Minnesotans often get asked, Why do you choose to live in Minnesota? Or as my dear friend from Atlanta, Crystal, calls it, “Minnesnowta!” For many Minnesotans, including myself, the answer is simple: Minnesota Summers. I know what you’re thinking: What about winter? It’s freezing here! I won’t lie to you, it gets cold here, but we also know how to cope and take full advantage of our cold weather. Think: heated seats, heated steering wheels, skyways and winter activities. Still not convinced? I kid-you-not, one summer here and you too will understand the mystical force that are Minnesota Summers – which truly keep us here, despite the freezing winter temperatures.
The advantages to spending your summer in Minnesota are limitless. I’ve picked ten things that you MUST do this summer:
1. Attend Northern Spark
Northern Sparkis an active celebration of the creativity of artists and the creative programming of cultural organizations. One participant of Northern Spark 2011 described her revelation: I had so many beautiful interactions with the city and her art, but what I never expected was walking back to my car across the Stone Arch Bridge, sun rising over the smokestacks of the power plant, the city slowly waking up around me. The river was inexorably making her way to NOLA, and I stopped and recognized how amazing the little apple is. I have lived here for ten years and never experienced her in such a way before. It was our little secret – the river, the little apple, and me. A magical night!” It provides a unique opportunity for you to explore the city after hours. One can visit a museum or public space for the first time.
2012 Dates: Sunset June 9 – Sunrise June 10
More information: http://2012.northernspark.org/
2. Attend a Sporting Event
Target Field hosts “spectacular and intimate … breathtaking views … dazzling amenities … and a staggering array of special features! Those are just a few things you can find in your experience at Target Field, the new world class home of Twins Territory.” (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com)
Watch a Lynx Game at Target Center. Minnesota remains atop the WNBA’s Power Rankings list as the Lynx enter this week as the league’s lone unbeaten team. Minnesota is 7-0 and is riding a 13-game overall winning streak dating back to the Western Conference Finals last season. The Lynx won their first WNBA Championship in 2011. (http://www.wnba.com/lynx/)
3. Watch a Show at First Avenue
First Avenue is a veritable icon of Minneapolis. Once the downtown Minneapolis Greyhound bus depot, remodeled into a live music venue. Prince played here in the early days of his career, and is still attends shows at First Avenue. (http://first-avenue.com/)
4. Rent a Nice Ride Minnesota Bike
“Nice Ride bikes are designed for one job, short trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary stuff. All Nice Ride bikes are the same size, the only thing you may have to adjust is the seat, and it’s easy!” A 30-day pass is $30 and a student one year subscription is $55.00. (https://www.niceridemn.org/)
5. Enjoy the Water and Visit the Chain of Lakes
Enjoy lakeside paths for experience and relaxation; rent a canoe, paddle boat or board; listen to live music at the Lake Harriet Bandshell; visit the Bird Sanctuary, Rose Gardens and Peace Gardens near Lake Harriet; and grab something delicious to eat at Tin Fish (Lake Calhoun) and Bread and Pickle (Lake Harriet). (http://www.minneapolisparks.org/grandrounds/dist_CL.htm)
6. Food Trucks
Minneapolis and St. Paul have more than 50 food trucks across the metro area. Take a look at these websites for more information on the types of food and locations the trucks will be in.
7. Shop at one of the many local Farmer’s Markets
Minneapolis | http://www.mplsfarmersmarket.com/FreshNews/
Mill City | http://millcityfarmersmarket.org/
And More | http://www3.mda.state.mn.us/mngrown/?gclid=CNaO5Lu8t7ACFeUBQAodtCCK6A
8. Catch a show at the Guthrie
Despite the fact that it looks like an Ikea (Come on, you know the thought crossed your mind…), the Guthrie hosts award winning plays and showcases spectacular views. (http://www.guthrietheater.org/)
9. Free Thursdays at the Walker Art Center
Enjoy all the Walker Art Museum has to offer for free every Thursday!
10. Walk along the Stone Arch Bridge and wonder into St. Anthony Main
Built in the 1880s by James J. Hill at a time when engineers thought it impossible to build a stone arch bridge for rail traffic. Now 125 years later the Stone Arch Bridge is one of the oldest surviving bridges over the Mississippi River. St. Anthony Main (http://stanthonymain.com/) is your entry point to the Minneapolis riverfront. It hosts movie theaters, restaurants, shops, family orientated events, entertainment and attractions.
Tell us about your experiences at these places and events or other things that you think are “can’t miss” opportunities in the Twin Cities!
Cassie Fortin is a fourth year associate at Larson • King, LLP in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she focuses her litigation practice in the areas of products liability, business, financial services, and insurance coverage. She is active in the Twin Cities legal community: served on the MSBA Council for the last three years, Chair of DRI Young Lawyers Steering subcommittee on Law School Initiative, and a member of the Diversity in Practice Young Lawyers Group. She has experienced other parts of the United States and world, having lived in Wisconsin (Go Badgers!); Baltimore, Maryland; and Dublin, Ireland.
“I would love to talk to you about any of the Top 10s, your summer experience, and provide any assistance I can to you to help make your summer fantastic!” – Cassie