A leisurely kayaking trip down the Mississipi River is one way to see the downtown skyline.
A leisurely kayaking trip down the Mississipi River is one way to see the downtown skyline. (photo: Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis)

How to Spend 24 Hours in Minneapolis

With thousands of acres of parkland, 13 lakes, and hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails that can be found all across town, it's no wonder the Twin Cities is active year-round.

A leisurely kayaking trip down the Mississipi River is one way to see the downtown skyline.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

This ethnically diverse city of 400,000 comes alive in June as locals emerge from winter hibernation into 15 hours of daylight. Minneapolis is perennially ranked as one of the healthiest cities in the nation: there are 6,804 acres of parkland, 13 lakes, an ever expanding 157 miles of paved trails, and—this being Prince’s hometown, after all—numerous music venues. Here’s how to make the most of it.

5:30 a.m.

This is a bike-­friendly city. Rent a Santa Cruz, Specialized, or Yeti ride from One on One Bicycle Studio ($60) and head to 740-acre Theodore Wirth Regional Park to watch the sun rise over downtown, then tour almost ten miles of purpose-built trails.

8 a.m.

At local favorite Al’s Breakfast in the Dinkytown neighborhood, order a stack of Wally Blues, delicious blueberry walnut pancakes. To drink, the über-midwestern joint’s menu suggests 2 percent milk: “You know, from a cow.”

10:30 a.m.

Ride off breakfast at the Chain of Lakes loop, a 12-mile path that connects Lake of the Isles with lakes Bde Maka Ska and Harriet.

1:30 p.m.

Find a spot in the grass and order lunch from Taco Cat. Its Outlaw tacos are delivered by bike and are the best in the city, with slow-roasted pork, kimchi, jalapeño- apple slaw, crema, and salsa verde. Then ride two and a half miles northwest to Sebas­tian Joe’s, in the Lowry Hill neighborhood, for a scoop of café latte ice cream to jolt you awake.

3 p.m.

Rent a canoe, sit-atop kayak, or stand-up paddleboard from Wheel Fun Rentals, and cruise the creeks and canals around Lake Calhoun, a people-watching haven where volleyballers, runners, fishermen, and kitesurfers converge.

5 p.m.

Check in at the Hotel Ivy, a sky-rise with a ­Mad Men vibe built in the 1930s (from $499). One on One will pick up your bike in the lobby. After a shower, head to ­Barrio, a low-key downtown tequila bar. Order the Macho Camacho, a cocktail made with tequila and cava, a Spanish sparking wine.

7:30 p.m.

Grab dinner at the Bachelor Farmer, a block off the Mississippi’s West River Parkway with a rotating menu of sustainably grown food from local sources. Housed in a brick and timber former warehouse, the restaurant has been lauded for its Lake Superior cisco and young short-horn beef.

9 p.m.

Catch a Lyft to Betty Danger’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant and bar that locals call a “country club for the 99 percent.” Play a round of mini golf, then kick back on the patio for a craft beer or margarita.

10 p.m.

Get your groove on at First Avenue, the nightclub and danceteria where Prince tried out new material in the eighties. The 1,550-capacity main room regularly sells out for bands like Son Volt and Semisonic.

From Outside Magazine, June 2017 Lead photo: Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis