An arty city hemmed in by pretty lakes and home to a vivacious art scene, Minneapolis is all flashy skyscrapers and good time nights out. Unsubtly nicknamed ‘the mini apple’, the heart of the Great Lakes is more comparable to New York than you might think, with a lively, outgoing take on life, all those tower blocks and even the same waterside vibe at lakeside.
As if to flaunt its modernity, Minneapolis has linked most of the city with a series of one-storey-up skyways, connecting the skyscrapers around a length of the city through which you could comfortably run a 10km race. On the ground you’ll find another adventurous take on tourism, with the city offering tours on Segway’s, the up-to-the-minute ‘stand on’ machines that consistently look on the verge of falling over.
The transport’s nearly as interesting as the attractions, and you’ll find yourself rocking up at sites like the new selection of designer buildings and the off-the-wall sculpture park with a smile on your face almost as big as the one the sight of a huge, water-bound apple balanced unconvincingly on an oversized spoon brings.
Minneapolis is proud of its music scene, too, with a buzzing nightlife heavy in both jazz and contemporary rock and pop, as well as plenty of lively clubs. Prince, legendary punks The Replacements and country stars The Jayhawks all got their start in amongst the lakes.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Minneapolis without the lakes, and there are over 900 of them in the immediate vicinity (and in fact more than 10,000 if you’re prepared to look wider afield), each hosting their own unique attraction ranging from full on sailing and windsurfing to a bit of fishing, kayaking and enjoying bird sanctuaries and seductive man-made beaches.
Sitting alongside Vancouver and Boulder as one of those striking North American cities where you can happily blend cutting edge entertainment and a true taste of nature all inside a few hours, Minneapolis can certainly hold its head high.
The other, lesser-known half of the Twin Cities, Saint Paul sits on the northern banks of the Mississippi River, just downstream from where it converges with the Minnesota River, adjacent to …