11 Interesting and Beautiful Places to Visit in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ah, summer in the Twin Cities. From delicious food and splendid parks to museums and sports, there are endless fantastic places to visit in Minneapolis.

We spent the month of July here without ever having any real idea what the city was like. The only things that came to mind were the Minnesota Vikings and that Minnesota accent. We were pleased to find out that there’s much more going on than that.

Culinary experiences such as the all indigenous menu at James Beard award winner Owanmi, marvelous works of art like the sculptures at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the serenity of overlooking one of the many lakes in the city were just a few aspects of Minneapolis that made us feel like it is way too underrated as a travel destination.

Now that you’re looking up flights and whatnot, here are 11 interesting and beautiful places to visit in Minneapolis once you get there.

Minnehaha Falls

While nature isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Minneapolis, I’m going to start there anyway.

Minnehaha Falls is a stunning waterfall within the Minneapolis boundary.

Standing at 53 feet tall, it’s probably Minnesota’s most famous waterfall. It resides in the gorgeous Minnehaha Park, which overlooks the mighty Mississippi River.

(Side note, no one can write out Mississippi without spelling it out letter by letter in your head.)

The park is one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most visited parks and for good reason. It’s rich with picnic areas, hiking trails, and pavilions for events. There’s even a seafood joint to grab a bite and drink to-go and admire the falls with your mouth full. Minnesota has many great parks, but it would be a mistake not to visit this park while in Minneapolis.

Take a trail up the creek to the bottom of the falls, climb back up the stairs, and enjoy a picnic. You won’t regret it.

Minnehaha Falls

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Once you get to Minneapolis and start exploring you might have a moment where you have to rub your eyes to make sure you actually see what you see. Don’t worry, you’re not crazy. That is, in fact, a giant spoon right in the city. Go to it. See what other giant sculptures are there for you to feast your eyes on. Just so you know, you’re at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The giant spoon with the giant red cherry with water flowing out of it goes by the name of Spoonbridge and Cherry. It was constructed by famous artist Claes Oldenburg, who unfortunately passed away earlier this year (R.I.P). While undoubtedly the highlight, Spoonbridge isn’t the only reason to visit this sculpture garden.

There’s at least a dozen other elite works of art featured on the grounds and makes an awesome place for a family to visit. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is definitely a must see for anyone visiting Minneapolis.

Sculpture Garden

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Stone Arch Bridge

Google Minneapolis and you may see a photo of a gorgeous picturesque bridge lit up at night. That’s the iconic Stone Arch Bridge.

Engineers will rejoice at this marvel as it is recognized as a National Civil Engineering Landmark. The bridge was built in 1883, is 2,100 feet long, and features 23 stone arches. With two railroad tracks leading into downtown, the bridge once carried 80 passenger trains a day.

While not necessary for passenger travel anymore, the bridge still serves as an icon for the city. Take a walk over the bridge for stunning views of Minneapolis and Saint Anthony Falls. A visit to Minneapolis without visiting the Stone Arch Bridge would be a huge missed opportunity.

Whether you take a walk over the bridge, or enjoy it with a bike ride, it’s the perfect place to visit in Minneapolis for the perfect view.

Stone Arch

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Mill City Museum

Right at the downtown end of the Stone Arch Bridge you’ll see the ruins of a large stone flour mill. Construction of the mill was completed in 1880 as the largest flour mill in the world. Over the next 85 years, the mill was turned into more of a complex, with over a dozen buildings.

The mill has also withstood a couple of fires. Well, sort of… While it was able to withstand a fire in 1928, another blaze in 1991 pretty much decimated it. Today the building may just be a ruin of its former self, but it is nonetheless now considered a National Historic landmark and home of the Mill City Museum.

The museum is a combination of history, art, and preservation. Visitors of all ages can come and learn about the history of the river, the flour industry, and the city of Minneapolis. Mixed in with storyboards and historical information, you’ll find awesome works of art done by locals and artists from around the region.

You’ll also be able to learn about the fascinating architecture, which was ground-breaking at the time. All of this combined with gorgeous views of the river bank makes the Mill City Museum one of the most fascinating places to visit in Minneapolis.

Gold Medal

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Mall of America

Say what you will about malls, we all either love ‘em or hate ‘em. However, the Mall of America deserves its place on a list of places to visit in Minneapolis.

When I told people I was about to spend month in Minneapolis, I usually received the same follow up question. “Are you going to check out the Mall of America?” Following that, the person might throw out the fun fact that the mall has an amusement park inside of it!

Indeed, it is true! There is an actual amusement park inside the mall. While I’m not a roller coaster person, I did enjoy seeing it. The mall is as large as they say it is and if you’re up for some shopping then it’s the place to be. 

It is particularly fun if you have kiddos. You have the LEGO store, M&M Store, and Crayola Experience to name a few. Along with the Fairly Odd Parents themed amusement park, there’s also the Sea Life Aquarium, and a ton of dining options for when said kiddos start to get hangry.

Overall, I think it’s well worth the visit and definitely an interesting and unique place to go in Minneapolis!


Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Midtown Global Market

Typically, on this site we don’t focus on places to eat and drink, rather interesting things to see and do. However, I believe Midtown Global Market checks both boxes. Food halls and markets are always a great place to stop when visiting a city. You can find the nourishment and refreshment you need, while still learning a lot about the destination.

Midtown Global Market houses local vendors from all over the city to put their international cuisines in the spotlight. I feel at home in a place where I can have arepas, followed by a slice of pizza and a steak taco. That’s why I’m putting it on my list of favorite places to visit in Minneapolis.

There’s also a local brewery, a market for fresh groceries, a coffee shop, and a place to buy souvenirs. But, the highlight for me was Manny’s Tortas. My mouth just watered writing this.

What’s best is that it was recommended by a random local we met as the best tortas in town. This is hands down one fo the best places to visit in Minneapolis for foodies, so make sure you enjoy a meal here during your visit.

Foshay Tower

While seeing a city from ground level is a great time in and of itself, seeing it from above can be incredible. Such is the case when you look out at Minneapolis and its surroundings the viewing deck at Foshay Tower. At 447 feet, the tower was the tallest in the Midwest at the time of completion in 1929, and stayed the tallest for the next 48 years.

These days, it’s home to the W Minneapolis, meaning it is also a rather posh hotel. The hotel offers two bars, one in the lobby and one on the 27th floor. Both are lovely, but the Prohibition Bar on the 27th floor offers some sweet views and delicious beverages. 

After you’ve had a cocktail or two, you can head up to the observation deck and look down at the bustling city below. On your way up to the deck you’ll pass through a small museum, which highlights the awesome history of the tower and its unique creator.

So, if you’re looking for excellent views, be sure to put Foshay Tower on your list of places to visit in Minneapolis!


Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Another great place to get your arts and culture fix is at the Minneapolis institute of Art. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Minneapolis and for good reason.

Here you’ll find over 90,000 works of art from a span of 5,000 years of world history. And the best part? General admission is free. That’s right, expanding your knowledge of art and history has never been so easy.

Alongside its collection of exhibitions representing Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, the museum has the Minnesota Artists Exhibition. It highlights local artists and brings their talents to the spotlight. In addition, there are various traveling collections from other museums being featured at any time.

The vastness, quality, and accessibility of this Museum makes it a wonderful and must-see place to visit while in Minneapolis.

Weissman Art Museum

Minneapolis is a town full of wonderful places to check out inspiring pieces of art. Weissman Art Museum is one of them. Actually, it’s one of the best in the city.

The building itself is something to behold. Some might say its an eyesore… After all, it looks like a spaceship crashed into another spaceship and landed in Minneapolis as a heap of twisted metal. Whether it’s pretty or not though, it’s interesting to look at and that cannot be denied. 

Appearances aside, the more interesting aspects of this museum are within. You’ll find numerous exhibits that tie art to culture, social, and historical contexts.

The extensive gallery is highlighted by a 22 foot glass fish appropriately titled, Standing Glass Fish. This sculpture was created by Frank Gehry and will greet you upon arrival in the lobby of the museum.

Fascinating, inquisitive, and thought provoking, the Weissman is one of the most interesting places to visit in Minneapolis for art and culture lovers, so make sure to add it to your itinerary.


Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Stillwater, MN

Looking for cool places to visit near Minneapolis? Here’s a quick day trip idea for you: visit the small town of Stillwater.

America’s small towns are filled with hidden gems and fascinating stories and are worth the visit just as much as our big cities. Conveniently, one of Minnesota’s most interesting small towns is a quick 30 minutes drive outside of Minneapolis.

Stillwater is an adorable and historic town founded in 1848. It’s considered the birthplace of Minnesota and one of the oldest towns in the state.

Located right on the beautiful St. Croix River, the town is ripe with natural beauty.

You’ll also find historic sites such as the Stillwater Lift Bridge, one of only six of its kind. Of course, you’ll find interesting shops and delectable dining options in town, along with multiple museums, apple orchards, and wineries.

Being so close to Minneapolis, it makes a lovely day trip!


Last but not least, we have to finish off this list of Minneapolis’ best places to visit with parks… because Minneapolis. does. parks. It’s one of the best park systems in the United States and I can see why.

Having a 6 month old puppy forced us outside quite a bit during our month in the Twin Cities.

For that reason, parks became some of our favorite places to visit in Minneapolis. Everyone knows Minnesota is a land of many, many lakes. The city of Minneapolis is no exception. Summer is idyllic when you wake up and wander over to a lake side. You watch the boats float by, dig your feet into the sand, and let the dog splash around trying to catch waves in their mouth.

Aside from the aforementioned Minnehaha Falls Park, some of my favorite Minnesota parks are the following:

Lyndale Park Gardens

Along the shores of Lake Harriet is 61 acres of four distinct gardens. The Peace Garden, the Rose Garden, the Perennial Garden, and the Perennial Trial Garden. It’s best to visit this park when the flowers are in bloom making for a relaxing aromatic getaway from city life.

Gold Medal Park

This park offers amazing river views, including a nice view of the Stone Arch Bridge, as well as some cool sculptures. The park is also right in town making it easily accessible.

Boom Island Park

Right on the river as well, this park is highlighted by an awesome mini-lighthouse. The hike along the riverfront gives you some spectacular views of downtown and access to a marina and boat dock.

There are at least a dozen more parks in Minneapolis to choose from. Make sure you take advantage whether it be a picnic or taking a kayak out on one of the many lakes these parks have to offer.

Boom Island

Boom Island Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Did we miss any of your favorite places in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Let us know in the comments if there are anymore places in Minneapolis, Minnesota you’d like to see on our list!

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