Anyone who lives here knows that Minneapolis is the best city ever. Minneapolis is awesome, no matter what your interests are, and our not-so-little hidden gem is starting to pop up on every type of “best list” imaginable. Here’s a peek at 20 of the many reasons why we are the best city ever:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Minneapolis has the best park system in the U.S.
With 197 beautiful parks, it's not hard to see why we topped the list for best parks. Did you know that 94% of Minneapolis residents live within 10 minutes of a park? This level of accessibility definitely contributed to our recognition as the 9th best city for recreation!
2. Our bike trails can't be beat.
Forget the "Best of the U.S." lists... Minneapolis was selected as the 6th best cycling city in the whole world in 2016! We have more than 120 miles of bike paths and trails in the city, many of which pass through and connect our lovely parks.
3. Kermit the Frog was wrong... it is EASY to be green.
Minneapolis has consistently been called out for our dedication to going green. Minnesota, as a whole, was rated the 3rd most energy efficient state and the 5th greenest state in 2016. Minneapolis was recognized as the cleanest city in the country by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Minneapolis was also rated the 10th greenest city in the country.
4. Our dining scene is highly underrated.
Foodies, rejoice! Minneapolis has really stepped up its food game over the last few years, and it's finally starting to gain the recognition it deserves. There is a rich, diverse selection of restaurants to choose from, and several of them are owned or operated by one of Minneapolis' four James Beard Award winners.
Food trucks have becoming increasingly popular across the country, and Minneapolis is no exception. In fact, there are 22 food carts per 100,000 people in the city!
5. The city is surrounded by agricultural land... meaning we have some of the freshest food around.
The Minneapolis Farmers Market is pretty darn amazing. The downtown location is closed for the winter, but the Lyndale Market is open year-round and there are hundreds of vendors who come to sell fresh veggies, fruits, and other non-food items. Maybe this is why our restaurant scene is so delicious...
6. We know how to brew great beer.
There's no denying that Minnesota has seen a craft beer boom, and some of the best breweries are right here in Minneapolis. There are dozens of taprooms to try; some of the favorites include Dangerous Man Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co., and Insight Brewing Co., but there are tons of excellent options.
Our brewers did quite well this year at the World Beer Cup. Insight's 'Sunken City' took home a bronze medal for the Belgian-style fruit beer category and Bauhaus Brew Labs' 'Wonderstuff' was awarded bronze in the International-style lager category.
7. Move over, Starbucks. Our coffee rocks.
While we're on the topic of beverages, let's not forget the coffee. Minneapolis was recognized as the 3rd best city for coffee lovers earlier this year.
8. We may love delicious food... but we also know how to stay healthy.
The Midwest may have a reputation for deep-fried-everything at the state fair, but Minneapolitans don't let these tasty temptations outweigh a healthy lifestyle. In fact, Minneapolis was ranked the 2nd fittest city in the nation in 2016 and holds the 8th spot of the list of cities where you will live the longest! According to Runner's World magazine, Minneapolis is the 7th best city for runners in 2016.
9. Seriously... we're really, really healthy
Forbes took a look at the contributing factors to Minneapolis' overall great health and reported that, aside from being one of the earliest metro cities to begin developing bike paths and trails, Minneapolis was also one of the first cities to ban smoking in public areas. Compared to other American cities, we're less likely to have diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and asthma.
Our good health is reflected in many areas of Minneapolis life; we're also ranked the 7th best city for nurses and the 4th best city for your skin... thanks the most dermatologists per capita in the country.
10. We have a diverse culture... and we love it.
We may be smack-dab in the middle of the country, but that doesn't mean we don't have a diverse background. Minneapolis has become a cultural melting pot and the city has the largest Somali population and the only Somali Cultural Museum in the country. Cultural celebrations like the Ceremonia Chalchiuhtlicue (shown here) and many others happen throughout the year.
11. We're an creative bunch.
Our famous Sculpture Garden is an obvious expression of our love of art, but we have tons of epic galleries that bring vibrant colors to our community. The Minneapolis Institute of Art has one of the most comprehensive collections in the world - it includes more than 89,000 pieces that span 20,000 years of history, including everything from classical painters to early human artifacts to modern art masterpieces.
12. We know how to celebrate... and we celebrate everything.
Minneapolis knows how to party, and we have some epic celebrations. Not only have we been rated in the "Top 20 Most Fun Cities" in the country, but Minneapolis has also been named the 2nd best place to celebrate the 4th of July, the 4th best place to celebrate Oktoberfest, and the 12th best spot for New Year's Eve.
Some of our more unique festivities include the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Art Car Parade, Grand Old Day, and MANY others.
13. Brains are beautiful.
Our lovely state has the 10th best school system in the nation and Minneapolis shines as the 15th most educated city in America. The state is also the 4th best for teachers and the University of Minnesota has helped us climb the list to the 6th place spot on the list of "best large college cities." Minneapolis is also considered the 4th best city for young college grads.
14. We're impressively well-read.
Minneapolis consistently has one of the highest literacy rates in the country. We climbed from the 3rd most literate city in 2013 to the #1 top spot in 2015, according to USA Today's annual survey (and St. Paul was ranked 4th!) In fact, in the 12 years that USA Today has surveyed the country, Minneapolis has never ranked lower than 5th!
Access to reading materials is a huge contributor and the shining star in this city is OpenBook - it's the largest literary and book arts center in America!
15. Our smart city brings in some awesome job opportunities.
While some people have overlooked this amazing city, businesses certainly have not. Minneapolis has the 5th highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, as well as tons of others that make this city an excellent place for job-seekers. Minneapolis was ranked the 5th best city to start a career, and the 6th best city to jump into a tech career.
Minnesota took the top spot as the most financially savvy state in 2016 and was 4th on the list for "best states for business" in 2016.
16. Minneapolis pays attention to politics.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, political involvement is important in Minneapolis. Our state is considered the 5th most politically engaged in the nation, and 1st for its inclusive voter accessibility practices. In the 2016 presidential election, the City of Minneapolis reported a 78.91% voter turnout, while the national average was only 58%.
17. We're big supporters of social causes.
Some of the most important issues to Minneapolitans are people-centric. Minnesota is considered the 2nd most charitable state and has the 2nd highest rate of volunteerism. Minneapolis was ranked as one of the top 10 "most forward-thinking" cities, and was voted as the 15th most caring city in the U.S. We're also proud of our twin city - St. Paul ranked as the 10th most caring city!
18. Once you move here, you never want to leave.
Unlike many larger cities, the portion of people choosing to leave Minneapolis is much smaller than the overall influx. In 2015, The Atlantic looked into this curious statistic and suggested that Minneapolis simply has one of the best mixes of opportunities, affordability, and wealth. The highly educated and talented workforce tends to stick around and settle down here.
19. It's a great place to grow up AND to grow old.
Minneapolis is considered a pretty great place, no matter how old you are. In addition to being a great place to be a young college grad, the city is also the 7th safest city in the U.S. and the 17th best city for families. Minnesota, as a whole, is considered the 3rd best state to grow old in, and Minneapolis is ranked the 9th best place to retire.
20. Nothing beats the Minneapolis lifestyle.
Gallup runs an annual "Well-Being Index" poll, and Minneapolis has consistently remained close to the top year after year. The state itself was considered the 2nd happiest overall in 2016, and Minneapolis was rated the 9th best large city to live in and the 15th friendliest city.
While Minneapolis may not hold the #1 spot in every single category, our universally high ranking across tons of different aspects is just proof that we are wonderfully well-rounded!