Great Neighborhoods: Loring Park & Minneapolis

Move close to the heartbeat of the Twin Cities, centered in downtown Minneapolis
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen Spoonbridge and Cherry 1985-1988 aluminum, stainless steel, paint 354 x 618 x 162" overall Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Gift of Frederick R. Weisman in honor of his parents, William and Mary Weisman, 1988 Art © Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
“Spoonbridge and Cherry,” at Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Photo by Mike Krivit/Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

If you want to feel like you’re living in the middle of it all, consider Loring Park, a youthful downtown Minneapolis neighborhood.

You’ll find no shortage of things to do: The namesake park holds the Twin Cities Pride Festival in June, and the Holidazzle pitches its festive vendor tents there come winter. The Walker Art Center, a contemporary art museum, has an outdoor sculpture garden that’s free to the public—and the location of indie-leaning music festival Rock the Garden every summer. Near the park, the Basilica of St. Mary stands tall as the country’s first basilica, also the site of another big-time summer music fest, the Basilica Block Party in July.

Basilica Block Party outside of Saint Mary's Basilica, Minneapolis
Basilica Block Party outside of Saint Mary’s Basilica, Minneapolis

Photo by Kyle Howard/Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Meanwhile, the four-domed Minneapolis Convention Center puts on public events year-round, such as the Minnesota Craft Beer Festival in spring. The award-winning Loring Greenway pedestrian path connects the park to Nicollet Mall, or downtown’s main street, so residents can get the best of big-city Minneapolis and more-livable urban greenery.

If you don’t mind limited street parking, the area’s apartments and houses make for a bustling residential pocket with a growing population. (Downtown Minneapolis as a whole is nearly up to 50,000 as of 2019.)

Holidazzle Festival in Loring Park, Minneapolis
Holidazzle Festival in Loring Park, Minneapolis

Photo by Dusty Hoskovec/Courtesy of Holidazzle and Meet Minneapolis

Among many cafes and diners—including the late-night Nicollet Diner—top-tier restaurants include Butcher & the Boar for smoked meats; 4 Bells, now under lauded local chef Scott Pampuch; and the family-owned Lotus Restaurant for Vietnamese. Kick back with a craft beer at Lakes & Legends Brewing Co., on an indoor lawn chair, and feel the pulse of Minneapolis.

Lake Harriet Bandshell
Lake Harriet Bandshell

Mike Krivit Photography/Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

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Linden Hills

Sandwiched between Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet, Linden Hills offers cottage-style homes, boutique shops and ample green space. The Wild Rumpus bookstore is a favorite, where children can peruse books and pet wandering animals (including chickens). Nearby, Tilia’s award-winning chefs cook up brunch, lunch and dinner. And be sure to grab an ice cream cone at Sebastian Joe’s. Open since 1976, the Linden Hills Co-op offers fresh food options, with a farmers’ market taking place every Sunday from mid-May through late October. Also in the summer, the Lake Harriet Bandshell hosts bands and music events.

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