Summer in Minneapolis/St. Paul

in Family Vacations, Trip Locations

It’s time to start planning your summer travels. If you are looking to travel domestically this summer, why not head to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul)? This urban, cosmopolitan area is a veritable mecca for arts and nature lovers. Here are some ideas for how to spend your time while you’re there. The best part is that they’re all inexpensive (most are free).

Talk a walk (or canoe, or kayak) around the lakes. Minneapolitans love their urban lakes – Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles – that are all located in the Uptown area. They are all relatively close to one another (Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun are connected), so it is easy to check them all out in one day.  Canoes and kayaks are available for rental at each of the lakes. This is also a great place for a picnic. If you’re looking for good fish dishes, check out Tin Fish at the pavilion at Lake Calhoun.

Take a walk around Lake Calhoun, one of Minneapolis’ beloved urban lakes.

Take advantage of Minneapolis Arts Weekend. Each year on a weekend usually in early August, artists from around the country come to the Twin Cities to show and sell their creations. There are three major art fairs in Minneapolis on this weekend.

Powderhorn Park Art Fair

Head to this 66-acre urban park to browse the wares of over 200 artists in various disciplines and styles. Food trucks featuring organic goodies provide sustenance for browsing, socializing and shopping.

Loring Park Art Fair

Quite a bit smaller than Powerhorn,  Loring Park is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. After checking out the creations of 140 artists in a variety of media (including painting, photography, printmaking, handmade paper, wood, jewelry, sculpture, fiber, mixed media and glass), grab a snack from one of the food vendors or try one of the excellent eateries that circle the park. If you still haven’t had your fill of art, head across the street to the world-renowned Walker Art Center.

Metris Uptown Art Fair

During the weekend of August 6-7, the streets of Minneapolis’ Uptown area will be lined with over 200 artists’ booths as crowds of fair-goers slowly meander down Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. As with the Loring Park area, there are loads of great restaurants in Uptown if you need a reprieve from the heat and crowds.

There are also a variety of excellent art museums in Minneapolis.

Get to know St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood during Highland Fest. Highland Fest usually takes place on a weekend in mid-July. This celebration of summer features a juried art fair, live music on two stages, food, amusement rides, a 5K, a strongman competition and a craft-brew tasting.

Enjoy live music at the St. Paul Jazz Fest. Each year in June, St. Paul’s Mears Park will fill with jazz musicians and aficionados from around the country. In addition to the myriad live jazz shows over the weekend, you’ll be able to enjoy top-notch street food from some of the city’s best restaurants’ food trucks.

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