A Weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Austin and I were thrilled to attend our dear friends Ali and Chris's wedding in Minneapolis. Ali was one of my flatmates when I studied abroad in London (where Austin and I met) and since she was already dating Chris, he was like our 6th roommate! Their wedding was a big Flat 11 reunion with Kaitlin and her boyfriend Lucas and Meggie coming from Boston and Molly and her boyfriend (now fiancé, yeah!) Joe flying up from St. Louis. I loved every single second of quality time with my roomies, and my friend Kasey who also studied abroad with us and lives nearby in Wisconsin! We also got to visit with Austin's cousins who live in the area and we were thrilled to see some of their youngest kids that we hadn't gotten to meet yet! We love spending time with the Nyquist cousins and love watching their families grow!
Ali and Chris love living in Minneapolis and are so proud of their city so we were excited to visit! Minneapolis did not disappoint and we can't wait to return to the Mill City! You can also read Ali and Chris's blog LetsFlySomewhere where they document all of their amazing travels!
For me, it had had been about 5 years since my last visit to the Twin Cities. I have several cousins that live in the area and they always rave about it. Seems to be a theme right? What certainly intrigued Abby and I, other than seeing friends and family, was how active a city it was and how much enjoyment the people truly seemed to have exploring and engaging in all sorts of outdoor activities. A sliver of sun and it seemed the entire metropolitan population was out and about. From the public bike sharing program to the local markets, the Mississippi River and the numerous green spaces scattered throughout, there was a buzz in the air. What's even more captivating about this place was that this activity and excitement are not dependent on the weather. Minnesotans love All of the seasons and winter has never been a deterrent for anyone. Got to respect that for sure! We had a blast and loved walking, biking, dancing, shopping, eating, and drinking our way through this awesome Midwestern city.
We were lucky that our wedding block hotel (Aloft) was in a great location. The Downtown East area of town is certainly a newer development and cool stores and restaurants seem to be popping up (side note for all the NFL fans, it's right near the brand new Vikings stadium) and they have the added benefit of being adjacent to the river and the spacious Gold Medal Park.
One funny thing about our hotel was that the lobby turned into a "club" on the weekends! There weren't many people who came to the party, but it was funny to observe! We didn't hear any of the commotion upstairs though.
I promise you these girls are drinking Shirley Temple's and nothing else. Nothing like a dive bar in the middle of the day for some cold refreshments, with a good beer list to boot. Shout out to Grumpy's.
Shirley Temples just hit the spot, don't they?!
The Minnesota Center for Book Arts was another fascinating and surprising find on our walk around the neighborhood. There's a bookstore and café, but what's most interesting is the museum space dedicated to the history, preservation, and continuation of the book making and paper making industry. Along with current workshops and artist studios, this place was definitely worth a stop. (I also hear they have a great breakfast burrito!)
If you end up visiting Minneapolis at any point in your life then Annie's Parlour is a must. It's in the vibrant and student centric Dinkytown neighborhood and serves up some fantastic Shakes and Malts. Sitting outside on their patio will give you some great views as well.
Minneapolis was much colder for June than we were expecting, but we loved the reprieve from North Carolina's stifling humidity! Definitely pack layers, but we enjoyed spending all day outside and enjoying sunny but cool days! We didn't get a photograph of this, but we did end up biking through Minneapolis, which we highly recommend! There were tons rentable bikes scattered around town and the city really encourages seeing the sights on two wheels.
The Mill City Farmer's Market was another great neighborhood find on a sunny Saturday morning. Tons of fresh produce, with breads, pastries, coffee, and much more. Find the bakery stall selling rosemary focaccia and you will not be disappointed. They also had a free outdoor yoga class going on as well!
The warehouse district was another really cool area of town that has some great places to eat and shop. A store we stumbled upon was Martin Patrick 3. It's rare to find an entire store tailored towards the man, but that's exactly what this place was. From clothing to accessories to luggage and furniture it had it all. There was even a barbershop in case you needed a trim or shave.
Austin was in heaven in this store. It sold everything a stylish gentleman could ever want! Martin Patrick 3 is definitely must visit if you're ever in Minneapolis.
A great breakfast spot is Moose and Sadie's. A small menu with lots of local flavors and really good coffee. The caramel pecan roll is of the best things on earth. Maybe the 8th wonder, just saying. Order one for just yourself!