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. That "Minnesota Nice" stereotype? It's totally true, even in the big city.
The Midwest is famously nice (which is pretty much the best stereotype ever), but big metro cities can sometimes bring out bad attitudes... unless you are in Minneapolis. Whether it's saying hello to strangers that pass on the sidewalk or helping others out, even when you aren't obligated to do so, Minneapolitans are a friendly bunch. Even when we don't like something, we express our opinions in the nicest possible way.
2. What the heck are "snow days?"
Non-Minnesotans shudder at the thought of our notoriously harsh winters, but we're actually proud of our ability to survive even the coldest of days. We're way stronger than the snow (and smarter too - just look at our epic world record-holding 11-mile-long skyway system!) and a little bit of chilly weather isn't going to stop us from living life and having fun. As my mother always said, "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing"... and you better believe we're still stylish under 6-8 layers.
3. We truly don't understand why other people stay indoors during the winter... there are so many fun activities!
Why would anyone ever pass up a beautiful day of skiing or snowshoeing??
4. We may joke about having only two seasons, "winter" and "construction," but Minneapolis actually has distinct seasons.
Winter just happens to be twice as long as the others. Sure, Spring can be a little confusing (and sometimes does get skipped entirely), but our hot summers make days at the lake super refreshing and the fall foliage in Minneapolis is absolutely breathtaking.
5. Summer Days = Lake Days
Photo: © Meg Archer
Trips to the cabin are a weekend ritual and everyone knows days at the lake are the best. Summers here can be just as hot as the winters are cold, but there is nothing quite as refreshing as taking a running leap off of the dock and diving into the beautiful, clear waters of our famous lakes.
We're pretty lucky here; most major metro cities are situated so that a true "getaway" takes a ton of time and effort, but with so many lakes in and around Minneapolis, a relaxing escape is totally possible as a quick trip. When you just need a day away from the hustle and bustle of city life, nothing beats a day on the cabin. Personally, we like to spend our lake time sitting in a floatie ring with a book and a beer (pro tip: loop a string from your tube to the dock so you don't drift away), but wakeboarding, lawn games, and bonfires are all pretty awesome too.
6. Sunsets are doubly awesome over a lake.
You can see a pretty sunset just about anywhere, but the sunsets here are just more spectacular when you get double the colors from the reflection on the water.
7. Boating is pretty much a required activity.
There's one boat for every six people in Minnesota, (making it the highest per capita in the country), so even if you don't personally own a boat, you definitely know someone who does. There are 13 lakes within city limits, so whether you're sailing, fishing, or just relaxing on a pontoon, there's no excuse not to spend time on the water.
8. You get used to biking everywhere.
While we have a top-notch metro system, biking is undoubtedly the best way to travel. In fact, more than 10,000 Minneapolitans hit the bike paths every single day!
9. "Farm-to-Table" dining is standard, not some new "food movement."
When you are surrounded by some of the richest agricultural land in the country, there's no excuse NOT to include farm-fresh everything in your meals. Even the tiniest little hole-in-the-wall restaurants can boast about locally-sourced dishes and you won't find a fine dining spot in the city that doesn't incorporate the freshest ingredients available. The farmers markets in Minneapolis blow visitors away, but for us, this is just another grocery trip.
Even if you can't find it at the farmers market, there's probably a u-pick farm or an epic roadside farm stand within driving distance.
10. We are truly spoiled by our amazing parks.
When visiting another city, we can't help but think "where's the green space?" With 194 parks within city limits, 94% of Minneapolis residents live within 10 minutes of a park. It's no wonder our park system has won multiple "Best In The U.S." awards.
11. There are no fair-weather fans here.
It doesn't matter how many times the Vikings break our hearts... we still bleed purple and gold. We're loyal to our teams, even on their worst days. Luckily, the Twins have a better record when it comes to championship wins, but we support all of our teams, no matter how rough the season is.
12. Minneapolis makes you a beer snob.
Just admit it: being surrounded by so many amazing craft breweries ruins your tolerance for bad beer. Whether you favor Surly, Fulton, or one of the other fantastic microbreweries in the city, beer-lovers know our brews can't be beat. In true Minnesotan fashion, we would never brag about having the best beer ever, but we all know we do... and so do some of the world's snobbiest beer snobs! Minneapolis breweries routinely bring home medals from the World Beer Cup. Back in 2014, Steel Toe Brewing Company's Wee Heavy took home a gold medal for the best Scotch Ale. In 2016, Insight Brewing's Sunken City won bronze in the Belgian-Style Fruit Beer category and the Wonderstuff Pilsner from Bauhaus Brew Labs snagged a bronze in the International-Style Lager category. There are undoubtedly more awards in our future.
13. But let's be honest, we'll always have a soft spot for Grain Belt Premium.
It may not be the most highbrow of brews, but even the cheap beer is better here. The Grain Belt sign is an icon, and even our beer promotes the "Minnesota Nice" attitude with the tagline "The Friendly Beer."
14. You've also become a food snob.
You can deny being a "foodie" all you want, but this one sneaks up on you. Minneapolis is seriously underrated when it comes to amazing food, but this city is home to 4 James Beard Award winners, a super culturally diverse population, and 22 food trucks for every 100,000 people. It's hard NOT to eat great food here. If you just can't stand the "foodie" title, just think of it as having REALLY high standards for what you eat.
15. The Juicy Lucy makes all other burgers look pitiful.
Everyone knows that cheese makes everything better, so when Minneapolis invented this brilliant cheese-stuffed burger, all others just became sub-par. Just look at this thing... we're getting hungry just thinking about it!
16. You know that ANYTHING can be served on a stick.
For most people, food-on-a-stick is reserved for corndogs at the ballpark and a rare deep-fried Twinkie at the fair, but we've proven that there are absolutely no limits for what can be served on a stick. While our epic State Fair is famous for its creative food-on-a-stick items, there are plenty of restaurants and food carts in Minneapolis that serve up skewered foods all year round. Outsiders just don't get it, but we just don't need to bother with unnecessary utensils and the stick keeps our hands clean. See? It's not so silly after all.
17. Coffee. Really good coffee.
You haven't truly lived until you've enjoyed a nice hot cup of coffee from one of Minneapolis' ubiquitous little bakeries and cafes. You'll never be able to drink Folgers again.
18. Even our larger coffee chains are better than anyone else's.
We'll take Caribou over Starbucks any day.
19. Being a landlocked Midwestern state has its perks: we can fly pretty much anywhere in the continental U.S. in 3 hours or less.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport was even voted the 3rd "favorite airport" in the country!
20. You know that the best comfort food in the world is definitely hot dish.
If you live here, you have definitely eaten hot dish. If you haven't, we question how you have survived this long without it. No potluck, after-church gathering, or party would be complete without it. Hot Dish is a universal childhood memory for anyone who grew up here, and while it is traditionally made with canned veggies and condensed soup, even some of our fancier restaurants have found a way to elevate this iconic Midwestern comfort food with creative ingredients... but we all know that nobody makes it quite like mom.
21. Bars. All of the bars.
No, not the late-night, beer-drenched ones (although we have plenty of those as well), the ooey-gooey, cavity-inducing, heavenly kind that you just can't help having seconds of. If you live here, you probably have at least 5 different recipes for "magic cookie bars," "peanut butter bars," and "7-layer bars" hanging around. Bars are a staple at pretty much any celebration or gathering around here, but it's one of those foods that just doesn't get the same level of attention anywhere else. We have no idea why... people who have yet to embrace the bar as the best dessert ever are seriously missing out.
22. You will always get a bite of the pie.
Our superbly friendly nature means that you are practically guaranteed to get a taste of any treat, no matter how many people are sharing it. We absolutely refuse to take the last bite of anything and will split things into infinitesimally small pieces, just to make sure there's enough for everyone. It's quirky, but this just goes to show how sweet we are!
We really couldn’t be prouder of our hometown. Minneapolis is amazing, and even though there will always be a few rough days mixed in no matter where you live, the good days here outweigh them so tremendously that it’s impossible not to love this city. We’re proud to call this place home!