15 Best Things to Do in Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN
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Its promise of fun for all ages makes Minneapolis an exciting to visit on a trip to Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Parks developed around the string of lakes in the city and the Mississippi River are a few of the points of interest in Minneapolis.

Founded in 1867, the city also features many cultural attractions like museums celebrating the rich history of the Minnesota region.

Urban delights have likewise proliferated among the activities in Minneapolis, with the robust foundations of its economy that helped mold the current city.

The development of this city during the 19th century relied on lumber and flour milling.

Power drawn from Saint Anthony Falls at the northeastern edge of the city helped propel these industries.

Discover the best things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

Cheer a Home Run in Target Field

Front view of Target Field
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Baseball fans visiting Minneapolis should put Target Field on Twins Way at the top of their itinerary.

This baseball stadium opened in 2010 as the home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins competing in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Located in Minneapolis’s downtown historic warehouse district, Target Field is a frequent venue for football, soccer, hockey, and band concerts.

Front view of Target Field
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In addition, visitors can go on behind-the-scenes tours of this stadium, rated among MLB’s top 10.

The tour’s highlights include stops in the stadium’s dugouts, batting cage, press box, clubhouses, and suites.

Front view of Target Field
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Watch College Football at the Huntington Bank Stadium

Exterior view of Huntington Bank Stadium
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This outdoor football stadium is on 23rd Avenue Southeast in the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Huntington Bank Stadium is the home playing field of the university’s football team, the Golden Gophers.

Exterior view of Huntington Bank Stadium
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This team competes in the Big Ten Conference, and they have won several national championships since 1904.

The stadium’s main HD video display is one of the largest in college sports, measuring approximately 108 feet × 48 feet.

This display’s cutting-edge Daktronics HD-16 technology was the first of its kind in the Big Ten Conference.

Exterior view of Huntington Bank Stadium
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Catch a Premier Event at the U.S. Bank Stadium

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The U.S. Bank Stadium is an enclosed stadium with striking modern architecture located on Chicago Avenue.

The U.S. Bank Stadium is the home of the Minnesota Vikings, playing in the National Football League (NFL).

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The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers also plays their early season college baseball games in this stadium.

In addition, prominent promoters use this stadium as a venue for various events like sports championships and musical concerts.

Artists who have played sold-out performances at the U.S. Bank Stadium include Luke Bryan and Metallica.

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Have a Picnic at Boom Island Park

Scenic view of Boom Island Park
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Visitors of Minneapolis have a merry pick from its 180 parks, with Boom Island Park as one of the top picks.

Accessible via Sibley Street, this island park spreads over 14 acres on the Mississippi River.

It offers plenty of facilities and activities besides providing awe-inspiring views of the Mississippi and downtown Minneapolis.

Scenic view of Boom Island Park
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The park has a spacious picnic area with a drinking fountain, grill, and restroom facilities.

In addition, visitors can explore a stretch of the Mississippi riverfront via the park’s walking and biking trails.

A boat dock and a lighthouse on its northwestern edge further make Boom Island Park a magnet to Minneapolis visitors.

Explore the Mississippi River with the Paddle Bridge Guide Collective

Visits to Minneapolis must include paddling on the Mississippi River via the kayak tours of Paddle Bridge Guide Collective.

Based in Boom Island Park, this tour operator provides professional guides certified by the American Canoe Association.

The canoes the collective uses are sturdy and comfortable, products of the trusted Minnesota boat maker Current Designs.

The collective’s tours can accommodate new and experienced paddlers, choosing single or tandem kayaks.

Paddle Bridge Guide Collective can lead you on its two-and-a-half Heart of Minneapolis Tour, including the city's historic areas.

Try the Mississippi River Gorge Adventure of over three hours for a longer trip.

You will paddle through an engineering marvel in the river’s only gorge.

Explore the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park

View of Mississippi Gorge Regional Park
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This park covers about 132 acres, accessible inland from Minneapolis via the West River Parkway.

The Mississippi Gorge Regional Park offers a wide swath of scenic, natural areas of the only actual gorge along the 2,320-mile length of the Mississippi River.

The slow upriver migration of St. Anthony Falls eroded a steep channel creating this gorge.

View of Mississippi Gorge Regional Park
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Lush oak trees abound in the park’s prairie area, making it a thriving habitat for 150 bird species.

Besides birdwatching and photography, the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park offers hiking and biking on its well-developed trails.

Trail runners particularly love the 2.5-mile Winchell Trail traversing the park on the river’s west bank from East 44th Street to Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Go Fishing in Bde Maka Ska

Scenic view of Bde Maka Ska
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As one of the chains of park lakes in Minneapolis, Bde Maka Ska provides an excellent opportunity for shore fishing.

This park (formerly called Lake Calhoun) provides a fishing pier off the west terminus of West 36th Street, where anglers also have a fantastic view of the Minneapolis skyline.

Scenic view of Bde Maka Ska

The potential catch on this kid-friendly fishing spot includes common carp, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch.

Another option for fishing within the city limits of Minneapolis comes in the canoe dock at Cedar Lake Point Beach, a short distance north of Bde Maka Ska.

Convenient access to onshore fishing is also available on the bridges over the nearby Lake of the Isles between Newton Avenue South and Oliver Place South.

Scenic view of Bde Maka Ska
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Visit Frankenstein’s Lab at the Bakken Museum

Front view of Bakken Museum
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Science and technology take center stage in a visit to the Bakken Museum, where the exhibits include a mock-up of Frankenstein’s Laboratory.

The horror sci-fi film Frankenstein helped shape the engineering career of the museum’s founder, Earl Bakken.

Bakken set up the museum in 1975 as an offshoot of his co-ownership of Medtronic, a manufacturer of medical devices.

Ben Franklin’s Electricity Party is another crowd-favorite among the exhibits in the Bakken Museum.

You can find the museum on Zenith Avenue South on the lake's West shore.

This exhibit features electricity tricks Ben Franklin and other inventors conducted in the 1700s.

Stop and Smell the Flowers of Lyndale Park Gardens

Flowers of Lyndale Park Gardens
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Four wonderful gardens await visitors to this 61-acre park on West 42nd Street across the northeast shoreline of Lake Harriet.

The Lyndale Park Gardens began taking shape in 1907, with a rose garden as its first project.

Occupying 1.5 acres, the Lyndale Park Rose Garden features 3,000 plants in 100 different rose varieties.

Flowers of Lyndale Park Gardens
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The other points of interest in the Lyndale Park Gardens include the Peace Garden and the Annual Perennial Garden.

The park is also home to the Butterfly, Hummingbird & Perennial, and Border Gardens.

Located next to the park’s Peace Garden, the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary offers another delightful experience for visitors to Minneapolis.

Play Sports at Columbia Park

Minneapolis offers many sports fields in this park, with over 180 acres of open green spaces and rolling hillsides off Columbia Parkway.

The centerpiece of the sports-oriented Columbia Park is an 18-hole golf course laid out over 150 acres and developed in 1917.

Regulation play on the Columbia Golf Club is par 71, with round picks from four tee placements ranging in length from 5,685 yards to 6,371 yards.

The course is striking for the historic 1896 railroad bridge that cuts through it.

Likewise, it is one of only two remaining steel-arch bridges in Minnesota.

Other sports facilities in Columbia Park include tennis courts, an archery range, soccer and rugby field, and a horseshoe pit.

The park also provides a picnic area, a grill, a playground/tot lot, and a walking path.

Discover Masterpieces at the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District

A house in Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District
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Minneapolis shows visitors its remarkable past in the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District.

The historic designation of this district stems mainly from its vintage residences of prominent Minneapolis residents.

These iconic samples of turn-of-the-century architectural masterpieces include the Christian Mansion that now houses the Hennepin History Museum.

A house in Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District
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Located on 3rd Avenue South, this museum boasts a collection of more than 25,000 items relating to Hennepin County’s history.

Explore the Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District and feel history coursing through you!

A house in Washburn-Fair Oaks Historic District
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Explore the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park

The park system of Minneapolis encompasses 22 lakes, offering a load of outdoor recreational activities.

Most of these choices can be enjoyed at the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park.

This park covers 1,555 acres and is easily accessible via West Lake Street in Uptown Minneapolis.

Visitors can explore and enjoy park facilities in and around the shorelines of Cedar Lake, Brownie Lake, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Harriet.

The trails for pedestrians and bikers extend over 15 miles connecting these lakes.

Other facilities include a beach, an archery range, a bandstand, an ice rink, a hockey rink, and a boat dock.

Spend the day at the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park!

Browse Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Front view of Minneapolis Institute of Art
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Visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art for an enriching experience viewing outstanding artworks from diverse cultures worldwide.

Located on 3rd Avenue South, this art museum celebrates the arts through the Beaux-Arts architectural style of its 1915 building.

The architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, a revered disciple of urbanism in the American Renaissance, designed this building.

Front view of Minneapolis Institute of Art
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Likewise, this building has been recognized as one of the finest in Minnesota.

Since its establishment in 1883, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has gathered more than 90,000 artworks created over 5,000 years in various parts of the world.

This museum’s collections on exhibit include architecture, paintings, photos, drawings, prints, textiles, and decorative arts.

Join the Party at the Warehouse District

View of Warehouse District
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Also locally known as North Loop, the Warehouse District is a melting pot on the northwestern outskirts of downtown Minneapolis.

This area is roughly north and west of 1st Avenue North where late 19th and early 20th century warehouses once stood.

People have repurposed these vintage storage houses into innovative shops, bars, and restaurants.

Besides dining and shopping, this district also offers a vibrant nightlife to visitors to Minneapolis.

For some music and dancing, the popular spots include Gay 90s on Hennepin Avenue and the Fine Line Music Café on North 1st Avenue.

View of Warehouse District
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Nighttime visits to the Warehouse District should give you a healthy dose of humor at Acme Comedy Company on North 1st Street.

The stage of this intimate standup club features the up-and-coming comedians of Minneapolis.

Also on North 1st Street, the Lab Theater hosts live theater, cabaret, music, dance, fashion, or burlesque, depending on the time of the year.

Opportunities for beer tasting also abound in the Warehouse District, with all the microbreweries there.

You can grab a mug at Modist Brewing on North 3rd Street or the Fulton Brewing Taproom on North 6th Avenue.

A weekend tour promises excitement; Inbound Brew Co on North 5th Street lets you see the beer-making process up close.

Proceed to Number 12 Cider, North 5th Street, or AxeBridge Wine Company on North Washington Avenue to try other drinks.

Visit the Historic Hiawatha Golf Club

The city of Minneapolis runs seven beautiful golf courses and three driving ranges.

The links of the Hiawatha Golf Club are among the most charming among these public golf courses.

Hiawatha stands out as one of the first golf clubs to allow African American golfers to play during the Jim Crow era.

The first nine holes of this golf course opened in 1934, and its back nine opened the following year.

Hiawatha also draws interest for its Tudor Revival clubhouse, built from 1932 to 1933.

This clubhouse gets its name from Solomon Hughes Sr., who pushed for its desegregation in 1952.

Final Thoughts

Minneapolis is an easy pick for folks planning a trip to Minnesota, given the diversity of this city’s points of interest.

You can easily weave a complete list of the many sights and activities from the local urban and natural attractions.

Discover the best things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

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