1. Return to Minnesota: Unveiling the Nice
Once synonymous with the tragic events surrounding George Floyd and the unrest in Minneapolis, this Midwestern gem, Minnesota, had lost a bit of its charm for me. Memories of the legendary athlete Korey Stringer, who once championed the Minnesota Vikings, lingered in my mind. However, with a genuine curiosity to witness the revival of the ‘Minnesota Nice’ I remembered from years past, I decided to return. Beyond the tragedies and the iconic Purple Rain, I sought to explore how Minnesota was rediscovering its welcoming spirit and hospitality.
2. Resilience Amidst Tragedy: Downtown’s Royal Spirit
Despite the aftermath of riots and business flight that left the downtown area somewhat in disrepair, the royal spirit of Minnesota, symbolized by the color purple, remains resilient. The eyes of its citizens and community personalities reflect a determination to rebuild, creating an atmosphere that makes visitors feel at home and warmly welcomed during their travels.
3. St. Paul Farmers Market: A Culinary Tapestry
For those craving fresh, uniquely seasoned, and regionally-flavored cuisine, the St. Paul Farmers Market is a must-visit. Set against the backdrop of the market’s welcoming sign, immerse yourself in the tapestry of the community while indulging in delightful options that are sure to tickle your taste buds.
4. Bearded Mermaid: Style Seekers’ Paradise
Looking for fringe, a cool leather blazer, or perhaps a kimono? The Bearded Mermaid belongs on your travel list. This family-owned and operated boutique offers vintage finds in impeccable condition at cost-effective prices. Define the fashion forecast with unique pieces from this stylish haven.
5. Schmidt Brewery: Beer, Wrestling, and Reinvention
After exhausting funds at the Bearded Mermaid, I found solace in an ice-cold beer at Schmidt Brewery. Little did I know, this brewery had more to offer—a chance to witness wrestling matches in its outdoor arena. In the midst of a pandemic, Schmidt Brewery’s reinvention with outdoor wrestling matches, food, and beverages is a winning formula.
6. Paisley Park: Where Magic Lives
While not attempting to discount other experiences, Paisley Park is nothing short of magical. Step into the world of Prince and let the journey go crazy with the enchantment that this iconic location has to offer.
7. W Hotel and Keys Cafe: Living Large in Minneapolis
W Hotel Minneapolis, the largest living room among all W properties worldwide, was once a frequent hideout for the icon Prince. Representing the first of lifestyle experience concepts, this hotel offers a unique perspective on luxury. Just steps beyond the concierge desk lies Keys Cafe, where warm smiles, hot food, and a willingness to share the keys to the city make it stand out. The servers’ expeditious movements ensure you’re served larger-than-life plates of delicious food, providing the perfect fuel before conquering the city’s attractions.
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