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Minneapolis City Highlights

A Sampler of the Twin Cities Culture

Minneapolis may be “The City of Lakes,” but it also has a very lively metropolitan life, the Mall of America (the largest enclosed mall and recreational space in the world), the renowned Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center, the Orpheum Theater, Orchestra Hall, and dynamic artistic, dramatic, and music scenes, many of which are within walking distance of our hotel. The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis is located on the popular Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Wide sidewalks flow on the Nicollet Mall in front of shops and dining establishments, with only taxis and buses allowed down the middle of the street. This is a pedestrian’s delight, on the street or in the famous skyways.

You will be able to walk or catch a bus to dine on local and international cuisine from Irish pub food to Japanese sushi to Italian desserts to American burgers. You can easily visit independent bookstores, see a play at the Guthrie Theatre, view the art and media at the Walker, listen to jazz at the Dakota, experience the nightlife of the vibrant downtown areas, or even visit a park or lake or the Mississippi River.

For only $1.50 ($2 during rush hours), the Hiawatha light-rail line and the Metro Transit buses connect the Nicollet Mall to all parts of the Twin Cities, including the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. Even better, the buses cost only 50 cents in the Downtown Zone.

For more information about things to do in Minneapolis, visit the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association website.

Fourth Street Live! Actors Theater Building
Churchill Downs Museum
Clock Tower
Hell's Kitchen

Weisman Art

Minneapolis Public
Guthrie Theater

A Sampler of the Twin Cities Culture
by Convention Chair Gloria Hochstein

The Twin Cities has something for everyone, but I will highlight just a few of the numerous nightspots, dining options, and entertainment venues near the Nicollet Mall. My local friends especially recommend Brit’s Pub (1110 Nicollet Mall) and the The Local (931 Nicollet Mall) for casual dining.  Brit’s serves pub food but also offers high tea on weekdays (reservations needed for high tea). The Local is an Irish pub which offers American food with an Irish flair.  Also recommended for breakfast or lunch is Keys Cafe (1007 Nicollet Mall):  fresh bread, farmer’s omelets, and breakfast served all day.  For casual lunch or dinner or a brewski, go to the Rock Bottom Brewery (8 W. LaSalle Plaza), a lively brew pub.

Vincent (1100 Nicollet Mall) provides an impressive French lunch or dinner experience with inventive cuisine, “excellently crafted.” Try the “very cool” Zelo (831 Nicollet Mall) for Italian cuisine in an arty space. For steak (the best downtown, some say), seafood, chicken, and burgers, have your lunch or dinner at Mortons of Chicago (555 Nicollet Mall).
For fancier dining, residents recommend King and I (1346 La Salle Ave., street behind the Hyatt) for its excellent Thai menu and vegetarian options.  Also within walking distance, Solera (900 Hennepin Ave.) offers tapas and Spanish wines. One reviewer rates it “among the top ten Spanish restaurants in the US.” Another favorite of locals for a more upscale dining experience, Palomino (825 S. Hennepin Ave.), features a Mediterranean menu.

Within walking distance of the Nicollet Mall is the fun retro 40s atmosphere of Ike’s Food and Cocktails (50 S. 6th St) serving good, basic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners including blue plate specials. The walk is worth it to get to Goodfellows (40 South 7th St.) for the art deco interior while dining on American gourmet lunch or dinner.

For music, my local friends INSIST that you MUST go to the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant (1010 Nicollet Mall). It also has a good bar and prides itself on its wine list and Midwestern gourmet food. Clubs, bars, and restaurants line the Nicollet Mall. On the north end of the Nicollet Mall, the Warehouse District is known for its lively night spots and exotic restaurants.

Food AND Culture? The Walker Art Center (1750 Hennepin Ave.), a 15-20 minute walk from the Hyatt, has both. Visit the modern art and the marvelous outdoor sculpture garden, and then dine at the “fabulous” 20.21 Restaurant & Bar and Gallery 8 Café, both by Wolfgang Puck. The Walker is internationally acclaimed for its interdisciplinary celebration of all the modern arts: dance, music, sculpture, painting, film, and more. Special exhibitions during March 09, 2009 include Statements: Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd; Elizabeth Peyton: Painting; and The Quick and the Dead: Time and Space. The famous art deco Foshay Tower is worth a tour all the way to the observation deck on top. Also, the famed Manny’s Steakhouse has just opened in its new location in the Foshay Tower.

Great performances: 
How could English majors pass up catching a performance at the renowned  Guthrie Theater (818 S. 2nd St.)?  During the convention, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Raisin in the Sun, and By the Bog of Cats are being performed. The Guthrie anchors the Riverfront scene of lively bars and restaurants. Just down the mall at Orchestra Hall (1111 Nicollet Mall), conductor Andrew Litton explores Shostakovich  with the Minnesota Orchestra , March 26-27, 2009. At the Orpheum Theater, the Broadway cast is performing Rent during the convention in March. The Hennepin Theater District houses many restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Who hasn’t heard of the Mall of America, in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, the largest shopping mall in the United States?  Besides shopping (more than 500 shops), you can visit the aquarium, the indoor amusement park, the many restaurants, and the wedding chapel. Then you will know why folks come from all around the world to visit the Mall of America. Or maybe you would rather stroll around the posh shops of Gaviidae Common (611 Nicollet Mall).

In St. Paul, just across the Mississippi, you can find the very popular St. Anthony Main area with numerous bars and eateries. Also just across the river near the University of Minnesota is Dinkytown, with its eclectic mixture of unique restaurants, bars, live music, and film. 
For a more thorough preview of the sights, sounds, tastes, and happenings of Minneapolis and St. Paul, spend some time looking at Meet Minneapolis