What Is Minneapolis Known For? (19 Things To Discover About The City Of Lakes)

Are you seeking an authentic Minneapolis experience and eager to uncover what the city is known for? Look no further! Welcome to Minneapolis, a vibrant Midwest gem brimming with natural beauty, cultural richness, and a warm, welcoming charm. 

From its iconic lakes and sculptures to its thriving arts, music, and culinary scenes, Minneapolis offers a diverse array of attractions and experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you craving more.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the 19 things that make Minneapolis truly remarkable. Get ready to explore the city’s renowned landmarks, indulge in its mouth watering local cuisine, and immerse yourself in its vibrant cultural tapestry

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will provide you with an insider’s perspective on what makes Minneapolis a must-visit destination.

What is Minneapolis Known For?

Minneapolis is a city that celebrates its unique identity and embraces its distinct characteristics. From its picturesque lakes and scenic parks to its rich artistic heritage and thriving culinary scene, there’s no shortage of experiences that make this city truly special.

1. Spoonbridge and Cherry

Spoonbridge and Cherry

The iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a true embodiment of the city’s artistic spirit

This larger-than-life installation features a massive spoon with a cherry delicately balanced on its tip, creating a whimsical and captivating sight. 

As one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, the Spoonbridge and Cherry serves as a must-see attraction for visitors and a beloved symbol for locals.

2. Mall of America

The Mall of America is a retail paradise and a shopper’s haven. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, just 12 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, this massive shopping complex boasts over 500 stores offering an array of fashion, electronics, home goods, and more. 

Beyond its retail offerings, the mall also features numerous entertainment attractions, including the Nickelodeon Universe® theme park, an aquarium, and a movie theater, making it a destination that offers much more than just shopping.

3. City of Lakes

Minneapolis lives up to its nickname, “City of Lakes,” with more than 20 stunning lakes within its city limits. 

From the popular Lake Harriet and Bde Maka Ska to the picturesque Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake, each body of water offers a unique charm and allure. 

Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreational activities or simply a serene escape, Minneapolis’ lakes provide the perfect backdrop for your urban adventure.

4. Professional Sports Teams

Minneapolis is a haven for sports enthusiasts, with several professional teams representing the city across various leagues. 

The Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and Minnesota Wild (NHL) all call Minneapolis home, igniting the city with their thrilling games and passionate fan bases. 

From the iconic U.S. Bank Stadium to the lively Target Field, these venues provide unforgettable experiences for sports fans of all ages.

5. Art Scene

Art Scene

Minneapolis boasts a vibrant and diverse art scene, with several exceptional museums showcasing a wide range of artistic styles and periods. 

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Walker Art Center, and Weisman Art Museum are just a few of the city’s renowned institutions that offer thought-provoking exhibitions, innovative installations, and a deep appreciation for the arts.

6. Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is an annual extravaganza that draws crowds from near and far. The fair is held in Falcon Heights, just outside of Minneapolis.

It’s renowned for its lively atmosphere, thrilling rides, and agricultural exhibits. You can also enjoy live entertainment and delectable deep-fried delicacies there.

As the second-largest fair in the United States, attracting over 2 million visitors, the Minnesota State Fair is a true celebration of the state’s rich cultural heritage.

7. Skyway System

Minneapolis’ skyway system is a network of enclosed pedestrian bridges that spans over 11 miles, connecting various buildings and allowing people to navigate the city without ever stepping foot outside. 

The elevated walkway system provides shelter from the elements. It’s particularly beneficial during harsh winters. It offers convenient access to shops, restaurants, offices, and entertainment venues, making it an integral part of the city’s urban experience.

8. University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is one of the nation’s top public research universities, offering a diverse range of academic programs across numerous disciplines. 

Beyond its academic offerings, the university’s campus serves as a vibrant hub for cultural events, outdoor activities, and culinary exploration. 

Whether you’re a student, faculty member, or visitor, the University of Minnesota provides a rich and engaging experience.

9. Craft Breweries

Minneapolis is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts, with a thriving brewery scene catering to all tastes. From Fair State Brewing 

The city offers a wide variety of delicious and innovative brews. From Cooperative and Pyres Brewing Company to Falling Knife Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co., and Utepils Brewing.

Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a curious novice, Minneapolis’ craft breweries provide the perfect opportunity to explore the city’s vibrant beer culture.

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What is Minneapolis Known For: Local Food

Minneapolis’ food scene is a culinary delight, with several iconic dishes that have become synonymous with the city.

The local cuisine reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage. It also embodies the warmth of its people, ranging from juicy burgers to comforting casseroles.

10. Jucy Lucy

Jucy Lucy

The Jucy Lucy is a mouthwatering burger that has become a Minneapolis staple. What sets this burger apart is the delicious pocket of melted cheese nestled within its juicy patty. 

The debate over the best Jucy Lucy in Minneapolis rages on. Two iconic establishments, Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club, each boast a loyal following of burger enthusiasts.

11. Tator Tot Hotdish

The tater tot hotdish is a beloved comfort food staple in Minneapolis. It combines ground beef, vegetables, cream of mushroom soup, and a crispy layer of tater tots.

For an elevated twist on this classic dish, try Stray Dog’s unique rendition, featuring fried tots, braised brisket, mushrooms, truffle oil, and brussels sprouts.

What is Minneapolis Known For: Historical Landmarks

Minneapolis is a city steeped in history. It has numerous landmarks that pay tribute to its rich past and serve as reminders of its enduring legacy.

12. Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder nestled within the heart of Minneapolis. This majestic 53-foot waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic trails, offers a serene escape from the urban landscape. 

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful respite or a picturesque backdrop for your photographs, Minnehaha Falls is a must-visit destination.

13. Flour Milling Capital of the World

Minneapolis proudly holds the distinction of being the flour milling capital of the world. The historic mills, such as the Pillsbury and Washburn A Mills, stand as testaments to the city’s rich milling heritage.

They played a significant role in shaping its economy. They established its reputation as a flour milling powerhouse.

Visit the Mill City Museum to explore the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill and learn more about this fascinating chapter of Minneapolis’ history.

14. Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge, constructed between 1882 and 1883, is a remarkable feat of engineering and a beloved landmark in Minneapolis. 

This historic bridge, built with limestone and granite, offers a perfect spot for leisurely walks and bike rides, providing stunning views of the city skyline. 

Take a stroll along the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail to experience this iconic bridge from a unique vantage point.

15. St. Anthony Falls

St. Anthony Falls holds a significant place in Minneapolis’ history and identity. As the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River, this powerful natural wonder served as a catalyst for the city’s development as a milling and industrial hub in the 19th century. Visit the Upper St. 

Anthony Falls Lock and Dam Visitor Center to learn more about the falls and their impact on the city’s evolution.

16. First Avenue

First Avenue, an iconic music venue in downtown Minneapolis, has played an instrumental role in shaping the city’s vibrant music scene. 

This legendary venue has hosted legendary performances by Prince, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and many more, cementing its place in music history. Explore upcoming performances and immerse yourself in the city’s rich musical heritage.

What is Minneapolis Known For: Notable Residents

Minneapolis has been home to many notable figures who have left an indelible mark on the city’s cultural landscape and contributed to its rich tapestry of achievements.

17. Prince

Minneapolis proudly claims Prince as one of its most beloved and influential residents. The legendary musician, known for his eclectic sound and flamboyant style, called Minneapolis home and played a significant role in shaping the city’s vibrant music scene. 

Scattered throughout the city, you’ll discover numerous murals paying tribute to the iconic Prince. They provide the perfect backdrop for capturing memorable selfies. 

For die-hard fans, a tour of Prince’s private estate and production complex, Paisley Park, offers an intimate glimpse into the life of this musical genius.

18. Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the beloved comic strip Peanuts, was an American cartoonist hailing from Minneapolis.

In a tribute to his remarkable contributions, the city of St. Paul showcases over 100 statues of the beloved Peanuts characters. 

The bronze sets, including the one at Landmark Plaza, serve as a delightful reminder of Schulz’s enduring legacy. They also bring joy to generations of readers through his creations.

19. George Floyd

Located at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, there is a public memorial called George Floyd Square.

It honors the life of George Floyd. The memorial serves as a powerful symbol for the importance of Black lives in Minneapolis.

At this moving memorial site, visitors can witness two murals, a fist sculpture adorned with flowers, and handmade signs created by the community, serving as a poignant reminder of the ongoing fight for justice and equality.


What is the best time to visit Minneapolis? 

The best time to visit Minneapolis is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s lakes and parks.

How many days do you need to explore Minneapolis? 

Three to four days is generally sufficient to experience the city’s top attractions, museums, and neighborhoods, but you can easily extend your stay to a week or more to fully immerse yourself in Minneapolis’ offerings.

What is the most popular attraction in Minneapolis? 

The Mall of America is arguably the most popular and well-known attraction in Minneapolis. It draws millions of visitors annually. The mall offers a vast array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Is Minneapolis a walkable city? 

Yes, Minneapolis is considered a walkable city, especially in the downtown area and neighborhoods like the North Loop and Uptown. The city’s skyway system and pedestrian-friendly streets make it easy to explore on foot.

What are some free things to do in Minneapolis? 

Some popular free activities in Minneapolis include visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. You can also stroll along the Stone Arch Bridge and explore the University of Minnesota campus.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Minneapolis is a gem of the Midwest that offers a little something for everyone. It has diverse offerings of art, music, food, shopping, and historical landmarks.

This city is sure to pleasantly surprise you with its plethora of experiences. Don’t let the towering skyscrapers intimidate you.

Navigating Minneapolis is a breeze with its comprehensive public transportation system, including light rail, buses, and bike rentals with dedicated lanes throughout the city.

Embrace the spirit of “Minnesota Nice,” savor every moment of your trip, and let this guide serve as your companion to uncover the best that Minneapolis has to offer.

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