Minneapolis-St. Paul (also known as the Twin Cities) is a great place to be during the summer. The grass is green, the people are friendly (Minnesota-nice friendly) and you can visit all kinds of cool places without having to wade through five feet of snow to do it!
So what do you do during a day out in the Twin Cities? Read on to discover 5 fabulous places you should check out if you’re ever in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
First things first, any time you’re in the northern states Caribou Coffee is a must! Think Starbucks but much, much cooler and with quirkier drink options. My favorite has always been the Dark Chocolate Turtle and I’m never able to pass up having one (or two, or three) whenever I’m in Minneapolis for a visit.
Once you get your coffee fix at Caribou, you’ll be ready to explore more!
One of my favorite places to visit in St. Paul is Midway Books. This magical book shop is crammed full of used and rare books and if you’re a bookworm like me you could probably waste a few hours just browsing for your literary faves!
I never leave Midway Books without coming away with a book haul and this time I picked up two of my favorite classics: a hardcover version of Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Eeeee! I can’t wait to add these two titles to my little bookshelf of beloved books.
After finally managing to pull yourself away from the dusty, delicious shelves of Midway Books, take in something a little quirkier and upbeat by heading over to Electric Fetus. A funky name perfect for a funky place! Electric Fetus stocks hundreds of records from almost any kind of band you can think of, but also a myriad of other cool items like eclectic socks, onesies (that’s right, for babies), and other such knick-knacks. It’s pretty hard to not walk out with a bag full of items, but I kept reminding myself that I probably didn’t need that squirrel shaped car freshener that badly – especially considering I don’t even own a car!
By the time you finish wading through all those books and records, it will probably be lunchtime which means you’ll need to make a stop at The Happy Gnome. I’m a vegan so there weren’t many options on the menu but of course I wasn’t really there for the food. The Happy Gnome’s sour ale selection is awesome and when you pair it with their incredibly tasty fries you have a match made in heaven.
Plus, you get to hang out with a bunch of gnomes while you eat and drink. What could possibly go wrong?
The fourth activity I would recommend isn’t really a staple of the Twin Cities, meaning it isn’t around all year round. I just happened across India Fest while taking a walk and couldn’t resist popping in to see what it was all about. If you’re taking a trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul next August, check in to see what dates India Fest is happening as it is a fun way to see a little bit of Indian culture in America.
There was plenty of Indian food and drink and families decked out in sarees and kurtas enjoying the warm summer weather. I even got to see some men getting their turbans wrapped which is something I haven’t even witnessed in India.
When it gets towards evening, it’s time to partake in a little bit of the city’s nightlife. Minneapolis is a hub for cool pubs and is developing a strong culture of independent breweries. If you are a beer lover the Twin Cities could be your Mecca! One of the breweries I visited during my day there is Flat Earth which is located in St. Paul.
Flat Earth has been built inside an old factory so it has a very edgy, industrial feel to it which I loved. There’s board games to play while you drink your beer so we took part in a lively game of the Game of Life while downing our pints. All in all, it was a great way to end the day.
These are just a few of my own personal favorite things to do in the Twin Cities (most of which are actually located in St. Paul, I’m realizing). If you’re from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and would like to recommend a few of your favorites, let me know! I’d love to make up a list of new places to check out next time I’m around.