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Take a city with miles of shoreline, add four distinct seasons, an arts explosion, and a dose of local pride, and you'll have the perfect recipe for Minneapolis. This Midwestern metropolis has a lot to offer, and it won't take visitors long to fall in love with this half of the Twin Cities. Already a top cultural destination, Minneapolis recently spent $500 million on the arts. Five separate organizations erected theaters, museums, and a library designed by internationally known architects. And with more theater seats per capita than any other city in the U.S. besides New York, visitors won't have any trouble finding entertainment. Although the city of Minneapolis enjoys four different seasons, the area truly shines during winter. Locals don't hibernate during the snowy months, they thrive in it. Whether they are snow kiting on one of the 22 lakes or watching the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship, residents like to get outdoors. And tourists shouldn't fear braving the cold to get to Minneapolis attractions, since there are more than eight miles of skyways—glass "tunnels" built above street level—connecting the downtown area. It's no surprise that the Mall of America, with more than 520 stores and its own zip code, is one of the most popular attractions for Minneapolis shopping. And it's more than just a retail space: The mall has an amusement park, miniature golf course, and more than 20 restaurants. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is served by nearly fifteen airlines, so finding flights to Minneapolis should be an easy task.

When To Go

Many people assume the weather in Minneapolis is constantly cold, but the city actually experiences four distinct seasons, much like Boston and Chicago. The summer is the most popular, and perhaps most favorable, time to visit because of the warm weather and outdoor recreation. Many visitors also come in the fall to witness the changing of the leaves. Minneapolis has devised a system to beat the cold winter weather with eight miles of an above-ground, glass-enclosed walkway system that connects hotels, dining, and entertainment venues in the downtown area. Travelers to Minneapolis also enjoy winter outdoor activities, including skiing, ice fishing, and ice skating.

high season: April to August
low season: November to March
shoulder season: September to October

Weather Information

Minneapolis experiences four seasons. Summers can be warm, with average highs in the upper 70s to low 80s. Fall temperatures cool down, with average highs falling from 71 in September to 40 in November. Winters bring snow and colder weather, with average highs in the upper 20s. The spring sees warmer temperatures and blooming flowers, with average highs of 41 in March warming up to 70 in May.

Crowd Information

The summer tends to be the busiest time, with warm weather and school vacations. The holiday season also picks up, especially with signature events such as the Holidazzle parade (every Thursday through Sunday) and the annual Macy's holiday display in November and December.

Closure Information

Hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round.

When to Save

The winter, excluding holidays, is the least expensive time to visit. The summer has higher prices because of an increase in demand.

Information provided by the Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association