11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Minneapolis
Minneapolis and St Paul, the Twin Cities on the upper course of the Mississippi, together form the largest city in Minnesota. Minneapolis is the quintessence of the glistening modern American city. The city has extensive parks and green spaces, and is also the commercial centre of one of the largest farming areas in the United States.
The city grew out of two mills built at the St Anthony Falls in 1847. Although this was Indian country, other settlements soon followed, and these displaced the Indians, whose reservation was moved elsewhere. The city's name comes from the Indian word minne, meaning water, and the Greek polis, meaning city.
1 Minnehaha Park
To the southeast of the city, extending along the banks of the Mississippi is Minnehaha Park. This city treasure is home to the 55 ft high Minnehaha Falls, as well as statues of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, the chief characters in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha". The 193 acre park is one of the oldest and most popular in the city.
2 Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Institute of Arts has a large collection of works from many countries and in many styles, including pictures by European masters such as Rubens and Rembrandt. The collection features pieces from a wide variety of cultures dating back 5,000 years. On displays are sculptures, photographs, paintings, drawings, textiles and prints.
3 Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater opened on May 7,1963 with a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theater's founder. Today the theater presents classic and contemporary productions but has remained true to its commitment to offer productions of Shakespeare's plays. More than 40 years after it was established, a new building was constructed in 2006, situated along the Mississippi River. The unique building showcases large images on the exterior of past performances.
4 Frederick R Weisman Art Museum
The Frederick R Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota is an architectural highlight of the campus and the city. The building is an eye catching, four story, hard to define shape, stainless steel structure. The museum focuses primarily on American art from the early 20th C to the present. The museum's Public Art on Campus program has resulted in a variety of art being displayed around the campus.
5 Children's Theatre Company
The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis presents plays for all ages, but designed to inspire youth. Many productions are based on classic children's literature. Plays are presented from September through to June. The CTC also offers a Theater Arts Training program for youth to introduce them to performing arts.
6 Mill City Museum
The Mill City Museum was built within the Washburn A Mill and chronicles the flour milling industry. The Mill was built in 1880 and was the largest of its kind at that time. A devastating fire in 1991 left the structure in ruins. The present day museum has been built on the ruins and features an 8 story glass facade, giving the building a contrasting historic and modern look. Exhibits recount Minneapolis' status as a world leader in flour production from 1880 to 1903.
7 American Swedish Institute
The American Swedish Institute offers a look at, and demonstrate the importance of the surrounding region's Swedish heritage. It was founded in 1929 by Swan J Turnblad and is housed within the Turnblad mansion. Carved oak, walnut, and mahogany are featured throughout the interior and painted plaster sculpturing decorates the ceilings. Swedish glass, textiles, decorative and fine arts are displayed.
8 Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden displays sculptures of the Walker Art Center in a lovely 11 acre urban green space. One of the most famous pieces is Claes Oldenburg's "Spoonbridge and Cherry". In addition to the sculptures, the park is also home to the Cowles Conservatory and the Alene Grossman Memorial Arbor and Flower Garden, with seasonal displays.
9 Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is devoted to contemporary art. The center is an important venue in the city, with visual and performing arts, as well as film screenings and various other events. This large facility, built in 1971 and expanded in 2005, contains numerous exhibition galleries, a theater, cinema, lounges, terraces, and eating establishments. Opposite the building is the associated Sculpture Garden.
10 Nicollet Mall
The main shopping center in downtown Minneapolis is Nicollet Mall, a beautifully laid out precinct running along Nicollet Avenue. This mainly pedestrian zone has a large concentration of shops, restaurants, galleries and other attractions. The central feature of the complex, over which looms the 775 ft tower of the IDS Center, is the Crystal Court. From here a network of glazed skyways lead to other buildings. Further skyscrapers tower all around.
11 City Hall
To the east of Nicollet Mall is City Hall, also known as the Municipal Building. It was built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Of note in the interior is the statue in the Rotunda, "Father of the Waters", carved from a single block of Carrara marble. The building's clock tower, which set records in the city at the time it was built, rises above the building and chimes at certain times of the week. The Municipal Building is a National Historic Landmark.