Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about living in Minnesota. I have lived here my entire life, and though there have been times when I have considered moving somewhere else, I always find reasons to stay. Those reasons generally revolve around friends and family, but there are also some really awesome things about living here.
In the United States, Minnesota is not one of the most popular states. In fact, it’s one of the states that is made fun of a lot, or the state that people don’t know much about. I think most people think Minnesota is always winter, and we all hunt and talk in funny accents. Maybe it would be best if people continued to feel that way, because I honestly think if people knew how awesome it was here, people would want to move here. Except in the winter, when it usually is really cold.
Minneapolis is the biggest city in Minnesota, and is where I have spent most of my life. It has this wonderful mixture of city life and nature, which I think is really unique. It’s not a huge city, but it is big enough to be able to find many of the same things you can find in the big cities of the world, just on a much smaller scale. Minneapolis is known for being dedicated to the arts, with many museums and theaters. There is a pretty good night life here, unless you want to go to a liquor store on a Sunday, in which case, you can’t. We generally have a pretty good education system. I could list benefits of living here for a long time.
In thinking about living here, I came up with my five favorite places to go in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas. These are places that I think should be on anyone’s to-do list if they come to visit!
- Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden
Basically within walking distance of downtown Minneapolis, is the Walker. It is an art museum that focuses more on modern art. Right across the street is the Sculpture Garden, which is an outdoor modern art museum of sorts. The Walker is fun because there are all kinds of exhibits to check out, and they are not always the same. Admission is $14 for adults, unless you’re a member. They also offer free admission on Thursday evenings and the first Saturday of every month. They also have Walker After Hours events that are basically parties. An upcoming one has a “Hippie Modernism” theme. The Walker has two restaurants, one of which occasionally gets chefs to come do one night residences. If you don’t like Modern art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also close by. They always offer free admission, and have art from all kinds of different areas/time periods. They have special exhibits, and on every third Thursday of the month, they have a special theme party for adults. There are drinks, a DJ, and fun activities all surrounding a theme.
- Mall of America
If museums aren’t your thing, but you like wandering around large buildings with lots of other people, the Mall of America is perfect for you! It’s also perfect if you love shopping. Like, really love shopping. With over 500 stores, 50 places to eat, and the nation’s largest indoor theme park, the mall has a lot to offer. It is also really close to the airport, and there are hotels in the same area, so it’s perfect for visitors! I really try not to go there on weekends, personally, because it’s gets really crowded, but I am one of the few Minnesotans that thinks it’s a fun time. If you get sick of the mall, but still want to shop, there is an Ikea right across the street. I could spend so many hours in Ikea… Not just because I get lost, but because there is so much to look at!
- First Ave & 7th Street Entry
If you’re in Minneapolis for the nightlife, I highly recommend First Ave. It has been a Minneapolis institution since 1970. They have live music just about every night, and there are also DJs and dance nights. It’s a great place to catch a show, especially since it isn’t an arena. Generally, the bands that play there aren’t the biggest names in music, but there are still some pretty awesome bands that play there. It’s also right in downtown Minneapolis, so it’s really easy to get dinner and walk to First Ave for a night of music.
- Indeed and Surly and Fulton, oh my!
Minneapolis is home to tons of taprooms and breweries. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of them, and they have grown in popularity amongst locals and visitors alike. Indeed, Surly and Fulton are only three of the many breweries in the area. These places are best visited in the summer, because most of them have outdoor seating. Here in Minnesota, however, winter weather and snow does not stop us from enjoying a good beer. So, the taprooms all also have indoor seating as well. There are many events held by taprooms all over the city throughout the year. There are lots of people who bike between breweries so they have spend the day trying out different beers from many different places.
- Hell’s Kitchen and Angel Food
This restaurant is in no way related to the Gordon Ramsay show of the same name. In fact, the restaurant was around first. This restaurant has a soft spot in my heart. It’s where my husband and I went for our first date, where we went the night we got engaged, and we still like to go there either to celebrate or just enjoy a nice evening out. This place definitely has a sense of humor, but that doesn’t reflect in their food, which is just plain delicious. Right upstairs, they have a bakery that they call Angel Food. They make delicious looking cakes and pastries. I never have enough room after eating at Hell’s Kitchen to get a sweet treat from Angel Food. Both places really know how to make delicious eats.
There are so many awesome places in Minneapolis to see. I don’t think I could make a list of all of them, because it would take me a very long time. This is a pretty good start though.
Let me know what you think! Have you ever been to Minnesota? Which of my top five favorite places would you most like to visit?