Sunday, September 23, 2012

Minneapolis: A City by the River

I’m a Minnesotan, always have been, always will be at heart, no matter where I end up living in the world. And Minneapolis is one of those cities that makes me proud to be a Minnesotan - it’s arts, culture, food, biking trails, river and kind people continue to draw me back to Minneapolis, several years after I moved away.

A few weeks ago, I spent a day wandering around Minneapolis with an old college friend, Melissa. With a few plans for the day, and room for lots of spontaneous plans to add to our day, we set off from the suburbs into downtown Minneapolis.

We parked near the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. I highly recommend the Guthrie Theatre, which has many excellent productions performed there each year.

Then, we headed over to the Mill City Farmer’s Market, just next door to the Guthrie, to tour the farmer’s market, just as the sellers were packing up their stands at the end of the morning. We smelled fresh lavender, sampled bee lotion and lip balm, checked out fresh, colorful produce, and bought some fresh pastries.

Then we stopped nearby at the Mill City Museum, located where a large flour mill once stood. Minneapolis’ Mill District by the Mississippi River is named after all the flour mills that used to line the river.

Walking along the river, we walked past many buildings that used to be mills in the past, many of which have been remodeled into high-rise condo or loft buildings with amazing views of the Mississippi River.

After a walk across the Stone Arch Bridge, which was busy with walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers, we found ourselves in St. Anthony Main, an area along the river in Minneapolis with cafes, restaurants, theatres and more.

We stopped and had drinks (some really good berry cocktails) and cheese flights (yum!) at the Aster Café. It was a beautiful day, so we relaxed out on the patio. The food and drinks were excellent. I thought it was great that the café allowed people to bring their dogs into the patio area- a couple collies nearby looked content lying under their owners’ table.

Later, on the way back to the car, we took a quick stop at the Guthrie Theater, which offers some great restaurants and areas to sit, as well as a fantastic lookout of the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge. As the lobby areas are public spaces, anyone can come and enjoy these spaces.

We took a quick trip over to St. Paul later on, to finish off our day. We visited friends in St. Paul, did a little shopping and ate dinner along the popular shopping street Grand Avenue in St. Paul, and ended our day with some dessert at Café Latte, one of the best places to get dessert in St. Paul. What a fun day!

*Photos courtesy of Melissa Johnson