Now I have to admit, I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to experience the real Northern chill. Yes, I hear Minnesota is breathtaking in the summer and fall, but I was here to feel the snowflakes in my hair and freezing temperatures hit my sun-kissed Arizona cheeks. While my boyfriend commutes to-and-from Minneapolis and Phoenix every week for work, I would often tell him how much I want to experience the sub zero icy breeze. Stories of his sleepy-eyed 5am outdoor treks to the gym in negative nine degrees made me not only crave the cold, but also question every excuse I ever gave about why I didn’t make it to the gym that day. And the day after that.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently living in Phoenix has me wanting extreme winter weather. So, the solution to my reoccurring winter wonderland daydream: fly me up to Minnesota! Checking my trusty weather app for the entire week before my arrival, I was a bit worried that Minnesota would be too warm (50 degrees F) and that I missed the real Minnesota winter by arriving in mid March. But, before you feel bad for me, just like a fairytale, as I was jetting off the runway headed back to the land of the sun, it began to snow. And not just any snow, the kind that lightly dusts everything and swirls around, teasing you by batting its flirty eyelashes. Our airplane even had to be de-iced! I was thrilled.
-The Delta terminal has the most beautiful airport bathrooms I have ever seen. With a clean white and modern entrance, beautiful tiled artwork, marbled stall walls, gorgeous sinks and extra roomy stalls with a sunken in shelf. Extra Bonus: these bathrooms noted that they also double as an extreme weather shelter! I wouldn’t mind spending time in here while the blizzard passes.
-This city is super trendy! Even in sleet and snow, these Minnesota ladies were always dressed in point with tailored coats and edgy booties. I have to admit, I was expecting a much more relaxed and casual fashion scene and Minneapolis was anything but dressed-down.
-Sky bridges will make or break your day. The city has bridges connecting each of the Downtown buildings together. This is so you can go from your office building, to the mall across the street, then to the movie theater down the block, all without having to go out side. The downside: the bridges are only open during business hours and close in the evenings, which is a bummer if you are trying to make it on-time to your dinner reservation like we were.
Things to do
Since my boyfriend has been spending some time here, he got some tips from the locals about things see and do. The only thing we didn't have a chance to do was visit Up-Town, it is fantastic for walking when the weather is nice and you have the evening to explore.
Mall of America
Now this is actually where all the locals try to avoid, but as it's my first time to Minnesota, I figured it was required to take a trip. There was a Lego Land, Nickelodeon Central, and shops everywhere you turn! The food court was pretty impressive and the lines weren’t too bad. I bought some lovely Minnesota socks and Christmas ornament.
My tip: 1. Take an Uber or taxi. During peak season, you can spend half an hour looking for parking and sometimes have to take a shuttle to the mall because you parked so far away.
2. There is no sales tax in Minnesota, so shop away!
Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
Located in an open park, this beautiful sculpture garden is a great free attraction. With unique sculptures everywhere you look and children playing among the foliage, you could easily spend an hour here. They also have a beautiful indoor greenhouse with tropical plants and a 'Secret Garden' looking entrance that I highly recommend checking out!
My tip: If you are like me and love sipping on something while walking around, I would recommend grabbing a hot drink before heading to the park, I didn’t see any coffee stands or snack bars in the area.
We were lucky enough to get tickets to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The theater has a circular stage and the actors use the entire stage during the performance, so no seat is a bad seat. The show included acrobatics, elaborate costumes, outstanding singing and dancing along with fantastic acting. I honestly felt like I was watching a show in New York or Los Angeles, there was nothing lacking during this performance.
My tip: 1. Check out the 4th floor view of the Mississippi River before and after the show. The view of the twinkling bridge, Gold Metal Flour Mill and park are breathtaking and even more exciting when you see it at night. Although it was freezing, I enjoyed visiting the balcony after the show, the scene was super romantic.
2. Sit on the stage if you can! Great seats and you are sitting above where the actors come on and off the stage.
3. Our 7:30pm show was a bit long so plan for an 11pm dinner reservation like we did. And most places are closed at that time, so plan accordingly! We ate at Butcher and the Boar, which serves food till about 11:15pm and drinks till 2am.