Growing up, it felt like every time we'd visit our extended family in Minneapolis it would be blistering cold and we'd spend the entire time cooped up indoors by a fire. I can only recount a couple of trips where we'd visit during summer time. From the lake to boating to barbecues, summers in Minnesota are "all-American". Fast forward to 2016 and my best friend Liana just so happens to work and live in Minneapolis! The last time I visited was November. The cold was miserable, but remember this is coming from a Georgia peach.
This weekend I had an absolute blast. I felt like a kid again. Right now I'm tan, sore, and still full from all the street food; I have zero regrets. I highly recommend spending a good long weekend in Minneapolis. The city is polishing up as they prepare for the 2018 Super Bowl and endless outdoor activities and grub spots make for a great weekend. This city goes way under the radar for US cities to visit. Here's how our weekend went:
- Food truck Friday - Once I landed in Minneapolis we headed straight for the business district and to the food trucks. On one block you can find a handful of trucks with anything from BBQ, to Korean, to tacos. We munched on Thai chicken wings and BBQ pork nachos.
- Milkjam Creamery - I love donuts. I love ice cream. Milkjam's signature 'jam bun' is a donut ice cream sandwich. Everyone needs to try one. Mine melted in my hand and in my mouth. The flavor of the ice cream inside? Caramelized goat, cow, and sheep milk. You're welcome.
- Art-A-Whirl and more food trucks - Every year the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association hosts Art-A-Whirl, which is a series of open art studio tours. This gives art appreciators the opportunity to see and purchase thousands of works by local artists on display all in one weekend. We were so impressed by the varieties of art and the sheer number of people in attendance. Food trucks and live music were an added bonus. Here's my addition to an artist's piece!
Beyoncé Drag Dance Party - As part of a series of events building up to Bey's Formation Tour stop in MPLS, a club had a Beyoncé-only dance party. Straight Beyoncé jams for hours. Drag queens. Lemonade. Costumes. Nuff said.
- The Mill City Farmers Market - This year-round market is not only scenic but jam-packed with fresh and unique offerings from local vendors. Right on the river and surrounded by old mills, the market features fresh fruits and veggies, ethnic cuisine samplings, cooking demonstrations, fresh flowers, and my favorite: cheese curds. You can find me here every time I go to Minneapolis. Yum.
- Beyoncé Brunch - Bey's landing in Minneapolis for her tour is so special they dedicate an entire weekend to it. This rooftop brunch, hashtagged #BeyAndEggs, featured a drag performance of the entire Lemonade album and even a secret 'Lemonade' cocktail. They know how to brunch. Don't sleep on Minneapolis.
- Nice Ride - Nice Ride is a bike rental program throughout the entire city that has a special pricing that is perfect for a weekend. For $10, you can rent on of their bikes for the entire weekend. The only catch is every 30 minutes you have return the bike and check it back out again, like a library book. Thankfully, there are stations all over the place. We took advantage of Nice Ride in a handful of locations the entire weekend as an easy way to see the city on our own time.
- Izzy Ice Cream - I ate my dessert so fast I forgot to take a picture, but trust me when I say this ice cream was legit. The signature Izzy scoop is a complimentary mini-scoop that comes on top of your ice cream. We rode our bikes here from the Mill City Market! Can you tell I love ice cream?
- Brunch @ Co-Op Creamery - Like I've previously mentioned, Minneapolis is big on brunch. Here I had the most amazing hand-crafted coconut milk matcha latte, mint pea soup, and lamb and sweet potato hash.
- Kayaking on Excelsior Lake - I'm a fan of Groupon for hourly activities. It's always a steal. Through Groupon, we got 2 hours of kayaking for $22 a person.
- Minnehaha Falls - The falls are a great place to ride your bike, have a picnic, and dip your feet in the cool water. We checked out a pair of bikes and rode around. It was packed.
- Lake Calhoun - We know Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and Lake Calhoun is just one of them. We rode the entire perimeter of the lake and got to see the beautiful houses that surround it and the sparkling lake on a hot Sunday afternoon.
- Sushi at Obento-Ya - 16 giant pieces of sashimi and two miso soups for $57. Not bad.
- Black Coffee & Waffle Bar - Here I had a vanilla cold-brew infused with dulce de leche. Yes.