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Straddling the Mississippi River and studded with lakes and parks, Minneapolis is cultured, ambitious and friendly. Art lovers flock to the Walker Art Center – one of the country’s best – and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Inventive chefs take a farm-to-table approach to meat-heavy classics from the city’s German and Scandinavian roots.
Beloved venues like Nye’s Polonaise feature polka bands and kitschy beer halls evoke Bavaria. Minneapolis is a musician’s town, home to Prince and the Replacements, and the place where Bob Dylan got his start. You can still catch a show at First Avenue Club, where "Purple Rain" was shot, or have a drink (or three) at alt-rock dive the CC Club.
North Loop has morphed from a bohemian enclave to an upscale loft district with galleries, boutiques and exceptional restaurants. The artists have moved on to the funky Northeast, which has recently birthed a microbrewery boom. Active types can hike, bike, run, boat and swim in the many lakes and parks, while spectators can root for the Twins, Vikings or Timberwolves.