Hello Siberian American readers! I'm Crystal, the storyteller behind the blog Dreams, etc. and I live with Minneapolis with my sweet pup Little One.
Can I let you in on a little secret? When I moved to Minnesota at the age of nine, I was not a happy camper. I had no desire to live in Minneapolis and always planned to move away. I had dreams of living by the ocean, or in the mountains, or in New York or Seattle.... the list was endless! Basically, I wanted to live anywhere but Minneapolis and I let my parents know it. And while I still sometimes think about moving someplace else, I'm really happy that I get to call Minneapolis home. There are so many things to love about this city--and so many things that make it a great destination to add to your travel bucket list. Here are five things to get you started if you visit the Twin Cities.
1 // Mall of America I’m putting this one on the list by default, because it is a well-known attraction in Minnesota and for that reason alone it’s worth a mention. I don’t spend a lot of time there and only go when my friends want to. It’s not my favorite place to be—and you’ll hear that from a lot of Minnesotans. It’s just so BIG! But, if you don’t mind the crowds, there’s a lot to do at MOA and you won’t be able to see or do it all in just a day. If you have kids, spend some time at Nickelodeon Universe (which will always be Camp Snoopy in my heart <3) and go on the rides! My favorite is the Paul Bunyan Log Chute, because a water ride with a folklore tie-in makes for a happy Crystal! I’ve heard the Sea Life Aquarium is also a hit, although I’ve never checked it out. The Mall of America is also a shopper’s paradise. If you have specific stores you’d like to hit, be sure to check out a mall map, otherwise you can just stroll around and see what you find. Spend the day shopping, grab a bite to eat after and end the visit with a movie at the theater!
2 // Take in the Art Scene One of my favorite things about Minneapolis is its passion for the arts. During the warmer months (and even during winter) you can usually find an art festival or open artist studios to tour. If you enjoy those types of activities, keep an eye out for Art-a-Whirl in May, a weekend devoted to open artist studios! We also have quite a few noteworthy art museums: Minneapolis Institute of Art (my fave--the museum also has a great view of the Minneapolis skyline), the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, and the Walker Art Center with the sculpture garden (where you can see the iconic Cherry and Spoon, although it's currently closed until June 2017) across the street.
4 // Spend Time in St. Paul Minneapolis my favorite of the Twin Cities, but St. Paul is a charming city to visit. It's also the home of one of my favorite museums: the Science Museum. That might sound a little nerdy, but I absolutely love spending time there. Check out their permanent exhibit and look for the mummy. See what special exhibit they have (I've never been disappointed) and check out an Omnitheater show (probably my favorite thing to do there). Other notable activities in St. Paul: visit the state capitol and the Cathedral of St. Paul, tour the James J. Hill House, and check out a Gangster Tour and/or the F. Scott Fitzgerald tour (two things on my St. Paul bucket list).
5 // Minnehaha Falls One of my favorite places in Minneapolis is Minnehaha Falls and it's always a stop that I recommend when I hear that someone's visiting. It's a beautiful sight, no matter when you visit! During the summer you can see the falls in action and walk along the river. The falls are also spectacular during winter when all the water freezes. I've only been there once, but it such a spectacular sight and I'd love to see the frozen falls again!
A big thank you to Olya for letting me write about this city that I’ve grown to love so much. And thank you for taking some time to read through this massive post. I hope it’s piqued your interest in this beautiful and vibrant city!