Travel like a local.


Mall of America, Minnehaha Falls & Renaissance Fair in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best things to do in Minneapolis skyline courtesy of StockSnap on Pixabay 926411_1920

Minneapolis skyline. Photo courtesy of StockSnap on Pixabay

I’m really excited to interview Jeremy Hance, author of Baggage: Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriac, about Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeremy’s tips for the best things to do in Minneapolis are awesome because he came here for college, left for work, and came back to start a family. The draw of Minneapolis would not let him leave. Jeremy loves how liveable the city is with lots of green space, a thriving arts scene, and a diverse, vibrant community.

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Best things to do in Minneapolis Minnesota Jeremy Hance - St. Paul's Como Park Conservatory & Zoo with his daughter

St. Paul’s Como Park Conservatory & Zoo with his daughter

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis and its neighboring St Paul are affectionately known as the Twin Cities. It is bisected by the Mississippi River and is home to one of the largest malls in the United States. The Mall of America is a huge tourist draw, but there is so much more to the city than spending the day exploring all of the shops or riding amusement park rides at the theme park inside the mall.

During your visit, make time for the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Children’s Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, Orpheum Theatre, or any of the other museums, theatres, and performing arts centers. Families will love the Minnesota Zoo, Como Zoo Conservatory, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The Minnesota State Fair is the largest state fair in the U.S. by attendance and starts in late August each year. Or you can travel back in time for the Minneapolis Renaissance Festival to witness knights, royalty, and others dress, eat, drink, and compete as they did in medieval times.

Jeremy says that the best time to visit is between April and October. November through March can be unpredictable and sometimes extremely cold and snowy. So much so, that the city has 9.5 miles of “hamster trails” (aka the Minneapolis Skyway) that connect 80 city blocks so that people can walk around town without getting too cold.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Meet Minneapolis, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Minneapolis Minnesota Jeremy Hance - early Spring stroll around St Paul's Como Lake

Early Spring stroll around St Paul’s Como Lake

Getting around Minneapolis

The local airport is Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), which is about 9 miles to downtown.

Jeremy says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. The city’s MetroTransit light rail covers much of the city and the bus service connects the rest. However, if you plan to visit the suburban areas, then a car is necessary. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around.

When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Minneapolis Minnesota Minneapolis Queen riverboat tour courtesy of skeeze on Pixabay

Take a riverboat tour on the Minneapolis Queen. Photo courtesy of skeeze on Pixabay

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Jeremy Hance about Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Green dots = best things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Who is Jeremy Hance?

Jeremy Hance is an environmental journalist and author of the memoir Baggage: Confessions of a Globe-Trotting Hypochondriac. As a journalist, Hance cut his teeth at Mongabay, beginning in 2009 and working as a lead writer and editor for six years.

For over three years he wrote the blog Radical Conservation on the Guardian. Today, he is a columnist for Mongabay, writing monthly articles under the banner Saving Life on Earth: Words on the Wild. A story on the Sumatran rhino was chosen for the 2019 edition of the Best American Science and Nature Writing.

In pursuit of stories, Jeremy has traveled to over 30 countries on five continents. He considers himself ridiculously lucky to have spent time with singing rhinos, dinosaur mammals, and angry clownfish.

Jeremy Hance – Photo Credit Ashley Berry Photograph

Here are a few of the articles that he’s written:

You can connect with Jeremy on his website and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Best things to do in Minneapolis Minnesota Jeremy Hance - his daughter meets one of her cosplay heros at Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Jeremy’s daughter meets one of her cosplay heroes at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy to use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to to start your free account.

Best things to do in Minneapolis Basilica of St Mary courtesy of David Mark on Pixabay

One of the many historic landmarks is the Basilica of St Mary. Photo courtesy of David Mark on Pixabay

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Latrobe Valley Australia Tegan Dawson at Dark Mofo Festival

Tegan Dawson at the Dark Mofo Festival

Listen to the next episode when Tegan Dawson of Haunted Hills Podcast shares the best things to do in Latrobe Valley, Australia. Tegan and I talk about the rainforests of Tarra Bulga National Park, the gold mining town of Walhalla, and hiking at the Morwell River Falls Reserve. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Minneapolis? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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