Get Outside in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Collected by Susan Mason , AFAR Local Expert
With parks, lakes, and riverbanks, the Twin Cities are a hub for outdoor sports and activities, no matter the season.
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Thanks to smart city planning in the early stages of the Twin Cities' development, the government bought up the land connecting Minneapolis's major lakes and the Mississippi River to create a 50-mile loop of parks, trails, and outdoors recreation...
Minneapolis, MN, USA
With over 20 lakes, Minneapolis is truly a water city—which is roughly what its name means in the Dakota language of the area's original American Indian inhabitants. The 1555-acre Chain of Lakes district highlights the best of this water-filled...
Bde Maka Ska, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Lake Calhoun is circled by nearly 3.5 miles of walking and biking trails that lead to an even longer set of trails that connect Lakes Isles and Harriet. As the largest of Minneapolis’s Chain of Lakes, Lake Calhoun is the center of water and land...
St Paul, MN, USA
Six out of what was once at least 16 Native American burial mounds remain preserved atop the bluffs overlooking St. Paul and the Mississippi River. These sites, 1,500–2,000 years old, are thought to have been built by the Hopewellians and then...
Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA
Minnehaha Park is a serene 193-acre green space along the Mississippi River that features a 53-foot waterfall. During the winter, the falls turn to ice, making for a dramatic landscape. With a restaurant on site, bandshell, playground, wading...
100 Washington Square, 100 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA
The Nice Ride bike rental service makes getting around Minneapolis easy and cheap. Bike stations are scattered throughout town, so you can hop on and off shared bikes as you travel, using bike lanes, boulevards, and dedicated paths and bridges.
1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103, USA
Peaceful. Relaxing. Green. Tropical palms of all shapes and sizes rule in the Palm Dome at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. "Wow" and "Oh my god" escape my lips a lot each time I visit this mammoth glass enclosure—some trees have leaves big enough...
100 Portland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA
This former railroad bridge, built across the Mississippi River in the 1880s, is now a pedestrian and bike path perfect for strolling between parks. With panoramic views of the downtown skyline, river, and St. Anthony Falls, Stone Arch Bridge is a...
221 5th St E, St Paul, MN 55101, USA
Mears Park, cornered on four sides by vintage and modern buildings, is an example of a beautifully designed block of urban park rescued from years of neglect. Sit under birch trees next to a rushing stream and forget you are in the city. Or take a...
30 N Mississippi River Blvd, St Paul, MN 55104, USA
Dangle your legs of this cliff's edge, if you dare. I didn't, but the view of the mighty Mississippi River from Shadow Falls Park was still spectacular. This is a quiet place for a small picnic—or for contemplating life. Once you've had your fill...
Twin Cities, MN, USA
The river roads along the Mississippi offer great views. This is from the St. Paul side, looking at the Minneapolis skyline. Biking options in the Twin Cities are plentiful. Bike the lakes in Minneapolis, or the Great River Rounds, or visit any of...
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