Things to do in Minneapolis, MN

My girlfriend and I are driving to Minneapolis on the 21st of this month to visit a friend of hers who lives there. I’m curious if there’s anything I should make a point of doing or seeing while I’m there. Are there any particularly good restaurants we should go to? Are there some music or book stores we should check out?

Mall of America

Minnehaha Park

Good restuarants are: Granite City, Famous Daves, Savories (Stillwater, a little out of the cities)

Barns and Noble, Half-Priced Books…there is a really cool bookstore in Stillwater called “The Book Antiquarian”

Um…that’s all i can think of right now, hope that helps!

I think this is better suited for IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Manny’s in downtown is one of the top rated Steak Houses in the nation, allegedly. The Oceanaire, directly across the hall (they’re in a hotel) is a top flight seafood place.

I’d almost suggest First Avenue as a music venue, but they’re getting old and the place smells like urine these days. Still, it’s a place with some history and the occasional major band passes through. Otherwise try The Fine Line or one of the major night clubs.

Mall of America, aka The Megamall or the Sprawl of America. Shop until you get lost or lose your taste for capitalism.

Majors and Quinn (I think I got that right) is a big used and old book store in the Uptown neighborhood. More cool small shops and ethnic restaurants in walking distance (and Lake Calhoun) than you can shake a stick at.

Bah – Murray’s is just a chain steakhouse; you can find them in many cities.

For a real, unique steak house, go to Murray’s in downtown Minneapolis. A traditional, family-owned, 1930’s style steakhouse. Consider their Silver Butter Knife steak (for two, and there will probably be leftovers).

Also, Minneapolis has quite a bit of Art, if you enjoy that. Consider the Walker (near downtown), the Mpls Institute of Arts (just south of downtown) and the Weismann on the riverbank at the University of Minnesota (and look at the outside, and you can say you have seen the ugliest building in Minneapolis!).

Minneapolis is also a hotbed of live theatre, if you like that. The Guthrie, Childrens Theatre, Theatre in the Round, University Theater, or Mn History Theatre (over in St. Paul) are all good.

They’re showing the Pompeii Exhibit at the Science Museum til jan '08 I believe.

To expand on what t-bonham posted, I just showed a few out-of-town guests some highlights. One thing they wanted to see was the Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicollet Mall. (Corner of Nicollet Avenue and 7th Street.) The friends enjoyed seeing downtown, including the new library.

The Walker Art Center currently has a Picasso exhibit that looks interesting. (I plan to get to it.) The sculpture garden next to the museum is also a nice place to wander. Link

Regarding the Pompeii exhibit, my understanding is that it is the first time a lot of the stuff has been allowed outside of Italy.

Good steak house.

For music, Electric Fetus. If you like SF/Mystery Uncle Hugo’s/Uncle Edgars is in the same (sort of scary) neighborhood (I used to live there, I get to call it scary).

I’d recommend the Minneapolis activity of “walking around the lakes.” Lake of the Isles is a nice walk.
For food, how much do you want to spend and what do you like?

If the weather is nice you can take a tour on a Segway near the stonearch bridge.
In the same area is the Mill City Museum which is new and you can also walk inside and around the grounds of the new Guthrie Theatre which is a pretty cool building with an outside observation deck on a catalever overlooking the mississippi.

Psycho Originals mentioned the sprawl-of-a-merry-cow and Minnehaha park, the nice thing about them is they are both on the rail line, so hit the mall, then hit the park and decompress from capitalism watching the falls.

I tend to visit art museums when I go to other cities, and I must say that the Walker is still one of my favorites. Don’t try to go on a Monday, they’ll be closed.

Thursdays is Farmers Market day on the Nicollet mall right in downtown, if you are staying there. We’re hitting the time of the year that a lot of the stuff is actually locally grown. Don’t tell your girlfriend, but it brings the hot chicks out of the woodwork, so the people watching is good.

A lot of people from out of town go down to the river front to the Mill City Museum. I have no idea if it is interesting or not. Maybe someone can chime in.

Was just there on business. La Belle Vie is a fabulous restaurant - and priced accordingly…

I love my expense account.

Cool! Does anyone know if they offer that in other cities? Chicago uses Segway cops, but I am not aware of civilian tours.

Otherwise, I’m going to have to go to Minneapolis to check it out!

The Walker Art Center is a surprisingly terrific art museum for what I consider a rather podunk city. That Walker dude had a boatload of money and some pretty good taste in art. It’s modern art collection is very good.

Across the street is a really great outdoor sculpture garden. Make sure you go into the greenhouse to check out Frank Gehry’s giant glass fish.

And just across the river is St. Anthony Main, a quaint, cobblestoned block that includes an outdoor exhibit about the history of power generation at St. Anthony Falls. (And free live music outdoors on the weekends).

If you care to go slumming, The Cabooze/The Joint/Whiskey Junction is where the bikers hang out and has a lot of great blues and Deadhead-type live music. Cedar and Riverside, just east of downtown and right on the light rail line.

(I sadly second Chimera’s non-recommendation of First Ave. Unless it’s for a specific band, the place is pretty dead.)

Ha! I grew up 2 blocks from there. They do serve good steaks, but don’t go if the whole party doesn’t want steaks. You get to choose what you want to drink, which of 3 or 4 steaks you want, and how you want it done. The rest is a fixed menu.
The Minneapolis Aquatennial runs July 13-22st. has a list of what’s going on. It’s Minneapolis’ summer party.

edit: to correct dates

I’ll be in MPLS the same weekend as Argent Towers and have reservations at La Belle Vie. Good to know that it’s worthy of the hype. I have to pay for it though. :slight_smile:

-Really? Did You go to New Brighton High?

-There was no New Brighton High.

-Darn. Now I have to kill you.

(John Malkovich from In The Line Of Fire)

Ooh, and avoid the watermelon rind. Gag. (Well, not ‘avoid’, just don’t eat it.)

As for other restaurants, it really depends on your tastes/budget. Take Nicollet Ave from downtown and go south. It’s nicknamed “Eat Street” for a reason. I’ll recommend the Rainbow or Azia for chinese/asian-fusion, Black Forest for German, and Little Tijuana’s for the just-across-the-border greasy mexican food. For something a bit different, try Tryg’s or Chino Latino in Uptown. Top off the night with a ice cream cone at Sebastian Joe’s (Pavarotti flavor is the best).

The main local arts/entertainment rags are City Pages and Vita MN The Twin Cities have the second most theater seats per capita after NYC. So if you like live theater, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking for something more outdoorsy, consider the sculpture gardens (Minneapolis, a tiny one in St Paul, and a good drive to the Franconian Sculpture Garden is a great one). You can also rent a canoe/paddleboat/kayak at Lake Calhoun and explore the chain of lakes in the city. (Apparently there are going to be gondolas this year too).

Why haven’t we had a Twin Cities dopefest, people?