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Much more to Minnie than MOA

Sep 6, 2006  Gay couple who love to travel
4.0 of 5 stars based on 6 votes

See MOA quickly, then see everything else Minneapolis has to offer.

  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Active/Outdoors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Tourists
  • Seasons: Fall
  • 1. Quickie Art Fix

    Minneapoilis has lots to offer in terms of art, but for a quick fix of the regular haunts, be sure to visit the Walker Art Center (both the old and new buildings) and tour the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden right across the street. The Frank Gehry glass fish in the conservatory is incredible - we'd been through the park before, but missed this sculpture. The Garden stand-by includes the Spoonbridge with Cherry, but there are many other interesting bronze and stone sculptures throughout the Gardens. Drive around the neighbourhoods just up the hill from the WAC - very interesting homes (both old and new) in an interesting neighbourhood layout.

    Also check out the Weisman Art Museum on the east campus of U of M. You can walk across the bridge from the West side, or reach the museum from River Road E (I think - we just get in the car & try to find things with our Mapquest maps!). The building is by Frank Gehry. The gallery is small enough (and free) so it does not take up a whole day.

    If you have time for a play, take in one at the New Guthrie. We didn't, but still visited the Theatre and sat out on the Endless Bridge (great view of the stone arch bridge and the river). The mill district around the Theatre is also quite spectacular.

  • 2. The Lakes

    If you can, rent a bike and take in the extensive network of paths and on-street bike lanes. The Midtown Greenway runs from the River to the Lakes and then connects to the paths around the Lakes (Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet). These paths are excellent for walking/riding/running or just grab a bench or piece of grass and people watch, relax, or soak up the sun. Next time we are going to rent a pedal boat or canoe on Lake Calhoun (NE corner). We still enjoyed a nice run on the Midtown Greenway from the Sheraton Midtown (see hotel reviews) down to the Lakes. Spend time on shores of Lake Harriett at the Bandshell or enjoy the amazing popcorn from the canteen.

  • 3. Restaurants

    Great places to eat... there are many options in Minneapolis, but we thoroughly enjoyed:
    ChinoLatino at Lake/Hennepin - amazing menu with lots of choices. Quieter dining may be found downstairs - we had a cozy table in the back corner and it was great. There are also tonnes of other restaurants and shops in the area.

    Cosmos at Graves:601 Hotel - we had an amazing brunch here. The hotel is design-wise very incredible and the restaurant is quite spectacular. My partner is an interior designer and spent most of the brunch talking about the design. Be sure to use the bathrooms before you go - design doesn't end in the lobby or dining room, you know!

    Cue at the New Guthrie is a little bit more expensive than most options, but a great view of the river and an interesting dining space. Take a sweater as the dining room can be chilly (walls of glass tend not to warm a place up).

    The Bad Waitress (26th & Nicollett). Sit down, fill out your own order, take it up to the cash, pay, then the wait staff deliver when its ready - great breakfast and a tasty diner-style dinner.

    French Meadow Bakery (26th and Lyndale) - great dinner - lots of vegetarian and vegan options; also enjoyed just dessert there one night - huge desserts - too much for one!

  • 4. Shopping

    MOA - you almost have to go just to say you've been! If you can, just take the light rail to Mall of America - we drove on a Saturday and it was ridiculous trying to get off the freeway into the mall. Nordstrom is really the only store you cannot find elsewhere in Minneapolis - and for me, its always worth the effort.

    Room & Board at France & 70th - too bad there wasn't one in Canada. This is a great store - even if you don't need new furniture!

    50th & France - closed on Sundays, but we found a great homemade ice cream shop for a delicious rainy day treat.

    Galleria across from Southdale Mall at France & 65th (?) - Tiffany, Restoration Hardware, and many unique shops. The Galleria is a bit dated considering the higher-end stores it houses.

    Nicollett Mall - Neiman Marcus, Off-5th Saks 5th Avenue, and the soon-to-be new Macy's (changing over from Marshall Field's they had tonnes of great deals - Ben Sherman jeans for $17!

    Great wine shop @ Haskell's on 9th, but for really cheap deals, we found a great liquor store on W Lake near Calhoun Square with a huge wine sale - for Canadians there are great deals to be found on California wines!

    Albertville - we stopped here on our way in to Minneapolis. Some pretty good deals and to make up for shopping, you can park your car and walk to all three sections - not that we need to justify shopping! BR and Calvin Klein were our favourites. Limited selection for running clothes for men at Nike.