Searching For Your Zen’s:
Thanks for everyone who has followed the journey and read along … it really does mean a lot!
Today’s post comes to you from Jess (Searching For Your Zen’s biggest fan)!
For this Guest Post, Jess tells us about some of the highlights of passing through the Twin Cities during the Great American Road Trip.
Leaving Montana felt like leaving a friend. It was comfortable, warm and welcoming, and I felt connected to it for some reason. We made a quick stop in North Dakota for a night to visit Dan’s brother, and then headed on to Minnesota. I was a little hesitant as we rolled into Minnesota. The midwest is often portrayed on TV and in movies (ie. Mashall’s family in “How I Met Your Mother”) as really boring, nerdy, and basically uncool.
Luckily, Minneapolis proved to be the exact opposite of that! It was lively, fun, and cool … Super cool! The people there have pride in their city, but also seem humble … as though years of TV shows making fun of them has made them feel under-appreciated.
So, here are a few reasons why Minneapolis is a gem of a city, worthy of praise, and well worth stopping in next time you’re driving through:
1. Coffee Shops, Bars and Restaurants
We only spent about a day and a half in the city, but the coffee and service at Sovereign Grounds coffee shop is worth raving about. The beer selection and board games at Chatterbox Bar are also top notch, and the fish and chips at Brit’s Pub couldn’t have been better. If only we could have stayed to try more…
2. Arts and festival culture
Our visit was surrounded by festivals and art exhibits. There was an India festival before we got there, an exhibit on Da Vinci’s notebook after we got there, and there was supposed to be a music and food festival while we were there (it ended up getting rained out). It seemed like no matter what time we picked to be in Minneapolis, there was something artsy and fun going on. Our couch-surfing host took us to see a silent movie that was made in the 1920’s that was scored by a live band in the theatre that night. It was a really fun experience and from what I could tell, it was just one of many events that they do in the city to try to engage the residents.
Oh, and there’s also this sculpture garden that you should go check out. It has the famous “Spoon and Cherry” sculpture among other fun and sometimes interactive sculptures.
3. Bike culture
Bike culture is huge in Minneapolis. It’s one of the most bike friendly cities in the USA and I don’t think I’ve seen that many people on bikes since Amsterdam. They offer bikes for rent that can be returned to stands in many other places in the city and have made the city very easy to navigate on a bicycle.
The lakes seemed to be the thing that residents of Minneapolis were most proud to show off. There is a chain of lakes within the city that have paths around them with tons of people walking, riding their bikes, and jogging. They also have docks that you can fish off of, and places to swim or hang out on the beach.
5. Mill City and the Mississippi River
Mill City is a flour mill with a troubled past. Built in 1874, it exploded in 1878 killing 18 people. It was rebuilt, but then over 100 years later it almost burned down again. The remains from the fire can still be seen from the Mississippi River as you walk down the Stone Arch Bridge. It has been turned into a museum which runs tours Tuesday-Sunday and costs $12.00 for adults.
The Mall of America is in Minneapolis, but don’t tell the locals you went there :/
Minneapolis has so many great things and a ginormous mall has a way of taking the limelight away. Check it out, but really try to experience all those other things that make Minneapolis a unique city!