When you visit Minneapolis-St. Paul, you get two great cities for the price of one. The variety of attractions, cultural events, great dining, and shopping lines both sides of the mighty Mississippi. Proud to be the cultural capital of the United States' Midwest, the Port of Minneapolis offers beautiful architecture, art institutions, and historic sites not to be missed. With three James Beard Best Chefs in the Midwest, dining opportunities include the best haute cuisine, ethnic, and farm-fresh menus. Forbes recently named the Port of Minneapolis the Nation's #1 healthiest city based on its clean air, thousands of lakes, abundant green spaces, and miles of bike paths.
Entertainment and outdoor fun are almost limitless. The Port of Minneapolis offers one of the Midwest's best zoos, the Valleyfair Amusement Park, several race tracks and casinos, annual festivals, museums, golf courses, and several popular sports teams. The Mall of America in nearby Bloomington is a huge shopping center that surrounds Nickelodeon Universe, the country's biggest indoor amusement park, and Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium. The Depot Waterpark in downtown Minneapolis has a three-story indoor/outdoor water slide as well as a quiet whirlpool area.
The Port of Minneapolis has a continental climate with cold dry winters and hot humid summers. The Port of Minneapolis gets the full range of precipitation-related weather events that include thunderstorms, heat waves, tornadoes, snow, ice, sleet, rain, and fog. During its snowiest winter (1983-84), the Port of Minneapolis got 98.4 inches (250 cm) of snow. Temperatures in the Port of Minneapolis range from an average high of 28.6°C (83.4°F) in July to an average low of -13.7°C (7.4°F) in January. Heaviest precipitation comes to the Port of Minneapolis from May through September, and average snowfall in January is about 11 inches (28 cm).
Visitors to the Port of Minneapolis will not want to miss Uptown. With a unique collection of bars, restaurants, and funky shops. You can also catch an independent or foreign-language film in the one-room Uptown Theatre. Uptown is constantly changing, and at its heart is the Port of Minneapolis intersection of Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues. The area spans the borders of four neighborhoods within the Calhoun Isles community of the Port of Minneapolis. Every year in early August, Uptown Minneapolis hosts the Uptown Art Fair where artists from all over the world gather with local artists to exhibit and sell their works. Available media include paintings, clothing, sculpture, jewelry, glass, pottery, and mixed media, and prices range from $6US for prints to thousands of dollars.
The Walker Art Center in the Port of Minneapolis serves up a wonderful collection of 20th- and 21st-Century European and American art that include photography, prints, and sculpture. The Port of Minneapolis' Walker Art Center also welcomes traveling exhibits and national/international acts.
Next door to the museum is the admission-free Port of Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the largest in the country. The Walker Arts Center complex is connected to Loring Park by the Irene Whitney Footbridge that was designed by Siah Armajani. From the footbridge, you can see the 76.2-meter (250-foot) dome of the Basilica of St. Mary. The Galleries at the Port of Minneapolis' Walker Art Center are open from 11am until 5pm every day but Monday (closed) and Thursday, when they are open until 9pm. Admission to the Galleries is free to members and children under 18, $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for students.
The Walker Art Center in the Port of Minneapolis is home to visual arts holdings with about 11 thousand objects from Minimalist sculptures and paintings to conceptual drawings and prints. The Italian Arte Povera movement is well represented at the Center. Focus on specific artists like Matthew Barney, Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, and Andy Warhol includes assessments of their careers. There are over 500 objects in the editioned work collection by the international group Fluxus. The Walker is home to the only complete archives of works by graphic artists Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns. The Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection contains almost 800 titles of experimental films from the 1960s and 1970s as well as a rare collection of Soviet Union films from the early 20th Century.
The Port of Minneapolis is a city of parks. The famous Grand Rounds and the Chain of Lakes offer many Port of Minneapolis adventures and activities. Lakeside paths, two-mile canoe trips, the 50-year old Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, and the area's first schoolhouse and Cloudman's village are complemented by the live music at the Port of Minneapolis' Lake Harriet Bandshell, a bird sanctuary, rose gardens, and peace gardens.
The Port of Minneapolis' Grand Rounds is the United States' longest continuous system of urban parkways. The Grand Rounds is over 80 kilometers (50 miles) of lakes, trails, parks, and parkways that surround the Port of Minneapolis. The Port of Minneapolis also contains 25 kilometers (40 miles) of dedicated commuter cycling lanes and 51 kilometers (82 miles) of off-street bicycle trails. Traveling the Grand Rounds, visitors to the Port of Minneapolis will find the Theodore Wirth Park with a swimming beach, a golf course, and a playground. The Eloise Butler Wildflower Park protects the city's natural flora. The St. Anthony Falls Trail connects several historic Port of Minneapolis areas and takes travelers to the Stone Arch Bridge, the Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and the Mill Ruins Park.
The Chain of Lakes is a 21.4-kilometer (13.3-mile) district in the Port of Minneapolis that was born in the early 20th Century when the city bought the land surrounding the lakes to preserve the lakes as public parks. Five million visitors come to the Chain of Lakes every year where they can ski, rollerblade, jog, walk, or bike around five city lakes. A 19.3-kilometer (12-mile) system of paths connects the lakes, each of which is surrounded by parkland with amenities.