Weekend Wanderer: Portland to Minneapolis
As a native to the Rose City, photographer and Portland expert, Thomas Guy brings the best of Portland to life. With a feed full of local hot spots, epic views, and incredible adventures, it’s easy to see why he won our hearts. He just returned from an Instagram takeover in Minneapolis, as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.
I was grateful for the opportunity to explore Minneapolis with my wife and was pleasantly surprised by what this Midwest jewel has to offer.
On my first day, I woke up for an early sunrise walk around the Stone Arch Bridge. This is where early morning bike commuters zip across the Mississippi River on a bike/pedestrian-crossing. The bridge felt historical in nature – it had a bright glowing sunrise on one side, and a sweeping blue view of downtown Minneapolis on the other. I was literally in awe as I walked from one side to the other.
There’s a reason why Minneapolis is known as the “Mill City.” All the old food manufacturing facilities remained within a modern urban landscape. It was a fascinating juxtaposition that gave historical context to a modern city, while really expressing the roots and development of Minneapolis.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the charming neighborhoods of Minneapolis. I had a light breakfast at Spyhouse Coffee in Northeast Minneapolis. I loved the rustic tones and beautiful natural light. The coffee was perfectly roasted and poured with the utmost craft.
Later, I explored the charming riverfront area and was inspired by all the lush greenery and beautiful craftsman-style homes. I checked out the Longfellow neighborhood and had lunch at the Hi-Lo Diner. They offered an over-the-top take on classic Midwest dishes. I had a curried shrimp donut, eggs Benedict, and deep fried spicy cheese curds. Afterwards, I rinsed down brunch with an espresso from Dogwood Coffee – located just across the street.
That night, we had dinner at Blackbird on Nicollet Avenue. I really appreciated the chic, but Midwest rustic atmosphere. The local brews and cocktails were fantastic and the dishes were simple but delicious.
On Saturday, I checked into a different hotel – The Hewing, which is located in the North Loops neighborhood. This is a very convenient area loaded with new boutiques, coffee shops, and charming stores. The hotel was one of my favorite spaces in all of Minneapolis. The interior build out was incredible. Every detail and texture was perfectly planned. The space really captured the blue-collar, historical context of Minneapolis in a modern way.
The rooftop was brilliant at sunset – featuring a small heated pool, with cocktail and food service. I would highly recommend the Hewitt to anyone traveling to Minneapolis.
We had dinner around the corner at the Bachelor Farmer. It’s quite hard to get a table, but the bar area had open seating and served the full menu. During the day, the front of the business is a coffee shop – appropriately named Bachelor Farmer Cafe. The cafe has an electric interior and a buzzing energy. The coffee is also well crafted and top-notch.
Sunday was spent exploring some of the more natural areas around Minneapolis. There are so many lakes that it blows your mind. We took a short canoe ride on the Lake of the Isles. It was very peaceful and serene. I also explored Minnehaha Park and Minnehaha Falls. It was nice to see a large waterfall so close to the city and gave me a sense of nostalgia being from Oregon.
After the lakes, I checked out the Linden Hills Farmer’s Market. I had excellent wood-fired pizza, and sushi rolled in a cone. After the farmers market we made our way to MilkJam Creamery to try a doughnut ice cream sandwich. It was incredible!
Some other notable recommendations are The Lynhall, Penny’s Coffee, and Alma Cafe for a tasty brunch or romantic dinner. I’m glad I got to share my journey to a new city through the lens of Alaska Air and with my personal Instagram following.