Road Trip: Your Guide to Summer Adventures in Minneapolis | KCUR 89.3
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Minneapolis, Minnesota, located about six hours north of Kansas City, offers an abundance of places to explore. It is a destination for public art, multicultural excursions, and scenic outdoor activities in lakes and parks.
This Upper Midwestern city is also teeming with cultural diversity and vibrant neighborhoods. Adventurers will find trendy shops and boutiques, nearby day trips, and vibrant areas of town to eat, drink, and even enjoy a game of balls at the downtown stadium.
A quick travel note: contact restaurants and bars in advance to make reservations and confirm current COVID-19 policies. Many establishments automatically include a service charge on the invoice instead of tips in order to pay staff living wages.
Stunning public art
Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are A-Changin ‘” is an iconic reminder that the world around us continues to change with each generation. The song title appears in Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra mural and tribute to Bob Dylan—Located at 5th and avenue Hennepin.
Kobra, who grew up as a young street artist in a low-income neighborhood in São Paulo, has become an acclaimed artist with projects located around the world. This mural covers a 160-foot, five-story building facade, capturing Dylan’s face through three stages of his career.
Prince fans can see two murals by the singular artist, whose career originated in Minneapolis. Located in the dynamic North Loop, a fresco painted by Los Angeles artist Jonas Never captures Prince’s “Purple Rain” vibe. You can find it at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, located at 424 N. Washington Avenue.
A one-story mural created by rock artist “Cyfi” Martinez also represents The Prince of Funk at 26th Street and Hennepin Avenue. Dedicated fans can indulge in a the entire itinerary of the self-guided tour and visit Prince’s Life Touchstones located throughout the city.
the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden brings together an abundance of public art as a free outdoor experience open year-round from 6 a.m. to midnight. Check menu and Web application, then stroll among large-scale sculptures, including “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen; “Love” by Robert Indiana; Ultramarine blue Katharina Fritsch “Hahn (Rooster)”; and Henry Moore’s “Reclining Mother and Child”. Art lovers can also explore the surroundings Walker Art Center exhibitions.
the Loring Park Arts Festival (July 31-August 1) is an opportunity to stroll among the artists’ stands while being surrounded by picturesque ponds and French gardens. Created by artists, for artists, the festival features the work of 140 artists, music, food, beer garden by Brewery of the lake and legends and entertainment. Enjoy kebabs, Tibetan momos, ice cream, short ribs, tacos and more while enjoying a feast for the eyes.
Neighborhoods for eating, drinking and shopping
The Northeastern District of Minneapolis is home to some very creative places like Betty Danger’s Animal Farm, a restaurant and lounge bar that combines a carnival atmosphere with ironic influences from George Orwell’s novels “Animal Farm” and “1984”. It’s weird, delicious, and quirky, and has an outdoor patio filled with a Ferris wheel and open-air dining cars, life-size animal figures and pro-animal propaganda.
Hai Hai is a popular spot for Southeast Asian street food. The name translates to “two two” in Vietnamese, a reference to the building’s ancient history as a dive bar and strip club. Hai Hai chef Christina Nguyen (James Beard finalist for best chef 2019 and 2020) prepares a range of dishes such as adobo pork ribs, water fern cakes, banana flower salad with chicken and glutinous rice from Hanoi.
Treat yourself with a cup of tea at Spy house cafe, which has several locations around town. The Northeast Cafe, built in a restored brick and lumber warehouse, houses their roasting facility and is tucked away in the area’s arts district.
Dangerous man stirring is in the old NE Bank building, giving the space a rugged feel. The interior, which still houses a bank safe, showcases local artwork that infuses the space with a creative, community-driven atmosphere. Craft beer lovers flock to this destination brewery and tasting room, where chilled beers in small batches are in the spotlight. Reservations recommended.
Enter in I like you for independent arts and crafts made by manufacturers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Pick up T-shirts, candles, soaps, jewelry, stickers and more for a trendy and authentic keepsake with a local twist.
Elsewhere, the AKA North Loop Warehouse District offers contemporary shops and restaurants. Avant-garde trendsetters will find their way to D. Nolo, a retail co-op of women’s clothing, home furnishings and branded candy from bumbershute, Jaxon Gray and family. MartinPatrick3 is a boutique of elegant clothing and home furnishings.
Before the game or between sightseeing and shopping, grab a bite to eat, beer or seltzer water at the Fulton Brewing Taproom. Don’t neglect the exquisite progressive mousse Modiste Brewery, not bound by traditional beer styles.
Dive into coastal fare at a laid-back food truck restaurant Smack Shack where lobster and shellfish reign supreme. End the evening with a cocktail at the downstairs bar Parlor or luxury Rooftop lounge at the Hewing Hotel for an urban view while sipping an artisan cocktail.
Parks and recreation
Lush greenery, spacious parks, waterways and miles of well-designed trails shape the soul of Minneapolis as much as its urban architecture.
the Mississippi River crosses downtown Minneapolis, and 22 lakes within city limits introduce many ways to enjoy water. Residents and tourists can easily get on a bicycle, go for a walk, jog, or stroll along the trails that connect the different neighborhoods and neighborhoods of the city.
Use the Nice bike ride to share program to rent a bike and ride the city trails. Paddle sharing makes it easy to rent a kayak so you can paddle 3 to 8 miles downstream routes. Islands Lake Park, part of the chain of lakes, offers walking and biking trails, a dog park, a fishing pier and more. Take a walk along the river, then grab a pizza and a beer at Prye Brewery a dog-friendly beer garden or a spacious tasting room.
Discover a 53 feet cascade and limestone cliffs at Minnehaha Regional Park. History buffs can investigate John H. Stevens House Museum, the birthplace of Minneapolis and Hennepin County, located in the park.
After a long day of adventures, treat yourself to a bite at Sea salt restaurant. This seafood restaurant serves fried fish, fish tacos, crab cakes, ceviche, po’boys, craft beer, and other drinks to quench your thirst.
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