If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know there are few cities that I outright love. The density of many cities stresses me out, and attempting to navigate them can drive me indoors. While I love all sorts of bits and pieces of lots of cities, I prefer a slower pace to my travel.
Minneapolis is a stark contrast to all of those things.
I love Minneapolis. Love. I lived in the greater Minneapolis-St Paul area for almost seven years earlier in my life. I went to college on its banks of the Mississippi, met my husband here, and had my children here. Now when I visit, there’s a twinge of familiarity about the city. But that twinge is not what I fell in love with.
Rewinding back to the first time I saw this city, I landed in Minneapolis at 21, full of hopes and dreams and lack of responsibility. I had no intent to move to Minnesota, I was just headed in for a visit. It was only my second plane ride ever, and I was wide-eyed and attentive as we approached to land. I took nothing in the landscape for granted. Where Dallas was brown and dead in August, Minneapolis was gorgeous. Little lakes dotted her neighborhoods, and lush green outdoor spaces were everywhere.
Was it love at first sight? Maybe. But the very first place I visited in Minneapolis was the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the deal was sealed. This free 11 acre park near downtown is full of beautiful artwork next to quirky installations. This is a MUST if you visit Minneapolis in the spring, summer or fall.
As you meander through the outdoor garden, you will see couples on their lunch breaks picnicking next to the famous “Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain”. Schoolchildren on field trips might skip past you, as you stop to admire a piece. Maybe you’ll see older gentlemen reading on the benches. The scene changes constantly, but what I can guarantee is that Minneapolis residents and visitors alike will be partaking of the beauty of this park. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was created with every visitor in mind.
It is perfect for families of all ages, and is a far less stressful way to take in the art scene in Minneapolis than taking small children to a quiet museum. The kids loved it, and wanted to go back a second time during our visit.
Make sure you stop by the Palm Room of the Cowles Conservatory and see Frank Gehry’s Standing Glass Fish. On that first day in Minneapolis, I took almost the same exact photo that you’ll see below. It is still gorgeous and complex upon repeated reflections.
It is important to note – these photos were taken in early August. Minneapolis is a great destination to head to while escaping from the summer heat of the South.
Resources : Minneapolis Sculpture Garden website
Disclaimer : On this most recent visit, I was in Minneapolis as a guest of Visit Minneapolis.