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Few big cities in the world are blessed with as much public parkland as Minneapolis. Water is everywhere, at 13 lakes, the roaring Mississippi River, wetland and waterfalls.
Saint Anthony Waterfall on the Mississippi provided the impetus for the largest water-powered milling facility in the Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun in the 19th century, and the vestiges of this vast complex are preserved near the famous Stone Arch Bridge. Heaven for anyone with a love for art, the Mia has wide-ranging catalogue of more than 80, works, spanning five millennia and different regions of the world. You can check out pre-Columbian artefacts from the Americas and figurines, naturalistic terracotta shrine he from Nigeria, ornate European decorative arts and classical statuary.
A great first stop for the Mississippi riverside and the water-powered industry that it spawned in the 19th century, Mill City Museum is in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill complex, dating to At that time this was thought to be the largest flour mill in the world. In these galleries you can find out about the groundbreaking milling process that made fine wheat available to a mass market for the first time ever. The tour gives an impression of what it would have been liked to work at this facility and the ruins are full of interpretation boards and fun things for kids to do at the Water and Baking Labs.
The railroad entrepreneur James J. Hill built this bridge across the Mississippi for his Great Northern Railway in the early s. Stone Arch Bridge connected the railway system on the east bank to the Union Depot, which opened not far from the west bank inboosting passenger s for this successful project.
The last passenger service passed over in and in the s it was turned into a pedestrian and cycle bridge, granting you a front-row view of Saint Anthony Falls and the Minneapolis skyline. In summer Stone Arch Bridge is the focal point for fireworks displays for the Fourth of July and the Minneapolis Aquatennial celebrations at the end of July.
A multidisciplinary contemporary art centre with 10 galleries, a theatre, cinema, a cafe and restaurant, the Walker Art Centre is on a 17 acre campus first drawn up by Edward Larrabee Barnes and opened in You can immerse yourself in dance, cutting-edge theatre, music, performance art and spoken word on the stage, and the cinema brings together contemporary, avant-garde and classic movies as well as video art. When the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was tied to the Walker Art Center in it took its place as one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the United States.
This rambling space, with avenues and formal hedges is framed by the Basilica of Saint Mary and the skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis. The only national park devoted solely to the Mississippi runs through Minneapolis and Saint Paul on the banks of the river, forming a mile green corridor between Dayton and Ramsey, MN and Hastings, MN. The riverbanks in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are littered with museums, historical monuments and lots of densely wooded parkland.
You can hike, fish, go cycling, rent a canoe, go bird-watching and browse a of visitor centres.
The famed theatrical director Sir Tyrone Guthrie founded this acclaimed producing theatre in The Guthrie Theatre, which moved to its formidable Jean Nouvel-deed facility on the Mississippi riverside inhas a resident company and produces an assortment of contemporary and classic plays on three stages, raising the bar for performance and theatrical production. Keep an eye out for inventive smaller productions at the Dowling Studio, and be sure to watch the Mississippi hurrying past at the Endless Bridge viewpoint.
In the 19th century the lakeshores were left free of development and remained public property, and the land around Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake, Lake of Isles, Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet merges into one regional park. On warm summer days you can pack a lunch and pedal off in search of sandy beaches and places to grill, go fishing, take picnics or go bird-watching.
In winter the Chain of Lakes have ice rinks, cross-country ski trails and places to warm up with a hot chocolate. You can satisfy your curiosity about all things Minnesota at this museum and library in the state capital, Saint Paul. The Minnesota History Center is in a purpose-built complex, fromand shines a light on the state, its history and people, with thoughtfully realised exhibitions. Kids love scrambling through the replica grain elevator at Grainland, while the hands-on Then Now Wow lets them trade at a colonial fur post, board a streetcar, mine for iron ore and learn all about the buffalo herds that once roamed the western prairies.
A patch of untamed wilderness minutes from downtown Minneapolis, Minnehaha Regional Park is on the lower reaches of the Minnehaha Creek.
This waterfall freezes during winter cold snaps, when you can experience the thrill of walking behind that curtain of ice. Frederick R. Weisman was a Minneapolis-born art collector who made waves in Los Angeles where the Weisman Art Foundation is headquartered. The Minneapolis building is endowed with strong collections for American artists like Alfred Maurer, Charles Biederman and Marsden Hartley, complemented by Korean furniture, ceramics and Native American Mimbres pottery.
The largest city park in Minneapolis also has more than its fair share of amenities, some of which are out of the ordinary. The hilly ground is ideal for mountain biking when the snow melts, and on warmer days you can play a round at the hole par and the nine-hole par-3 golf courses. This treasured institution in Saint Paul deals with natural history, physical science, mathematics and technology. Questions on human biology and anatomy will be answered at the Human Body Gallery, for an inside look at our organs, systems and tissues.
When we put this list together in June the Twins were storming the American League Central Division, with a record. The complex is up there with the most visited tourist attractions on the planet, pulling in 40 million visitors a year. Needless to say, there are brands for all tastes and budgets, all complemented by more than 60 food and drink options, whether you want full-service, fast casual or something quick from the Food Court.
Something to remember is that clothing and shoes are exempt from sales tax in the State of Minnesota, so you have even more reason to splurge. There are two sandy beaches, North Beach and Southeast Beach, while in summer Wheel Fun Rentals provides the wherewithal for cycling, paddleboarding, canoeing, rowing and kayaking.
Lake Harriet is also the place to come for sailing in Minneapolis, and lessons are offered for both grown-ups and youngsters. On the north shore sits the Lake Harriet Bandshell, built in to replace a bandstand from the s, and putting on a programme of free concerts and movie screenings in the summer. The acre Como Park, first landscaped in the s, has a lake, public art, picnic shelters, sports amenities and lots of family attractions like a little amusement park and mini golf course.
But what makes the park indispensible is its excellent zoo and the marvellous conservatoryall the better considering they have free admission with a suggested nominal donation. Gorillas, giraffes, orangutans, tigers, lions and many more await you here. In the Aquatic Building are tanks for giant archerfish and lined seahorses, as well as habitats for birds like tufted puffins and black-footed penguins.
The captivating Tropical Encounters mixes rainforest plant species like strangler fig and mahogany with reptiles and birds like emerald tree boas, green anacondas and yellow-rumped caciques. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is open every day of the year and houses a medley of stunning rooms and gardens, like the tropical Noah Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Palm Dome, the Fern Room, a butterfly garden and the Ordway Garden with a terrace of native grasses and a bonsai gallery.
Begun in the 60s and 70s, downtown Minneapolis has a network of enclosed pedestrian bridges linking a host of buildings across 80 blocks. There Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun 9. This Art Deco skyscraper at Maquette Avenue was the tallest building in Minneapolis from its completion in until the IDS Center, still the tallest building in the state, went up in the early s.
The tower has been a hotel since and has held onto its ornate Art Deco interiors, abounding in Italian marble, mahogany from Africa, hand-wrought iron and gold plating. The main building, in the Phillips West neighbourhood, is a fairytale chateau ordered by the wealthy Swedish immigrants Swan and Christina Turnblad ordered in the Phillips West neighbourhood in the Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun.
The American Swedish Institute has been set up here sinceand new gallery space was added with the ading Nelson Cultural Center in Mary was constructed over seven years up to The barrel-vaulted nave is jaw-dropping, rising to 25 metres, more than St. Maybe most striking of all is the dome, 42 metre above the sanctuary and crested by a lantern that floods the sanctuary with an ethereal light. The Basilica of St. Mary is noted for its acoustics, and hosts around 30 concerts a year, by a variety of ensembles like the National Lutheran Choir, Minnesota Sinfonia and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Arguably the prettiest street in Minneapolis is on the east bank of the Mississippi, with a cobblestone surface, rows of converted warehouses and clear lines of sight to the skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis. You can wander down to the river at Water Power Park, catch a movie at St. Anthony Main Theater or dine al fresco at a selection of restaurants.
This was followed by a year postseason drought, finally broken in The largest of the Chain of Lakes covers more than acres and is a hub for outdoor fun, both on land and water. Bde Maka Ska is ringed by a biking path and at Wheel Fun Rentals you can get your hands on a paddleboard, rowboat, kayak, canoe or bike for a peaceful few hours in summer.
There are three sandy beaches: 32nd Street Beach, North Beach and Thomas Beach with a satisfying view of the skylineas well as sports field for soccer, softball and volleyball. Minneapolis is streaked with green corridors and one of the favourites Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun the Midtown Greenway on the trackbed of the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St.
Paul and Pacific Railroad. The route and much of the infrastructure dates towhile the greenway first took shape in the lates, with the most recent phase rolled out in For commuters, it can be quicker to cycle cross-town on the Midtown Greenway than many car trips, as the corridor is kept separate from the street grid by passing under bridges or over levies. On the west side you can use the trail to get onto the Chain of Lakes and ride for many more miles without ever having to deal with road traffic.
In the last decades of the 20th century, the collectors Raymond and Susan Johnson amassed the largest cache of Soviet-era Realist art outside of Russia. This eventually found a permanent space at the converted Mayflower Church in south Minneapolis, and the museum was inaugurated in Partly using that extensive collection, the Museum of Russian Art has an engaging rotation of up to ten temporary exhibitions a year for Russian painting and decorative arts from all periods. When we compiled this list in there was a show for the Surrealist Russian American ceramicist Sergei Isupov, and a selection from the collection examining depictions of the human body in Soviet art, and the emphasis on the working body as part of a collective.
The railroad tycoon James J. Hill took over the bankrupt St. At the start of the s Hill spared no expense on his own 3, square metre residence, the largest house in Minnesota at the time and a blend of Richardsonian and neo-Romanesque architecture. Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota, and on a sprawling landscaped near the top of a hill stands the intricate Beaux-Arts building housing the Minnesota Senate, Minnesota House of Representatives, and the offices of the Attorney General and Governor.
Mill Ruins Park presents the ghostly remains of several mills, saved from complete destruction by a road project in the s. Those s tell the story of the flour mills and saw mills on this fast-flowing section of the Mississippi. The U. In fall and winter you can the hordes in their Helga hats to watch the Vikings battling to add to their 20 Division championships, four conference championships, and reach their first Super Bowl since When this venerable theatre on Hennepin Avenue opened in it was the largest vaudeville house in the Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun, and the Marx Brothers were among the early performers.
All you see north and west of 1st Avenue North on the northern fringes of downtown Minneapolis is North Loop or the Warehouse District, two names for one place. Here, evocative brick warehouses from the turn of the 20th century have found new vocations as shops, nightspots and dining destinations. We know that Mall of America is huge — so big, in fact that it can contain a whole amusement park. Nickelodeon Universe, the largest indoor theme park in the United States, is actually an updated and rebranded Peanuts attraction that opened in The park reopened in as Nickelodeon Universe and millions of dollars have been invested in the past decade to complete the transformation.
Children can meet their favourite Nick characters like Dora, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spongebob, and experience 27 rides and attractions like swing rides, a hayride, a log chute, a Ferris wheel and the sky fly ride, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock. The Minnesota edition of this worldwide aquarium chain is in the Mall of America, and holds more than 4, litres of tanks supporting over 10, animals. The marquee attraction is the metre tunnel through four different tanks, where stingrays, seven shark species, the freshwater species of the Amazon river and the fish of the Minnesotan lakes swim above and beside you.
Brave the Rainforest is a transformative two-storey rainforest environment inhabited by crocodiles, piranhas and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Picking you up from Radisson Blu in Downtown Minneapolis, Bitter Minnesota offers a comfortable, fascinating and delicious three-hour tour in an air-conditioned minibus stopping at three of the best. Laid out over the course of decades through a ring of interconnected parks in Minneapolis, the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is one of the longest continuous systems of urban parkway in the United States. Among the beautiful natural features on its margins are creeks, lakes, woodland and wetland, along with manmade lagoons, canals, gardens, parkland, greenways, playgrounds, bridges and picnic areas.
Almost overnight a stretch of Minnehaha Avenue and its off-shooting streets has broken out as a shopping and dining district with a lot of character. Minnehaha Mile is the place to go for reused items, be it antiques, vintage decor and clothes, second-hand books, vinyl, upcycled goods and all kinds of curiosities. In between, there are yoga studios and alternative health centres, and no shortage of dining choices, whether you want soft-shell crab sandwiches, gourmet grilled cheese, fair trade coffee, quesadillas, Southeast Asian bites, pizza or craft cocktails. Many of the stores have irregular opening times so check the Minnehaha Mile facebook before paying a visit.
In Minneapolis you have a real opportunity to leave the beaten track, in a culinary sense, and try some flavours that you might not have experienced before. Main courses tend to come with spaghetti or rice, and this will often be served with a banana on the side that you can mix in.
A popular protein is slow-roasted goat, which falls off the bone, and for snacks there are sambusas, a spicy variation on the samosa. Overuse and Bloomington Minnesota but casual crazy fun engineering of these water management systems caused severe damage from around toand the current sophisticated system of locks and dams dates from the middle of the 20th century.
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