other rides and attractions, and is the largest indoor theme park in the United States. Unlike many indoor amusement parks, Nickelodeon Universe has a great deal of natural foliage in and about the park, and its floor has a wide variance in height – the highest ground level in the park is 15 feet (4.6 m) above the lowest. The rides include the roller coasters SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge and Avatar Airbender, and a thrill ride called BrainSurge. The latter attraction bills itself as a “rather peculiar” ride. It also has a miniature golfing section called Moose Mountain. This miniature golf course features eighteen holes and a relatively fast astroturf surface.

At the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, guests travel through a 300-foot-long (91 m) curved tunnel through 14 feet (4.3 m) of water to view over 4,500 sea creatures including sharks, turtles, stingrays, and many more. Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium offers special events such as sleepovers, scuba diving, snorkeling, and birthday parties.

The Mall recently added Crayola Experience and FlyOver America to the list of family attractions.

Mary Tyler Moore statue
One of the most beloved characters in TV history, Mary Tyler Moore won the hearts of viewers and put Minneapolis in the spotlight with her long-running 1970s TV show. The statue of Mary famously tossing her hat into the air can usually be found at its original spot at 7th Street and Nicollet Mall. It is temporarily at the city’s visitor center at Nicollet and 5th due to street renovation work.

Midwest Mountaineering
The premier outdoors store in Minneapolis is a beacon for adventure seekers interested in all kinds of climbing, camping and water sports gear. The expert staff can offer advice on everything from a great kayak trip to an epic hike or bouldering session.

Mill City Farmers’ Market
From May through October, you can find this gem of a destination in the Mill City Museum train shed near the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi. Growers offer local and organic produce, flowers, honey, jams and other artisanal goods. Live bands, food trucks and even farm animals add to the charming atmosphere.

Mill City Museum
Constructed amid the ruins of a visually spectacular structure that once ranked as the largest flour mill in the world, Mill City Museum offers visitors insight into the histories of the mill industry, the Mississippi River and the city of Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Central Library
Designed by Cesar Pelli, this inspirational building features a five-story atrium, an art gallery, a piano room, fireplaces and a 2.4 million-item literary collection.

Minnehaha Park
This park is the site of magnificent Minnehaha Falls, made famous by Longfellow in “Song of Hiawatha.” Traverse Minnehaha Parkway along Minnehaha Creek, which offers miles of trails for skaters, bikers, joggers and strollers.

Paisley Park
Fans of Prince, the late pop singer from Minneapolis, can tour his 65,000-square-foot home in a 70-minute walk-through that includes Prince’s concert hall, rehearsal spaces, personal recording studios, instruments and wardrobe. Comprehensive VIP tours are available for the most devoted Prince fans.

Celebrate a birthday, upcoming wedding or just your latest outing in Minneapolis by booking a spot on a PedalPub, the Dutch-made bike for eight to 16 adults that tours some of the hippest parts of Minneapolis. The tour winds through downtown, Eat Street, Dinkytown and Hennepin Avenue.

Riverfront District
Journey back in time with a self-guided tour along the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, cross the landmark Stone Arch Bridge and gaze in wonder at the site of the only waterfall on the Mississippi. Miles of walking paths wind through leafy parks with breathtaking river views around every bend.

Segway Magical History Tours
Hop aboard a Segway for a three-hour tour along a route that takes in all the best sights along the Minneapolis riverfront. Tours are available from April through November. You’ve never ridden a Segway? Don’t worry. The tour begins with a brief training session to get you quickly up to speed.

St. Anthony Falls
One of the most visually sensational segments of the entire Mississippi River, the falls have a rich history that encompasses religious symbolism, fantastic economic power, and sheer natural beauty. Whether they’re flowing in summer or frozen in winter, you’ll definitely want to check out the falls. The Stone Arch Bridge and Water Power Park provide the most stunning vistas of the area. The surrounding St. Anthony Falls Historic District Area includes Heritage Trail, a self-guided two-mile loop.

Theodore Wirth Park
Encompassing 759 acres, this is the most expansive park in the Minneapolis park system. It’s an ideal winter destination for sledding, snow tubing and cross country skiing. Equipment rentals and professional lessons are available. You can also find tennis courts, disc golf, a decorative fountain and miles of scenic pathways.

Uptown Theatre
Film buffs can catch high-quality flicks including modern movies, cult classics and special midnight showings on Saturdays of classic films from the 1940s through the 1980s.

Via’s Vintage
If you’re into vintage clothing and jewelry, you won’t want to miss this landmark boutique on Hennepin Avenue. Whimsical decor featuring flamingo pink walls and exposed brick enhances the atmosphere of the vintage shop, which features an intriguing selection of vintage clothing for men and women, shoes, accessories, pearls and costume jewelry.

Visual Arts and Performing Arts

COWLES performing artsHome to many working artists, collectors, galleries, boutiques and museums, Minneapolis boasts a rich and varied art scene that encompasses painting, sculpture, the avant-garde, literature and all types of performing arts.

Children’s Theatre Company
A Minneapolis landmark since its inception in 1961, Children’s Theatre Company focuses on family favorites, children’s literature classics and innovative new works. Dedicated to offering young actors a chance to practice their craft with the nation’s top playwrights, Children’s Theatre Company has been honored with numerous industry awards for leading the way in regional theater.

The Cowles Center
Dedicated to the celebration, presentation and preservation of dance, the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts is based in downtown Minneapolis. Dancers and fans of the performing arts will find a rewarding schedule of shows, celebrations and performances.

Guthrie Theater
A work of art in itself, the Guthrie is home to three separate theater spaces, 11 bars, a restaurant and a cafe. Its theater productions have earned the facility an international reputation for excellence, drawing the likes of actor Sir Ian McKellan and playwright Tony Kushner to stage productions. Backstage tours are available to take in the details of the building, which was designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel.

Minneapolis Institute of Art
With an elegant Beaux Arts-style building as its home, the Minneapolis Institute of Art features a vast collection of more than 100,000 pieces. The collection includes contemporary and decorative art, painting, photography, sculpture, textiles and new media. Enjoy a break for lunch at two fine restaurants within the museum.

The Museum of Russian Art
Dedicated to 19th century Russian Realist-style paintings and pieces from the Soviet era spanning much of the 20th century, this museum is a world leader in these important yet often overlooked areas.

Open Book
In the realm of literature, Minneapolis is home to Open Book, one of the nation’s most prominent literary and book publishing centers. Consisting of the Milkweed Editions, the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota for Book Arts, Open Book is dedicated to the crafts of letterpress printing, bookbinding, writing and paper making.

Somali Museum of Minnesota
Learn about the history and culture of the Somali people at this museum that features hundreds of traditional artifacts. You can also explore educational events in weaving, dancing poetry. Special exhibits and gallery celebrations spotlight Somali artists and performers from around the world.

Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The brainchild of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the Walker Arts Center draws worldwide attention with its bold asymmetrical windows and shimmering façade. The museum wows visitors with a highly acclaimed rotation of art exhibits and permanent collections that feature the likes of video artist Bruce Nauman and sculptor Donald Judd. Other attractions include a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and a 385-seat theater for dance, music, and theater performances. The 11-acre sculpture garden is set amid the dramatic backdrop of the Minneapolis skyline. The Cowles Conservatory, featuring exotic hothouse flowers, is located on site as well.

Weisman Art Museum
Created by Frank Gehry and boasting an extraordinary reputation for elegance and beauty in the international art world, this University of Minnesota modern art museum overlooking the Mississippi River is required viewing for any art aficionado. Notable artists include Georgia O’Keeffe and Marsden Hartley. The museum is home to a celebrated collection of contemporary pieces and ceramics.

Music Scene

prince art mural musical landscape in Minneapolis is vast and far-reaching, ranging from pop and rock to classical, opera, electronic music and hip hop.

Perhaps the most famous musical artist to emerge from the city was Prince, who was born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis in 1958. A talented and influential singer, songwriter and music producer, Prince sold more than 100 million albums throughout the world before his untimely death in 2016. He is recognized as one of the most successful musicians of all time in any genre. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Prince won seven Grammy Awards and an Oscar for his movie “Purple Rain.” With memorable hit songs such as “Purple Rain,” “Kiss,” “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” Prince was known for his incredible vocal range, flamboyant concert wardrobe and top-notch musicianship. He had an eclectic range that encompassed rock, funk, soul, disco, new wave and R&B.

In Minneapolis, the influence of Prince and other artists played a vital role in the success of the music clubs First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, which remain among the most highly regarded music venues in the city today. In addition, the Cedar Cultural Center, operated by volunteers and housed in a former movie theater from the 1940s, offers all types of live music in the city’s West Bank neighborhood.

Other prominent pop and rock acts from Minneapolis include Husker Du, the Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Morris Day and the Time, and the Replacements. Minnesota native Bob Dylan lived in Minneapolis as a young musician before achieving worldwide fame. In an earlier era, the Andrews Sisters emerged from Minneapolis to win the hearts of a generation with hit songs such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”

Well-regarded songs about the city include “9th & Hennepin” by Tom Waits, recorded in 1985, and “Minneapolis,” recorded by Lucinda Williams in 2003.

As electronic dance music gained popularity in recent years, Minneapolis artists DVS1, Woody McBride and Freddy Fresh established reputations as leaders in the field. The hip hop genre is represented by the Minneapolis collective Doom Tree and wildly popular underground acts such as Manny Phesto and Atmosphere.

In the classical realm, the Minnesota Orchestra, based in Minneapolis since its founding in 1903, has earned numerous raves for its performances and recording efforts. Based at Orchestra Hall, its landmark home on Nicollet Mall, the Minnesota Orchestra is famous for its performances and recordings of works by Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Beethoven and many other composers. The Minnesota Orchestra won a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for its highly regarded version of Sibelius’ 1st and 4th symphonies. Its performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Minnesota Chorale earned a Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance. The orchestra is also famous for its performance of ballets such as “Swan Lake,” “The Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty.” They were the first orchestra to use real cannon fire in their performance of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

A highlight of the Minnesota Orchestra’s yearly calendar of events is the annual summer festival. It includes a series of concerts conducted at Orchestra Hall during a one-month period in the height of summertime. Before and following each official show, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra play free live music on the adjacent plaza. Styles on display during the free shows include classical, jazz, folk and polka.

The Minnesota Opera, founded in 1963, is the most established of Minneapolis’ four opera companies. Known for its innovation and willingness to embrace diverse operatic works, the Minnesota Opera has performed highly acclaimed productions of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Fortunes of King Croesus,” “Pinocchio,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” Other Minneapolis opera companies include the Mill City Summer Opera, Skylark Opera Theatre and the Really Spicy Opera.

Restaurants and Culinary Scene

hey day restaurantWith numerous award-winning chefs and top-rated restaurants throughout the city, Minneapolis is an undisputed worldwide leader in the food and beverage scene. Saveur magazine, which covers gourmet cuisine, wine and culture, honored Minneapolis by dubbing it “the next great American food city.” Food & Wine magazine awarded Minneapolis the titles of the best new food city and the best-priced food city in the United States. The city is home to top-level gourmet dining destinations and a vast selection of highly praised yet inexpensive eateries, ethnic restaurants and neighborhood joints. Many are independently owned and family operated, ensuring a rewarding time for dining enthusiasts seeking a great value and an unforgettable restaurant experience.

112 Eatery
Heading by executive chef Isaac Becker, a James Beard Foundation Award winner, 112 Eatery features an eclectic menu of comfort food and late-night dining for a crowd of food lovers. In a reliable sign of a great restaurant, you can often find chefs from other spots eating here after wrapping up their shifts.

The Bachelor Farmer
Honoring Minnesota’s Nordic heritage, the Bachelor Farmer is located in a historic former timber warehouse in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood. Former occupants of the building were McMillan Fur and Wool, Northwestern Grease Wool Co., and Marvel Rack. Paul Bergland, another of Minneapolis’ James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs, aims to preserve that character in his cooking.

Chino Latino
According to its motto, this casual joint aims to serve up “street food from the hot zones,” including sushi, jerk chicken, curries and Polynesian platters. Sample a tasty tropical cocktail from the bar. Choose from a selection that includes a Blue Hawaiian, a Pineapple Trainwreck or the signature Chino Mojito.

Clancey’s Meats and Fish
Belly up to the sandwich bar at this specialty grocery store and eatery. The culinary experts at Clancey’s offer farm-fresh meat, sustainable seafood, an addictive roast beef sandwich, house-made sausages, duck breast and foie gras. The sandwich counter remains open daily until they run out of bread, so you might want to get there early.

Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit
You won’t want to miss this classic German restaurant on University Avenue, which features all your favorite German dishes along with boots full of beer and live accordion music.

HeyDay Eats
When it comes to affordable yet elegant cuisine, Heyday is your spot. It’s easily one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, if not the country. Head to this rustic-chic space (it sports exposed brick and a gorgeous wooden-beamed ceiling) for favorites like the chicken liver tart, chilled blue mussels, and grilled quail, which all help to create a downright exquisite menu. Be sure to leave room for at least one of the inventive desserts including pea shell sorbet, and wash it all down with a creative cocktail like the Don’t Think Twice with pisco, aperol, grapefruit, and elderflower.

Lucia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar
An iconic farm to table restaurant, bakery and wine bar, Lucia’s specializes in the freshest gourmet ingredients. Try the classic roast chicken with seasonal vegetables, freshly baked cottage cheese dill bread, the pesto pasta salad or the coconut walnut cake. Freshly roasted dark coffee, house-made croissants and scones round out your experience.

Milkjam Creamery
This dessert spot cranks out some of the most inventive ice cream flavors you will ever encounter. Along with traditional flavors, the adventurous diner can try ice cream flavors such as black fig with mescal, spicy pineapple with Thai chilies, and the Indian Elvis, which is comprised of curry, peanut butter and banana. There are boozy floats for adults and a great selection of toppings for everyone.

One of the region’s finest Malaysian restaurants, Peninsula offers diners a genuine taste of Southeast Asia. Malaysian food consists of a symphony of exotic flavors, including ginger, chilies, curry and lemongrass. Enjoy fresh fish in banana leaves, spicy crab or a red curry hot pot amid a contemporary atmosphere.

Restaurant Alma
Considered by many to be one of the very best casual restaurants in the Midwest, Restaurant Alma specializes in fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Highlights include duck, scallops, pork chops, lamb and creative pastas. It was awarded four stars by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Chef Alexander Roberts won the James Beard Foundation Award.

Dig into the tastes of the American South right in the heart of Minneapolis. Top dishes at Revival include Southern fried chicken, house-made pork rinds, shrimp and grits, smoked collard greens, buttery biscuits and other classic comfort foods of the South. Revival is wildly popular, so don’t be surprised to find a line out the door unless you arrive close to opening.

Spoon and Stable
A French-inspired eatery housed in a former stable in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, Spoon and Stable focuses on seasonal Midwest ingredients with a French flair. Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen, who grew up in the city, knows the Minneapolis market as well as anyone.

With a unique blend of organic ingredients, farm to table dishes, bistro-inspired fare and fine dining, Spoonriver is dedicated to supporting local farmers and growers from the metropolitan region. The bar offers some of the best handcrafted cocktails in Minneapolis.

The Tin Fish
After enjoying your outing at Lake Calhoun, stop in at the Tin Fish for some delicious casual grub. The menu includes fish tacos, fried oysters, spicy chicken and wide variety of specialty burgers.

Young Joni
Emphasizing a unique fusion of pizza and Korean food, Young Joni encourages diners to use their imagination. Feel free to order a wood-fired prosciutto pie with a side of kimchi and spicy tofu. Housed in a former industrial building, the eatery also has a hidden bar in the rear where whimsical cocktails flow.

Schools and Higher Education

university of minnesotaThe crown jewel of Minneapolis’ college and university scene is the main campus of the University of Minnesota, which boasts more than 51,000 students attending 20 colleges, schools and institutes on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Established in 1851, the University of Minnesota ranks among the leading public universities in the nation. According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University of Minnesota enjoys status as an R1 Doctoral University, which means it conducts the highest levels of research activity in the organization’s study. Professors, alumni and researchers associated with the University of Minnesota have accounted for 25 Nobel Prizes along with three Pulitzer Prizes. Notable alumni include Hubert H. Humphrey and Walter Mondale, both former United States vice presidents.

In Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota site straddles the Mississippi River, dividing the campus into the West Bank and East Bank sections. The East Bank is home to the main portion of the campus. The West Bank hosts the Carlson School of Management, the University of Minnesota Law School, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a performing arts center. The East Bank campus includes many historic buildings that are well over 100 years old. It is also home to the university fieldhouse, aquatic center and recreation center. Many buildings on the campus are notable for their visually striking architecture. Pillsbury Hall, constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, is admired for its unique color and regional sandstone material. The Armory, which hosts military science classes, was designed as an imposing Norman castle. It comes complete with a sally-port entrance. Famed architect Frank Gehry is the mind behind the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, which features Gehry’s signature curving metallic facade.

Known as the Golden Gophers, the University of Minnesota fields a full slate of NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic teams as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Perhaps the most high-profile athletic program is the University of Minnesota’s football team, which plays its home games at TCF Bank Stadium and has won seven national championships and 18 Big Ten Conference titles.

Other colleges and higher education institutions in Minneapolis include North Central University, Augsburg University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the Dunwoody College of Technology and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. On the primary and secondary education level, the Minneapolis Public Schools district facilitates approximately 100 public schools. More than 36,000 students are enrolled in the district. Established in 1878, the Minneapolis Public Schools district manages an annual budget exceeding $650 million.

Professional Sports

minneapolis twinsFive pro sports teams call Minneapolis home, including Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings, the National Basketball Association’s Minnesota Timberwolves, Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United FC, and the Minnesota Lynx of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Minnesota Twins

Currently a member of the American League Central division, the Twins were established in 1961 after the Washington Senators franchise moved from the nation’s capital to Minnesota. Named for the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Twins have held their home games at Target Field in Minneapolis since 2010. With a seating capacity of 38,885 for baseball games, Target Field was named Major League Baseball’s best stadium experience by ESPN The Magazine. Target Field played host to the 85th Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2014.

Since moving to Minnesota, the Twins won World Series championships in 1987 and 1991. The team also won the American League title in 1965 before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the World Series.

Four players have entered the Baseball Hall of Fame wearing the Twins logo on their official insignia: Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett. Blyleven, who starred for the Twins in the 1970s and 1980s, currently serves as the team’s color commentator on the Fox Sports North network. Carew, who played for the Twins from 1967 through 1978 before moving on to the California Angels, won all seven of his American League batting titles as a member of the Twins. Killebrew, who played for the Senators and Twins franchise from 1954 through 1974, belted 573 career home runs and won the American League home run title six times. Puckett, one of the most popular players in Twins history, played 12 seasons for the Twins before retiring in 1996. He was a 10-time American League All-Star and a six-time Gold Glove Award winner.

Minnesota Vikings

Like the Twins, the Vikings first took the field in Minnesota for the 1961 season. Currently a member of the National Football Conference North division, the Vikings play their home games at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis’ Downtown East district. Completed in 2016 at a cost of $1.129 billion, U.S. Bank Stadium is a fixed-roof stadium with a seating capacity of 66,655 for football. The stadium sits on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which was demolished in 2014.

Originally an NFL expansion team, the Vikings have competed in four Super Bowl games, but they lost them all. In Super Bowl IV on January 11, 1970, the Vikings lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7. Four years later, they lost to the Miami Dolphins, 24-7, in Super Bowl VIII. The following year, the Vikings fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-6, in Super Bowl IX. The Vikings came up short against the Oakland Raiders, 32-14, in Super Bowl XI on January 9, 1977. The Vikings were the NFL champions in 1969. That title took place prior to the merger of the NFL and the American Football League.

The Vikings, whose name reflects the region’s Scandinavian heritage, have had a wealth of players who were eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team has honored only six players by retiring their uniform number: quarterback Fran Tarkenton, center Mick Tingelhoff, defensive end Jim Marshall, defensive tackle Alan Page, wide receiver Cris Carter, and offensive tackle Korey Stringer.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Since joining the NBA as an expansion team in 1989, the Timberwolves have competed in the Northwest Division of the NBA’s Western Conference. The launching of the Timberwolves franchise marked the NBA’s return to the region for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers left for Los Angeles in 1960.

The Timberwolves captured their first division title in 2004 and made the Western Conference Finals that season, but the team has yet to win an NBA championship.

After suffering through some losing seasons early on, the Timberwolves saw their fortunes take a turn for the better after choosing Kevin Garnett in the 1995 draft. Garnett’s presence sparked a hot streak for the team, and the Timberwolves advanced to the playoffs in eight seasons in a row beginning in 1997.

Malik Sealy is the only player to have his jersey number retired by the Timberwolves. The franchise retired his No. 2 after Sealy’s tragic death in an automobile accident in 2000.

The Target Center, located in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, has served as the home arena for the Timberwolves since 1990. With a seating capacity of 18,798 for basketball, the Target Center also hosts concerts, graduations, business conferences and private events.

Minnesota United FC

Nicknamed the Loons, the Minnesota United FC pro soccer team competes in the Major League Soccer’s Western Conference. A new addition to the pro soccer scene, the Minnesota United franchise was founded in 2015, and the team took the field for the first time in 2017. TFC Bank Stadium serves as the home stadium for the squad. The ownership group of the franchise, led by former UnitedHealth Group boss Bill McGuire, includes Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, Minnesota Wild investor Glen Nelson, and the Pohlad family, which owns the Twins. The Target Corporation serves as one of the team’s primary corporate sponsors.

Minnesota Lynx

One of the most successful and accomplished teams in the history of the WNBA, the Lynx have won four WNBA championships. They captured the overall league title in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The four league titles place the Lynx in a tie with the Houston Comets for the most WNBA championships won. The Lynx, who play their home games at Target Center, have a record six Western Conference titles to their credit. Some of the top players in franchise history include Maya Moore, Katie Smith, Seimone Augustus and Minnesota native Lindsay Whalen.

In addition to the city’s pro sports franchises, many Minneapolis hockey fans support the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League. The Wild franchise is based in nearby St. Paul.

Charities and Nonprofits

handson twin citiesHistorically one of the most generous and giving communities in the nation, Minneapolis has always emphasized philanthropy and charity. According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, more than 40 percent of the city’s residents regularly participate in charity or volunteer work.

The nonprofit group HandsOn Twin Cities, one of the area’s most prominent charitable organizations, works to connect individuals, public nonprofits and private funds to volunteer opportunities that range from homeless assistance to strengthening education for the disadvantaged. HandsOn Twin Cities handles more than 500,000 volunteer connections annually.

Catholic Charities USA, the Minneapolis Foundation and the American Refugee Committee stand out as the largest and most effective providers of social services in Minneapolis and the surrounding region.

On the corporate charity front, the Minneapolis-based Target Corporation consistently ranks among the leading donators to charity among major companies.


star tribuneMinneapolis is home to a lively media scene. The city boasts a wide variety of news publications, online news sites, TV news affiliates, and public and private radio outlets. The largest paper in the state of Minnesota, the Star Tribune broadsheet daily newspaper traces its roots back to 1867. Today, the Star Tribune commands a circulation of 288,000 for the daily edition and 581,000 on Sundays. The Star Tribune organization has six Pulitzer Prizes to its credit.

Other prominent local publications include the campus newspaper Minnesota Daily, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the weekly City Pages, Utne magazine, and Finance and Commerce. The UpTake, Downtown Journal, MNSpeak and the Minnesota Independent rank among the city’s most active online publications.

Minnesota Public Radio operates three nonprofit radio stations that cover the region. Public radio complements a full spectrum of commercial radio outlets. On the TV airwaves, news affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and PBS serve the Minneapolis market.

Minneapolis is well represented in motion pictures as well. Movies filmed in the region include “Purple Rain,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Young Adult,” “Untamed Heart” and “The Mighty Ducks.” In “Fargo,” which won Academy Awards for screenplay writing and for leading actress Frances McDormand, several key scenes take place in Minneapolis, and much of the filming occurred in the city.


bike share minneapolis

With light rail service, interstate highways, bicycle trails and plenty of pedestrian walkways all in the mix, Minneapolis provides a diverse range of transportation options.

Two existing light rail lines currently serve the city, and a third is on the way. The METRO Green Line covers downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota area before heading over to St. Paul. The METRO Blue Line connects the downtown region with Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington. The Southwest Line, or Green Line extension, is in the works. A 40-mile commuter rail line, the Northstar, connects the Target Field area with the city’s northern suburbs.

With at least 10,000 bicyclists taking advantage of the city’s bike trail system each day, Minneapolis ranks among the most active cities for bicyclists. In fact, Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis as the No. 1 bike riding city in the nation in its “Bicycling’s Top 50” report. Minneapolis has more than 50 miles of off-street commuter trails for bicyclists and more than 30 miles of bike lanes on city streets. The city has converted a number of bridges and former railway lines to bike paths as well. The Nice Ride Minnesota program offers more than 60 kiosks, 170 stations and 1,800 bicycles for sharing purposes. With miles of dedicated pedestrian lanes and downtown’s skyway system, Minneapolis also rates among the most walkable cities in the country.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport serves more than 35 million travelers annually. On the ground, Interstates 35, 94, 394 and 494 crisscross the metropolitan region.

Public Utilities and Healthcare

Amplatz Children's Hospital | Minneapolis, MinnesotaMinneapolis residents are served by a small group of regulated utility companies. The utilities include Comcast for cable TV, CenterPoint Energy for gas, CenturyLink for landline phones and Xcel Energy for electricity service. For the past decade, the company US Internet has been in charge of providing wireless internet service to private homes and businesses in Minneapolis. Private residents who opt for that service pay roughly $20 per month. Businesses incur a $30 per month charge. Assigned with plowing more than 1,000 miles of streets after each snowstorm, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division is kept very busy each winter.

Highly regarded hospitals, medical centers and trauma centers meet the emergency health care needs of Minneapolis. The Hennepin County Medical Center, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, and Abbot Northwestern Hospital rank among the leading hospitals in the nation, according to a survey published in U.S. News & World Report. According to a report in the Star Tribune, the region’s medical care facilities earned particularly high marks in the areas of nursing home care, acute conditions, diabetes, heart conditions and respiratory problems. For specialty care, the region’s population turns to medical institutions such as the Phillips Eye Institute, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Notable Residents

charles schulzThe list of accomplished individuals who were born in Minneapolis or who called the city home during pivotal parts of their life is distinguished and undeniably impressive. It contains luminaries from the worlds of art and music, politics and public service, education, business and finance, science and professional sports. Following is a mere sampling of notable people from a variety of fields with significant ties to Minneapolis.

W. Harry Davis
Born in Minneapolis in 1923, Davis was a longtime civic leader in the city, a business executive, a boxing coach, and one of the nation’s preeminent civil rights activists. Davis helped lead the fight for desegregation during the turbulent Civil Rights era, and he served on the Minneapolis school board for two decades.

Bob Dylan
A Minnesota native who was born in Duluth, Dylan lived in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis for several crucial years as a young musician. Born Robert Zimmerman, it was in Minneapolis that he adopted the name Bob Dylan. After moving from Dinkytown to New York, Dylan quickly became one of the most recognizable names in folk, pop and rock music.

Larry Fitzgerald
Born in Minneapolis in 1983, Fitzgerald is one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the National Football League. In his pro career with the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzgerald has been named to 10 Pro Bowl teams. He led the NFL in receptions twice. He was honored as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2016.

Marcia McNutt
A Minneapolis native who excelled academically at the city’s Northrop Collegiate School, McNutt forged an illustrious career in geophysics and became one of the most accomplished American scientists of her generation. Formerly the director of the United States Geological Survey and the science adviser to the United States Secretary of the Interior, McNutt took over as president of the National Academy of Sciences in 2016.

Charles M. Schulz
Born in Minneapolis in 1922 to a family of German and Norwegian heritage, Schulz created the beloved comic strip “Peanuts” and forged a career as one of the world’s most famous and influential comic strip artists. “Peanuts,” starring the iconic characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, drew millions of fans and generated an empire that included books, TV specials and merchandise.

Jesse Ventura
Born in Minneapolis to parents who both served in the armed forces in World War II, Ventura went on to achieve considerable success in the U.S. Navy and the big-time professional wrestling circuit before being elected as the governor of Minnesota in 1998. After serving his gubernatorial term, Ventura remained in the spotlight as an author, TV host, activist and podcaster.