Jen Meinhardt, Contributor
Moving to a new city can be a daunting task. For many the prospect of leaving home means not only losing one’s circle of family and friends, but also results in the loss of familiar haunts and stomping grounds. So what do you do when you find yourself in such a large place like Minneapolis and away from everything you’ve ever known?
Well, really you have a look around. Now a fully guided tour is probably out of the question for the average reader, but Minneapolis offers several free and affordable adventures for the willing person. You can take a walk down historic Main Street and Father Hennepin Bluff Park. Take the nature trails to get up close and personal with the Mississippi River, then meander over to the Stone Arch Bridge. View Saint Anthony Falls as you head towards Mill Ruins Park; then ascend up the Guthrie Theater’s nine story escalator to the endless bridge overlooking the river basin. If you’re willing to drop a dime then stop over at the Old Spaghetti Factory for a reasonably priced dinner, offering some cheaper plates and a selection of gluten free options.
Minneapolis has a park every six blocks, and if culture is more your thing than head over to Loring Park which hosts a variety of festivals and events both summer and winter. Cross the pedestrian bridge over I-94 and view the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, stop in the Walker Art Center, or head back downtown towards the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Hell’s Kitchen is a good downtown stop for affordable gourmet foods with a twist, but if breakfast is more your thing and prefer an interesting service experience hit up The Bad Waitress on Nicolette Ave. With a selection of breakfast and lunch options as well as coffee and interesting staff, The Bad Waitress is food and entertainment in one.
On the off chance that you tire of downtown, then hop onto the Metro Blue Line instead and ride it down to Minnehaha Falls. Featuring a waterfall, miles of nature trails along the Mississippi and a creek you can dip your feet into you’ll find a whole days worth of interest here. If you prefer to keep your activities indoors then keep riding the Blue Line down to Mall of America, the largest indoor shopping mall in the United States. Containing four floors of shopping and clubs, an indoor theme park and basement aquarium you can explore all day and still discover something new to do. Once you’ve explored to your fill, stop in at one of the dozens of restaurants before climbing back on the Blue Line to return back to Minneapolis.
There are plenty of activities to consider doing here in the city, more than can be included in a single article. No matter what your fancy Minneapolis seems to have something to cater to it. From theater and music to sports and clubs, Minneapolis has an option that can bring you enjoyment and inclusion into the community that you now find yourself a part of. Enjoy, and welcome to the city of Minneapolis.
This article first appeared in the Friday, September 21 edition of The Echo.