Nineteen years of being 200 miles north of Minneapolis didn’t give me a well-rounded image of what the Twin Cities really has to offer both locals and travelers. Any trip south of Duluth to Blaine or Bloomington, I remember embracing the smell of grass on my soccer cleats while eating Chinese takeout and drinking Caribou Coffee. I have vivid memories of carrying my luggage through the MSP airport after saying goodbye to my parents for the next semester in college. I recall walking twenty kilometers around the Mall of America, eating in the rainforest, and walking through an underwater tunnel. Even with all these recollections, I didn’t pick up on some of the most glorious attributes of the Twin Cities. Luckily, I’ve gotten to know my city of residence better these past thirteen months and they deserve to be talked about.
Art and Music Culture
A field trip in high school introduced me to The Minneapolis Institute of Art and the art gallery scene. While I was young and impressionable, I figured there were one or two art galleries in the area. Little did I know, Minneapolis is a massive hub for artists, galleries, and even graffiti art. Minneapolis is a city of visual appeal and endless artistic possibilities including music. Notable artists rose to fame in the outskirts of Minneapolis including the original owner of Paisley Park. I’m sad I didn’t get to see Prince perform live before his death in 2016 but touring his incredible studio was amazing, to say the least. Speaking of structures, visitors can experience historic tourism spread throughout the city. There are tours available to view cathedrals, theaters, mansions, and even the state capital in the nearby city of St. Paul.
I mentioned before I would visit Minneapolis and its suburbs as an adolescent for athletic reasons. I normally came to play a soccer game on summer evenings and would leave the same night. I had no idea that Minneapolis took such great care to incorporate natural habitats in the city limits. The city alone hosts 180 parks and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy. Even in the winter months, the paths are groomed for walkers, bikers can make their way through the snow, and winter sports commence on the lakes such as snow windsurfing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and cross country or downhill skiing. In other months, people lounge on sandy beaches, kayak or canoe, slackline, beach volleyball, a bike ride through connecting parks, and rollerblade.
You can rent a space for your kayak to be stored all year round. Minneapolis Recreation and Park services offer 542 kayak storage racks for an annual fee of $300 or more depending on your residency. The convenience of the kayak storage sitting on the lake’s edge makes it easy to slip into the water and paddle away into the chain of lakes that await you on your journey. I first tried kayaking when I was a Brownie in Girl Scouts and again while attending university but I didn’t really make it a hobby until last summer. It’s a wonderful way to get out in nature and let go of stress.
For Minneapolis locals or frequent visitors, did I miss anything that you find unique to this beautiful city? Comment below and let me know!
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