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Finding inspiration on a pilgrimage to Paisley Park

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Motorcycle from Purple Rain in the movie room at Paisley Park

Finding inspiration on a pilgrimage to Paisley Park

By Francesca Murray

Prince brought me to Minnesota. As an avid traveler, the film "Purple Rain" sparked my curiosity, and I wondered what it would be like to visit Minneapolis for myself. My mom has been a fan since the ’70s, and by the time I was born she was already a full-fledged member of the Purple Army—making me a fan by default. You could guarantee that anytime Prince was in town for a concert, she would be there.

Francesca Murray and her family at a Prince memorial shaped like his symbol outside Paisley Park in Chanhassen

Francesca Murray and her family at a Prince memorial outside Prince’s Paisley Park in Chanhassen

So when Duckwrth, one of my Mom's favorite up-and-coming artists, announced he was having a show at Paisley Park, we decided it was the moment to finally go. Having never seen Prince in concert myself, I was excited to at least experience what a show would be like at the iconic compound he called home.

There are two ways to visit Paisley Park: by booking a tour or attending a concert. I recommend both for the ultimate Prince fan experience. Going to a concert at Paisley Park is really fun, because the soundstage carries amazing energy, and you can't help but imagine what it was like when Prince would get on stage and rock the mic. The acoustics are incredible!

Everyone in the crowd was there to have a good time, and it was fun to be surrounded by other Prince fans. Every one of the locals in attendance had a deep respect and adoration for Prince. Going to Paisley Park for a concert is also a great alternative if you can't attend a tour, because you can see some of Prince's costumes, cars and artifacts on display.

If you do attend the tour, there is a price point for every budget. There's the Paisley Experience, the VIP Experience, and the Ultimate Experience. We did the VIP Experience and, over the course of two hours, it gave us a real idea of Prince's creative genius through an interactive combination of costume displays, exclusive video clips and glimpses into spaces he enjoyed in his everyday life. Each tour includes access to special exhibitions, which are among its highlights. It's guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience, even if you aren't a part of the Purple Army.

If you are a big Prince fan, I highly recommend adding on extra time to your visit to take a walk down to the memorial tunnel located just outside Paisley Park. There you'll find a moving display of love from around the world in the form of murals, banners, poems and handwritten messages. Make sure to bring your own Sharpie, just in case you feel inspired to leave a message of your own!

Even if you aren't a huge fan, Paisley Park should be on your Minneapolis checklist. Prince's impact on music, and his legacy as a Black artist who championed equality in the entertainment industry, make him a pioneer worth learning about. I'm constantly inspired by his words, not just in the form of his lyrics, but also through what he said in interviews.

Visiting Paisley Park left me feeling inspired to keep creating work that will leave a positive impact on the world. I'm so thankful for the art he left us and for the opportunity to step inside the place that inspired so much of it.

Francesca Murray

Francesca Murray is a content creator, guidebook author and award-winning travel expert. She can be found sharing beauty and lifestyle tips at @onegrloneworld, and inspiring jetsetting millennials through her blog One Girl One World.