Minneapolis Tourism 

Top Minneapolis tourism attractions and tourist tips for your vacations in the City of Lakes. Explore Minneapolis Minnesota including exciting Minneapolis nightlife, shopping, and events.

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Minneapolis was chosen by the editors of National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their 10 best summer trips. 

Their list features destinations around the world, and Minneapolis is one of only three in the U.S.

The magazine says about Minneapolis tourism attractions: “a pedestrian-and-pedal friendly downtown and the welcoming Midwestern vibe makes it easy for first-time visitors to quickly feel at home in Minneapolis.”  

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The Foshay has an interesting history. Those who invested in the building of this iconic landmark lost their investment in the October 1929 stock market crash. My great-grandfather was one of those who lost the "family fortune" at that time. 

Minneapolis Tourism

Unique Hotels in Minneapolis will put you right in the center of the action. Some favorites include the classy Marquette, the stunning W in the historic Foshay Tower and the amazing Graves 601.

The more than 180 Minneapolis parks have been called the "jewel in the crown" of the city. The Chain of Lakes that include Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake, in Minneapolis are part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. 

This beautiful setting for outdoor activities features more than thirteen miles of biking and walking paths along a connecting chain of lakes and parks.

City of Lakes

What to see and do in Minneapolis.

The Chain of Lakes offers 133 miles of paved paths. Walk or bike any or all that will take you to Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of The Isles, Bde Maka Sk (formerly known as Lake Calhoun), and Lake Harriet.

Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet are both on our list of Top 10 Minnesota Beaches.

The Mississippi River is a prominent feature in several Minneapolis tourist destinations. A hike along the 1.8 mile St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail will lead you past St. Anthony Falls, the only natural waterfall on the Mississippi River. The trail also crosses the river on the unique and historic Stone Arch Bridge.

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Minneapolis Tourism

Minneapolis nightlife is second to none. The city of Minneapolis is the more glitzy twin of the Twin Cities. This is where Prince, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum first rocked. Explore the shopping and nightlife on Hennepin Avenue. Entertainment venues include world class music, dance, restaurants and "see and be seen" opportunities.

Minneapolis shopping is a great attraction in itself. If you enjoy unique shops you'll love shopping in Minneapolis.

Get around town on the Minneapolis Light Rail or the Hiawatha Line.

Three of our four major Minnesota sports teams are located in Minneapolis: The Twins, Vikings, and Timberwolves.

Minneapolis Restaurants feature some of the world's best chefs...some who are listed on James Beard's award list. Fine dining restaurants feature local, seasonal, and sustainable offerings. Explore the diversity of Minneapolis by dining in authentic Greek, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Somali, and so many more, restaurants. Don't miss the Midtown Global Market.

Minneapolis entertainment offers far more than museums. There are exciting destinations for the entire family and a wide range of festivals and events throughout the year.

Photo by Tom Heuerman

The Minneapolis & St. Paul Handbook is our favorite guide to "what to do" and "where to go" in the Twin Cities.

Explore Minneapolis Tourism 

Minneapolis attractions include more world-class theater and music venues than any city other than New York. Just to drop a few names: The Guthrie, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Children's Theater Company, and the Museum of Russian Art.

Your Great River Road Trip through Minnesota will have you spending time in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Minnesota Arts and Culture page offers information on music, art, museum, and theater venues in Minneapolis and the rest of the Twin Cities.

Fort Snelling State Park, a National Historic Landmark, is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Relive history with costumed reenactors and tours of the fort.

10 Best Historic Hotels in Minnesota include several in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Minneapolis Tourism

Minneapolis Events & Festivals

There are a number of Minneapolis events and festivals that have been long-standing traditions for us and we look forward to them every year. Some of these you would expect to find on a list of Minnesota tourism recommendations; others may seem more geared to state residents yet offer lots of entertainment for all.

  • Minneapolis Aquatennial: this celebration of summer and of our lakes takes place in July. Downtown Minneapolis is the location for the Grande Day and Torchlight parades. The festival includes hundreds of free events.
  • The Minnesota Fringe Festival, in early August, is the largest non-juried performing arts festival in the U.S.
  • May Day Parade: a celebration of spring featuring oversized puppets, musicians, and partiers that moves along Bloomington Avenue and ends in Powderhorn Park.

Minneapolis Events Tickets

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Winter Wonderland in Minneapolis

Highland Ski and Snowboard Area is located in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, MN, and just minutes from the Mall of America.

There is lots of opportunity for winter fun and recreation in Minneapolis. Parks are filled with ice skating rinks, groomed cross-country ski trails, and more. For skiing right in the city, head out to Buck Hill near Apple Valley. In January, you can cross the river into St. Paul for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.


Minneapolis Tourism with Kids

Minneapolis Tourism

Don't miss Minnehaha Falls in the park that showcases the 53 foot waterfall made famous in the Longfellow poem, The Song of Hiawatha.

Most Minneapolis tourism attractions and Minneapolis events already mentioned, make wonderful family fun outings. Minnesota is a great playground for the whole family and the Twin Cities metro area is no exception. 

Just across the river you can explore Saint Paul Minnesota vacations as well. And some of our most well known, Minnesota family fun, attractions are in the suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities. 

And just a short drive from the Twin Cities is the lovely river town of Stillwater. Here are lots of ideas about what to do on Stillwater Minnesota Vacations.

The city of Minneapolis is high on our list of 10 Best Vacation Spots and as one of the top 10 family vacations in Minnesota.

State Parks Near Minneapolis

Fort Snelling State Park How to Get to Fort Snelling State Park: The park is located on Post Road at the juncture of Minnesota Highways 5 and 55, just west of the main terminal exit for the International Airport.  

Afton State Park overlooks the St. Croix River on Highway 95, and is about a 20 minute drive south of St. Paul.  

Interstate State Park - How to Get to Interstate State Park: The park is located on Highway 8 about 1 mile south of Taylors Falls.  

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