What to do in Minneapolis: Uptown Theater, Jungle Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl, Brave New Workshop Theater, Farmers’ Market, Nicollet Mall shopping and dining, Trolley Tours, Children’s Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum.
Where to Eat: Dozens of great downtown restaurants line Nicollet Mall and Hennepin Avenue. Convenient choices in the Uptown area include Stella’s Fish Café, Chino Latino, The Cafeteria, Lucia’s, Fuji Ya and Tiger Sushi. For casual dining head to Bryant Lake Bowl, Uptown Diner, French Meadow Café or one of the many popular pizzerias including Punch Neapolitan Pizza, Dulono’s, Galactic Pizza or Leaning Tower of Pizza. Uptown also has several casual coffee shops and is known for its wide selection of ethnic eateries including Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Malaysian and Mexican.
The city of lakes is known for its bustling downtown, first rate theaters and cultural attractions and its picturesque lakes and parks. Minneapolis was rated the top cycling city by Bicycling Magazine in 2010, features dedicated cycling lanes throughout its downtown streets and miles of bike trails surrounding its chain of spectacular lakes. It is a top cycling city for commuters, despite rather harsh winters when the streets are often covered with snow and ice. Nice Ride, a bike rental program, allows visitors to pick up a bike from racks located downtown, at the U of M campus and several other spots in the city. The program was initiated in 2010, and expanded into Saint Paul in 2012.
The city’s arts explosion features new or remodeled facilities for the Guthrie Theatre, Orchestra Hall, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Museum, Children’s Theatre and the Weisman Art Museum. The Hennepin Avenue Theater District boasts four restored theaters which serve as sites for touring Broadway plays, and concerts. Minneapolis is also the home of three of the state’s professional sports teams, the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Twins.
It’s the city’s neighborhoods that add a great deal to its ambiance, with residents eagerly flocking outdoors in the spring to drink in the sunshine and recreate along the city’s many lakes and public trails. The Uptown area is one such a dynamic urban neighborhood, lined with beautiful turn-of-the-century homes as well as a hip collection of stores and coffee shops as well as funky restaurants and night clubs which appeal to the 20 and 30 somethings that populate the area.
Minneapolis is one of the most cycling friendly cities in the nation and finding bike trails is about as easy as it comes. Lake Calhoun features 3 miles of bike trails with an outstanding view of the Minneapolis skyline. The city’s Chain of Lakes trails just south and west of the downtown area are a favorite for residents as well as visitors and the Midtown Greenway Trail is a cycling- friendly commuter route that stretches from Uptown to the east end of town allowing cyclists to easily connect to Saint Paul via the Lake Street Bridge and Summit Avenue. Several other routes, including the Cedar Lake Trail and Lake Minnetonka Trail, lead to the western suburbs. http://www.minneapolis.org/
About the Minneapolis Uptown Criterieum
The start/finish of the Minneapolis Uptown Criterium
is next to Calhoun Square and the course winds through the surrounding neighborhood. The route is lined with dozens of shops and restaurants along Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue where spectators can watch the racers bank around six 90-degree turns at street corners and speed up along the block-long straight away to the finish line at 31st
Families and neighbors gather in front yards and on spacious porches to watch the race while thousands of nearby residents ride their bikes to Uptown, taking advantage of the free bike corrals. One of the highlights of the Uptown stage is the kids’ race, which draws more children (600 in 2011) than the men’s or women’s pro races combined. The sheer excitement and determination on the faces of these young competitors is one of the most captivating moments of the evening. Watch for some of these kids to reach the pro ranks in about ten years!