Minneapolis is a dynamic LGBT friendly city that, along with St. Paul, makes up half of the “Twin Cities.” It has the best park system in the United States (probably in the world – but we are biased), a vibrant theater scene, exceptional food, from Vietnamese street food to a vibrant array of “farm to table” establishments. And then there is dance, music, art, and great LGBT nightlife. Come for a few days, and like many LGBT visitors, you may just end up moving here.
THE BOLD NORTH
We openly invite you to come in January. Cross country skiing, night-time ice skating on one of seven lakes, snow-shoeing – what is there not to love? And yes, we bike on our nation’s leading bike paths 12 months a year. During the summer these same paths are used by runners, bikers, roller-bladers, and even the hard core cross country skiers who have summer skiing gear. Then there are the lakes. Great for canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing – or just a picnic. And for the truly athletic try rowing on the Mississippi River. And back to January, don’t you really need a selfie while ice fishing?
A HOT FOOD SCENE IN A COLD CLIMATE
Due to its location in the “farm belt,” Minneapolis has been featuring “farm to table” food for years. Even the bar food here is great. Executive Chef Steph Hedrick from Lush uses fresh produce grown locally on small farms. For an eclectic dining experience head over to Eat Street (Nicollet Avenue from 24th to 29th Street). Try Jasmine Deli and Quang for Vietnamese, the Black Forest for German, and Christos for Greek. The Uptown area has a huge concentration of restaurants including the new fig + faro which creates extraordinary vegetarian food.
Minneapolis has a good choice of LGBT bars. With the exception of Lush, they are all downtown. The Saloon tends to have a younger crowd, the Gay 90s has something for everyone and covers almost an entire city block. Close to the 90s is the Eagle Bolt Bar. Happy hour here is not to be missed. Lush is on its own in Northeast Minneapolis, but since it has great food and entertainment, you could easily spend an entire evening here.
Few places have as many professional theater companies as Minneapolis. Some of the top theaters in the city are the Guthrie, Theater Latte Da, The Mixed Blood Theater, and the Children’s Theater. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Minneapolis is home to the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, several ballet and dance companies and the beautifully renovated Northrop Auditorium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, while the State and Orpheum theaters host (and many times launch) major Broadway productions. Last year the Walker Art Museum’s Sculpture garden re-opened. Close by, the Minneapolis Institute of Art recently launched an unprecedented long-term initiative dedicated to Asian art. Minneapolis enjoys great LGBT musical organizations as well, including OneVoice Mixed Chorus, The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra.