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Best outdoor adventures in or around the Twin Cities?

Visiting friends for a week in Minneapolis and wanted to get an idea of the outdoor scene in or around the city. What are the best outdoorsy things to do?

5 Answers

top answer by
Tim from Chicago

I'm a big fan of hanging out at St. Anthony Main area down on the river. Walk around and enjoy the riverfront and the Stone Arch Bridge. The outdoor cafes are pretty neat. I like to eat at Red Stag Supperclub. Sort of a woodsy supper club. Off the beaten track. If the day is nice Psycho Suzi's is cool outside too. 

Bar La Grassa (BLG) is fantastic for Italian food downtown, neat area. And I'm a big fan of Marvel Bar. Hard to find, but fun.  

There are great bike paths all around the city, the lakes are fantastic to walk or run. Calhoun Square downtown or out to Wayzata to enjoy Lake Minnetonka. If you head out that way, The Cove is fantastic for drinks and or dinner.  

And don't forget the Walker Art Center... And the shops at Uptown.  

Plenty to do, you'll have a blast!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. St. Anthony Main (attraction)
  2. Stone Arch Bridge (attraction)
  3. Red Stag Supperclub (restaurant)
  4. Psycho Suzi's (restaurant)
  5. Bar La Grassa (attraction)
  6. Marvel Bar (attraction)
  7. Calhoun Square (attraction)
  8. Wayzata (attraction)
  9. Lake Minnetonka (attraction)
  10. The Cove (restaurant)
  11. Walker Art Center (attraction)
  12. Uptown (neighborhood)
3 thanks

answered by
kailley from Coon Rapids

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Stone Arch Bridge (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

Hi Miriam! 

Twin Citians love their outdoors—the number of things you can do borders on mindboggling. 


Lakes: Lake Calhoun, Lake Of The Isles, Lake Harriet, Cedar Lake, Lake Nokomis, Lake Hiawatha—take your pic. Calhoun, Isles and Harriet are the most popular and busiest, but still very enjoyable. You can rent SUPs, kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, etc. and tool around. The neighborhoods those three lakes sit in are highly covetable, and you'll see that they're ringed with amazing homes and there are plenty of dining and drinking options nearby. Nokomis and Hiawatha are in the eastern part of South Minneapolis, and have a pretty different feel. A bit less trendy and more low-key; you'll see plenty of families around these lakes. No shortage of good restaurants in relatively close distance to these, either. Down at Unorganized Territory of Fort Snelling, Snelling lake is good for swimming or canoeing.

The River: We've got a national park right here: The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area! You can go on guided kayaking or canoe tours with companies like Above The Falls or Wilderness Inquiry (more here: or you can rent a canoe from a local outfitter and do a bit of DIY. They will give you the precautionary schpiels, but it's good to have a healthy respect for the Mighty Miss. 


The MRNRR has some great hiking trails ( Minnehaha Falls and the hike down to the river is really quite nice, especially if bookended with a stop at Sea Salt. If you want something more like a paved-path walk, there are trails around Calhoun, Isles, Harriet, Nokomis, etc. and also along Minnehaha Parkway, which is really lovely too. You can also go up to Theodore Wirth Park, where you'll find a bog walk and the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden


We're slightly biking obsessed here in Minneapolis (word to the wise, there's a reason that Minneapolis gets ranked as a top biking city, but not St. Paul). In addition to the Midtown Greenway, E River Pkwy and W River Pkwy and Cedar Lake Trail, you'll find bike lanes all over the city. We have a bike share program, Nice Ride, and there are plenty of other places to rent bikes as well (just Google Minneapolis bike rental). There are also mountain biking opportunities at Theo Wirth and other places (more out in the burbs: 

I could honestly go on and on. There are some good park systems in the suburbs ( and and if you feel like taking a little drive, you've got an even more staggering number of options. Two of my favorite outings are day trips to Interstate State Park and Duluth (Minnesota) (or perhaps just a stop at Jay Cooke State Park or Banning State Park). 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lake Calhoun (attraction)
  2. Lake Of The Isles (attraction)
  3. Lake Harriet (attraction)
  4. Cedar Lake (attraction)
  5. Lake Nokomis (attraction)
  6. Lake Hiawatha (attraction)
  7. Unorganized Territory of Fort Snelling (attraction)
  8. Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (attraction)
  9. Minnehaha Falls (attraction)
  10. Minnehaha Parkway (attraction)
  11. Theodore Wirth Park (attraction)
  12. Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden (attraction)
  13. Midtown Greenway (attraction)
  14. E River Pkwy (attraction)
  15. W River Pkwy (attraction)
  16. Cedar Lake Trail (attraction)
  17. Interstate State Park (hotel)
  18. Duluth (Minnesota) (city)
  19. Jay Cooke State Park (attraction)
  20. Banning State Park (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Jim from Panama City, Florida

There's a system of parks in South Minneapolis that winds through a group of lakes - Calhoun Square, Lake Of The Isles, Lake Harriet and Cedar Lake. Biking, Skating, running, walking and general hanging out, especially this time of year. Enjoy your visit.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Calhoun Square (attraction)
  2. Lake Of The Isles (attraction)
  3. Lake Harriet (attraction)
  4. Cedar Lake (attraction)
1 thanks

answered first by
Justin from Phoenix

Rent a road bike and hit the rails-to-trails routes! They look amazing. I suppose you could also use a cyclocross bike ...

1 thanks

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