Category: Minnesota
Author: Michael DeFranceschi • Published

[2024] Is Minneapolis Worth Visiting? 5 Reasons You Should Visit!

Minneapolis is an underrated city you should definitely visit this year!
Mural of author in front of a cafe in Brooklyn, New York City.


This is my second article about Minneapolis and my fifth article in my new "Is X Worth Visiting?" series!

Minneapolis-- sometimes called "the Mill City"-- is an underrated midwestern metropolis. It's a city I've been visiting much more in recent months!

Nearly all of Minneapolis's best attractions are within very short driving distance! Alternatively, the city has excellent public transportion options, as you can also use Minneapolis's METRO Blue and Green lines to get around.

The city has some terrific art museums, a robust park full of interesting sculptures, and some stellar murals showcasing the city's legacy in the music industry.

These reasons, combined with two more, will hopefully convince you to visit Minneapolis sometime in 2024!


Is Minneapolis worth visiting in 2024? 5 Reasons You Should Visit!

Minneapolis has a lot of art

The entrance to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a.k.a MIA. Visiting this art museum helps answer the question 'Is Minneapolis worth visiting'.
Entrance to the Minneapolis Institute of Art a.k.a MIA

Minneapolis has plenty of terrific art, whether that comes in the form of art museums, street art, sculptures, statues, or architecture.

A great place to start to get a sample of the art in Minneapolis is the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a.k.a MIA.

Admission to MIA is free!

The museum has three floors. Most of the art is on the second and third floors. Both floors showcase a wide spectrum of art, including but not limited to: Chinese/Japanese, African, Classical Greek & Roman, Impressionism, Modernism, and photography.

On the second floor, the section of the museum to Asian art had some cool partial reconstructions of homes throughout various periods in Chinese and Japanese history.

Exhibit on the second floor of the Minneapolis Institute of Art a.k.a MIA showcasing Asian art. Visiting this art museum helps answer the question 'Is Minneapolis worth visiting'.
Second floor of MIA somewhere in the Asian art section.

On the third floor of MIA, there was a really cool reconstructed salon of wealthy 18th century European homes where the room is mildly illuminated by red light.

The exhibit is entitled 'Music in the Grand Salon'.

Exhibit on the third floor of the Minneapolis Institute of Art aka MIA called 'Music in the Grand Salon'. Visiting this art museum helps answer the question 'Is Minneapolis worth visiting'.
The red/pink hue of this room was really cool.

Another art museum you should at least see the outside of is the Weisman Art Museum, aka WAM. It is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The architecture of WAM is that of deconstructivism design. The exterior of the building itself is a true work of art. The outside is, hands down, the most impressive for an art museum I've ever seen and easily one of the coolest buildings I've seen in the entire country!

Outside of the Weisman Art Museum aka WAM on the campus for the University of Minnesota. Visiting this art museum helps answer the question 'Is Minneapolis worth visiting'.
The outside of the Weisman Art Museum is a real architectural gem.

The inside of the museum? Hmm... honestly, it was subpar. It's only one floor and nothing really inside WAM grabbed my attention all that much. That being said, like MIA, the museum is free to enter.

These next two attractions are right next to each other: Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

I'll first talk about the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Standing outside the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's most famous sculpture, Spoonbridge and Cherry.
The name of this sculpture is 'Spoonbridge and Cherry'.

This public park is free and, wow, there are a lot of incredible sculptures in this park! You may find yourself taking the most pictures here! Rather than write about the sculptures here, let me just show you some of my favorites!

A metallic blue boulder at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
A vibrant metallic blue boulder.
A bell sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Yeah, I didn't touch the bell.

Next to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the Walker Art Center. Unlike the previous three attractions, you do have to pay to explore Walker Art Center. The cost of admission is $18 for an adult ticket.

The art inside Walker Art Center is more modern. Lots of photography.

The outside of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.
The Walker Art Center.

Heading over to downtown is where you'll find murals of Prince and Bob Dylan, as both legendary rock musicians originated from Minneapolis.

Here's one of the murals of Prince in downtown Minneapolis:

A mural of the musician Prince in downtown Minneapolis.
Incredibly tall mural of Prince in downtown Minneapolis.

I used a picture of the Bob Dylan mural for the lead photo of this article. Here's one other shot of the Bob Dylan mural:

A mural of the musician Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis.
Me standing in front of a portion of the Bob Dylan mural in downtown.

Speaking of music, there's another famous mural in downtown called 'the Music Wall'.

A mural of the musician Prince in downtown Minneapolis.
'Music Wall' mural in downtown.

One more! Because you know I love street art:

A mural in downtown Minneapolis entitled 'Baby I'm a Star.
Mural is entitled 'Baby I'm a Star'.

Last, to wrap up the section on art in Minneapolis, there is a fun statue of television star, Mary Tyler Moore.

In the 1970s, Mary Tyler Moore starred in a revered eponymous sitcom which was set in Minneapolis (but filmed in Los Angeles). The final scene of the opening credits has a freeze frame of Moore tossing her hat into the air. The statue captures Moore in that memorable scene.

Statue of actress Mary Tyler Moore in downtown Minneapolis.
The Mary Tyler Moore statue in downtown.

Mill City Museum is a top attraction

Backside entrance to the Mill City Museum near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis.
One of the entrances to the Mill City Museum.

Why is Minneapolis nicknamed 'the Mill City'?

Well, for anyone who loves baked goods, bread, and cereal (so, everyone?), flour is an essential ingredient. For most of the 20th century, Minneapolis was the largest flour milling city in the world.

Detroit was making cars. Minneapolis was making flour.

Backside entrance to the Mill City Museum near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis.
The 8th floor of the Mill City Museum.

The Mill City Museum can only be explored via a guided tour. You are scheduled for a time where you meet in a room called the 'Flour Tower'. You are then seated in a functional freight elevator where you see video footage about working conditions in the mills and Minneapolis's history in the flour industry.

At the end, you are able to walk up or take an elevator to an observation deck where you can get some incredible birdseye views of the Stone Arch Bridge and the city.

View of the Stone Arch Bridge and the city of Minneapolis from the observation deck of the Mill City Museum.
View from the observation deck of the Mill City Museum.

There is a burger restaurant inside the Mill City Museum that's pretty good as well!

Minnehaha Falls is gorgeous

Up close shot of Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, MN.
Me close up to Minnehaha Falls.

In addition to art and some really tall and stunning skyscrapers in downtown, Minneapolis also has a public park with a waterfall! A real treat for a city in the midwestern United States.

Minnehaha Falls is 53 feet tall. You can get a great birdseye view of the waterfall from above when you first enter the park or descend down some stairs and walk on some rocks to get a view really up close!

Birdseye view of Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, MN.
Higher view of Minnehaha Falls.

In addition to see the waterfall, there are long nature trails for those who want to hike, in what the park calls its 'undeveloped areas'.

Minnehaha Falls belongs to the larger Minnehaha Regional Park.

It costs nothing to see Minnehaha Falls.

Mall of America & Nickelodeon Universe

Sign of Mall of America with Nickelodeon Universe in the backgrond.
Mall of America by itself can be reason enough to visit Minneapolis!

Technically, the Mall of America is in Bloomington, not Minneapolis, and thus, is the attraction in this article with the longest commute time. Though, it's still only about 20-25 minutes!

The Mall of America is unlike any other mall in the country you've been to. There is so much to do in Mall of America that it could warrant its own article (something I should write later this year, perhaps!)

The Mall of America has an escape room, mirror maze, LEGO® store, M&Ms store, several large chain sit-in restaurants, any clothing store you could think of, and an amusement park with rollercoasters right in the middle of the mall! And this is not all, believe me!

Inside the Mirror Maze in the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.
Inside the Mirror Maze!

Just $10 for an adult ticket, the Mirror Maze is pretty self-explanatory. The mirrors inside are so clean you can't tell if you're walking into glass or not! You have to navigate your way to end of the maze without touching any mirrors!

To keep the spotlessness of the mirrors, you are given gloves so no fingerprints get on the mirrors!

The maze itself has lots of vibrant colored lights, adding some circus aesthetic!

Second floor of the M&M store in Mall of America where you see candy shaped lights that rapidly change colors.
The candy shaped lights behind me rapidly change colors!

Definitely be sure to check out the M&M store!

The second floor of the M&M store is the best! One of the coolest things you can do is make M&Ms with your picture on them! You'll also see colors and flavors of M&Ms you've never seen sold in retail! I, for one, have never seen black or silver M&Ms!

View of Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America.
View of Nickeoldeon Universe from the third floor in Mall of America.

Albeit the amusement park having a Nickeldeon cartoon theme, Nickeoldeon Universe is just as fun for adults as it is for kids!

There is a separate admission for Nickelodeon Universe. Unlike most other amusement parks, you do not pay a flat fee to enter. You pay based on how many rides you want to go on.

My favorite ride was the Fairly Odd Coaster, inspired by the cartoon The Fairly Oddparents. You sit down and your seat spins clockwise and counterclockwise as you descend down long drops and go through loops and sharp turns! It's a really neat spin (pun intended!) on a traditional rollercoaster!

I could keep going on the Mall of America but let's advance to the final point in this article:

Downtown is so easily walkable

View of Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America.
View of the Skyway System in downtown with Capella Tower in the background.

Downtown Minneapolis is one of my favorite downtowns of any large city in the US. One big reason why is its massive Skyway System. Like Grand Rapids, MI and Des Moines, it makes the city even easier to walk through!

Minneapolis's Skyway spans 9.5 miles covering over 80 blocks of downtown! That is huge! If it's too cold outside (which, in Minneapolis, is guaranteed during winter due to all the lakes!) or raining, you can still explore all of downtown from the comfort the warm indoors!

When exploring downtown, take in the magnificence of the modern architecture of Minneapolis's skyscrapers, like the Capella Tower, Campbell Mithun, US Bank Plaza, and AT&T Tower.

Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis.
This up close shot of Capella Tower made for a great Story on Instagram!

During the warmer months of the year, Midtown Greenway is fun to walk! The path was converted from an old railroad corridor to a 5.5 mile walking and biking path!

Last, here is some news for 2024 about the Stone Arch Bridge. In previous years, the Stone Arch Bridge was one of the best bridges for people to walk on, as cars were not allowed on it.

Starting on April 2024, the bridge will be closed for approximately two years due to repair and renovations.

If you plan on visiting Minneapolis before April, then, yes, definitely go on the Stone Arch Bridge! It takes about an hour or so to walk it. If you visit after, well... I suppose that means in 2026, you can then walk on the bridge!


Is Minneapolis worth visiting in 2024? Yes!

Minneapolis, being my fifth installment of my "Is X Worth Visiting?" series, is my favorite article out of the five thus far! I should probably use more photographs in future entries!

Minneapolis is an underrated city and one I feel people should make a point to check out sometime in 2024! From its art scene to its super easily walkable downtown and all the attractions being so close, Minneapolis is very much worth visiting this year!

If you enjoyed this article, I really hope I've inspired you to book a ticket and check out the Mill City sometime this year! For the other articles in the "Is X Worth Visiting" series, be sure to check out Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Detroit, and Salt Lake City!

Thank you so much for reading!

Thank you for reading! Like... seriously. So many people just skim sh*t and don't read anything past the headline. You're one of the good ones!

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