From the first moment you arrive in Minneapolis, you’ll instantly understand why Mary Richards threw her hat in the air with excitement for seven years every time The Mary Tyler Moore Show, set in this vibrant location, was broadcast on television. There is a feeling in the air that can only be understood by emotions that surely stem from the strong affinity with the arts and culture that are a historical legacy of Minneapolis.
With luminaries past and present on the Guthrie Theater stage including Jessica Tandy (Fried Green Tomatoes, Driving Miss Daisy), her husband Hume Cronyn (Cocoon) whom she met at the Guthrie, and TR Knight (George on Grey’s Anatomy) is not Hard to understand the culture that is Minneapolis. Wherever there is a healthy arts community, it seems a thriving GLBT community is just a heartbeat away.
Open-minded, vibrant, friendly, confident and forward thinking. Regardless of how you describe Minneapolis, it is a new and exciting destination for the gay tourist. With the highest percentage of GLBT population of any US city outside of San Francisco, it’s no wonder a gay-friendly welcome is guaranteed in this Midwestern metropolis.
Minneapolis’s cultural landscape is currently experiencing an artistic explosion with nearly half a billion dollars recently spent on new and improved infrastructure. With the new Public Library building, the impressive new Guthrie Theatre, a new expansion of the Walker Arts Center and a new wing at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and more to come in the coming years, this city is one exceptional treat. for fans of culture. or anyone curious.
Three openly gay men sitting on the City Council and one openly gay Senator have enabled some of the most progressive same-sex legislation to be found in Bush country. Although there is no real gay town, it is very clear that the local GLBT community is fully integrated into this cosmopolitan gem of the American Midwest.
Anything and everything you may be looking for on your gay vacation is available in Minneapolis. A vibrant GLBT community, fabulous food, excellent accommodations, lively nightlife and a culture beyond imagination await you to experience and enjoy.
With the new global trend toward boutique hotels, it’s no wonder Minneapolis is ready and able to offer this type of accommodation for the ultimate vacation experience.
The new Chambers Hotel opened its doors in September this year to great anticipation as a boutique design hotel showcasing a multi-million dollar contemporary and avant-garde collection of original works from around the world. An intimate, luxury service, high design, luxury resort with sixty rooms, an outdoor patio, lobby bar, rooftop lounge and Chambers Kitchen restaurant, this can only be described as an experience like no other. For art lovers who once felt like they didn’t want to leave a gallery when the doors closed, the Chambers is like sleeping the night away in that gallery. Whether you consider yourself an art lover or not, the stunning design will take your breath away. Be sure to check out the fire escape mural, a unique piece of art in itself. Add to this the luxurious accommodations and friendly, helpful staff, and it’s a vacation or honeymoon experience to remember.
The larger, twenty-one-story Graves 601 Hotel opened in August of this year, adding yet another new landmark to the Minneapolis hotel scene. With an environment rich in design, modern art and cutting-edge technology, it is located in the center of the city, close to shops, businesses and the Guthrie Theater. Each room includes a wall-mounted forty-two-inch plasma television, two mood lighting scenes, a wireless digital keyboard for Internet access, an etched glass edge-lit headboard depicting one of four scenes from Minneapolis, a vast library of movie and music selections for digital download and a top-of-the-line mattress for a restful night’s sleep. Plus, you’ll experience unparalleled bathroom elegance that’s out of this world for a truly pampered stay at this new hotel brand.
For a more traditional hotel experience, the Marriott City Center offers full service in the heart of downtown, just steps from everything Minneapolis has to offer. Connected to the entire downtown area by enclosed Skyways and close to theaters and nightlife, this is a place worth considering for your stay. A Sunday breakfast in bed with champagne and orange juice in the newly renovated rooms will help you recover from the frivolity of the night before and set the tone for exploring all that is on offer in the heart of this city.
Sparkling lakes, attractive trails and green spaces grace this landscape where every resident lives within six blocks of a park or open space. It is possible to bike, walk, pedal or row, all within the confines of the center.
The mighty Mississippi River runs through the heart of Minneapolis, providing spectacular river walks and skyline views of this urban park. The city’s history revolves around this river and today local residents and visitors alike enjoy the historic landmarks along the river’s banks.
The Mississippi Riverfront Historic District has transitioned from industrial to recreational land, delighting outdoor enthusiasts with parks, picnic areas, walking trails, landmarks like the Pillsbury Bakery, and the city’s only rail bridge. stone crossing the Mississippi. This history-rich neighborhood is a perfect afternoon retreat with restaurants, patios, and shops to completely escape the nearby city across the river. You can experience a magical history Segway tour, which is the closest thing to a magic carpet ride you’re likely to get. If you have never ridden a Segway, then you are in for a unique experience and full training is provided before heading out to glide along the riverside trails and trails.
Returning to the downtown side of the riverfront, you can visit the Mill City Museum, which is the latest addition to Minnesota’s statewide network of historic sites. From 1880 to 1930, Minneapolis was considered the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” and this museum rises eight stories from the ground on the original ruins of Washburn A Mill, a National Historic Landmark. The elevator ride to the rooftop observation deck culminates in a spectacular view of the Mississippi River Valley and downtown Minneapolis. In the museum’s theater, a twenty-minute video provides an excellent history of the region in a fast pace that will make you feel like an expert local historian. If that’s not enough for a trip back in time, then the aroma of freshly baked bread will take you back in time.
When the past meets the present and looks to the future, there can be no better example than the historic Guthrie Theatre. In 1960, an eager invitation from Minneapolis community leaders brought internationally acclaimed director Sir Tyrone Guthrie to the city to consider as a possible home for his new theater. In 1963, the original Guthrie Theater debuted a modern production of Hamlet on a single stage. More than forty years later, the spectacular new multi-million dollar Guthrie Theater complex opened in June of this year. This new three-stage performing arts center stays true to the original concept with another push stage in a 1,100-seat auditorium and the additions of a 700-seat proscenium and 250-seat studio theater. However, French architect Jean Nouvel has created an entire entertainment structure with restaurants, bars, a view of the Mississippi and an inspiring atmosphere worthy of some of the best performances by actors of today and tomorrow. This bold venture is sure to ensure that Minneapolis’s prolific theater community, which is also the soul of this city, continues to aspire to greater heights now and in the future, as the tradition of this theater deserves. A visit to this performing arts center and a night at the theater will be the highlight of your visit to Minneapolis, guaranteed.
Dining in Minneapolis will be an adventure and will involve some very difficult decisions. Wolfgang Puck’s 20.21 at the Walker Art Center versus Cue at the Guthrie Theatre? There is no choice, you have to try both! A really special place to have breakfast is Hell’s Kitchen, making it an easy decision and a truly unique experience. Even if you’re not staying at the Chambers Hotel, you’ll want to enjoy a multi-course dinner created by Chef Jean-Gorges in the Chambers kitchen. A former police station is the setting for a perfectly prepared dinner by chef-owner Stewart Woodman at Five Restaurant and Lounge. Expect the surprise of a special “Boys in Blue” dessert and when you go to the bathroom make sure they don’t throw away the “jail” key. At Wild Roast Café you can expect a warm welcome from owners and partners Dean and Tom in their café where the 1903 fireplace is the centerpiece and their excellent light fare is a true culinary delight to complement the relaxing home atmosphere. And of course, there’s always dinner on a Mississippi night rowing boat tour for a truly unique dining experience with a little romance thrown in for good measure.
Halfway between New York and Los Angeles, but out of the closet, Minneapolis offers unparalleled nightlife for the energetic gay traveler. After all that this cultural city has to offer during the day and twilight, those with incredible stamina can party until the wee hours of the morning at approximately fifteen gay or gay-friendly bars, clubs and pubs. There’s a place to drink and dance every night of the week and it’s no wonder the locals are always out and about.
For those who enjoy shopping, there are several neighborhoods near downtown with boutiques and community-style stores. For a shopping adventure The Mall of America is a must with over 520 stores, an amusement park and an aquarium. With no sales tax on clothing, this is the perfect time to expand your wardrobe.
One of the best and most convenient services in this city is Metro Transit, which includes light rail and buses. For just two dollars and fifty cents, you can comfortably travel from the airport terminal to the heart of downtown and many places in between. You can save that expensive airport transfer money common in most cities and spend it on fun.
The fascinating culture and soul of this city is due solely to the incredible people who call Minneapolis home. The city’s greatest asset is the warmth of its citizens. Everyone from bellhops to waiters, museum and gallery directors, actors and people on the street give a friendly wave. It’s easy to understand the pride in your city, the pride in your community, but your welcome goes beyond any other equally proud cosmopolitan city.
Watch out Big Apple and Broadway, there’s a new Mary throwing her hat in the ring!