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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Minneapolis has a lot to offer!

A peak at the skyline from the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge

It's hard to believe that I was brought up in the Midwest and never made it to Minneapolis other than the gargantuan Mall of America.  I recently heard about two unique places and Megabus had a $1.00 seat available, so it was time to say hello Minneapolis!

Happy I stumbled upon the Basilica of St. Mary

The two places I'm referring to are Psycho Suzi's Motor Lodge and Donny Dirk's Zombie Den.  Wouldn't you want to explore venues with names like that?  Let's get started with my visit to Suzi's and Donny's, after getting something off my chest, with that something being the city's public transportation.  It's not what I would call visitor friendly.

Post some info at the bus stops please

Discovered this great piece on my walk to Suzi's

In my opinion, the bus system is very confusing and the bus stops provide no information.  You will just see a bus stop sign and/or shelter, so I strongly recommend knowing your bus routes before visiting if you don't plan to drive.  Since my trip was impromptu, I wasn't prepared for that.

My balanced diet here is pizza and beer


Say hello to my little friend

My bus ride to Psycho Suzi's didn't go well, and I ended up walking a couple of miles anyway, but it was so worth it.  You will feel like you are somewhere tropical even though it's next to a river and not the ocean.  They fire up award winning pizza that is to die for.  I accompanied my pie with some delicious pumpkin beer.


Would love to camp here overnight

Drinks should be served here

Donny Dirk's, on the other hand, was a tad disappointing. I admit that it's a cool place, but I guess I was expecting more for making a list of unique bars that everyone should visit before they die.  The location isn't great (unless you have a car), and it's pretty dark inside, making it difficult to see everything.  I still recommend making a drink run here though.

A great selection of cocktails

I think my favorite activity was the Sculpture Garden.  Pair beautiful grounds with remarkable works of art.  It was hard to part ways, even in the rain, and all of this wonderment won't cost you a cent.

So distinctive

Gorgeous flowers still in bloom

Aptly named "That's One Big Cherry!"

Fun with two-way mirrors

Art like this in a park?  Yes!

This is "Along Came a Spider"

Another spot I had to see was the Guthrie Theater.  I read that the 4th and 9th floors had observation areas open to visitors and my camera was quite anxious.  I asked the right guy on the street for directions, because he told me about another place I could check out along the way.

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge

I walked along the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail next to the Mississippi River to check out his recommendation, which was the Mill City Ruins Park.  This interesting park displays the ruins of several abandoned flour mills, and I felt like I took a little step back in time walking around here.  

The exterior of the Guthrie Theater is impressive, especially with the extension of the Endless Bridge, which continues out about 178 ft.  The bridge observation area is on the 4th floor, where you can capture amazing shots inside and out, and then travel up to the 9th floor to the Dowling Studio Lobby for more quality photo ops.

Remarkable architecture

Taken on the 9th floor

Panoramic from the outside deck on the 4th floor

I also highly recommend a few other establishments:

Midori's Floating World Cafe, which offers delectable Japanese food.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I ordered; however, it was so good I actually finished every morsel on every plate (that would be 4 plates).

Spicy asparagus

Japanese rice balls, vegetable gyoza and tempura

Sawatdee Thai, where I had a mouthwatering dish of noodles, tofu and veggies.  I couldn't be more content with this spicy meal on a rainy, cold day.

Spicy Thai Spaghetti

Harriet Brewing, which is right around the corner from Midori's.  Wow; this place is too cool for words!  The tap room is in the back, as well as a spacious outdoor patio, a food truck of the day, and an indoor art lounge.  I chose the darkest beer they had on tap, which was awesome.

There's more!  The brewery offers live music on some evenings.  I saw Refrigerager the night I was there and they were fantastic!  They did a cover of Immagrant Song that I think would make Robert Plant proud.

Rock on Refrigerager

My short trip to Minneapolis was a success despite my disappointment over the public transportation.  Next time I will be more prepared and I can't wait for the next time.

Adore this sidewalk art 

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