These Are the Best Things to Do in Minneapolis

Updated 10/11/19
what to do in Minneapolis
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Minneapolis is the ideal summer destination for a ton of reasons. Think Midwestern hospitality, lakeside adventures, and cultural excursions around every corner. Not to mention, the food scene in Minneapolis is hard to beat (you'll see what we mean in a minute). Since we think it should be on everyone's travel bucket list, we made a thorough city guide in collaboration with the most stylish Minneapolis-based bloggers we know: Kate Arends of Wit & Delight and Madelynn Furlong of Wide Eyed Legless.

And while this hit list is perfect for those visiting the city for a weekend, we also know it'll come in handy for locals looking for shopping and dining tips, too. So whether you're stopping by for a few days or you're settled there for good, consider your weekend plans sorted. Scroll through for the best things to do in Minneapolis, as told by two trendsetting Twin City residents.

things to do in Minneapolis
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Where to Eat

best restaurants in Minneapolis
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Alma: This is Arends's favorite restaurant to go to with her husband. "The food is amazing, and the cafe, restaurant, and hotel have the ambience and style of an old European cafe that we keep coming back to." And we can see why just by glancing at the menu. Sweet corn flan followed by seared scallops in coconut milk? Yes, please.

Bachelor Farmer: Located in a converted warehouse that dates back to 1881, this large restaurant can accommodate anyone from a rowdy crowd for drinks in the basement bar (or the private rec room) to a quieter group in the bar upstairs, a casual dinner in the main area, or a formal dining experience in one of the private dining rooms. The menu is updated weekly, so you can expect everything to be incredibly fresh and delicious.

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Spoon and Stable: In an old horse stable built in 1906, this delicious eatery is full of charm, and it's full of happy surprises beyond the ambience and interiors. The menu here focuses on seasonal ingredients available in the Midwest while also taking inspiration from French cuisine. It's owned and operated by James Beard Award–winning chef Gavin Kaysen, so you know you'll be in good hands.

St. Genevieve: "A James Beard Award nominee recently opened St. Genevieve," Arends gushes. "Steven Brown knows how to do food," and the atmosphere of this restaurant enhances the dining experience even more. "St. Genevieve is like stepping into old-time Paris; the French cuisine and the ornate décor are equally decadent, and both the ambiance and the beignets keep me coming back."

Where to Shop

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Shop Mille: This "is one of my favorite local boutiques," says Arends. "It's curated with beautiful clothing and accessories made from every It girl designer from NY to L.A." And the interior design is just as chic as the hip lineup of clothing, accessories, and shoes. Your closet and your Instagram feed will thank you for checking out Mille.

The Foundry Home Goods: Arends describes The Foundry as "a dreamy homeware lover's heaven." It's a "small store tucked in the best part of the North Loop," and it "brings a carefully curated collection of meaningful home goods that will make your space feel cozy and special again."

Martin Patrick 3: Though this spot only carries men's clothing, don't let that deter you. Martin Patrick 3 also has an unbeatable section of home goods that you shouldn't miss while you're in Minneapolis.

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Grethen House: With a couple different locations and concepts, Grethen House is a Minneapolis must-see for anyone who loves shopping. Arends describes it as "one of [her] favorite high-end fashion boutiques in Minneapolis. Offering top collections and styles from American and European designers alike that most other shops in the Twin Cities do not carry."

Giving it another rave review, Furlong says, "I'm not sure where I would be without Grethen House. It is my local Net-a-Porter. It carries most of my favorite designer brands, and luckily for me, it's only a few doors down from where I live." Check out its consignment store, gh2, for more budget-friendly designer goods.

Milkweed Bookstore: "The nation's largest literary art center is right in our backyard. I love that it's directly inside the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, which is a designer's haven for inspiration," Arends tells us. So if you're a bookworm, you'll enjoy perusing the nooks and crannies of this cozy shop.

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Where to Explore

things to do in Minneapolis
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The Monte Carlo: Find a spot at the bar, or pile into a booth to enjoy no-frills cocktails with friends. It's also a great local haunt for burgers, oysters, and fries with the family.

Walk the Lakes: Head to the gorgeous residential neighborhood of Linden Hills, and take a walk around Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and Lake of Isles, which are all connected. Or make a day of it, and pack a picnic to enjoy in one of the surrounding parks as you take in the picturesque lakeside views. If you're traveling with kids, this is the ideal area to explore since there are plenty of low-key activities to do.

Sculpture Garden at The Walker: This is one of the best contemporary art museums in the country. While we love everything about it, our favorite part is the sculpture garden. The scale alone of all the structures adorning the grounds is incredible. You can't miss it.

Harvest Home: Sign up for a floral arrangement class at Harvest Home, and then stay to browse the gardens. You can also plan a private class if you're traveling with a bunch of friends and want to host a fun, educational, and intimate gathering.

Where to Stay

hotels in Minneapolis
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Hewing Hotel: "The new Hewing Hotel is the boutique hotel Minneapolis needed," says Furlong. "While I haven't stayed in the hotel, I have enjoyed many a happy hour at its restaurant, Tulibee, and I'm completely smitten. Think local cuisine and cocktails with a hip, rustic vibe." The cool brick exterior is matched with hip, upscale vibes inside. The interiors feel a bit like an old study fused with a warehouse with exposed brick, metal, and wood.

Alma Hotel: This spot is full of all the charm and excitement you'd expect from a hotel that calls itself an "urban inn." Arends says it's her "favorite place to stay in Minneapolis," and it also happens to be the locale of her favorite restaurant, as we mentioned earlier. So if you stay here as a hotel guest, you should at consider stopping by for a meal.

The Kimpton Grande: Located in the 1912 historic building in the bustling neighborhood of Lyndale, it's a great option if you prefer staying in larger hotels since the others boast boutique vibes.

Tell us: What are your favorite things to do in Minneapolis?

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