Stroll through Minneapolis and you’ll discover a wide tumble of water over a steep limestone cliff to a hidden pool beneath. The force of the waterfall causes a misty spray to rise above the tree line, and it’s almost like stepping back in time to a wild and uninhabited land. From there, you might stumble upon a lush, green park with a giant spoon balancing a red cherry. This fanciful sculpture looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland – after drinking the shrinking potion. Surrounding the park is a busy city skyline with towers of glass and steel rising into the blue sky, a picture-perfect cityscape with a busy downtown hugging both sides of the mighty Mississippi River. And don’t be surprised if you also discover one of the largest malls in the nation, complete with indoor roller coasters and an ice skating rink – a shopper’s dream come true.
Minneapolis is as offbeat as it is beautiful. From the awe-inspiring Minnehaha Falls to the Walker Art Center sculpture garden (home of the cherry and the spoon), Minneapolis offers a unique and often fanciful setting. And since it continues to attract many new residents due to its strong economy and the 50,000 or so students attending the University of Minnesota every year, Minneapolis apartments are in high demand. If you’re ready to start searching for an apartment of your own, get the facts about life in Minneapolis before making the move.
Things to Do in Minneapolis:
The City of Lakes provides a gorgeous landscape. Start at Minnehaha Park, one of the state’s oldest parks and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This park has 193 acres to explore and is divided into two parts. The section above the falls is a more typical park, while the lower section is left in its wild, natural beauty. The park contains an off-leash dog park, a visitors’ center, bike rentals, a wading pool, a bandstand, a playground, and a restaurant.
Minnehaha Park is part of Minneapolis’ Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a group of Minneapolis parks linked by roads for cars and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition to Minnehaha, the Downtown Riverfront, the Mississippi River Gorge, Theodore Wirth Park, Northeast, Victory Memorial, and the Chain of Lakes. The Chain of Lakes was once described as “a necklace of diamond in settings of emerald.” The lakes include Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Lake Harriet, Browning Lake, the Lake of the Isles, and Lyndale Park. The parks include lakeside paths and historic markers, while other parks have unique features, such as Lake Harriet’s gardens, band shell, and nearby bird sanctuary.
Minneapolis also has a number of historic parks. Be sure to visit historic Fort Snelling, a former military outpost that was built in 1820. Indian Mounds Park features six prehistoric burial mounds that overlook the Mississippi River. The Hopewell people constructed the mounds 1,500-2,000 years ago. The park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes a playground, picnic areas, paved trails, tennis courts, and a ball field.
If museums interest you, be sure to visit the Walker Art Center. This contemporary art museum is considered one of the top five museums in the country for modern art. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a free non-profit museum, has a collection of art from around the world, from ancient to modern. The Mill City Museum is located in the ruins of the Washburn “A” Mill and includes Mill Ruins Park. The mill dates back to the 1870s and is a US National Historic Landmark. The museum also includes work by local artists. The University of Minnesota is home to the Weisman Art Museum, which features special exhibits, programs, and a huge art collection. The museum is a campus landmark – the modern, steel building was designed by famous architect Frank Gehry.
The Guthrie Theater is a fantastic place to visit and catch a performance. The award-winning regional theater includes two main-stage facilities, a black-box studio with flexible seating, a 178-foot bridge to the Mississippi, and outdoor murals. The theater also includes a coffee bar, a café, a lounge, and a learning center.
The Minneapolis Convention Center is one of the largest convention centers in the upper Midwest. It hosts sports events, performing arts, concerts, festivals, and special events. The convention center is located downtown, not far from Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian shopping and dining district that covers 11 blocks. Nicollet Mall is the location of the summer farmer’s market, parades, and special events.
Sports fans will enjoy cheering on the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, who play at the Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Vikings are part of the NFC North Division. For those who prefer basketball, the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves play downtown at the Target Center – and so do the WNBA Minnesota Lynx. Baseball fans can cheer for the legendary Minnesota Twins at Target Field, which was once called the best stadium in North America by ESPN. Of course, once you rent an apartment in Minneapolis, it is a requirement that you become a hockey fan (just kidding … but Hockey and Minnesota just go together). You’ll be able to cheer for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild in nearby St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center.
College sports are huge in Minnesota! The University of Minnesota is the country’s fourth-largest university. The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team is part of the Big 10 and play at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota frequently hosts national events such as Frozen Four and March Madness. In addition to TCF Bank Stadium, you can cheer on the basketball team at Williams Arena and the hockey team at Mariucci Arena. Go, Gophers!
If shopping is more your sport, get ready to shop until you drop! The Mall of America is huge. Head to the neighboring Bloomington, just 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and you’ll be at one of the world’s favorite tourist destinations. The mall has 520 stores, 50 restaurants, the country’s largest indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe, the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium (featuring 10,000 sea creatures), a flight simulation center, and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course.
Minneapolis has 17 farmers markets and fantastic downtown shopping. Stroll the Nicollet Mall, a 12-block pedestrian-friendly strip filled with stores and restaurants. Also, be sure to go shopping at the North Loop, a funky historic neighborhood filled with a variety of trendy shops and restaurants.
What to Consider When Moving to Minneapolis:
Minneapolis isn’t just a pretty face – although the emerald green landscape dotted with sparkling blue lakes is spectacular! Minneapolis is one of the most popular cities among young professionals for good reason – the University of Minnesota, for starters, but also the robust economy with several Fortune 500 companies located downtown. Minneapolis was also named one of the best cities for singles by Forbes Magazine. If you are one of those singles, be sure to check out apartments in the Warehouse District – home to great restaurants, trendy bars and nightclubs, and hip nightlife.
When looking at Minneapolis apartments for rent, be aware that this city has a variety of communities and neighborhoods. Each is different, so concentrate on those neighborhoods that fit you best. Calhoun Isles contains the Uptown business district, Lake Calhoun, and the Lake of the Isles. While this community is considered affluent, Uptown is favored by college students and young adults for its nightlife.
North Minneapolis (NoMi) is a diverse area that consists of several smaller neighborhoods, including Near North, Jordan, Hawthorne, Harrison, and Sumner-Glenwood. Central Minneapolis is where the action is – move here if you prefer a high-rise apartment in the heart of downtown. In addition to Downtown, Central also contains the Warehouse District (known for its hip nightlife), Elliot Park, Loring Heights, and Loring Park.
Northeast Minneapolis is filled with artists, art galleries, and studios. The neighborhood also hosts “Art-a-Whirl,” an art crawl held in May. University is a community that includes the University of Minnesota, Nicollet Island, the West Bank, and the historic Prospect Park. University also contains Dinkytown, a student-oriented area that contains historic fraternity houses.
Why Minneapolis Apartments Are Hot:
Beautiful lakes, crisp mornings, a stunning waterfall, and emerald green parks create a stunning location. But that’s only part of what attracts people to Minneapolis. Named one of the top “cool cities,” Minneapolis offers terrific outdoor recreation including biking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, swimming, fishing, boating, and ice skating.
Minneapolis is home to 30 theaters, about 60 museums, two orchestras, an opera company, 20 dance troupes, and 10 sports teams. It also offers a pedestrian-friendly downtown with eight miles of glass-enclosed skyways, terrific shops and restaurants, and a beautiful view of the river. And while it is considered a hip and cool city for young adults, Minneapolis is also very family-friendly. With attractions such as Nickelodeon Universe, the Minnesota Zoo, Bunker Beach Water Park, Como Park Zoo, Como Town, Ice Castles, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to enjoy, not to mention the city’s 180 parks, family fun is everywhere! Claim this cool city as your own – rent an apartment in Minneapolis now!
The large and historic University of Minnesota, established in 1851.
Amazing local produce available at seven farmer’s markets.
Beautiful gardens, 22 lakes, and over 180 parks to enjoy.
Shopping at the Ancient Traders Market for Native American art.
A walkable downtown with eight miles of glass-enclosed skyways.
Top-ranked sports teams NFL Vikings and the MLB Twins.