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Step Outside in Minneapolis

Image via Flickr by m01229

Think Minneapolis is the city of the Mall of America and brutal winters? Think again! I’ve recently learned about the city’s great natural beauty, and I’d love to share it with you. If you’re traveling to the city but want to step out of the urban area and get in touch with your green side, read ahead.

Minneapolis holds a wealth of parks, lakes and rivers, including the Chain of Lakes and Mississippi River, to name just two. Catch the city any time of year if you’re up for the cold, but late spring through fall is your best bet. This is your city to get outdoors, whatever that means to you. First, check out the best hotels in the city and make your reservations using my favorite tool, and then keep reading for the best outdoor activities to explore during your stay in Minneapolis.

Walks and Bike Rides

Image via Flickr by Jo Naylor

  • Milwaukee Avenue: Head to this historic and picturesque street to enjoy old homes and charming views. As an added bonus, only foot and bike traffic are allowed here.
  • West River Parkway: This is one of the best spots to bike in town. Take this route that runs along the road and the Mississippi River.
  • Loring Park: This urban park offers quaint walks with a beautiful lake and public art displays. Don’t miss the Dandelion Fountain.

Traveler’s Tip: The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation site is full of great info on parks and outdoor activities.

Nature Parks and Waterfalls 

Image via Flickr by avisualstudy

  • Minnehaha Park and Minnehaha Falls: When in Minneapolis, you can’t miss a visit to the Minnehaha Park. Take a stroll around the park and be sure to see the waterfalls. Even better, catch it in the fall when the leaves change colors. Check out Sea Salt Eatery, the park’s seafood hotspot, which is open April through October.
  • Theodore Wirth Park: At 700 acres, this is the largest park in the city’s system. Escape from urban vibes and enjoy diverse plant life and an urban forest. While you’re here, don’t miss the Eloïse Butler Wildflower Sanctuary.

Lakes and Rivers

Image via Flickr by Hanjeanwat

  • Lake Calhoun: This is a classic stop in Minneapolis. Rent paddleboards and discover the Chain of Lakes on your own.
  • Lake Harriet: Outside of Lake Calhoun, you’ll find this darling lake, a park full of trails, a bandshell with a summer concert series, and beautiful homes.
  • Mississippi River: Take a ride down the Mississippi River on a rented kayak and take in the city’s skyline.

For the Not-So-Fond of Nature 

  • Movies on the Lawn: Enjoy an evening under the stars and watch a great flick. Check out the summer movie series that the city offers.
  • Rooftop Drinking: Enjoy the many rooftop bars in Minneapolis. There’s no better way to wind down from a day outdoors than with a great drink at one of the best rooftop bars in the city.

What are you waiting for? Happy planning!


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