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What To Do On A Layover In Minneapolis


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Shelba Dion


Best Places to Eat

When you find yourself on a layover in Minneapolis, you’re in for a treat when it comes to dining options. The city is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, offering a wide array of delectable dishes to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re craving a hearty Midwestern meal or seeking out international flavors, Minneapolis has something for everyone.


Here are some of the must-visit eateries to consider during your layover:

  • 1. Matt’s Bar: Sink your teeth into a Juicy Lucy, a Minneapolis culinary icon that features a molten core of cheese tucked within a perfectly grilled beef patty. This beloved dish has garnered a cult following, and Matt’s Bar is the place to experience it in all its glory.
  • 2. Spoon and Stable: For an upscale dining experience, head to Spoon and Stable, where James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen crafts innovative and exquisite French-inspired cuisine. The elegant ambiance and impeccable service make it a top choice for a memorable meal.
  • 3. Midtown Global Market: If you’re in the mood for a diverse culinary adventure, make your way to the Midtown Global Market. This vibrant indoor market is a melting pot of flavors, featuring an eclectic mix of eateries serving up cuisine from around the world. From Mexican street food to Vietnamese pho, the options are endless.

These are just a few of the many exceptional dining establishments that Minneapolis has to offer. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply seeking a satisfying meal during your layover, you’re sure to find a culinary gem that leaves a lasting impression.


Attractions to Visit

Minneapolis is a city brimming with captivating attractions that are well worth exploring, even if you’re just passing through on a layover. From cultural landmarks to scenic outdoor spaces, there’s no shortage of options to keep you entertained during your time in the city.


Here are a few must-visit attractions to consider:

  • 1. Minneapolis Institute of Art: Immerse yourself in world-class art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, home to an extensive collection spanning 5,000 years. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, this museum offers a rich tapestry of artistic treasures that are sure to inspire and delight.
  • 2. Minnehaha Park: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to Minnehaha Park, where a majestic 53-foot waterfall takes center stage. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the beauty of this urban oasis.
  • 3. Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden: Art and nature converge at the Walker Art Center and its adjacent Sculpture Garden. Explore thought-provoking contemporary art installations indoors, then wander outside to encounter iconic sculptures, including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry.

These are just a few of the many attractions that Minneapolis has to offer. Whether you’re drawn to art, nature, or a bit of both, the city’s diverse array of landmarks ensures that there’s something for every visitor to enjoy.


Shopping Options

For those seeking retail therapy during a layover in Minneapolis, the city presents an enticing array of shopping options to explore. Whether you’re in search of unique souvenirs, trendy fashion finds, or locally crafted goods, Minneapolis has you covered with its diverse shopping landscape.


Here are a few shopping destinations to consider:

  • 1. Mall of America: Embark on a shopping extravaganza at the iconic Mall of America, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. With over 500 stores to peruse, ranging from high-end retailers to specialty boutiques, this sprawling complex offers a treasure trove of shopping opportunities. In addition to its retail offerings, the mall features entertainment attractions and an extensive dining scene, ensuring a full day of exploration.
  • 2. North Loop: Dive into the trendy North Loop neighborhood, where chic boutiques and stylish shops line the streets. From fashion-forward clothing stores to artisanal home decor shops, this vibrant district is a haven for those seeking unique and on-trend finds.
  • 3. Midtown Global Market: In addition to its culinary delights, the Midtown Global Market is a hub for eclectic shopping. Browse through a diverse array of vendors offering everything from handmade jewelry and global crafts to specialty food products, allowing you to take home a piece of Minneapolis’s vibrant cultural tapestry.

Whether you’re a dedicated shopper or simply looking to indulge in some leisurely browsing, Minneapolis’s shopping scene promises a delightful mix of retail experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences.


Outdoor Activities

Minneapolis beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its wealth of recreational opportunities, making it an ideal destination for those looking to make the most of a layover amidst nature’s splendor. Whether you’re seeking serene green spaces or invigorating outdoor adventures, the city offers a diverse range of activities to enjoy under the open sky.


Here are a few outdoor activities to consider during your layover:

  • 1. Chain of Lakes: Embrace the scenic beauty of Minneapolis by visiting the Chain of Lakes, a collection of picturesque urban lakes that offer a myriad of outdoor pursuits. From leisurely strolls along the shoreline to kayaking, paddleboarding, or cycling around the interconnected bodies of water, the Chain of Lakes provides a rejuvenating escape within the heart of the city.
  • 2. Minnehaha Regional Park: Immerse yourself in nature at Minnehaha Regional Park, where lush greenery and the stunning Minnehaha Falls set the stage for a tranquil outdoor experience. Hike along the park’s trails, revel in the breathtaking waterfall views, and savor a peaceful interlude amidst the natural splendor.
  • 3. Stone Arch Bridge: Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the picturesque Stone Arch Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River and offering panoramic views of the city skyline. This historic bridge provides a captivating vantage point for capturing memorable photos and enjoying a leisurely outdoor excursion.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an active adventurer, or simply in need of a breath of fresh air, Minneapolis’s outdoor offerings provide an inviting backdrop for a rejuvenating layover experience.


Relaxation Spots

Amidst the hustle and bustle of travel, finding moments of relaxation and rejuvenation is essential, and Minneapolis offers a host of tranquil havens where you can unwind and recharge during your layover. Whether you seek a serene escape to indulge in self-care or a peaceful setting to simply unwind and clear your mind, the city provides an array of relaxation spots to cater to your needs.


Here are a few soothing locations to consider:

  • 1. Como Park Conservatory: Step into the lush oasis of Como Park Conservatory, where vibrant flora and serene surroundings create an idyllic setting for relaxation. Wander through the sun-drenched gardens, breathe in the fragrant blooms, and revel in the tranquil ambiance that envelops this botanical paradise.
  • 2. Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College: Find serenity in the exquisite Japanese Garden, a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat from the outside world. Meander along the winding pathways, admire the meticulously manicured landscapes, and embrace the Zen atmosphere that permeates this enchanting sanctuary.
  • 3. Lake Calhoun: Unwind by the shores of Lake Calhoun, where the gentle lapping of the water and the expansive views create a soothing backdrop for relaxation. Whether you opt for a leisurely lakeside stroll or simply wish to bask in the tranquil ambiance, this urban oasis provides a serene escape from the demands of travel.

Amidst the vibrant energy of the city, these relaxation spots offer a tranquil respite, allowing you to replenish your spirits and find a sense of calm amidst the excitement of your layover in Minneapolis.