Welcome to MarieClaire.com's series on weekend travel—a smart girl's guide to making the most of those glorious two days off.
Ah, the Midwest. Where politeness is a way of life and so are cold winters and beer drinking. I can say this because I was born and bred in Indiana, and while I grew up and even went to college in the Midwest, I never made it to Minneapolis—until now. The city, as the bigger of the Twin Cities, is a hub of activity, young people, some of the best food ever, and so. many. attractions. that I felt like I have been missing out this entire time. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING? Here, a look at what you need to see, eat, drink, and do in Mill City.
Where to Stay
One of the newest hotels in town, The Hewing is one of the chicest hotels in the city and perfect for HGTV-loving millennials (*raises hand*). Located in an old warehouse and with a cool mix of metal and wood and leather, the hotel evokes a lodge-meets-industrial space as a nod to the history of the city. And if that's not enough, it has one of the coolest rooftop bars in town that is only available to guests and social club members. (Seriously, every single local I talked to recommended it—they open the rooftop to the public on Tuesdays.)
Where to Eat and Drink
The restaurant at The Hewing—Tullibee—is also a huge draw, and I recommend the drinks 100000 percent. (If that's how percentages worked.) They change out the menu, but if it's still there order "Banish the Ghosts." It will banish a lot of things.
I also recommend the brunch there—the brisket hash is prettier than me and I'm not afraid to admit that.
More eats: Spoon and Stable (delish!), The Bachelor Farmer, and Bar La Grassa. For drinks (especially in nice weather and earlier in the day!), head to Betty Danger's Country Club—a cute, kitschy spot for margaritas, putt-putt, and even a working ferris wheel. (Yes, you can ride the ferris wheel while drinking a cocktail. Yes, it is as magical as it sounds.) For more drinks: visit the many (many!) breweries, including Surly and Fulton, Marvel Bar (a speakeasy of sorts below the Bachelor Farmer with great cocktails), Volstead's Emporium (a "truer" speakeasy with no website, with rotating cocktails), and Republic, a great beer bar with more than 140 beers.
What to Do
Your in Twins land, after all, so seeing a game is a MUST. While there, order the Sloppy Ko at Andrew Zimmern's canteen (it's a take on the sloppy joe made with Korean-style BBQ beef, kimchi, and a hard-boiled egg) or a burger from Red Cow. (There are also a zillion other options, so make sure to check 'em all out before diving in.) Finish with a local beer (Surly, Fulton, Bauhaus, and Indeed are all staples here) or have a built-in-snack drink with the Bloody Mary from Hrbek's which comes with basically it's own charcuterie tray as a garnish.
If you're a first-time visitor, the sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center is obviously on the docket. Make sure to do research on what days you're going, since a lot of events (read: free days, concerts, kid-oriented shindigs) happen, and you'll want to pick the best time to explore for your own amusement. (I recommend going early and beating the crowds.)
If it's nice out, go ahead and walk to nearby Loring Park, which is known for its expansive greenery and lake. Dotted alongside the park are cute boutiques and restaurants, which are also worth exploring.
There over the weekend? Make sure to stop at the Mill City Farmers Market, open on Saturdays from May through October. Live music, local produce, and cute wares are all here, and you can enjoy a walk by the Mississippi River after your visit. Walk across the Stone Arch Bridge (especially beautiful at sunset!), and also remember to make a stop at First Avenue, the music venue from Purple Rain. (Yes, Prince hails from Minneapolis!)
Many parts of the city have undergone a revolution of sorts—like most cities in the U.S.—and reserve their old charm with warehouse buildings, cool architecture, and more with new businesses injecting life (and more residents) into the fold. Make sure to explore all the neighborhoods. It's an exciting time for the city.
1. Gang's all here—meaning Uber, Lyft, and public transpo—so you don't need to rent a car if you're coming from out of town and want to day drink your time away. Just make sure to walk when you can! It's an awesome city to see by foot.
2. It is the Midwest—and one of the places where it gets NUMBINGLY cold—so if you're not into feeling like you've turned into a White Walker, try to book your getaway from May through October (though do remember that again, it is the Midwest, so summer can be BLAZINGLY hot. The Midwest—what a gamble of weather delights).
3. Layers are important here. Like I said, temperatures can drop and climb—in the same weekend, on a whim—so make sure to look cute and stay comfortable by packing things you can layer on and take off. My favorite thing to add to my weekender? A twill jacket with a hood, which is a) perfect for layering b) will keep you dry in rogue rain sans umbrella and c) is cute AF. I'm diggin' this Madewell one ($60, BUY IT).