In case you didn’t know this already, I love my city. I love its creative energy, the fact that we’re surrounded (truly) by lakes, the variety of neighborhoods, the delicious restaurants, the amazing beer, and, of course, how environmentally friendly and forward thinking it is in making our state and country greener.

 This week happens to be Bike to Work Week, so when I was thinking of all of my favorite places that I want to share with you, I also wanted to celebrate this amazing initiative. So here’s my local guide to Minneapolis, but with a twist – don’t forget to bring your bike!

 We’re starting off this tour the Minnesota way – with a beer. Surly opened their beer hall recently, and let me tell you, it is AMAZING. Combine delicious, tasty beer with a menu that includes fried chicken, shrimp & grits, and potato confit (yes, that comes with chorizo and salsa verde – obviously!), and you have got one happy girl. Eat up and don’t feel guilty, though, because you’ve got a good bike ride to our next spot: Betty Danger’s Country Club.

Image via Surly Brewing co.

 Another recent addition to the Twin Cities, Betty Danger’s Country Club is a destination in its own right. Located in oh so fun Northeast, there’s truly nothing else like it. Where else can you drink a margarita called the Dartmouth while munching on Bradford’s Nachos, while also taking a ride on a Ferris wheel? Yes, you heard me right. Betty Danger’s is the proud owner of a Ferris wheel affectionally known as “The Danger.” It’s an amazing view of the city, so soak in those sights and then get back on your bike because we’re crossing the Mississippi and heading downtown to the North Loop. 

Image via Sarah W.

What used to be a grittier and industrial area has been transformed in the past number of years. Now, the North Loop is one of the best places to shop in Minneapolis. Our first stop is at Askov Finlayson. Let me tell you – swoon city. If you’re ever looking for something special for your guy, this is the place to do it. This place is filled with beautifully tailored clothes with the most amazing details and each brand in Askov Finlayson has a story and quality to boot. But ladies, let me tell you, I find plenty in here to for myself, too. I love their selection of magazines and they have some mighty fine smelling candles, too. (And is it wrong that I want all the man sweaters?)

Once you’re done lusting over everything at Askov Finlayson, mosey on down Washington to Shinola, home of some of the most beautiful bikes and watches (and bags and journals and key chains and wallets and you get the picture). While you’re poking around, be sure to grab a coffee from Dogwood, Coffee, which is conveniently located right in Shinola. I’m a sucker for a strong espresso, and theirs is diviiiine. (Also, you’ll need that caffeine to keep you going – we’ve got more to see!)

Image via Minnesota Monthly

After you finish your coffee, get ready because you get to have one more beer. Make your way over to Fulton Brewery, the first brewery taproom in the Twin Cities. They’ve got a bunch of different brews on tap, always including something seasonal (but my personal preference is for the Lonely Blonde – crisp and refreshing!). Once you’ve grabbed your beer, make yourself at home on the patio and enjoy that Minnesota spring breeze. And if you happen to be hungry, there’s always a food truck parked outside, so never fear.

Image via DJR Architecture

We’ve shopped, we’ve imbibed, we’ve munched, we’re caffeinated – it’s high time we head over to the Walker Art Center, a modern and contemporary art museum that we are lucky, lucky, lucky to have. As you make your way over, be sure to notice the sculpture garden and its centerpiece, the ever-loved Cherry and the Spoon. Take your photo-op and explore the gardens, but then you NEED to head inside because the Walker is absolutely incredible. Spend time exploring the permanent collections, but be sure to check out their rotating galleries because they always have something special. And DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT skip the museum store. You’ll thank me for this.

Image via Expedia.com

Once you’re done with the Walker, bike your way along the lakes to Pizzeria Lola in South Minneapolis. Take your time and enjoy the sights because you never know what you’re going to see (just last week I saw a bald eagle fishing!).

Image via Garden County Cooking

You’ve arrived at Pizzeria Lola and you’re definitely hungry and you earned it. I’m not even going to tell you what to order because everything is delicious and perfect and amazing and just eat it all. (The pizza, that is.) I know you have helmet hair, but hop in the photo booth, take a picture, and admire the wall of photos that Pizzeria Lola has built up. You’re in good company.

Our next stop is Hunt & Gather, which is a treasure trove. A combination antique and vintage store, you’ll be sure to find at least 50 things that you never knew you needed, but you definitely had to have. Spend time poking through each room and revel in every discovery. You’ll bike away inspired and already planning your return trip.

Image via The Life Styled

You’ve been biking all day, so you definitely deserve a sweet treat. Our next to last stop is Patisserie 46, home of the most delicious croissant in the Twin Cities. But if you’re not in the mood for a croissant, how about an Earl Grey infused black currant scone? Or a lemon verbena éclair? Or a salted caramel macaron? You won’t be able to resist, so just give in and treat yo self.

 

Image via Heavy Table

You’re almost there! Our last stop is Charlie’s Bike Shop to make sure your bike is no worse the wear for your exploration through Minneapolis. Check your tires, chat with the friendly owners, and plan your next bike ride – they have lots of ideas for this bike-friendly city!

And when you’re done chatting with Charlie, make sure to cross the street and say hello to us at Wind & Willow Home! We want to hear about all of your adventures – don’t leave anything out.

 

Did we miss anything in our local guide to Minneapolis? Tell us about your favorite spots, and enjoy Bike to Work Week!