Map of Minneapolis Minnesota Area
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Minneapolis is a great place to visit. It’s a city with tones of family-friendly activities, an emerging art community, and a unique cultural scene. Low crime rates and a variety of employment opportunities also make Minneapolis an ideal place to live and work.
Where is Minneapolis?
With a population of 429,606 and a metropolitan population of just under 4 million, Minneapolis is the 15th largest metro area in the U.S.
Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is one half of the Twin Cities, adjoining the Minnesota state capital of Saint Paul on the other side of the river, and centrally located in the land of 10,000 lakes.
Everything in Minneapolis is tied to the water, which is one of the city’s defining characteristics. 13 lakes exist within the city’s borders alone, formed by retreating ice sheets during the last glacial period.
What is Minneapolis’s climate?
Because of its location in the north-central portion of the U.S., Minneapolis is one of the coldest cities in the nation. Winters are full of snowfall. Summers are warm and humid, and rainfall and thunderstorms are typical spring through autumn. However, the sun shines for much of the year.
Minneapolis lies at the north edge of Tornado Alley, and annual tornadoes touch down in the regions surrounding the metropolitan area.
What is Minneapolis known for?
Historically Minneapolis was known for its mills. Once upon a time, it was the flour mill capital of the world. More recently, however, the city is famous for its music scene, which produced artists like Prince, The Replacements, and Soul Asylum.
Sportswise, Minneapolis has much to offer. The abundance of teams well serves both professional and college sports lovers. The Minnesota Vikings play downtown inside the US Bank Stadium, which looks like a Viking ship. Basketball fans have both the Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA Champions, the Minnesota Lynx.
One way residents get around comfortably during the unbearably cold winters is to use the downtown Skyway. These enclosed, elevated walkways connect over 80 blocks (9.5 miles) of Minneapolis’s downtown core, making it the most extensive system of enclosed bridges in the entire world.
Using the Skyway, you can travel from Loring Park and the Convention Center all the way to the Warehouse District. Shop, grab a bite to eat, and access many local businesses, all without taking a step outside!
It wouldn’t be Minneapolis without the waterfront views of the Mississippi. It’s one of Minneapolis’s most attractive features. You can bike or walk across the Stone Arch Bridge. Stop along the bridge and stand mesmerized by St. Anthony Falls, integral to the milling industries that helped this city become the milling capital of the nation.
Other spots along the riverfront worthy of a visit are Wilde Café and Spirits, where you can enjoy scoops of Gelato from its chef-made micro creamery. See a concert at Father Hennepin Bluff Park, always a busy place in the summer, or head over to Nicollet Island for a picturesque picnic.
Art and Architecture
There is a lot of local artistic talent in Minneapolis, and downtown is full of murals, including Eduardo Kobra’s Kaleidoscopic “The Times They are a-Changin” mural honoring one of Minnesota’s most famous exports: Bob Dylan.
Many excellent museums call Minneapolis their home, including the following:
- Minneapolis Institute of ArtWeisman Art Museum
- Minnesota Museum of American Art
- Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
- Mill City Museum
If architecture is more your thing, The Guthrie Theater is an architectural marvel designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect.
Also of interest is the Endless Bridge. Although it is neither endless nor a bridge, it’s still an impressive observation platform extending 178 feet over the street, giving you magnificent views of the Mississippi River.
There’s no scarcity of festivals and events in the city, and many of them celebrate the city’s waterways.
Held every year since 1940, The Minneapolis Aquatennial Festival has over 70 water-related events, including sandcastle building, triathlons, beach volleyball, boat races, and the famous Target Firework display. Rivaling the 4th of July, it is one of the largest firework displays in the country.
Is Minneapolis a good place to live?
Minneapolis consistently shows up on lists of the best places to live in the U.S. There are loads of employment opportunities in its booming economy, with many big companies headquartered downtown. Its homes are affordable, its streets are safe, and it combines a small-town charm with the amenities of a big city.
It is not an expensive city to visit or live in. The median house prices sit at $213,000, with an average monthly rent rate going for just under $900. It certainly is an excellent time to be in Minneapolis as an economic boom spurns on an increasing job market and a housing boom.
Minneapolis also boasts one of the best park systems in the country and an outstanding array of lakes.
What are the neighborhoods of Minneapolis?
The city divides into 11 communities, each of which divides into 81 smaller neighborhoods with their own distinct style and vibe. Let’s take a look at the top-rated neighborhoods that stand out for their livability.
Lawry Hill: Located in the Calhoun-Island area and containing a mix of college grads, doctors, and lawyers, this neighborhood lives among lakes, a thriving arts scene, and is eminently walkable.
Southwest: With easy access to Lake Harriet, Southwest is more on the affordable side with many excellent restaurants and stores.
Northeast: Many artists, galleries, and studios dot this neighborhood which is a mix of old buildings, new condos, and former industrial buildings (many now galleries). Though its industry has waned with gentrification, it is still primarily a working-class neighborhood.
University: Home of the University of Minnesota, it’s mostly students and professors that take up residence here. A mix of shabby rentals and historic houses make up the bulk of this suburban neighborhood.
Longfellow: Primarily residential, this is a well-maintained area that’s only a few minutes from the Mississippi River, where there is plenty of green space to walk your dog or go for a jog.
Nokomis: Affordable, family-friendly, and full of local eats, this neighborhood sits right next to Lake Nokomis and the Minnehaha Parkway.