A guide on where to have the most epic downtown view of the Minneapolis skyline.
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An ultimate list of places to snag the best view of the downtown Minneapolis, MN skyline. Every large city has an iconic skyline view. Minneapolis, compared to many other metropolitan cities has a relatively small downtown area. However, being smaller in comparison doesn’t take away from how beautiful the skyline is. (I may be biased as I am born and raised in Minnesota!)
Unless you’re from Minnesota, you probably aren’t aware that almost everyone has a preference of the two “Twin Cities” Minneapolis vs. St. Paul. Minneapolis boasts up and coming bars/restaurants and newer areas where younger generations tend to flock whereas St. Paul is more historic and rooted in tradition. St. Paul has the beautiful Rice Park and also has a lot of great restaurants and breweries. Check out my post highlighting the best breweries in the Twin Cities here.
Out of the two, the Minneapolis skyline is definitely more impressive, hands down! So, lets get you to the perfect spots to view this gorgeous skyline.
1) Target Field
Baseball is one of my favorite sports so I’m always down to go to a ballgame (and have a few beers.) When Target Field was replaced by the Metrodome in 2010, it was a bold decision not building a retractable roof. Let me tell you, the beginning of the baseball season in Minnesota the weather can get really dicey! In April, at times we get feet (yes plural) of snow.
But, on a beautiful summer evening nothing is better than taking in a baseball game outside with a beautiful downtown view of Minneapolis. I’ve been a handful of other MLB stadiums and Target Field is a great venue. They will often have concerts at the venue as well. I’ve seen many baseball games here each summer but also caught a few concerts.
2) Stone Arch Bridge
Stone Arch Bridge is one of the most trafficked pedestrian bridges in Minneapolis. Today it is a pedestrian bridge but it is a former railroad bridge that crosses the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls. It’s a longstanding structure in Minneapolis as it was built between 1881-1883. In 1982 it was converted to pedestrian only use and is a designated National Historic Engineering Landmark.
In comparison to other bridges that cross the Mississippi River in Minneapolis the Stonearch Bridge is unique due to the material it’s built with. It’s comprised of native granite and limestone. When the bridge was first constructed it had 23 arches which is how it was named.
The Stone Arch Bridge is a key link to the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail that consists of pedestrian walking lanes and bike lanes. This trail length is 2 miles so its a perfect distance! If you’re on the East side of the river walking towards downtown Minneapolis, the views can’t be beat!
Boom Island park is a park alongside the river that has paths for walk (and biking), a playground, boat dock, a few covered pavilion areas as well as a vast lawn where you can spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic. The best aspect of this park, hands down is the lovely view across the river of downtown Minneapolis. There are several benches where you can just relax and take in the view. Make sure to walk down across the Plymouth Ave bridge to get a great view of the river and the lighthouse as well!
Although no longer a physical island, this park gets it’s name from the history of the area. It was at one time used for the sorting of logs in the logging industry. The “booms” were used to separate logs that floated down the Mississippi River enroute to the sawmills powered by St. Anthony Falls. At that time, it was an island but since then the back channel has been filled in. Currently it’s a park that many recreational activities occur both on and off the water.
4) Plymouth Avenue Bridge
Crossing the river right by Boom Island Park, this is another viewpoint to see the river and downtown Minneapolis. (Think of number 3 and 4 as a two for one!) You can park in the Boom Island Parking lot (pay parking with the kiosks or you can download the parking app.)
The view from this bridge is of downtown Minneapolis, the lighthouse of Boom Island park and down the Mississippi River.
5) Northern Pacific Bridge # 9
Otherwise known as the Bohemian Flats Bridge as the west side of the bridge is at Bohemian Flats Park. This bridge crosses the Mississippi River from the seven corners area of Minneapolis to the University of Minnesota. This location is also a pedestrian bridge.
4) Prospect Park
Prospect Park is an area or a neighborhood in Minneapolis. So, more specifically you can see a view of downtown Minneapolis from Tower Hill while looking west. Tower Hill is within the neighborhood of Prospect Park.
Tower Hill also has a tower (I mean , duh!) and if you’re driving along 94 you likely have seen it. It sits high above the trees and is one of the tallest spots within the whole metro area that is rumored to have views for days. Seriously, you’re supposed to be able to see many of the suburbs and iconic spots within the whole twin cities. Witches Hat Tower, unfortunately only opens once a year and I’ve had the date on my calendar for three years. Usually we’re out of town but the last few years it’s been cancelled due to corona. But, I am bound and determined to make it up there eventually.
The view from the area around the tower facing west is just as awesome. Literally, downtown Minneapolis is framed by greenery. Definitely an Instagram worthy snap if I do say so myself!
7) Gold Medal Park
Located in the riverfront Mill District of Minneapolis. This park is quite large at 7.5 acres. The main visual attraction is the sculpture at the center of a circular walkway. The park has a vast green lawn with many mature trees making it a perfect place to relax. With the cherry on top being the pretty cityscape views. One fun feature, during the evening the benches actually light up with blue LED lights.
At times, the Nashville Co-op food truck would park close to Gold Medal Park. We have enjoyed the best hot chicken in Minnesota while relaxing at Gold Medal Park. I was distracted by the food so didn’t snap a pic in this location. (priorities right?!)
The Foshay tower is an iconic part of the Minneapolis skyline. What better way to have a downtown view of Minneapolis from an observation deck of one of the most historic buildings in the skyline?
One of the best places for a staycation or to have a historic but posh stay in Minneapolis would be at the W Hotel. So many things make this destination great from the observation deck, the fact that the hotel is dog friendly & the best steakhouse in the Twin Cities, Manny’s. Click here to make a reservation at the W Hotel-Foshay by Marriott.
9) Hennepin Avenue Suspension Bridge
A very iconic bridge in Minneapolis (crossing the Mississippi River from the North Loop/Warehouse districts of Minneapolis to NorthEast Minneapolis.) This bridge is a suspension bridge that you can drive across and it has pedestrian or biking lanes as well. It boasts not only river views but downtown Minneapolis city views.
(It’s also a great place to take pictures of 4th of July fireworks.) That is if you aren’t like most Minneapolis residents that head “up north” for a long weekend on the lake over the fourth of July holiday.
This golf club is open to the public and has several picturesque views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. I recently played here for the first time and was really surprised at how many awesome views the course had.
Theodore Wirth Park offers many recreation opportunities year round. From golf and biking in the spring and summer to cross country skiing, tubing and snowshoeing in the winter it’s a year round destination!