TRAVEL: The Twin Cities

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

From the bar to the garden, we've got recommendations. —INGRAIN, Winter 2018

America's Twin Cities make for great vacation plans

STORY / Jesse Valenciana

In Minneapolis and St. Paul, the craft beer and city sights are served straight up and with no BS.


Leave it to the Midwest to fill you with all the good stuff, minus the ego, at the typical overhyped indie beer hot spot. St. Paul’s shining star is the Barrel Theory Beer Company (248 7th Street East). Minneapolis’ Indeed Brewing (711 15th Avenue NE) has an ever impressive barrel-aging beer program, or swing by Dangerous Man Brewing (1300 2nd Street NE) if you need beer-nerd street cred (and, really, who doesn’t?). Before you leave the state, head thirty miles east to Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewery (1900 Tower Drive West) for a growler fill and drink with some of the nicest folks in the beer game.

America's Twin Cities make for great vacation plans


In Minneapolis, it’s a jailable offense to not eat a Jucy Lucy (don’t even think about throwing an “i” in there) from Matt’s Bar (3500 Cedar Avenue South), the originator of the oozing, cheese-filled burger patty that has spawned hundreds of imitators. For street food, hit Hai Hai (2121 University Avenue NE) for some Asian-inspired fare or the food truck-turned-restaurant Hola Arepa (3501 Nicollet Avenue) for its Latin-cuisine counterpart. In need of a chill wood-fired pizza dinner? Young Joni (165 13th Avenue NE) is the spot. Treat yourself to a cocktail in the backroom speakeasy. In St. Paul, if you dream of weekend brunch and day drinking (like every human does/should), your life isn’t complete until you’ve spent a food and drink session from morning to early afternoon at Saint Dinette (261 East 5th Street).


Don’t miss a live show at First Avenue (701 1st Avenue North, Minneapolis), the most iconic venue in the land of 10,000 lakes. The circa 1937 art deco Greyhound bus depot began its second life as a music venue in 1970 with Joe Cocker belting out songs on opening night. The venue later served as the launching pad for many artists, from punk gods The Replacements to the indie godfathers Husker D (beer trivia night golden ticket: This was where Minneapolis native Prince recorded “Purple Rain“). In St. Paul, check out the Turf Club (1601 University Avenue), where bands rock out in a former 1920s grocery store, and the killer Palace Theater (17 West 7th Place), a recently renovated historic gem downtown; both are owned by the First Avenue crew.

America's Twin Cities make for great vacation plans


With more than forty permanent art installations, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (725 Vineland Place) feels like it was built to be a selfie destination. (It wasn’t, unless you were taking selfies on your Kodak Instamatic in 1988.) The garden, a partnership between the city’s park and rec board and the Walker Art Center, is made up of more than nineteen acres.

Caught the travel bug yet? Check out our Travel section for more destinations, tips, and guides.