Minneapolis is only 4 hours from Madison and 5 hours from Milwaukee. It’s an easy drive, just hop on I-94 and set your cruise control. Before you know it, you’re there! With fabulous restaurants, a stellar craft beer scene, fun attractions and plenty of recreation opportunities, our neighbor to the north is the perfect place to spend a long weekend. We’ve picked out our favorite things to do and compiled an itinerary you can use to plan your own trip.
Pack up the car and hit the road
Need some tunes? Here are 40 fun road trip songs to keep your engines revved. Keep your eyes peeled for the Mississippi River and Minneapolis’s beautiful skyline (complete with famous Grain Belt sign).
Arrive in Minneapolis & Grab Lunch at Psycho Suzi’s
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be famished when you arrive. Stop at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge for a late lunch and some tiki drinks. Don’t miss their pizza!
Check into The Hotel Minneapolis
The Hotel Minneapolis is in a great location for exploring the city. Check in, drop off your bags and head one block east. That’s where you’ll find the nearest Nice Ride bike station. Check out a bike and hit the road.
Head over to the Mill City Museum & Flour Tower
The Mill City Museum is the perfect place to get acquainted with Minneapolis. You’ll learn all about the history of the city by exploring the exhibits, taking the exciting Flour Tower tour/ride and watching the short and entertaining film Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat. After you’re done taking in the expansive views, head back downstairs and grab another Nice Ride bike.
Ride the Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge is located just to the east of the Mill City Museum. You’ll find Minneapolis residents biking, jogging and strolling on this beautiful path overlooking St. Anthony Falls. Cross the bridge and bike around the lovely cobbled streets surrounding Nicollet Island.
Take a Twilight Cruise with Above the Falls Sports
Above the Falls offers an evening kayaking tour every evening from May-October. Explore the city from a whole new vantage point as you paddle the mighty Mississippi.
Head over to the Anchor for Dinner
By now, you’ve probably worked up quite an appetite. Return your kayak and head to The Anchor for some fish & chips.
Try Dangerous Man Brewing
After dinner, head on over to Dangerous Man. This neighborhood tap house is the only place you can try their beer, including their famous (and delicious) chocolate milk stout. Then it’s time for bed – you have another big day tomorrow!
Coffee at Dunn Bros
Fuel up at Dunn Brothers around the corner from The Hotel Minneapolis. Their friendly staff and fresh coffee are the perfect start to your day. After a latte (or two) grab some Nice Ride bikes and get ready to pedal.
Bike to The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Ride down Nicollet Mall and through Loring Park to the Minneapolis Sculpture garden. Stroll through the gardens and the Cowles conservatory, admiring the contemporary sculpture and enjoying the beautiful setting.
Visit the Walker Art Center
After you’ve had your fill of the gardens, check out the Walker Art Center. As one of the leading contemporary art museums in the United States, the Walker has a fabulous collection and great community programs.
Masu for Lunch
Digest your museum experiences over sushi at Masu. The dishes there are works of art themselves.
Tour a Brewery or Do the Grand Rounds
Minneapolis has an amazing craft beer scene. Tour Bad Weather, 3rd Street, Indeed, Summit, or Surly – take your pick. Or, if you need a nature fix, get on your bikes and ride the Grand Rounds, a bike path that encircles the entire city.
Minneapolis has so many great places to eat, it can be hard to pick. We suggest heading to Chino Latino, The Bachelor Farmer or Brit’s for dinner and drinks. Then it’s back to the hotel to rest up.
Glam Doll Donuts
Now, donuts aren’t the healthiest breakfast, but you’re on vacation right? So tuck into the decadent pastries at Glam Doll and start your day off sweetly.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
After breakfast, explore the nearby Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This fascinating museum is like an art history textbook come to life.
After the museum, it’s time to head for home. But before you leave, stop off at Minnehaha Park for a late lunch and some hiking. Sea Salt is located right near Minnehaha Falls, and features some of the freshest, best seafood you’ll ever taste.
After you’re done with lunch, work off your fish tacos and hike around the impressive Minnehaha falls. Then, it’s time to get back to your car and head for home.