Minneapolis and St. Paul are beautiful and vibrant cities offering everything from major league sports teams to a magnificent arts scene. One thing that the Twin Cites does not have is more than a few months of great weather. If your travel plans include the Twin Cities this summer, you are in for a treat. With the summer right around the corner, here is a list of what not to miss this year.
Target Field is a baseball park located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins, the city’s Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise. It is the franchise’s sixth ballpark and third in Minnesota.
The Twins moved to Target Field for the 2010 Major League Baseball season after 28 seasons at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. This new ball park is truly a fan’s stadium, meaning that there is not a bad seat in the house. Not only can you see a great game, but the ball park also boasts some of the best eats around, not to mention the best catcher in the game!
Lake Calhoun & Lake Harriett
Just minutes outside of downtown Minneapolis are both Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriett. This chain of lakes is the crowning jewel of the many beautiful urban lakes in town. On Calhoun you will find regionally renowned Thomas Beach where you can enjoy some swimming, sunbathing or some good old fashioned people watching. Across from the beach you will find the Bakken Museum, home to some great hands-on learning experiences for the kids. On Lake Harriett you will be able to enjoy great live, free, outdoor music all summer long. All around both lakes there are great walking and biking paths. For those looking to do some fishing, both lakes have an abundance of small fish, perfect for the young or young at heart. When the time comes for food, your options include one of the many barbeque pits for the chefs within, or you also can enjoy some of the best fish tacos around, right on Lake Calhoun.
In southeast Minneapolis the Minnehaha Creek displays its magnificence in the form of a beautiful waterfall. At the Minnehaha Park you will also find great bike rentals and amazing walking paths. For those looking for a bit of a longer journey, you are able to follow the creek all the way down to where it meets up with the Mississippi.
Once you make it down to the Mississippi you are able to enjoy some decent shore fishing as well as see some amazing views of the city, the river and the dam.
In the heart of downtown you will find an amazing shopping and business corridor, Nicollet Mall. This outdoor, pedestrian friendly, section of downtown Minneapolis is a mecca for entertainment, shopping and dining. On one end of the mall you have Orchestra Hall accompanied by Peavey Plaza, an outdoor stage for musical and entertainment acts of all kinds. All throughout Nicollet Mall you will find unique shops and awe inspiring sky scrapers, not to mention home of the best chefs. The mall begins to taper off at the IDS building, featuring the Crystal Court. The IDS building is the tallest building in Minneapolis. On Thursdays throughout the summer the mall is also home to the best famer’s market around.
Grand Old Day
Located in St. Paul is historic Grand Avenue. On Sunday June 5th you will find the largest one day festival in the Midwest. This year Grand Old Day will begin with a charity walk / bike event, followed by an art fair. The day will go on to feature several parades, A family fun zone, a battle of the bands and more food and drink vendors than should be in one place at one time. Once the sun goes down, things really start to heat up with 5 stages featuring musical acts from across the country. This one day festival is a great example of the great Minnesota summers.
Known to locals as the best days of summer, this 9 day event has something for everyone and many things for most.
The Aquatennial’s schedule of events includes everything from fireworks to milk carton boat racing and a little of everything in between. The locations of the various events are throughout Minneapolis and demonstrate just what a beautiful city Minneapolis is. Most of the events are centered near natural and historic landmarks such as the chain of lakes and the stone arch bridge. With the final schedule of events still pending, I am already looking forward to planning my time around, what is always the best time of the summer.
Art and All That Jazz Festival
The 8th annual Art and All That Jazz Festival in Burnsville (a southern suburb of Minneapolis) is the region’s premier jazz attraction. This summer the festival will take place on August 19th and 20th on the grounds of the Performing Arts Center in Burnsville. This year the festival will feature Mike Stern, Dave Weckl and Randy Brecker. In addition to the great musical acts that the festival will feature, there will also be tons of family entertainment including a musical instrument “petting zoo”. All of the day time events are free and are guaranteed to please all members of the family.