The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota may not be the first place you’d consider to vacay — after all, isn’t the cold basically unbearable for most of the year? Yes — but you know what they say about people who are forced to hibernate inside for nine months out of the year — when the sunshine finally starts to melt the snow off the trees, they come out to play and party with the best of them. That’s why the end of August is one of the best times to visit and coincidentally it’s also the time of year when the Minnesota State Fair is in full effect. Because who doesn’t love a pickle on a stick, don’t cha know?
Stone Arch Bridge
Sixth Ave SE and Main Street SE
Spanning over the Mighty Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge makes a great place to go on a date. Walk over the river and take in the breathtaking view of the Minneapolis skyline or hold hands watching one of the many barges go through the lock. Pack a bottle of wine and a picnic if you fancy.
Walker Art Center & Sculpture Garden
1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
(612) 375-7600, WalkerArt.org
Do you and your boyfriend love art? Then take a walk around the Walker Art Center and later when you’re done ogling all of the modern art, wander outside and visit the famous Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen Spoonbridge and Cherry Sculpture.
2229 E 35th Street, Minneapolis
(612) 728-9871, ChatterboxPub.net
Ahh, nostalgia, who doesn’t love it? And the best way to inject a little heat into a date or a long-term relationship is some competition. Combine the two and stop by the bar, which has an array of old school videogames like Super Mario Brothers and Atari on hand for patrons to play.
901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
(612) 767-6900, ChambersMinneapolis.com
Sister to New York’s Chambers Hotel, the Chambers Minneapolis offers you the true boutique hotel experience, complete with arty and modern décor that sets it apart from the usual chains. Located right in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis it’s just a short walk away from the city’s theater district.
The Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market Street, St. Paul
(651) 292-9292, SaintPaulHotel.com
This old-fashioned and classic hotel in downtown St. Paul is known for being Minnesota’s “best sleep and shower experience”.
601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis
(612) 677-1100, Graves601Hotel.com
This is your typical swanky hotel located in downtown Minneapolis connected by the skyway to the entire shopping and business district. Trust us, this last fact is especially important in the winter, when temps hit lows of below zero degrees.
2519 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis
(612) 788-9069, PsychoSuzis.com
Like rum in Tiki heads? Duh, who doesn’t!? Venture to Suzi’s and enjoy some homemade pizza and delicious rum concoctions in one of the tackiest bars in town. Always a good time, Psycho Suzies is a great place to meet a new hottie. If you can’t bring him home at least you can bring home the cool glass you drank out of all night.
1601 University Avenue W
(651) 647-0486, TurfClub.net
Located in the heart of the Midway, the Turf Club is one of the best bars in the Twin Cities. Known for its nightly concerts, this local hangout is a must when you’re in Minneapolis. Hang out upstairs and see one of Minnesota’s great locals bands or if that’s not your scene head down to grandma’s basement filled with some of the best taxidermy in town. Seriously!
Bryant Lake Bowl
810 W Lake Street
(612) 825-3737, BryantLakeBowl.com
Beer, bowling and good food; what more could you ask for? Located in Uptown, this bowling alley/bar is a great place to mingle with the locals and show off your sweet moves. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your “one eye jack” for all the hot Midwestern cuties.
DINNER A DEUX
Lorning Pasta Bar
327 14th Avenue SE, Minneapolis
(612) 378-4849, LoringPastaBar.com
This casual, rustic, and eclectically designed and decorated Italian restaurant is a great place to sit outside and people watch with a bottle of red wine and a heaping plate of spaghetti Bolognese.
Tao Natural Foods
2200 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
(612) 377-4630, TaoNaturalFoods.com
Bring out your inner granola-head and walk, bike, or take public transit to Tao Natural Foods, which offers some of the healthiest food in town that doesn’t slack off in the flavor department. Grab a veggie burger at the counter or sip on a peanut butter smoothie on the outside patio. Either way your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
2550 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis
(612) 813-1200, AziaRestaurant.com
Food from Asia is hard to come by in these parts, but this Pan-Asian eatery serves noodles and stir fry until 2 a.m. Next door, the owners also run a high-quality sushi bar called Anemoni, and a music lounge called Caterpillar, which is one of the most popular and hip spot in the area.
3008 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis
(612) 825-4266, SmittenKittenOnline.com
You know how it’s frigidly cold here, like, nine months out of the year? That means Twin Cities’ residents need to find ways to entertain themselves indoors. Hence this sex shop has some of the best toys in the 50 states.
2000 4th Avenue S, Minneapolis
(612) 870-9300, ElectricFetus.com
The cities’ vibrant music scene includes Electric Fetus, one of the oldest record stores in town. Score some great local music or find that rare Bob Dylan LP you were looking for. If nothing else, hang out, grab a cup of coffee and check out on of the many free live, in-store performances.
3909 W 50th Street, Minneapolis
(952) 746-8675, BluebirdBoutique.com
This little boutique ensures that Minnesotans have chic style hiding underneath their down parkas, making it truly the best place to find new designer duds. Whether it be shoes, denim or lingerie, Bluebird is the place to go for designers like Mint, Loeffler Randall, and Bing Bang.