BEFORE YOU GO
Coordinates | 44.97902° N, -93.26494° E
Baton Rouge to Minneapolis | 1,206 Miles
Driving Time | 19 hours, 7 minutes
Flying Time | 4 hours, 30 Minutes
Why Minneapolis? Minnesota may often be considered a “fly-over state,” but it’s worth taking a vacation to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minneapolis has plenty of places to go boating and fishing, but it’s also a vibrant arts community, the home of a professional baseball team, and the setting of some pretty wild architecture and sculptures.
WHERE TO STAY
After your long journey north, you’ll want to find a comfy place to rest your head. The Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, is an excellent place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. It's just minutes from the Mississippi River, Target Field, and Mill City Museum, and it's part of an original train station built over 100 years ago.
WHERE TO EAT
A decadent array of ice cream awaits with 16 different flavors such as the Pink Lady–strawberry sherbet with chocolate chips–or the Ooey Gooey, malted milk with salted gooey butter cake. You can indulge in just one scoop, two, or all 16 in one sitting.
This family-friendly restaurant is helmed by owner/chef Ann Kim. Be adventurous and try the Korean BBQ pizza or the Hawaii Pie-O. They also have the “Old Reliable,” which is topped with red sauce and mozzarella cheese for less adventurous souls and kids.
Tiny Diner and Farm
Healthy eating is easily accomplished here. Their goal is to create dishes with locally grown produce, including what they grow on site. Besides great eats, like Huevos Rancheros and the Bad Breath Burger, there’s a lot on site to entertain the kids, including a farmers’ market, inspections of their beehive, or chicken poop bingo.
WHAT TO DO
One of the greatest things about exploring Minneapolis? There are so many free activities for families to enjoy. Seeing the sites of the city is a great start, but if you’re looking for even more entertainment, you’ll want to check out Guthrie Theater, Minnehaha Falls, Foshay Observation Deck and Museum, and Como Zoo and Conservatory.
Check out the Minneapolis Central Library. Besides housing thousands of books and periodicals, visitors will find an outstanding collection of paintings and sculptures, as well as a beautiful seven-foot grand piano located in a soundproof room that’s available for patrons to play.
Introduce your family to the wonders of live theater, and catch a performance at the Children’s Theater Company which is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theater for young people. Plays such as Cinderella and The Rainbow Fish are an example of just some of the many productions they present.
The Walker Art Center is one of the most internationally celebrated art museums, presenting contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions. After you’ve explored the interior of the museum, head outdoors to the 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden where you can you see a giant blue rooster or the well-known Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.
If you’re looking for a place to shop, eat and drink, see a movie, and ride roller coasters in just one day, then the Mall of America is the place to be. Catch a glimpse of some fishy friends at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, or visit the jewel of the mall, the seven-acre Nickelodeon Universe with 27 rides, attractions and characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
Batter up! Grab some peanuts and catch a professional ball game at Target Field. This is the home of the Minnesota Twins, where you can cheer on one of Major League Baseball’s finest teams. A full roster of great restaurants can be found at the stadium, and don’t forget to bring home a souvenir for the folks back home. Little sports fans will love hanging out with the Twins’ mascot, the loveable T.C. Bear.
The Mill City Museum gives visitors a glimpse at the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and Minneapolis. There’s so much to see and do at the museum–from visiting the Baking Lab, where visitors can sample freshly-baked bread, to learning about Minnesota’s past through museum interpreters. Enroll your explorers into fun programs such as the Arts on the River Day Camp or the Junior Ranger Program.