Decided to spend our last day in the greater Minneapolis area, right in the heart of the city!
Like the adventures of the week, the downtown area was no disappointment!
Here we come…..nice Sunday traffic and we cruise right in. A fond welcome from a nice sized and 21st century looking skyline!
We decided to head toward the riverfront area first. Here we are at Gold Medal Park! Yes, Gold Medal as in the flour. This entire riverfront area has a rich history in flour mills as a major point of early industry in the Minneapolis area.
This park is pristine!! The mound you see is similar to the traditional native America burial mounds that can be found throughout Minnesota and is Minneapolis’s way to pay homage to the local tribes while combining a pleasant natural park experience. There is a pathway that swirls it’s way around and up.
The building to the right is the famed Guthrie Theater. Minneapolis’s hub of performance, education and training of the fine arts!
Flour Mills and Sawmills were the first major industries here. The Mill Museum has combined modern glass architecture with the skeleton of one of the original mills (part of Gold Medal, I believe)…it is very cool!!!
This is a portion of Mill Park…more remnants of historic mills are being preserved here, rather than destroyed or removed, to create a one of a kind park experience. Talk about pride in your past!!! Well done!
The Historic Stone Arch Bridge circa 1883, is one of the first of Minneapolis’s many bridges that cross the Mississippi and the only one made of stone! This area has more bridges spanning the Mississippi than the rest of the Mississippi entirely.
St. Anthony Falls! The only natural waterfall on the Upper Mississippi! The Mississippi has many islands! One of the largest is Nicolette Island and is the just north of this bridge as it crosses the Mighty Mississippi!
Easily distracted by…everything, even Gracie takes a moment to appreciate our surroundings!
A perfect view of the old Pillsbury sign, Minneapolis was the flour milling capital of the world from 1880-1930…in part due to the power harnessed from the Mississippi!
We did take a driving tour of the more central downtown area….Nicolette Mall, central to shopping and restaurants in the area but lots of renovations kept us from spending too much time. BUT, it is interesting to note that downtown Minneapolis has the largest skyway system in the US and you can essentially walk over 8 miles and enter/exit all the buildings downtown without ever going outside!!!
So we detour to Loring Park. I love this water feature!!! The Berger “Dandelion Fountain”.
The largest of the downtown areas public parks it is a pleasant oasis with a small lake, gardens, benches, The William Berry house and was named for Charles Loring the “father of Minneapolis parks”. Well deserved!
What a way to end our stay in Minneapolis! A throughly enjoyable visit and a fantastic example of the balance of city life and the appreciation of Mother Nature!
Travel and over due grocery shopping tomorrow but I think our next and last stop in Minnesota will be a good one….stay tuned!