Long Weekend in the Twin Cities
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
My friend and I, who now live 700 miles apart, love to meet up for weekends in U.S. cities we've never been to before. In 2023, we chose Minneapolis, because we'd heard good things. Those good things were true: great museums, beautiful urban lakes and waterfalls, lots of good beer (and other drinks) and great food and a bucket list bookstore. A great city for a weekend trip!
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Where to stay in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Enjoy the outdoors
Minneapolis is home to 22 urban lakes. The two we visited - Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet - were incredibly beautiful and with attractions to boot (beaches, kayak rentals, walking paths, etc.). What great places to stretch your legs between incredible meals.
Then there's Mill Ruins Park, a park that encompasses both banks of the Mississippi River. Start at the farmers market (if it's a Saturday), cross the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, take a stroll on Nicollet Island and then cross back over Stone Arch Bridge. Enjoy beautiful views of the Mississippi River, historic mills and people watching.
And don't sleep on Minnehaha Park. The gem of the park is its 53-foot waterfall - right in Minneapolis!
Take in some culture
The Museum of Russian Art is unique. From its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival building to its collection of Russian art (we particularly enjoyed an exhibit of works by a Ukranian-born American artist memorializing the first year of Russian war in Ukraine). The Bakken Museum and the Weisman Art Museum were also great spots to visit.
Don't miss Native American author Louise Erdrich's bookstore Birchbark Books & Native Arts! It's small but wonderful, independent and committed to stocking indigenous American authors and titles!
Spend some time in the other twin (city)
With the Minnesota State Capitol, the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the historic mansions of Summit Avenue, St. Paul is worth a visit! And don't skip a tour of Wabasha Street Caves (artificial caves that were used as a speakeasy during Prohibition and a restaurant/nightclub after Prohibition)!
Places to eat & drink in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Definitely check out:
Maria's Café - A Colombian café with wonderful homey diner vibes.
Ideal Diner - A tiny 14-seat retro diner with huge plates of classic breakfast dishes.
Victor's 1959 Café - A very popular Cuban café with great outdoor seating - show up early to avoid a long wait.
My favorite spots for lunch:
Kramarczuk's Sausage - A Minneapolis institution, open since the '40s; a cafeteria-style Eastern European restaurant with Polish and Ukrainian dishes I loved - pierogi, sausage, and stuffed cabbage.
FIKA - The Swedish café inside the American Swedish Institute that serves Swedish specialties, great cocktails and a gorgeous patio.
Moscow on the Hill - Another vibey option. It's a great spot for anyone who likes Russian food, great drinks (my horseradish martini was delish) and a relaxing patio.
Picking dinners for our long weekend was hard because Minneapolis might be a secret foodie city! I'd go back to every spot we ate dinner at:
Sanjusan - A very cool Itameshi/Japanese-Italian fusion spot with amazing starters, pizzas, pastas, natural wine options and cocktails.
Khaluna - A stunner of a Laotian restaurant with outstanding food and drinks. You'll feel like you're on a resort vacay.
Colita - An exceptional Mexican-inspired restaurant. Everything - drinks, food, service and vibes - was pretty close to perfect.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to the USA.