Earlier this fall I spent a long weekend in Minneapolis. It was my first time visiting the city (and the state!) and I was so excited for two things:
- To visit Mall of America (which is located right outside Minneapolis in Bloomington, MN) and take in the glorious shopping spectacle that it is.
- To eat my way around downtown Minneapolis. Minneapolis is such a foodie city and I was ready for it.
I only had three days in Minnesota, and while I wish I had a week, I feel like my trip was a success. If you’re planning a long weekend to Minneapolis, here are some of my recommendations.
A long weekend in Minneapolis
Where to stay
Radisson Blu Mall of America
I stayed at the Radisson Blu Mall of America. It’s one of two official Mall of America hotels. You can actually walk right into the mall from your hotel. It’s super convenient and the Radisson itself is beautiful. Their Firelake restaurant is delicious and has such a relaxing ambiance.
What to do
Visit Mall of America
If you’re staying at an official Mall of America hotel, you have to visit the Mall of America. It is an homage to consumerism in the best possible way. There is every store you can think of inside, along with a theme park, restaurants, and events and special attractions. The best way I can describe it is that it’s the mall version of Vegas. It’s flashy, it’s action-packed, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
Visit Downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis is such an awesome mix of old meets new. The skyline is dotted with factories from the 1800’s alongside beautiful new glass buildings. Bring a good pair of walking shoes because the city is quite expansive. When there’s not snow on the ground, it’s incredibly walkable as there are so many bridges connecting everything.
Walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is free to the public and absolutely beautiful. Walk through artwork, see the big blue rooster, and take in the city skyline.
Walk the Stone Arch Bridge
Talk about getting to see a city skyline up close! The Stone Arch Bridge is beautiful and considered a feat of engineering.
Check out the Endless Bridge
The Endless Bridge confused me because it’s not an endless bridge. It’s a different vantage point of the Stone Arch Bridge that makes it look endless. If you’re in the area I recommend popping in to check it out for yourself. It’s free and inside if you need to cool down or warm up. To be quite honest I don’t totally get the hype about this attraction, but I wasn’t sad I saw it.
Where to eat
Ah! How I wish I had another week or more to eat my way through Minneapolis. This city is a foodie mecca and so many of you sent me recommendations of places to try. I tried to make it to as many as I could, but with a fully packed press trip that was not very many. I have to say, while I only got to make it to 1/10th of my food list, I didn’t have a bad meal while I was there.
JW Marriott Mall of America
I grabbed breakfast at the JW Marriott Mall of America (the other official Mall of America hotel) one morning and thought it was delicious from start to finish. The menu at Cedar + Stone is all locally sourced. I loved my green juice and breakfast scramble.
Okay this was not a fine dining stop but I have not been to Shake Shack in years. When I saw there was one in Mall of America and that they had fried chicken on the menu?! Sign me up! It was just as good as some of the fried chicken I have had at much fancier places.
Glam Doll Donuts
A half dozen of you guys told me I needed to check out Glam Doll Donuts when I was in downtown Minneapolis so I made sure to add it to my list. It’s a fun retro spot with great design and an wide variety of donuts to choose from. I got there about an hour before closing time and found out that means it’s happy hour. So even though I only bought one donut I got two! They were phenomenal.
WSK (World Street Kitchen)
WSK also came highly recommended. I wanted to try everything on the menu, but had to go with my one true food love: fried chicken. It was spicy and tangy and a whole new take on a fried chicken sandwich. I loved it.
Spoon and Stable
By far the food highlight of this trip was visiting Spoon and Stable. Consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in Minneapolis, the food was fresh, flavorful, and inventive. I absolutely loved the atmosphere, my carrot cocktail, and my caramelle pasta. I would return here in a heartbeat.
Questions of the Day: Have you been to Minneapolis? If you could only pick one: explore downtown Minneapolis or visit Mall of America?
Great photos! Definitely on my list of places to visit.
My best friend and I are planning a trip to MOA this summer. These are great suggestions on where to stay, eat, etc. I can’t bear to go in the winter so we will wait until the weather gets warmer.
Wonderful post about Minneapolis! As a Minnesotan, I don’t always see the things in my own back yard, but I will make a point to check out your suggestions.
Luna S says
Woah that mall looks awesome and those chairs at the hotel look so cozy.
I am traveling there in a month and I am so glad I found this great post!!
Neil Alvin Nicerio says
Wonderful photos. It’s like I had my own weekend getaway. Thank you for sharing.
This is a great post ? I really want to visit Minneapolis now ?
Clare @ Oh These Are The Good Old Days says
this all looks so lovely. dylan, love sculptures, delightful donuts, and pick and builds!
Keshia Richmond says
I would love to visit Minneapolis and the Mall of America. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Honest Reader says
This looks like a fun weekend! I have never seen pictures of the inside of MOA, that is absolutely insane! I would definitely like to go there one day.
Kate @ Kate These Days says
Wow! That looks like a fun place to visit. It was not on my travel list but it is now! Thanks for sharing!
Your photos are so great 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, it looks like such a great long weekend. I am so excited to one day visit the USA!
Never thought of Minneapolis as a destination, but after seeing pictures of that mall I just might haha 🙂 Amazing photos and super-detailed information. And love the video! Thanks!
My 10 yr old has been begging to visit the Mall of America. Your trip sounds awesome!
Gina Abernathy says
Enjoyed looking at your pictures! I would love to shop in that mall one day!
Chantelle Hadden says
That mall is one place I’d love to visit. Thanks for sharing, I loved reading things like this.
jomar enecio says
Great trip. I’d definitely visit here! Hope to be in that area of the country soon.
Dan @ Style High guy says
Woah, loads of great photos. Minneapolis looks so cool, and how blue is that sky?! Also, indoor theme park say what? Yes please!
I’m blown away at the size of all the activity here! Wow!
The Mall of America reminds me SO much of the malls in the United Arab Emirates, the roller coasters, multi-level shopping, food, entertainment, just everything! I have never been to Minnesota but it’s on my list. I love all the photos and reviews of the food you have in this article, it makes me want to plan a trip for the summer to visit <3
Katie - The Quiet Type says
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel for a wedding not too long ago. It’s such a nice hotel and the restaurant was amazing! We actually just moved to a new place near the cities but haven’t ventured too far into downtown MSP yet. I will have to take some of your suggestions!
Minneapolis such a wonderful place the photos amaze me! great post
Ellen | ZyraKuma says
Wished I had a mall like that in Australia! I love going shopping so that would be a dream! Also love the food photographs.
Elizabeth O says
On a visit to Iowa with one of my daughters, we laid over in Minneapolis and saw the Mall of America. You captured the areas beautifully with your stunning photos. Now I’m hungry for some of those dishes.
Madi Rowan says
I have to say that I’m not too familiar with Minneapolis but it seems like there quite a few really cool places! I did know about the Mall of American though ahah! I would love to go!
Blair villanueva says
Your gorgeous photos makes me jealous and now dreaming of visiting Minneapolis. Great travel you have!
I’ve always thought of it as a cold state but you have shown how much more there is to Minneapolis.
I have never thought about visiting here. Thanks for sharing, maybe I’ll get there someday.