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This is one of the most spectacular urban delights of south Minneapolis. Winding its way from the south shore of Lake Harriet, Minnehaha Creek cuts a 5-mile path along 50th Street on its way to the Mississippi River. Picturesque Minnehaha Parkway, running parallel to the creek, is a splendid drive featuring lush gardens and large shade trees. The route can also be traversed by foot or bike via the trails. The culmination of the gurgling and bubbling creek as it rushes to meet the mighty Mississippi is the cascading splendor of Minnehaha Falls and 170-acre magnificent Minnehaha Park. One of the city's most-used stretches of parkland, it features several large picnic grounds, formal gardens, playing fields, hiking trails, and undeveloped natural areas. Four different staircases, made of local stone, lead from the uplands to various spots along the creek bottom. There they connect to a trail that follows the creek to its confluence with the river across from St. Paul's Hidden Falls Park. A separate paved trail connects the park to historic Fort Snelling State Park. Of special historical significance is the John H Stevens House Museum that was recently moved to park grounds south of the Falls.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts boasts an impressive selection of Impressionist paintings. Originally constructed in 1915, the Institute has been amazing gallery-goers with its substantial collection of over 85,000 pieces of American and European artists' works for roughly a century. Works on display here range from those by such legends as Matisse and Kandinsky to Picasso and Rodin. In addition to American and European paintings, there is also an excellent Asian collection.
In close proximity to the Walker Art Center sits what many consider one of the boldest and most unique displays of art in the country, if not the entire world. Inaugurated in 1988, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a showcase for more than 40 works of art including major sculptures by George Segal, Ellsworth Kelly, Jenny Holzer, Henry Moore and Franz Lipschitz. The entrance to the 11-acre garden is bordered by Ampersand, a pair of colossal granite columns by Martin Puryear. The garden's centerpiece is the 'Spoonbridge and Cherry' sculpture and fountain by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The small conservatory is also home to a Frank Gehry-designed giant fish with scales of glass that rests on its tail.
Once the largest flour mill in the world, the Mill City Museum aims to showcase the ins and outs of the intricate process of milling. The flour milling industry was one of the top industries in Minneapolis and the museum will show visitors the vast history of flour production. Walkthrough the old factory and take in the sights. Don't forget to check out their classes, lectures and many other special events that take place throughout the year.
The Guthrie Theater was founded in 1963 with an aim to promote theater that was an alternative to the largely commercial Broadway. Today, the Guthrie Theater's mission remains the same but what started off as four productions is now a complex that includes three stages: the McGuire Proscenium Stage, the Wurtele Thrust Stage, and Dowling Studio. One doesn't have to be a ticket holder to visit the building and its cafe or lounge. There are also guided and self-guided tours.
Founded in 1879, this is one of the country's finest contemporary art museums. At the center of Twin Cities' cultural life, Walker often books highly regarded traveling exhibitions. The museum's large collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and multimedia works are displayed in nine galleries. The permanent collection includes important works by notable artists, such as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Marc, Stuart Davis, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, Roy Lichtenstein and Dan Flavin. Apart from its regular exhibits, the museum also plays host to innovative theater, music, dance, film, video, performance programs, and also sponsors numerous classes, workshops and lectures. The Walker Book Shop here on the premises sells a variety of gifts and museum-related items.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory opened in 1873 and is spread across 759 acres (307.16 hectares). Owned by the city, it features a large cat exhibit, a seal island, a primate facility, a zone for aquatic animals, African hoofed animals and a polar bear exhibit. It is a great place for family outings where you get to learn in a fun-filled environment. Since it is a huge space, chances are that you might miss out on some attractions which are just an added incentive to come back again. Explore their various themed gardens, take a ride on the historic carousel, or visit the children's gallery and check out their frog conservation exhibit. Don't miss out on Como Town, their amusement park, as well.
Some of the city's largest and most elegant homes frame Lake of the Isles. This man-made lake is well stocked with panfish, attracting anglers of all ages in the warm months as well as the cold. Swimming is not advised, but the setting is delightful for sunbathing, a picnic or reading a book under a large shade tree. In winter, park officials designate skating areas and erect a warming house. Walking, jogging or biking around its 2.7 miles of shoreline provides outstanding views of the downtown and the surrounding neighborhood. The serene atmosphere of Lake of the Isles makes it the lake of choice for canoeists. The southern portion of the lake is connected to the city's largest lake, Lake Calhoun, by a quiet channel.
This grand beaux-arts church was the nation's first basilica, taking 20 years to complete. Built during the tenure of Archbishop John Ireland, the enormous white marble building is a marvel to behold. It is 120 feet wide by 278 feet long supporting 133-foot twin towers in the front. One of the towers houses a 3000-pound bell that can be heard for miles around. Over the altar, an ornate dome rises 250 feet and the 56 rank pipe organ echoes throughout. Guided tours are offered every Sunday morning.
Target Field is the home turf of the Minnesota Twins. Equipped with amenities like mobile seat upgrades, predictive gaming, free WiFi and mobile tickets, it is a popular venue for sports fans. Seating a whopping 40,000, this baseball field offers a good view of the game from all seats. Special stadium tours are organized for visitors. Concerts are also held here.