24 Hours in the Cities: Mill District, Minneapolis
One of the oldest parts of Minneapolis and one that holds the most history, the Mill District is an awesome place to spend a day. If you’re waking up in the aloft Minneapolis hotel, an affordable, chic hotel perfect for young professionals, at the Depot Minneapolis hotels, a perfect option for families, or any other hotel located near Minneapolis’ Mill District—east side of downtown and west of the Mississippi—you’ll find plenty to do for visitors of all ages.
all photos courtesy of Meet Minneapolis
Morning: If you have time for a walk on a nice day, stroll to Nicollet Island and have a glorious breakfast at the Nicollet Island Inn. Otherwise, grab a snack at a nearby coffeehouse (there are plenty around) and head to the Mill City Museum where the whole family can learn what it was like to mill flour and bake bread for the likes of Pillsbury and General Mills. Located inside the historic Washburn A Mill, the museum offers hands-on activities, a unique eight-story Flour Tower Tour tour, an observation deck, and a fun film called Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat. You can also pick up a walking tour during the warmer months, which take you around several parts of the historic riverfront.
Mill City Museum
Noon: For lunch, grab some Pad Thai at Sawatdee or some Japanese comfort food (or inexpensive takeout) at Zen Box Izakaya. For year-round fun, head to the water park located in the Depot or, during the winter months, turn figure eights at the skating rink. Explore Gold Medal Park and its awesome Mississippi view or head out onto the historic Stone Arch Bridge and peek at St. Anthony Falls (you can even explore the lock and dam). For a quieter afternoon, head further down Washington Avenue to the Minneapolis Central Library, an architecturally beautiful building filled with the state’s largest collection of books.
Night: Evening in the Mill District is reserved for the theater. Find out what’s playing on any of the Guthrie Theater's three stages and take in a performance. But first, stop at either Spoonriver or the Guthrie’s own Sea Change for dinner.