For decades, the city of Minneapolis has sort of flown under the radar. While the city’s residents understood the merits of how wonderful Minneapolis really is, the rest of the country rarely mentioned it unless it was to mock Minnesotan accents or to make snide remarks about Minneapolis being a frozen tundra. That stops today. Minneapolis has always been the coolest city in the hearts of Minneapolitans, but here are 13 ways it has become the coolest city in the Midwest.
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' art scene is amazing.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest of its kind in the United States and the Spoonbridge and Cherry is a Minneapolis icon. With wonderful museums like the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Weisman Art Museum, and eccentric artists like Scott Seekins, the art in this city adds to its vibrancy.
2. Minneapolis knows how to do craft breweries right.
Minneapolitans love their beer. It started with our love of Grain Belt and has landed with our love of unique craft breweries such as 612 Brew, which was one of the first craft breweries in the Twin Cities, and remains busy in Northeast.
612 Brew is located at 945 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
3. Minneapolis has a ton of cool neighborhoods.
If you're on the trendy side, Uptown, North Loop, and Northeast are the places to be. If you're looking for more of a residential area with flair, Whittier is the perfect neighborhood for you. Quieter residential areas can be found in Kenwood and Linden Hills. Minneapolis truly has a neighborhood for everyone.
4. The Minneapolis music scene.
Could we make a list about Minneapolis being cool without mentioning Prince? Absolutely not. The Purple One loved his hometown and we loved him back. Other great Minneapolis based bands and artists? Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks, Dessa, Lizzo, The Replacements, POS, Husker-Du, and Haley Bonar. It's always been a great time for music in Minneapolis.
5. For those who love the outdoors, Minneapolis has a ton of activities.
Whether it's outdoor art festivals, open streets in Minneapolis neighborhoods, hiking on trails to waterfalls, or just appreciating the beauty of the mighty Mississippi River, Minneapolis is an awesome place for outdoor enthusiasts.
6. Minneapolis is a blossoming food city.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has called Minneapolis an underrated city for its food. He loves the Sample Room in Northeast, but has tried other Twin Cities restaurants with his friend and celebrity chef, the local Andrew Zimmern. Spoon and Stable in North Loop was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in 2015. Minneapolis chefs are doing some incredible things.
Spoon and Stable is located at 211 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401.
7. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis held the first International Cat Video Festival.
Cat videos dominate the internet and apparently can draw in crowds of almost 10,000 people. While the annual festival is now held in the larger space of CHS Field in Saint Paul, the original event took place in Minneapolis and was quite the hit.
8. Minneapolis is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.
City council members like Lisa Bender are always looking for ways to improve bike trails and accessibility in Minneapolis. The heartiest of Minneapolitans even bike through the entire winter.
9. Minneapolis is home to the first Muslim congressperson and the first female Somali legislator.
U.S. Representative Keith Ellison is the first Muslim congressperson and State Representative Ilhan Omar is the first Somali legislator in the country: they are amazing public servants and Minneapolis is so fortunate to have them in office. Minneapolis is by no means a perfect city, but there is an increasing focus on the necessity of diversity in our policymakers and in our lives to make the city the best that it can possibly be.
10. Public transportation is making Minneapolis more accessible.
For years, it was hard to make it around Minneapolis if you didn't have a car. MetroTransit has come a long way with its accessibility, especially with the founding of the Blue Line and Green Line light rail trains. It's becoming increasingly convenient to live in the city and not have a car or pay for the expenses of one.
11. Theater in Minneapolis is out of this world.
The Guthrie is the most predominant theater in Minneapolis, but theaters like Mixed Blood, Children's Theatre, and many others are what bring Minneapolis together with narratives we can all relate to. The city of Minneapolis has more seats per capita than anywhere else in the country outside of New York City.
12. An abundance of jobs in Minneapolis is bringing in a variety of people.
Target, Best Buy, 3M, and General Mills are all huge corporations that have headquarters in the Twin Cities. As each of these corporations expands, it brings more jobs and more opportunities to the city of Minneapolis.
13. Minneapolis has played a major role in LGBTQA communities in this country.
Just before the Stonewall riots, Minneapolis actually had the first LGBT public conference hosted by the Minneapolis founded Fight Repression From Erotic Expression. Minneapolis has also built a community for Two-Spirit natives, was the first city to outlaw discrimination against trans persons in 1975, and the first Pride parade in Minneapolis occurred in 1972 when 50 people marched down Nicollet Avenue.
Minneapolis is undeniably the coolest city in the Midwest, if not the entire country. Those who live here have a million reasons they love the city. What makes Minneapolis cool to you? Let us know in the comments below.