What Makes Minneapolis Like No Place Else

Check out the local events and attractions that make Minneapolis unique.
By: Erin Peterson
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Walker Art Center 
This much-loved contemporary art museum got a huge makeover in 2005, and it continues to offer some of the most groundbreaking work in art today. The Center’s campus also includes the 11-acre outdoor Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Center also includes 20.21, a bar and restaurant from Wolfgang Puck.


In 2006, the Guthrie moved to a brand-new $125 million theater along the Mississippi, and the breathless accolades haven’t stopped coming. Its critically acclaimed work and fantastic new restaurant, Cue, keep the audiences rapt. For many, its annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a holiday tradition.

Mall of America 
Residents grumbled when this retail behemoth opened up in 1992, but this tourist attraction has earned the grudging respect of the locals as well. A full theme park is contained in within its walls, as well as a movie theater, a four-story Lego “Imagination Center” and a gigantic underground aquarium. That’s along with hundreds of retail stores where you’ll find most everything you need. Just remember where you parked your car.

The Greenway 
Getting across the city under your own power has never been easier, thanks to the recently renovated and expanded Greenway -- a bicycle and jogging path that crosses the city from east to west. In the mornings and late afternoons, no matter the weather, determined bicycle commuters pedal to work, and on weekends, you’ll see families enjoying this quiet oasis lined with beautiful gardens.

Central Library 
This Cesar Pelli-designed beauty in downtown Minneapolis is both sleek and useful. Warm up at one of the fireplaces, sip a drink at the Dunn Bros. coffee shop, or pull a book from its 38 miles of shelving. Frequent author readings and other events bring people from all over the metro area.

Foshay Tower 
Once the tallest skyscraper in the city, the 32-story Foshay may have been eclipsed in height, but definitely not in style. The Art Deco skyscraper was built just before the 1929 stock market crash and was a nod to D.C.’s Washington Monument.

Stone Arch Bridge 
The Stone Arch Bridge, a graceful former railroad bridge that crosses the Mississippi, is among the city’s most photographed sites. It also has a darker history: In 2007, after the 35W bridge disaster, onlookers gathered at this nearby bridge to watch the events unfold.

Lake Harriet Rose Garden 
Just across the street from Lake Harriet, the Rose Garden includes a “Peace Garden” with pools of water and pleasant walking paths. As soon as the snow melts, you’ll see families bring their blankets and snacks for a picnic at this favorite city spot.

Spoonbridge and Cherry 
This iconic sculpture, designed by Claes Oldenburg and found at the Minneapolis Sculpture garden, has come to represent this town perhaps more than anything else. The gigantic spoon, which cradles and equally oversized cherry and stem, is one of the most photographed works in the city.

Snow Emergencies 
Minneapolis gets more snow than most cities, but crews can clear the stuff from roads and highways with almost scientific precision. During snow emergencies, residents follow an intricate set of parking rules while even the deepest snows are quickly cleared. While other cities shut down with just an inch or two of snow, Minneapolis keeps humming along when even a foot of the white stuff covers the ground. And little Tyler doesn’t get a snow day, after all.

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