Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota. Along with its twin city, St. Paul, the metropolitan area has so much to offer. The area offers a short, but pleasant summer with winter conditions present for as much as half the year. Regardless, you will find Minnesotans to be generally warm and friendly folk, and willing to share much information about their favorite local destinations.
Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium
Separated by approximately eight miles, the stadiums that are home to the Minnesota Twins (Target Field) and the Minnesota Vikings (TCF Bank Stadium), are worth visiting. The Vikings are temporary residents of TCF which is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota and is also where the Golden Gophers play.
Target Field is one of major league baseball’s newer fields, prized for its intimate setting in downtown Minneapolis. Seating just under 40,000 people, Target Field has been recognized by ESPN as the number one baseball stadium experience in North America.
TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, will host the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons beginning in 2014 while a new stadium is built for the state’s NFL team. The horseshoe-style stadium seats just over 50,000 fans with expansion to 80,000 seats possible. Private seating, club seats and large boxes mark this stadium.
Mill City Museum
Located on the historic Mississippi riverfront, the Mill City Museum has transformed the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill into a thriving downtown destination. When visiting the museum you should allow up to two hours to take everything in. The museum features a baking lab, an eight-story elevator ride through an exhibit, the latter offering spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River.
The museum also features a flour tower multimedia show, a 19-minute movie and special exhibits. Learn about the state’s history, including its Indian wars and the role Minnesotans played in the Civil War.
Some things in life are free including your visit to Minnehaha Park overlooking the Mississippi River. This 193-acre park features a 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs and river overlooks. The park is dotted with a variety of trees including elm, oak, hackberry, silver maple and cottonwood. Come autumn, the park is ablaze in a riot of colors.
The park is also home to several sculptures including a mask of Chief Little Crow positioned near Minnehaha Falls. The chief was killed the year following the 1862 Dakota conflict, in the vicinity of land that is sacred to native Americans.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden may occupy just 11 acres, but every bit of land is well used for one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country. This garden is home to 40 permanent exhibits as well as temporary showings that always keep people coming back.
Adjoining the sculpture garden is the Walker Art Center, described as a multidisciplinary contemporary art center, one of the largest of its kind in the country. The center has a visual arts program, a performing arts section and is also big in film, design and new media.
Completed in 1929, the Foshay Tower is a 32-story skyscraper modeled after the Washington Monument. Prized for its Art Deco architecture, the Foshay is now home to the “W Minneapolis – The Foshay” hotel.
Despite its new role as a hotel, the Foshay Tower still has a 30th floor observation deck that is open year ‘round. Wilbur Foshay’s bedroom on the 27th floor is now a sky bar.
Saint Paul Meanderings
While visiting Minneapolis you may want to head east a few miles to take in the neighboring city of St. Paul. Minneapolis’ “twin city” is home to the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Fitzgerald Theater, the Science Museum of Minnesota and many other attractions. The city also has the Xcel Energy Center, home to the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League.
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