Minneapolis Area Recommendations

​Helpful sites and transp​​ortation…

Need recommendations for things to do, sites to see, and restaurants and bars to try while in Minneapolis? Here are some "insider tips" from members of the AIHce EXP 2019 Local Advisory Committee (LAC) and their Minneapolis colleagues! 

Meet Minneapolis: City b​y Nature

Great resource that includes maps, light rail and bus schedules, things to do and current entertainment, and top restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and international food options.


Another great resource to everything Minneapolis has to offer!

Shopping d​estinations…

Mall of America (MOA)​

Only 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and minutes from MSP International Airport. Take the Metro Blue Line Light rail train! The Mall of America is one of the top tourist destinations in the country and is known around the world. It is the nation's largest shopping and entertainment destination featuring over 520 stores, 60 restaurants, and the largest indoor theme park - Nickelodeon Universe, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, The LEGO store, American Girl Store, FlyOver America, Crayola Experience, SMAAASH - America's Adrenalin Arena, The Escape Game, and Moose Mountain Adventure Golf + Black Light Mini Golf.  Plus, there is no sales tax on clothing or shoes!

Address: 60 E Broadway in Bloomington, MN

Nicollet Mall​

Nicollet Avenue has been the “Main Street” of Minneapolis for over 100 years. The mall is eight city blocks dedicated to pedestrians, featuring large sidewalks, bars, restaurants, shopping, and public places. Nicollet’s bus stops and light rail station provide key connections to many other downtown points of interest including the Mississippi River, Loring Park, Target Field, Target Center, the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and U.S. Bank Stadium.

Eagan Outlet Mall​

Twin Cities Premium Outlets is home to over 100 Outlet Stores including Nike, Coach, Kate Spade New York, Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, and Vera Bradley. Located 10 minutes from the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport. 

Local and Natural ​History destinations… 

Be​ll Museum​

"I highly recommend the Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium in St. Paul. Their new home features a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits, famous wildlife dioramas, outdoor learning experiences and more. I had the opportunity to volunteer at the grand opening and speak to visitors about the wooly mammoth exhibit. The outside of the building has its own story as well and is meant to look like a life-size diorama."    

Amanda Rice, Advanced EHS Engineering Specialist for 3M

Mill City Museum and​ site of "The Great Mill Disaster"  

The explosion of the largest flour mill in the world on May 2, 1878 led to the first reforms in mill safety. The museum incorporates the ruins of the mill from the explosion that killed 14 men and sent huge chunks of granite over eight blocks and broke windows miles away. The Guthrie Theater and the Endless Bridge are right new door!

Art and T​heater…

Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum​ 

On the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus, this museum features an art collection of early 20th century American artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Marsden Hartley, as well as a diverse selection of contemporary art. The collection is housed in the striking stainless-steel building that was designed by architect Frank Gehry.

Minneapolis Institute of Art​   

In the same building, you can also visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which houses a wonderful collection of “outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures” (from MIA website). General Admission to MIA is free; tickets to the special exhibitions are $20. There is PLENTY to see without going to the special exhibitions. 

Walker Art Center and The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

"If traditional art and theater is not your bag, check out the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, an internationally renowned arts venue that 'presents contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions, dance, theater and music performances, and film screenings' (from Walker website). The company strives to present works that 'reflects the complex issues that shape our diverse, global, and rapidly changing world.' I used to work there – I promise that whether their works surprise, perplex, thrill, or inspire you, they will probably not leave you saying 'meh.'" Admission to the galleries ranges from $7.50 (active military) to $15, and admission to specific live performances is usually between $20-$50. The Sculpture garden is a fun and relaxing place to walk around and enjoy modern and oftentimes whimsical sculptures, including Spoonbridge and Cherry and the giant blue Hahn/Cock.

Rebecca Burton, 3M Senior Industrial Hygienist

Guthrie T​heater

The Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater is an excellent place to view the Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi/Hennepin waterfalls. The Mill City Museum is right next door.

Children’s Theatre Company in M​inneapolis​   

Don’t let the name fool you – the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis is not just for your kids. One of the nation’s most respected (Tony Award winning!) theater companies, they specialize in creating theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire a multigenerational audience. During AIHce CTC will be performing Roald Dahl’s Matilda – the Musical, which won 5 Tony Awards when it premiered in 2013. After long days of networking, learning, and technically intense content, treat yourself to this “captivating girl-power romp that revels in the anarchy of childhood,” “inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl” (from CTC website). CTC tickets range from $15-$54, depending on the seats.

Out and about…

The Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St Paul) has been Top 1 “fittest city in America” 2014 – 2017, and Top 2 in 2018. One of the many reasons behind the accolade is Minnesotan’s love for outdoor activities, of which The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is my favorite. With 102 combined miles of trails (biking and walking), the Grand Rounds is the best way to immerse yourself in the city. 

For an anytime jog or walk, walk over to the Mississippi River and hop on West River Parkway and go up or down along the river to your stamina’s content. Visit Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Museum and learn about combustible dusts (flour explosion), walk across Stone Arch Bridge and explore cafes on St. Anthony Main Street, of which Aster Café is my favorite.

Fort Snelli​ng State Park and Minnehaha Falls Regional Park​

Both are easily accessible via the blue-line light rail. They provide excellent walking/running opportunities in a gorgeous outdoor environment. There’s even an off-leash dog-park nearby.  

Amber Illies, Industrial Hygienist, 3M

MN Nice Ride

If you have more time to spare, find a MN Nice Ride docking station and $6 day pass gives you unlimited 30-min access to bikes. Don’t worry, you can find the next docking station before times runs out, switch out bikes, and start another 30 minutes. You can continue the Grand Rounds or take a detour along Midtown Greenway to visit the Martin Olav Sabo bridge, on your way to Lake Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) and the vibrant Uptown area.  Also try to Chain of Lakes Park!

Get out there and explore! 

Sergio Arce, Senior Industrial Hygienist for 3M

Skyway S​ystem and eating your way through d​owntown​ 

One thing Minnesotans know how to do is to keep going through the frigid winter. One way this is accomplished downtown, is with the Skyway system. At 9.5 miles of path, the Skyway offers a practical way to get around without having to be outdoors. While I encourage you to enjoy as much time outdoors, I’d be remiss to not mention the fantastic eats hidden in the Skyway. 

Where street-level restaurants offer ample seating and high-end cuisine, the Skyway-level restaurants offer enticing eats and quick bite options, ideal for lunch. Vellee Deli is a delicious mix of Korean and Mexican cuisines; People’s Organic will offer you local flavors; Cardigan donuts will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. Why not try something new every day? 

The skyway can be confusing, especially if you are “hangry,” so I recommend planning your route prior to venturing out. 


Lake Bde Maka ​​Ska​ (Formally Lake Calhoun) 

A fun place to walk/run and people watch. Recommend having a car to visit this site.  

Amber Illies, Industrial Hygienist, 3M

Stone Arch​ Bridge and ​the Mississippi and the Hennepin Falls

The endless bridge at the Guthrie Theater is an excellent place to view the Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi/Hennepin waterfalls.

Molly Coskran
Heed Environmental Health and Local Planning Committee Chair 

Segway ​Tour 

Along the Mississippi River

Liz Vold, EHS Field Engineer for 3M

Twin’s are at spring training until 3/28
Target Field and Cowboy Jack’s rooftop bar before the game

Tickets will likely be cheap given their typical losing record, though record doesn’t matter on a nice night.

Saints baseball​

Como ​Park Zoo and Conservatory​ 

This place has a bit of everything animals plants, and pure outdoor bliss with its miles of trails and it’s all free with a suggested donation of $5.

Pu​blic Art…

Mary Tyler Moore ​Statue​

505 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

A bronze statue on a downtown corner honors Minneapolis's favorite career gal.  

Nicollet Ma​ll Public Art​

Sculpture Clock

11th & Nicollet

A fantastic recently restored 1968 clock with an interior mobile art installation built by kinetic artist Jack Nelson.  

Manhole ​Covers

A dozen artists were chosen to design the sewer covers in downtown Minneapolis.  Many of the covers celebrate the area’s history and wildlife, including the Minnesota state fish (the Walleye), the state fruit (Halverson Apple), and the state bird (Loon).

Sidew​alk Harp​

500 N 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

A short walk from the light rail stop by Target Field, the installation is in front of the Be The Match building.

40-foot-long stainless-steel wave that makes music when you wave your hand beneath the glowing LED lights. The pulsing purple, blue, red, green, and white lights producing a unique sound with each different color.

Restaurants, Bars, tap rooms and brewery destinations…

The Lyn Lake Strip

Includes the Lyn Lake Brewery, which has both inside and rooftop seating.  Feel free to grab or order in food from many local restaurants, one of my personal favorites is the World Street Kitchen (WSK)

Minneapolis being the home of the ‘Jucy Lucy’, both Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club tout creating the original. A personal favorite is Matt’s, which also comes with a dive bar feel, but may involve a line out the door. Other popular burger places include: Blue Door Pub (BDP) – Longfellow location, Red Cow, & Parlour.

The Midtown Global Market is an international market with great (& many) food options, along with unique shops. It also has it’s own brewery, Eastlake, within the market area.

Kurt Prieve, Senior Safety Engineer for 3M

J.D. Ho​yt’s 

Pork chops the size of your head and you just might see some baseball alumni 

Dean Bakken, KMH Steel 

The Monte Carlo 

Old fashioned steak house. You know it’s good when the staff has been around a long time.

Spoon & Stable 

Make reservations as soon as possible at the Spoon and Stable, which is located in what was once a horse stable, dating back to 1906, in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood. Chef/Owner Gavin Kaysen, a James Beard award-winner, focuses the restaurant's cuisine on the seasonality of the Midwest, the unique farmers and producers of his hometown of Minneapolis using a classic French technique.

Andre Reid, Wenck Associates & Katherine Kroll, Senior Industrial Hygienist for 3M

Brit’s ​Pub

Delicious classic UK style eats, a large selection of English pints, and a rooftop bocce court for folks looking to hang out.  

Address: 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Amber Illies, Industrial Hygienist, 3M

Marve​l Bar

Unmarked speakeasy behind a purple door with avant-garde cocktails, whiskeys & hip, eclectic decor.

Address: 50 N 2nd Ave, Minneapolis

Aster Café

Great food, amazing patio. Located in the Saint Anthony Main neighborhood, 1.5 miles NE from the Convention Center, you’ll find tree-canopied sidewalks along the Mississippi river with a great view of downtown Minneapolis skyline, Stone Arch Bridge, and Historic Saint Anthony Falls. A great place for joggers and people watchers alike.

Betsy Solom, Senior Industrial Hygienist for 3M

Blac​k Sheep

Charcoal fired pizza.

Day Block Br​ewing 

Surly Brewing Company​

The space and patio are nice and big, so it is great for larger groups.  

Great vibes, local beers, grab some great food, and you can schedule a tour.

Otis Heymann

Zen Box Iz​akaya 

Located near US Bank Stadium and serves great ramen. Can be accessed using Metro-Transit or rentable bikes/scooters. 

Amber Illies, Industrial Hygienist, 3M

The North Loop

Take a walking tour and enjoy lot of great food and beer from some of our many local breweries, including Inbound, Fulton, and Modist.  Go a few blocks fewer and you will also find Freehouse, Clockwerks, and Pyres (on the Mississippi River).   

Amber Illies  

Other Dining Recommendations

  • Hell’s Kitchen (and Angel Food Bakery): lunch
  • Hen House: lunch
  • People’s Organic Café: lunch
  • Birchwood Café
  • Common Roots Café
  • Barrio Minneapolis: Tapas, tacos, and tequila    barriotequila.com
  • 112 Eatery
  • Sea Salt
  • Key’s Café – Twin Cities institution yummy in-house bakery, breakfasts, and other American fare  
  • Nicollet Island Inn (gourmet, delicious, romantic, $$$$)
  • Oceanaire (great fish $$$$)
  • McCormick and Schmick (good fish, reasonable price)
  • Manny’s Steakhouse (huge portions, $$$$)
  • Birches on the Lake Long Lake
  • Smack Shack – casual, seafood and cocktails  
  • Dakota Bar and Grill – upscale food, live music  

Ice cream destinations…

There are a number of excellent ice cream places in the cities, and you can’t really go wrong with ice cream, but if I had to narrow it down I’d recommend Sebastian Joe’s or Minnesota Nice Cream. (Everyone who knows Liz knows she is committed to eating ice cream daily, so take her recommendations seriously!)  

Liz Vold, EHS Field Engineer for 3M

Other locals also recom​mended: 

Sota Hot and Cold

394 University Ave W

Izzy’s Ice Cream​

1100 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA

Entertainment and nightlife des​tinations…

First Avenue 

CanCan Wonderland

Set in an old warehouse with art deco theme. It includes a huge mini-golf course, arcade games AND, self-serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks. Yes, you help yourself to drinks that are charged by the ounce to a card that you pre-load with funds.  

Lots of fun for the family (before 9pm), teambuilding, or just something different to do indoors.  A separate brew pub is also located in the same warehouse for other beverage options.

Scott Norman, Health and Safety Program Manager for Bay West LLC 

Top ​Golf 

A bit more expensive, is really fun, and you don’t have to be any good at golf to go here, I promise.

Liz Vold, EHS Field Engineer, 3M

The St. Paul Scen​​e…

Keg and Case Market in the West 7th area of St. Paul

A large selection of food, shops, and a brewery as well. As a resident of Saint Paul, I think everyone should check it out!  

Otis Heymann, Service Worker for 3M Global Lab EHS

St. Paul Creamery  

Café Latte

Science Museum

MN History Center

Grand Avenue: Good restaurants and shopping 

Capitol View Restaurant

Summit Avenue

James J. Hil​l House

Built by railroad tycoon James J. Hill in 1883 this iconic native granite and limestone structure is the oldest bridge in Minneapolis. The bridge, designated as a National Historic Engineering Landmark, was renovated in 1980 and now is used recreationally by bicyclists and pedestrians.

Amazingly Minnes​ota…

Paisley Pa​​rk​

Joint AIHA/ASSP local section meeting Personal Recommendations:

Betty Dangers – ride the Ferris wheel!

Scott Huberty, Meadowbrook Insurance Group

Top Golf

Dangerous Man Brewing

1029 Bar

Roger Berkowitz, Sherwin Williams

The Nook – Featured “Dive” on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. Have a burger then visit the bowling center in the basement

Pajarito St Paul – Central American Cuisine

Lucky’s 13 Mendota or Roseville

Vint Johnson, Antea Group

The Guthrie Theater for a show or the view!

Ron Pearson, Environmental Health and Safety, Inc

Mill City Museum/Stone Arch Bridge/Pillsbury Park

Surly Brewing

Wirth Park for Mountain Biking

Lee’s Liquor Lounge

David Abrams, ARS Environmental, Inc

Lake Calhoun walk/bike/ice cream (Lake Bde Maka Ska)

Mark Lenling, State of Minnesota

Kramarczuk’s Eastern European Deli authentic homemade

Como – Harriet Street Care Ride boards at Lake Harriet near the Band Shell

Lake Harriet Band Shell concerts (free)

Run/Walk around the 3 city lakes

Mark Mitchell, 3M

Minneapolis: Pyres Brewing, Betty Dangers Country Club, I Like You Store, Minnehaha Falls, Lawless Distilling, Guthrie Theater, Kayak on Bdemke Ska, Rm 5 VR Bar

St. Paul: Cathedral, the Bulldog Lowertown, Tin Whiskers Brewing, Como Zoo

Jennifer Cougler, Complete Health, Environmental and Safety Services Inc

Run/walk/bike/drive River Road

Visit Minnehaha Falls, Walk/Bike the paths including to Fort Snelling and back

Renae Goldman, 3M Retired

Lift Bridge Brewery Tour Stillwater

Don Rust, 3M Personal Safety Division

Sea Change restaurant attached to the Guthrie has nice bar/seafood bar.

Guthrie Theater 9th floor “yellow cube” and “endless bridge” for views.

Debbie Brown, Commonweal Occupational & Environmental Hygiene and Local Section President Elect

Saint’s Baseball

Minnesota United Soccer

Kerry Schm​id Ecolab

Volstead’s Speakeasy is a fun and unique Uptown location. Enter through an ally found behind the build next to UpDown. Very low-key atmosphere with craft cocktails.

Minnehaha Falls walk, bike rentals 

Como Conservatory​

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