You cannot say ‘American Midwest’ without the ‘Twin Cities’ of Minneapolis and St. Paul coming to mind. Straddling the mighty Mississippi, both of them together make for one of the most bustling hubs in the Midwest region. ‘Mill City’ or Minneapolis is today a vibrant mix of culture, cuisine, and music. Having nurtured talents like rock icon Prince, folk and country legend Bob Dylan, and hip-hop star Lizzo, there’s a lot going on for Minneapolis!
Unfortunately, being a ‘happening’ place also comes with a catch -finding affordable Minneapolis parking spots is quite a hassle. Forget visitors; even residents have to settle with Minneapolis city parking spots several miles away from their destinations.
But fret not! There’s an easy way out – we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and compiled a list of famous attractions and where you can find cheap Minneapolis city parking near them.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
As far as urban sculpture gardens go, there’s no beating this one. At once a recreational space and a permanent art exhibition, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden showcases how art is at the center of civic life in the city. The most famous of these installations is Spoonbridge and Cherry, a sculpture shaped like – you guessed it – a spoon forming a bridge across a pond, with a cherry on top! If you feel your aesthetic sensibilities tingling, you can also walk right over to the Walker Art Centre nearby.
Weisman Art Museum
Located on the University of Minnesota campus, the Weisman Art Museum looks unlike anything you’ve seen – it doesn’t have the Victorian or art deco façade commonly ascribed to other museums. Instead, its surface is made of steel sheets bent and curved into an abstract design. Conceptualized by renowned architect Frank Gehry, you could say that the museum is itself a work of art! Dedicated to the late art collector Frederick Weisman, the museum has exhibits on American Modernism, traditional Korean furniture, and ancient Mimbres pottery from the American Southwest.
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You can park your vehicle nearby on South 4th and 5th streets and nearby Park Ave.
Theatre fanatics can have a gala time at this famed performance center. Founded by English theatre director Tyrone Guthrie, it is one of the beating hearts of the city’s flourishing theatre scene. Witness the best upcoming acting talents as they get cracking on entertaining plays, or even join an acting class if you want to learn the basics of stagecraft yourself.
Parking can be found on South 4th and 5th streets and nearby Park Ave.
It would be a shame if you were in Minneapolis and did visit the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system, a set of connected parks built around thirteen lakes. Minnehaha Park is one of the most scenic stops on the Grand Rounds - a walk through it will take you back to the 19th Century. It has well-maintained architectural attractions such as Minnehaha Depot (a train station built in 1875), Longfellow House, and John Harrington Stevens House (known as the ‘birthplace of Minneapolis’). Of course, the crown jewel is Minnehaha Falls, a 53-foot waterfall that is picture-perfect!
Parking can be found at spots with parking meters and designated parking zones near Minnehaha Park.
South 8th street, south 9th Street, and 2nd Ave South are where parking can be found to visit the garden.
U.S. Bank Stadium
What’s a city without a stadium to pack in the fans? Minneapolis boasts the sparkling U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team and the pride of the city. As an enclosed, multi-facility stadium, it has hosted everything from NFL games to motocross events! When restrictions are lifted, fans can even go on guided tours backstage to visit off-limits levels like the team locker rooms, press levels, and premium suites. The stadium is also the first to receive a Bike Friendly Business certification.
Head over to Park Ave or South 4th Street to find cheap parking near the stadium.
Prince’s Purple Rain House
This is a must-see for fans of rock icon Prince, arguably Minneapolis’ most famous musical offspring. Though a small and unassuming house on the outside, it was one of the locations where the singer’s 1984 hit film Purple Rain was shot, serving as the main character’s home. The sentimental value and memories of the film are what draw fans to this plot. Die-hard fans will also be happy to know that just before he died in 2016, Prince bought the house, cementing its place in his legacy.
Before visiting the house, you can find parking on Bloomington Ave and Park Ave.
Mill City Museum
Minneapolis was known as the flour milling capital of the world during the 19th Century. The city has not forgotten its humble beginnings, preserving several iconic mills as part of the Mill City Museum Complex. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum has exhibits showcasing the milling and baking process that was integral to Minneapolis’s prosperity during its early days. Visitors also enjoy the Flour Tower, where a guided elevator tour will take you to different floors of an old flour mill.
Find parking on south 4th and 5th streets or nearby Park Ave before heading to Mill City Museum.
If you feel like window-shopping or going on ‘retail therapy,’ Nicollet Mall will make you jump with joy. One of the first transit malls in the country, it serves as the commercial hub of downtown Minneapolis, with twelve pedestrian-friendly blocks lined with shops. Head on over to have a fine dining experience, get the latest gadgets, or even attend the famous ‘Holidazzle Parade’ in the winter!
Since parking is hard to come by at a transit mall, head over to South 8th Street and South 9th Street to park.
Loft Literary Centre
Bibliophiles and literary nerds can make a beeline for the Loft, one of the country’s most prominent literary avenues. It has hosted several esteemed litterateurs over the years, like Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, acclaimed slam poet Patricia Smith, and Booker Prize winners Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. Besides, you can even check yourself into the many writing workshops, enroll in a poetry-out-loud competition, or even banter with the many illustrious fellows and writers-in-residence if you’re in luck.
Get a parking spot on South 4th Street or Park Ave before heading to the Loft.
Minneapolis - Saint Paul Airport (MSP)
With the population of two large cities to service, it should not be a surprise that the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is an attraction in itself. As the largest and busiest airport in the Upper Midwest region, it sees a footfall of up to 40 million passengers a year.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Minneapolis Airport parking is easy to find. While the airport does have on-site spots, the MSP Airport parking rates can leave your wallet much lighter than usual. However, you can find cheap MSP parking options if you are okay with off-site parking near the airport. There are several hotels and parking lots just around the corner that will give you value for money in MSP parking.