We decided to visit Minneapolis not because we have family there, nor because of some particular bucket list item, nor because it was on the route to someplace else but rather because Celia and I had never spent any time exploring this area. A good friend of ours is from Minnesota and had encouraged us to visit the state so we pointed the Bighorn in that direction.
We made some last minute reservations at the campground in the Carver Park Preserve just west of the city. It turned out to be a wonderful spot, very quiet and beautiful, plus inexpensive. Our spot was at the Lake Auburn Campground which does not have power or water hookups, but we do fine with our solar panels as long as it is not too hot to need to run the AC.
One of the first places that we visited was the Minnehaha Falls in the regional park near the city. The name Minnehaha comes from the Dakota language meaning “waterfall.” It was one of the first state parks in the country authorized by the Minnesota legislature in 1885.
The park has an extensive trail network, gardens, restaurant, disk golf course, plus some historic sites as well. One of those historic sites is the John H. Stevens house. His house was the first authorized resident building on the west side of the nearby Mississippi River. Minnehaha Creek flows into the Mississippi River near the current park. Some consider Steven’s House the “Birthplace of Minneapolis.”
When we headed toward the city, we spotted a magnificent church. It turns out that it is the first basilica in the United States. The Basilica of Saint Mary was completed in 1914 and was established as a minor basilica by Pope Pius XI in 1926. We were not able to visit inside due to current restrictions but we enjoyed the view of the exterior on a beautiful day.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is across the highway from the Basilica and is well worth a visit. The garden contains over 40 pieces of artwork and is located on an eleven acre track of land in downtown Minneapolis. It is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country and is very popular in the community.
The most famous work in the garden is the Spoonbridge and Cherry. It was the first commissioned piece for the garden that opened in 1988. It was designed by the married couple, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and is constructed with stainless steel and aluminum.
Another popular work of art is Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture.
Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers
Next to the sculpture garden via an impressive pedestrian walkway is Loring Park. Many folks were out for a stroll on a warm Midwestern afternoon.
One man walking along the park was feeding Cheetos to the rabbits, doves, and squirrels.
One of the last minute things we took in was the Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles baseball game. Celia and I both enjoy baseball and it was a chance to visit Target Field for the first time.
Thanks so much for the wonderful recommendations of places to see, Barb. In fact, there is so much to see and do in the Twin Cities that we will have to save some more of our adventures for our next post.