I’m visiting a friend who goes to MCAD and will be in school during a good part of the day so I’m looking for ways to entertain myself while she’s occupied. Can someone recommend some cute neighborhoods I can walk around? I’ve heard there are many but I have no idea what they are and my friend’s not really up on this stuff.
Minneapolis College of Art & Design is in south Minneapolis. I would suggest the Uptown area & Linden Hills Neighborhood which are near by for shopping & eating. There are 3 lakes between the 2 areas - Lake Calhoun, Lake Of The Isles & Lake Harriet. There is a walking & bike path that connects all three.
Downtown Minneapolis is not far - you can walk the skyway system (all indoors) if you are there in the winter. If it is warm weather - head outside to the riverfront, and Warehouse District. The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is also great for cute stores & restaurants, Dinkytown & 7 Corners are the most popular.
Depending on where you are staying you may have access to the City Bikes that you can check out & drop off at various locations. ALso all of these neighborhoods are connected by bike paths & bike lanes.
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Minneapolis College of Art & Design is just blocks from Nicollet Avenue, which is worth exploring. If you're hungry, you'll find everything from Vietnamese (Pho 79, Lu's Sandwiches, Jasmine Deli) and Taiwanese (Evergreen Chinese Restaurant) to German (Black Forest Inn) and Caribbean (Harry Singh's Carribean Restaurant) and more. A cute new shop called Greater Goods just opened, and it's always fun to explore the supermarkets. Eat Street Social and Icehouse are both great for cocktails, or if you're looking for an N/A drink, there's Spyhouse Coffee for coffee or Café Kem for bubble teas and other goodies. Glam Doll Donuts is also on Nicollet and kind of a hot destination at the moment; I'm not blown away by them, but a lot of people are fans!
Uptown can be divvied up into a few different sections. There's the area around the intersection of Lake and Lyndale, and there's the intersection of Lake and Hennepin (the actual "heart" of Uptown), but it's worth going north on both Lyndale and Hennepin from either of those intersections for more shopping and restaurants.
The North Loop neighborhood is hopping, too. Basically, head to The Bachelor Farmer, Bar La Grassa or Smack Shack and then wander around from there—or ask for tips from shop keepers; we really are friendly here. You can also walk down toward the Guthrie Theater (which you can go into for free—take the escalator and then go out onto the Endless Bridge for views, or take the escalator and then an elevator up to the 9th floor, aka the Dowling Studio, which has more views, but with neon-citron glass). There are some restaurants (Spoonriver Restaurant, Zen Box Izakaya, etc.) down by the Guthrie, Gold Medal Park, Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe and Mill City Museum. If it's a summer Saturday morning, there's the Mill City Farmers Market.
If you walk across the Stone Arch Bridge (all pedestrian!) from the Guthrie area, you'll end up in Northeast, another great neighborhood for poking around. Walk along the river on Main Street (Aster Cafe is cute if you need a rest and drink or a bite), and then go up to Hennepin Ave. Hennepin is lined with more restaurants and shops. My personal favorite things over there are Kramarczuk Sausage Co Inc, Surdyk's Liquor Store and Gourmet Cheese Shop and Parc Boutique.
Further into Northeast, 13th Ave N.E., particularly around/between 2nd St. and 4th St., is another fun spot for strolling around, with restaurants and shops. The Anchor Fish & Chips is one of my homes-away-from-home so I'm super biased in advising you to go there. The fish and chips are great, and the burger is a hidden gem. Do not dare order it anything more cooked than medium-rare; to do so is an abomination against the 1,000 Hills beef that they use.
That's a lot, I know, but if you're still bored, you can check out Minneapolis' east side with stops at Midtown Global Market or Mercado Central, just down the street from MGM and then the stretch of E. Lake Street from oh, say, 33rd Ave eastward toward the river. It has a reputation for being a little sketchy, but it's really coming up in the world (Sonora Grill, Forage Modern Workshop/Parka, and Corazon - Lake Street are all good stops).
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