Except for some larger exhibitions, admission is free to view the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ vast collection.
The string of city blocks comprising Nicollet Mall is home to Target’s flagship store, plus trendy shops, bars and restaurants.
Favorite eateries include Brit’s Pub for lawn bowling on the roof and The News Room—read headlines in newsprint-inspired decor.
Watch a Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field before dining on gourmet burgers at 112 Eatery.
Boutique hotel Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis has luxe guest rooms decked with edgy, original artwork (from $299).
Finish the night listening to live music at Nicollet Mall’s Dakota Jazz Club.
Salty Tart Bakery sells cream-filled brioche in Midtown Global Market.
At the market, pick up ethnic groceries or ready-made foods for a picnic at Lake Calhoun, which draws walkers and joggers with a 3-mile paved trail along the shoreline in the Uptown neighborhood. Or crowded Pizza Luce serves its namesake by the slice.
Spoonbridge and Cherry anchors the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at Walker Art Center, which merits an afternoon.
The dive Matt’s Bar serves its famed Jucy Lucy burgers (beef wrapped around American cheese on a bun).
More information: (612) 767-8001; minneapolis.org
Add a day
Start off with huevos rancheros or corned beef hash at Hell’s Kitchen, where the food is actually heavenly and brunch rules on weekends.
In southern Minneapolis at Minnehaha Park, hikers stop at overlooks to see the Mississippi River, limestone bluffs and 53-foot-tall Minnehaha Falls.
A tasty array of ingredients, like Korean sausage and short ribs, makes simple wood-fired pizza to a culinary journey at Pizzeria Lola.
Meal you’ll remember
Meat-lovers rejoice at upscale palace of protein Butcher and The Boar, where German classics get modern updates thanks to a creative head chef and an expert in-house butcher. Expect entrees like a Berkshire pork chop with bourbon sauce. (612) 238-8888; butcherandtheboar.com
By The Numbers
Seven Yankee stadiums could fit inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, just south of Minneapolis. More than 520 stores, dozens of restaurants (including popular American Girl Bistro), an amusement park and an aquarium are in the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. The connected Radisson Blu Mall hotel is convenient for overnights; from $160. (952) 883-8800; mallofamerica.com
The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis' Historic Mill District draws crowds for first-class performances on its three stages. (612) 377-2224; guthrietheater.org Guthrie's Sea Change Restaurant and Bar plates sustainable seafood, such as fennel-crusted ahi tuna and grilled trout. (612) 225-6499; seachangempls.com
Crema Cafe Organic and local fare—chocolate chip pancakes, seasonal soups, the Gruyère-topped Cheesy Sonny burger and Sonny’s ice cream—are reason enough to head to Lyndale Avenue South on the southwest side. (612) 824-3868; cremacafeminneapolis.com