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8 Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis

Every moment in Minneapolis is golden, and that’s not just because it’s home to the University of Minnesota and the Golden Gophers. Minneapolis is known for its vibrant nightlife, towering highrises, network of skywalks, and being the birthplace of Prince. But it’s also beloved for the adventures around every corner, many of which are just steps from Graduate Minneapolis. 

In Minneapolis, no experience is off-limits. Explore everything from waterfalls to wacky antiques, starting with our eight favorite things to do, see, and eat.


Al’s Breakfast

Start your day sunny-side up at Al’s Breakfast, a local favorite for diner-style breakfast and lunch. Their diner-classic dishes range from colorful egg creations like scrambles and omelettes to sweeter selections including eight flavors of pancakes and three flavors of waffles. 

Cozy up to the bar in their charming, old school-style eatery, which features red vinyl bar stools and twinkly lights hanging from the ceiling all year long. Drown your plate in syrup or house-made salsa before digging into a meal that’ll keep you smiling all day long.

Insider Tip

Pay your meal forward! “Staff meals” can be ordered to go to support staff members during the COVID 19 pandemic and benefit local charities.

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Dangerous Man Brewing

Beer is always cold and spirits are always high at Dangerous Man Brewing, a microbrewery and taproom that fancies itself a destination all its own. Located in NE Minneapolis, Dangerous Man is known for ever-changing small batch beers. Come back the next day and you might find a whole new set of beers on tap. 

Because they rotate their beers and only brew small amounts at a time, their varieties are more unique than most. Sip a belgian blonde brewed with peaches then aged in a white wine barrel, or opt chocolate milk stout literally brewed with chocolate milk. Their intriguing beer list makes this a place where sometimes a flight is better than a pint.

Insider Tip

Save the date for their monthly barrel aged bottle releases with past flavors like Belgian Blonde with Peaches and Imperial Peanut Butter Porter with Chocolate and Marshmallow!

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Aster Cafe

Sip wine beneath the trees at Aster Cafe, which serves up lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. This restaurant and bar sits right on the Mississippi River so you can enjoy one of their mouthwatering meals to the sound of the river rushing by. Savor fresh, flavorful salads, sandwiches piled high with inventive toppings, and Aster original dishes like the shawarma bowl or brisket tacos. 

Their carefully-curated wine list and frequent live music make Aster Cafe both memorable and romantic. Treat yourself to a date night or simply enjoy an experience you’ll want to return to every time you’re in Minneapolis.

Insider Tip

This special spot has been dubbed “Best place to go on a first date” – love is in the air!

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Nye’s Bar

What was once a working man’s bar is now a go-to for lively tunes and innovative cocktails. Nye’s Bar set up shop in 1950 in what was once Prince’s Bar, a neighborhood hangout tucked within a building from the 1880’s. Nye’s honors the building’s history through murals on the wall and an eclectic mix of spirits behind the bar. 

Come for craft cocktails, local beer, and world-class wine served to the sound of the black and whites. Nye’s Bar isn’t just a place to have a drink, but a place to enjoy an old-school piano bar and lounge with a self-described swanky atmosphere.

Insider Tip

Piano sing-alongs start nightly at 7 pm. You definitely don’t want to miss that!

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First Avenue

Independently-owned venues may fly under the radar, but First Avenue is one of the longest running in the United States. First Avenue uses its independently-owned status to further issues facing Minneapolis through art on stage. 

The Depot Tavern, the 7th St Entry, the Turf Club, the Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater, the First Avenue Mainroom are all part of the First Avenue family, so you’ll have no shortage of shows while in Minneapolis. Catch everything from acoustic sets to electric spectaculars on one of these eclectic stages.

Insider Tip

First Avenue has served as the launching pad for countless artists and bands like Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Semisonic, Atmosphere, Soul Asylum, Lizzo, Prince, and many more.

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Minnehaha Falls

Feel the sun on your skin and the mist in your hair at Minnehaha Falls, one of Minneapolis’s oldest and most popular parks. More than 850,000 visitors every year make the trek to witness the limestone bluffs and 53-foot waterfall, as well as countless viewpoints to snap photos of the rushing river. 

Though the waterfall is Minnehaha’s most notable attraction, the park is home to much more than that. Cool down in the wading pool, play disc golf or volleyball, or soak up the outdoors in Minnehaha’s vibrant gardens. Don’t be surprised if you stumble upon public art, as there are inspiring installations scattered throughout.

Insider Tip

There’s a dog park on the South Side of the park with seven off-leash recreation areas for your pup to run, play, and meet new friends.

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Hazel + Rose

Look and feel your best after a shop at Hazel + Rose. This locally owned boutique offers looks that are both beautiful and sustainable, inviting shoppers to update their wardrobe in an earth-friendly way. Opened in 2016 to give Minnesotans a more ethical way to shop, Hazel + Rose sells goods from right here in town as well as those created all around the world. 

Shop pieces that will last, ranging from tops, bottoms, denim, and dresses to home goods and fine jewelry. Their quaint shop is decorated with plants so even entering the boutique feels like a breath of fresh air.

Insider Tip

Check out The Not New Shop and see what kind of previously-loved, gently-used treasure you can find!

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Hunt & Gather

Hunter & Gather invites Minnesotans and visitors alike to explore the treasures within. They describe their extensive collection of antiques as “vintage amusement,” packed into their two-level shop. 15 dealers sell their finds at Hunt & Gather, which features antiques ranging from the unexpected to the fun and fresh. 

Peruse posters, vintage cake plates, state towels, and more, or simply stop by the store for a shopping experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Insider Tip

Their vintage-inspired posters are always $10 each.

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