The human history of the Twin Cities dates back to over 12,000 years. Today, Minneapolis and St. Paul form a bustling metropolis filled with parks, restaurants, and some of most vibrant diaspora communities in the United States.
On your next trip to Minneapolis–St. Paul, use this guide to explore all the city has to offer.
Where to eat
The Jucy Lucy, a molten cheese–stuffed hamburger from Matt’s Bar & Grill, is a must. So are reservations at Owamni, if you can get them. Minneapolis’s newest food hall, Eat Street Crossing, serves sushi sandwiches and Brazilian pizza. Travelers can peruse the stands at the always bustling HmongTown Marketplace in St. Paul or snack on sambusas at Karmel Mall, the first and largest Somali shopping center in the U.S. Nearby, at Quruxlow, settle in for a hearty spread of beef suqaar, spiced rice, and banana. The cardamom- and ginger-heavy milk tea is the perfect finish.
Where to shop
Scour the shelves at century-old Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace for lingonberry preserves and Norwegian Hardanger embroidery kits. Birchbark Books, owned by Pulitzer Prize–winning local author and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa member Louise Erdrich, specializes in titles by Indigenous writers. Head to 24 Somali Mall for scores of silk scarves. XIA Gallery & Cafe in St. Paul’s Little Mekong district stocks jewelry, prints, and more by Hmong and other Asian American makers.
What to do
Tour the museums—big (Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center) and small (the Museum of Russian Art, Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery). The Norway House and Danish American Center host events inspired by their respective diaspora communities, while the Somali Museum of Minnesota houses upwards of 700 artifacts, including a full-scale reproduction of a nomadic hut. If you visit during the warmer months, get yourself on or near some water: Rent a kayak from Mississippi River Paddle Share, cycle your way around the scenic Chain of Lakes, or go for a stroll through Lyndale Park Rose Garden, a horticulturalist’s heaven bordering Lake Harriet. In the winter, ice fishing and crosscountry skiing take over, and you’ll have no shortage of cold-weather festivals (The Great Northern, Art Shanty Projects, and others).
Where to stay
Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis
Location: 245 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis | Find on Google Maps
Book now: From $360 per night
In summer 2022, Minnesota welcomed its first five-star property, Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis. Local flourishes abound, from the regionally stitched Faribault blankets draped over elegant sofas in the suites to the sculptural installations livening up the spa (the handiwork of local ceramicist Juliane Shibata). Mara Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s Mediterranean eatery from chef Gavin Kaysen, is an indulgent treat.
Location: 300 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis | Find on Google Maps
Book now: From $230 per night
The boutique 124-room Hewing Hotel is located in the heart of Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood. Part of the Aparium hotel group, which prides itself on celebrating local communities, the common rooms are adorned with paintings and decor created by artists living in the area. The on-site restaurant Tullibee offers Scandinavian-inspired fare; the Nordic influences continue to the rooftop, which features a sauna.