With its skyscrapers set amid glittering lakes, Minneapolis makes for an attractive and fun getaway.
A truly year-round destination, the city offers activities for every season. In winter, one can explore the downtown area through more than seven miles of glass-enclosed skyways. In addition to keeping you warm, they create a lively thoroughfare filled with specialty shops, restaurants and services.
Whether you want to escape the winter cold or the summer warmth, the Mall of America offers shopping, dining and entertainment options for any time of the year and every member of the family. Art lovers have plenty to see at the Minneapolis Art Institute, Walker Art Center and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, which all house world-renowned collections.
Minneapolis Minnesota Lakes and Theaters
The theater scene is thriving. With more than thirty theaters, Minneapolis has more seats per capita than any U.S. city except New York. See a Broadway show and enjoy dinner and live jazz at a fabulous restaurant. With kids in tow, check out the Science Museum of Minnesota, where visitors can produce their own video, or come face to face with a shark at the UnderWater Adventures Aquarium. In summer, the action moves outside. Known as “The City of Lakes,” Minneapolis has 22 lakes located within city limits and many more in the surrounding area.
In town, hordes of locals and tourists in-line skate or stroll around Minneapolis Lakes, stopping for beer along the way. Just outside of town, Fort Snelling State Park offers outdoor recreational activities from hiking to biking and golf to boating. No matter when you visit, Minneapolis offers lots for everyone to enjoy.
List of lakes in Minneapolis
There are 13 lakes of at least five acres (two hectares)[a] within the borders of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Of these, Lake Calhoun, also known as Bde Maka Ska, is the largest and deepest, covering 421 acres (170.37 ha) with a maximum depth of 89.9 feet (27.4 m). Lake Hiawatha, through which Minnehaha Creek flows, has a watershed of 115,840 acres (468.79 km2), two orders of magnitude larger than the next largest watershed in the city. Ryan Lake, in the city's north, sits partially in Minneapolis and partially in neighboring Robbinsdale. Certain other bodies of water are counted on some lists of Minneapolitan lakes, though they may fall outside the city limits or cover fewer than five acres.
Many of Minneapolis's lakes formed in the depressions left by large blocks of ice after the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet at the end of the last glacial period. Before the appearance of white settlers, the Dakota harvested wild rice from the lakes. In the early 1800s, the lakes' shorelines were marshy, deterring large-scale settlement and development by white residents though an experimental Dakota agricultural community, Ḣeyate Otuŋwe, was founded on the banks of Bde Maka Ska by Maḣpiya Wic̣aṡṭa in 1829. In the 1880s, landscape architect Horace Cleveland foresaw Minneapolis's growth and made a series of recommendations to the city's Board of Park Commissioners to acquire land along Minnehaha Creek, near Minnehaha Falls, and around several lakes in the southwest portion of the city in order to form a robust, interconnected park system that would aesthetically and morally benefit the city's residents. Board president Charles M. Loring heeded Cleveland's advice and bought the land, later developed into a robust system of parks by Theodore Wirth. During this time, many of the lakes were reformed by the Board of Park Commissioners through draining, dredging, shoreline stabilization, and the construction of parkways around their perimeters. Property in neighborhoods surrounding the lakes grew desirable, especially by the "Chain of Lakes", five lakes in the southwestern portion of the city (Calhoun, Harriet, Isles, Cedar, and Brownie) that were joined by artificial channels.
Various municipal symbols and icons reference the presence of the lakes in Minneapolitan life, from the sailboat in the city's logo to the ship's wheel on its flag to Minneapolis's nickname, the "City of Lakes". Much of Minneapolis's lakeshore is public parkland, in contrast to other American cities where lakeside property tends to be privately controlled. Since they were dredged, the lakes have drawn city residents for recreation and sport including swimming, sailing, yachting, canoeing, biking, jogging, and ice skating. The 76-mile (122.3 km) Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway passes around many of Minneapolis's lakes.