48 Hours in Minneapolis: The Perfect Itinerary

Table of Contents

Day One

TripSavvy / Kaan Avci

2 p.m.: Check into your hotel. Named one of the best hotels in Minnesota by U.S. News and World Report, Loews Minneapolis Hotel is a 251-room luxury hotel located near First Avenue and the Target Center, and by several mass transit options, like the light rail and Greyhound stations. Accommodations include complimentary wifi, as well as a gym, fitness center and spa. Despite its elegance, the hotel is also extremely family-friendly, with free activity books for kids at check-in, as well as strollers and car seats available for use during your stay. You can even bring your pets. 

Or if you’re looking for something trendy with the same level of elegance, try Aloft Minneapolis. This boutique hotel near the Guthrie in the Mill District offers stunning views of the Mississippi River as well as a free cocktail hour every evening. A cool feature offered by the hotel is SPG Keyless entry, which allows you to check in, find out your room number, and even unlock your door all from your smartphone. It’s also extremely pet-friendly. Dogs stay free—no deposits necessary. 

3 p.m.: After you’ve freshened up, head over to the Walker Art Center. The art museum’s diverse galleries feature thousands of pieces across a wide array of visual and media arts. Beyond standard oil paintings and photography, the collection includes books, costumes, and multimedia projects, as well as live performance art and videos.

Afterward, meander through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Adjacent to the Walker Art Center, the garden is known for its iconic pieces like Spoonbridge and Cherry and is open every day of the year from 6 a.m. to midnight. Tickets to get inside the Walker Art Center are typically $10-15 for adults, but the sculpture garden is always free.

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6 p.m.: Eat dinner at Butcher & the Boar. This combination of smokehouse and steakhouse is one of the best in the city, with food prepared using local ingredients and served in massive portion sizes that are perfect for communal dining. In addition to the smoked meats and delectable sides, the restaurant also offers well-made craft beer and barrel bourbon.

8 p.m.: Catch a show at First Avenue. This live music venue is the epicenter of Minneapolis’ music scene and well-known for hosting some of the biggest names in music history. Two performance spaces are housed in the same building, each catering to different audience sizes and acts. You might recognize the larger of the two—the Mainroom—from the cult-classic music film Purple Rain, but the 1500-person room often hosts big-name acts to sold-out crowds.

The smaller space, 7th St Entry, features local bands every night of the week and is where some now-famous musical acts got their start, including Prince, Semisonic, and Atmosphere. The venue often hosts megastars and can sell out quickly, so be sure to book your tickets ahead of your trip to see who will be in town and grab your seats. With its rich history and deep roots in America’s music scene, seeing a show at First Avenue is a must for avid music lovers. 

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