Last updated: 11:39 AM ET, Mon September 26 2022
Downtown Minneapolis Skyline - Sunset (photo via Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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A view of the Minneapolis skyline during the peak of color in the Fall from Plymouth, Minnesota. This image was captured right at sunset. The city of Golden Valley and highway 55 appear in the foreground. (photo via rasilja / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
PHOTO: A view of the Minneapolis skyline during the fall. (photo via rasilja / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The larger of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is an intelligent and artistic metropolis brimming with diversity and cultural entertainment. You can’t go far without walking past a gallery, theater or music venue in town, and you’re in the right place if finding the perfect bite to eat or great bar to catch a game at tops your to-do list. With nearly 1,000 lakes and plenty of green space lying within the metro area, outdoor recreation, including boating, biking, hiking and camping, is readily accessible. Kid-friendly and clean, Minneapolis will exceed the expectations of any visitor.

Minneapolis has several dynamic districts and neighborhoods which offer premiere areas to both live and visit. The Riverfront District is a historic section of the city with an eclectic collection of parks, dining options, cultural venues and shopping -- all with the beautiful St. Anthony Falls as a scenic backdrop. Visitors can take a historical Segway tour along the riverfront, check out the famed Guthrie Theater or chill out at a sidewalk café. Historic Fort Snelling would make a perfect trip for Independence Day, where tourists can learn how Americans celebrated the holiday as far back as two centuries ago. The Arts District is a unique corner of the city with a richly diverse population and a focus on everything art. Regularly scheduled studio and gallery crawls allow art admirers to view some of the best the city has to offer. First Thursday -- held on the first Thursday of every month -- is when many local artists and artisans open up their studios and greet visitors.

The Lake Street district is the buzzing section of town that offers over 100 restaurants offering cuisine ranging from Greek and Mexican, to Vietnamese. Shopping is also king on Lake Street, where complete days are being spent shopping at the Midtown Global Market, Calhoun Square, Mercado Central and the seasonal Midtown Farmers’ Market. Located on the Southern edge of downtown Minneapolis, Loring Park offers a slew of activities from outdoor cultural parks, like the Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center, to entertainment venues, such as the Loring Playhouse and Music Box Theatre.

The range of restaurants and cuisine is just as diverse as the many assorted communities with Minneapolis. Serving up the best cuisine from each region of the United States, Manny’s Steakhouse is a traditional American fish and chop house, with specialties like Alaskan king crab legs, stone crab claws and dry-aged, center-cut beef, hand trimmed by master butchers. For an extraordinary French-inspired dining experience, Spoon & Stable is an upscale hotspot where the cuisine is focused on the seasonality of the Midwest and the roots of local culture with a French twist. Hai Hai offers no-frills Vietnamese fare that is some of the best in the area. For some of the best Old European and German influenced cuisine, the Black Forest Inn serves up homemade and delicious schnitzel, sauerbraten and strudel.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is the city’s main domestic and international gateway and is conveniently located near downtown in Hennepin County. Divided into quadrants and organized in a grid system, Minneapolis is a fairly navigable large city. The city offers several public transportation options, such as the Light Rail Transit, which serves the downtown area, as well as multiple destinations within the metropolitan region. This is the easiest mode of transportation and is recommended to first-time visitors. The city also has several public bus routes within the Metro Transit, and the Trip Planner can help create concise travel itineraries within the town. Walking and biking, especially along the many lakes, parks and centralized downtown areas is another great way to see and get around the Minneapolis.

Characterized as having a humid continental climate, Minneapolis has four distinct seasons, with winter being the longest and most severe. January is the coldest month and has an average temperature of 22° F (-5.6° C) and can often feel colder due to wind chill. The average annual snowfall, which can happen from November through April, is 43.4 inches. The average high temperature for July is around 84° F (28.8° C), but typically remains in the mid-70s. The best time to visit Minneapolis is during the spring and summer months, when both urban and outdoor activities can be enjoyed.