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Six Exciting New Reasons to Visit Minneapolis

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Water Works Pavilion / Owamni by Sioux Chef

Six Exciting New Reasons to Visit Minneapolis

From its new riverfront park and Minnesota's first restaurant focused solely on Indigenous cuisine to a new luxury boutique hotel and a new distillery with a master distiller (lured all the way from Jameson in Ireland), there is much more in Minneapolis for visitors to explore than ever.

“Supporting Minneapolis businesses and the diverse communities that make this such a special place to live and visit is critical to supporting the state and regional economy,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, whose mission it is to make the city the destination of choice for events and vacations (including staycations). “We all need Minneapolis to thrive, and there’s no better time than now to be part of this important and vital comeback story.”

Here are just some of the many reasons to return to Minneapolis:

  1. Riverfront park project
    Water Works Pavilion

    Water Works Pavilion

    Riverfront park project

    Did you hear about the Water Works at Mill Ruins Park, adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge? Completed this summer, the new three-acre park features outdoor dining areas with gas firepits, a Nature Play Lab for young children, Dakota art and interpretation and access to miles of interconnected parks and trails. The first floor of a new two-story pavilion provides fully accessible restrooms and water bottle fillers for anyone out walking or biking along the river, and the second floor houses a new restaurant serving Indigenous cuisine with dine-in and take-out options (see next entry).  

  2. Indigenous cuisine debut
    Indigenous cuisine debut

    Perhaps no Minneapolis restaurant in recent memory has been as eagerly anticipated as Owámni by The Sioux Chef, which just opened in July. The name Owámni comes from the Dakota word for nearby St. Anthony Falls, Owámniiyomni. Owned and operated by James Beard award-winning chef Sean Sherman and Minnesota native Dana Thompson, who has been active in the food sovereignty movement for years, it features local Indigenous cuisine year-round. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the pavilion of the new Water Works, where reservations are now available for indoor and outdoor seating.

  3. Old bones, new food
    Market at Malcom Yards Minneapolis

    Market at Malcom Yards / Nelson Hill

    Old bones, new food

    The recently opened Market at Malcolm Yards  welcomes visitors with dining and cocktail innovations, including a self-pour tap wall, boxcar bar and nine cuisine concepts. The market is in a historic machinery building and is designed as both an incubator to empower chefs and a culinary destination for diverse flavors. It is steps away from Surly’s popular destination brewery and the city’s newest distillery (see next entry). This triumvirate, located just off the METRO Green Line light rail line and nearby University of Minnesota campus, has the power to make the Prospect Park neighborhood the newest “it” neighborhood in Minneapolis.  

  4. A new distillery crafting Irish-American whiskey
    O'Shaughnessy Distillery

    O'Shaughnessy Distillery

    A new distillery crafting Irish-American whiskey

    What would lure Brian Nation, an established Irish master distiller from Jameson, all the way across the pond to Minneapolis? A convincing entrepreneur and a chance to make Minneapolis the crossroads of American and Irish whiskey styles in the brand-new O'Shaughnessy Distilling Co. This newly constructed facility, across from the Market at Malcolm Yards and Surly Brewing Co., has recently launched Keeper’s Heart whiskey, and the craft distillery’s tap room opens in August.

  5. A new historic boutique hotel
    A new historic boutique hotel

    A lobby bar with French flair and a soon-to-open retractable roof bar with incredible skyline views are reasons enough to visit the new Rand Tower Hotel, even if you’re not staying overnight. This 1929 beauty of a building on the National Register of Historic Places underwent extensive renovations before opening in December 2020 at South Sixth Street and Marquette Avenue. A celebration of namesake Rufus Rand, Jr., a visionary industrial giant, aviator and war hero, it provides “lovingly restored Art Deco ambiance” along with 270 rooms and suites, 3,750 square feet of meeting/event space and the convenience of mobile check-in. Also noteworthy: Every guestroom is uniquely equipped with an advanced air quality reader that measures particulates and air pollutants in real-time to help ensure guests feel relaxed and confident during their stay.

  6. The vibrant arts scene
    Raspberry Beret Shoes (1986)

    Raspberry Beret Shoes (1986) / Tony Sylvers Paisley Park

    The vibrant arts scene

    Minneapolis museums and artist studios are encouraging the return of tourism with several exciting new exhibitions, including a not-to-be missed display of Prince’s footwear, featuring over 300 pairs of his iconic shoes. The Beautiful Collection: Prince’s Custom Shoes is included in all Paisley Park tours.

    The Walker Art Center’s schedule highlights exhibitions now through 2023 for those who wish to plan ahead. In the near term, its quirky and fun Skyline Mini-Golf is open through Sept. 26 with 10 distinctive, artist-designed holes, including two new additions created in collaboration with Native Youth Arts Collective.

    Home to over 350 artists and more than 200 studios, the largest arts complex in the Midwest, the Northrup King Building will host its annual fall studio crawl experience, Art Attack!, Nov. 5 to 7. Throughout the weekend, all four floors of the massive, former seed warehouse in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District will be open to the public. Shop for jewelry, photography, ceramics, textiles, fashion, lighting and more in artists’ studios.