What to See in Minneapolis in a Day + My Winter Exploring Outfit

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Black coat with faux fur (similar here and here) // Similar plaid scarf // Exact cable-knit hat // Dark wash stretch jeggings // Weatherproof black booties // Knomo backpack

I went to Minneapolis for work for a short two days which left me little time to explore. It was also under 32 degrees so spending time a long time outdoors wasn’t going to be possible. But I wanted to see SOMETHING since I’d never been before! A blogger friend told me to come prepared with faux fur to keep me warm. I brought my heavy black coat from Zara and a large plaid scarf since it’s perfectly festive too (similar coat and similar scarf). A good tip when traveling is to pack thin warm sweaters like this cashmere one that I wore (Merino wool works too) - they are so warm and take up very little space in your suitcase! Since lots of body heat escapes through your head, wearing a hat in sub-freezing temperatures is essential. I bought this grey cable-knit beanie last week from Loft and it’s adorable. Grey is a good neutral color that will likely go with many coats in your closet. I didn’t want to bring tall boots because they’re bulky to travel with so I brought weatherproof ankle boots. I swear by Aquatalia but these more budget-friendly ones do the trick to keep your feet warm and dry. Last but not least, I’m in LOVE with my new Knomo backpack. It’s perfect for work and traveling but looks cute on my petite frame. It fits a 13-inch laptop perfectly and has plenty of pockets to keep things organized. And it looks sophisticated while being made to to fend off wet weather. All in all, this was a cute outfit to go exploring in a winter wonderland!

Funny story: You may remember that I met my husband shortly after I moved to San Francisco. Well, before we met, he had been interviewing for a job in Minneapolis. He hadn’t heard from them in a while so he figured it was a no-go but after our second date he got called back for a final interview. I was crushed because I really liked this guy! The job didn’t end up working out, but he got me instead 😉. So it was extra interesting for me to finally see the city that almost changed what our lives could have been, lol.

It had just snowed so Minneapolis was covered in white when I arrived. They have skywalks that connect all the buildings downtown which is ideal given it’s one of the coldest places in the country in winter. Despite that, they do have tons of winter festivals and play lots of winter sports. If it’s going to be winter 5-6 months out of the year, you’ve gotta find some way to live it up!

I had just a couple of hours to explore on my own so I’m sharing recommendations that I received from my Uber driver and colleagues based there.

Visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

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The sculpture garden is across from the Walker Art Museum and I’m really glad I checked it out. The garden was really beautiful, particularly under the blanket of white snow! On a clear day, you have pretty views of the city skyline and nearby churches and cathedrals. Personally I love the spoon & cherry sculpture! The benches were also engraved with inscriptions that really made you think. It was completely quiet and I was the only one there so it was really serene it, allowing me to take it all in and reflect.

Take a photo with the Mary Tyler Moore statue

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This bronze statue was erected in honor of Mary Tyler Moore and the 1970s show “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” where she played a single television producer on a Minneapolis news station. The statue celebrates her independent career-woman nature and the show’s modern approach to women’s liberation. She was definitely ahead of her time - #futureisfemale ! She passed away in January 2017 and people continue to come visit her statue.

Shop at Nichollet Mall (and get there via the Skywalks!)

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After visiting the sculpture garden I headed over to the Nichollet Mall to grab a coffee and enjoy the decor and stores. It’s very festive! While I didn’t actually do any shopping (shocker, I know), there are so many stores and the largest Target store I’ve ever seen too. It was funny to see people without coats wandering from building to building. That’s the beauty of the skywalks is that every building is connected so you don’t have to go outdoors. It’s very easy to get lost too - I think we took 8 different skywalks to get to our restaurant one night, lol.

Eat at Zelo

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I didn’t know beforehand but Minneapolis has quite the foodie scene. We went to Zelo and I had the BEST pasta I’ve ever had outside of Italy - no joke! They serve Italian-American cuisine with great appetizers to share, all the classic entrees, and more. They also have an extensive wine list. I highly recommend the herb linguini with lamb and pecorino. It was full of amazing fresh flavor and I STILL remember the taste which tells you just how good it was! The place has gorgeous Art Deco decor too and was so pretty to look at.

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Some other places I wanted to visit but didn’t get a chance to are:

  • Star wall at First Avenue (featuring Prince!). This place is for all the music lovers. It’s one of the longest running clubs in the country and has an instagrammable wall containing stars of all the First Avenue favorites. They’re all silver except for Prince’s star which is gold, given his roots in the city and his influence on communities around the world.

  • Stone Arch Bridge. This is an old railroad turned pedestrian bridge and the only bridge made of stone along the Mississippi River. It also has great views of the city skyline.

  • Foshay Museum & Observation Deck. This is smack downtown and 30 floors high in the W hotel. It was the first skyscraper built in Minneapolis.

Have you been or do you live in Minneapolis? What are other places worth checking out - maybe even outside the city? I hear it has great outdoors too!

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