Living in California, I can’t imagine traveling to the Midwest being at the top of anyone’s to-do list, but it’s been on mine for quite some time.
Finding out my favorite NFL team (Minnesota Vikings) was playing my brother’s favorite NFL team (Dallas Cowboys) in Minnesota, I knew I had to get my mom, brother and sister-in-law on board and get the trip-planning ball rolling.
We stayed in downtown Minneapolis and it is beautiful: tall buildings, busy streets, people walking everywhere and the city really lights up at night. One of the cool things about downtown Minneapolis are the skyways. You can take these across streets and between buildings so during very cold temperatures, you don’t have to go outside.
We found Hell’s Kitchen. Thinking it was affiliated with chef Gordon Ramsay (it wasn’t), we decided to try it out. This is where we came across the “MN icon: State Fair Cheese Curds” and were in cheese curd heaven. Pair with their Summit English pale ale and you’re in for a treat. A few other places worth mentioning are: Hot Plate, The Nicolett Diner (amazing breakfast potatoes), Pizza Luce, Keys at the Foshay Tower and, thanks to Guy Fieri and Triple D’s, we found a little gem called Kramarczuk’s (Ukrainian meatballs with mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce/cabbage rolls with tomato cream sauce).
We only tried one coffee shop, the Minneapolis Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co. Our Uber driver told us it was like their Starbucks. From their caramella to original brew and latte art, they did not disappoint.
Minnehaha Falls is something I came across on Instagram, and if seeing a photo makes you fall in love with a waterfall, this is definitely worth seeing in person. The path to this waterfall has a few walking trails and a whole lot of stairs – we even passed a “no trespassing” sign and some chains to keep people out – and although we could’ve gotten in trouble for doing so, I believe passing up the opportunity to see all the beauty Minnehaha Falls has to offer would’ve been the only crime.
Throw it in the Bag
For anyone who loves shopping, roller coasters, food, music, shows and anything else you can possibly think of, the Mall of America is the place for you. Roller coasters aren’t my thing, so my mom and I took pictures of everything while my brother and sister-in-law went on a ride. We managed to go to about four or five stores before we were all shopped out or maybe just very overwhelmed.
We Love Sports
One of the main reasons we traveled to Minnesota was to see the football game at the U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings’ new home. This structure leaves you in awe. It’s huge! Before the game, we walked around to explore the stadium and out of nowhere we ran into Tony Dungy, who was kind enough to take a few photos with us.
Game time was so much fun, the crowd, the energy, everything! Just a few minutes away from U.S. Bank Stadium is Target Center, home of the Timberwolves. The Knicks were in town so we decided to catch the game, my first NBA action. The game was a nail-biter!
The Vikings lost to the Cowboys, 15-17, and a lot of people made the comment: “You went all the way to Minnesota to see your team lose.” All I can say is, a win would’ve been awesome, but even though they lost, just being able to travel with my family, make new memories, see a new city, a new state, brave 25- to 30-degree weather (that was warm for the locals who were in shorts and T-shirts) and conquer my fear of flying once again makes it worthwhile!
Skol Vikings! ￼