11 Reasons Why You Should Visit Minneapolis

11 Reasons Why You Should Visit Minneapolis

There is much more to this beautiful city than just the Mall of America.
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This past weekend, I was lucky enough to venture to Minneapolis, Minnesota with my lovely mother. I have been here a few times before, each time being in the Winter, and my one Summer experience was moving my sister and her husband into their apartment (still fun, I might add). But this weekend instilled a true appreciation for the state of Minnesota and the wonderful people in it. With that being said, I have come up with a list of reasons why you should visit this wonderful state - particularly in the Summer months.

1. THE OUTDOORS

There is so much to do outside in Minneapolis. Each path is bike, runner, and pedestrian friendly, and stretch for miles. In Minneapolis, they line the entire city, with an access point to each path, no matter where you live in the city. Trails surrounding beautiful lakes, streams, and even the Falls. I recommend walking around Lake Harriet, visiting the Minnehaha Falls, and taking a bike ride on the trails. Each trail is peaceful, beautiful, and unique. Not to mention - it is perfect weather. Very similar to Colorado summers, if you have been lucky enough to venture there during summer as well. Between the gorgeous sunsets, bodies of water, and multitude of trees - what more could you ask for?

2. THE INDOORS

I know, quite the contrast to the previous point, but I realize there are a lot of folks who don’t enjoy the great outdoors like I do. And sometimes weather keeps us inside. Minnesota has just about every store, shop, boutique or restaurant you could possibly want. Depending on where you go in Minneapolis, (Dinkytown, Downtown, Uptown, etc.) there are quite the variety of stores but all within close quarters. This makes it easy to split up from the group you’re traveling with, hit one store, or hit them all!

3. IKEA

Do I really need to say more? This store is a blessing to us all.

4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE

The light rail is also a blessing in this state. After using the subways in New York City, I really was not excited to try another subway-like transportation system. However, the above-ground light rails are quite nice, especially since you can look at the beautiful scenery surrounding you. During the Winter, no one really wants to drive - not even in Minnesota! Luckily, the light rail can take you just about anywhere in the city, all for a very cheap cost. It’s quick, cheap, and you get to avoid traffic AND driving in bad weather. Could it get much better?

5. LOCAL SHOPS

One of my favorite things to do is shop local. There is much more character and passion when it comes to local stores, and it’s really fun to see the personality of each shop owner shine through their own store. Minneapolis has dozens of local shops, all top-rated. From coffee shops to bakeries, they line the streets and each have a unique flare to them. The owners are always very appreciative, too, since you are supporting their own business!

6. THE MALL OF AMERICA

I think this one speaks for itself. Even if you hate malls, you should still try to visit the MOA at least once. There is such a variety, I promise you will find at least one thing you’ll enjoy here (even if it is the Aquarium!)

7. THE FARMER’S MARKET

I love the outdoor farmer's market. It’s the perfect combination of buying fresh and local. Minneapolis offered a beautiful farmer’s market that had everything from Indian cuisine, fresh pastries, Lavender from a French farm, to single-source honey and fresh produce. Not to mention, it’s a walk away from a local park and right next to the Guthrie Theater!

8. IT’S SAFE

Minnesota actually has some of the lowest crime-rates in the U.S., and you can definitely tell when you visit there. For being a large city, I never felt threatened or unsafe while visiting, which I can’t say for most cities I have been to. It’s a place that would be fun to roadtrip to with your friends, or to take your kids.

9. IT’S A COLLEGE TOWN

This might be a strange point, but college towns always bring in a lot of things to do. Not only are a lot of jobs filled because of this, but there are a lot of youthful activities and events that are brought to the city because of the college-aged population as well!

10. IT’S A PERFECT MIX OF CITY AND COUNTRY

Whenever I travel my main priority is to be outdoors, but I also like to do a little “city” stuff as well. Minneapolis provides the perfect set-up to do just that. As I mentioned before, you can hop on a trail from anywhere you might be, or walk around Uptown and get some shopping in. It truly provides the best of both worlds.

11. YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE “MINNESOTA NICE”

Being from Nebraska, I am used to friendly, talkative people. One thing I enjoy about the Midwest, in general, is the friendliness of people. “Minnesota nice” is a unique friendliness. It is genuine, quiet, and kind - but not overbearing. Minnesota natives were honest, to-the-point, and polite, all while being friendly. This is something that everyone should experience on a vacation, and those who are from Minnesota - be proud! You have a wonderful state full of genuine people.


Minneapolis might not be on your bucket list of places to go, or your number one vacation destination, but it is somewhere (I think) everyone should experience. This city, and state, has a lot to offer - especially when it comes to kindness.
Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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10 Things You Know To Be True If You Live in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

"Take the B", they said.
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For anyone that is currently living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and or has lived there, you know it's an *interesting* experience. From the various food joints, to the movie theater, everyone's love/hate relationship with Crazy George, Emmons Avenue, the B/Q trains, the new apartment complex that some people love and others completely despise, and everything in-between, there's no other neighborhood that's just like Sheepshead. You know you're from Sheepshead when:

1. You've either spotted Crazy George somewhere out on the streets or in a random location (usually in Dunkin' Donuts).


Don't get me wrong — it's not funny that he appears to have problems, but it's also not ideal that he goes into various stores harassing the workers. He's a one of a kind human being and I do wish the best for him and/or that he does get some help.

2. When it comes to Brennan and Carr and Roll n Roaster, you either love one of them much more than the other.

As much as I love Brennan and Carr's Gargiulo burger, I'm more of a Roll n Roaster person. Their personal pizza is nice and their fries are to die for -- and yes, I want cheese on that, please.

3. You either love or hate that new apartment complex that's in the works.

You know, this one at 1501 Voorhies Ave.

4. You've become used to the B and Q trains either being delayed, messed up, crowded, and or nonexistent.

"Take the B they said. It's express they said." If I told you how many times the B has gone local, out of service, and or on fire in Brooklyn, then maybe you'd hate it just as much as I do at times. Don't even get me started about how crowded it is - especially during rush hour.

"What about the Q train?" The Q's not much better. It has its times where it goes express in Brooklyn as opposed to local, which doesn't help if you're getting on/off at Neck Road or Avenue U.

5. You either go to UA Sheepshead, another movie theater or don't even bother with movie theaters.

Although going to UA Sheepshead is convenient, their prices are very special for just an average movie theater.

6. You either stick to shopping and dining along Sheepshead Bay Road and or Emmons Avenue or go elsewhere either in the neighborhood, other neighborhoods, or to the city.

While they're both convenient parts of Sheepshead Bay, there are other parts of the neighborhood to go to, such as Nostrand Ave. Sometimes, it's easier to flock to other parts of Brooklyn, but there are times where going to the city is worth the commute.

7. You either shop at Cherry Hill or avoid it completely.

While there are other supermarkets in the neighborhood, Cherry Hill is the only one on Emmons that is open 24/7. Their prices might be high for the neighborhood, but their prices could be much worse.

8. You remember when Sheepshead Bay High School was one school...

...and not an educational complex.

9. You're still low-key bothered about how the neighborhood recovered after Sandy.

I'm not going to say that it was the same after the hurricane. Although it didn't take the longest time to recover, that doesn't mean that damage wasn't done.

10. But regardless of how you may feel, by the end of the day, you're probably still super in love with the neighborhood.

It's an incredibly unique neighborhood. You can take someone out of Sheepshead but you can't take the Sheepshead out of someone.

Cover Image Credit: Curbed NY

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The 4 Best Travel YouTube Channels That Will Tempt You To Buy A Flight Today

No matter where I am, I find inspiration for travelling and engaging with adventure by watching these 4 YouTube vlogs.

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Do you dream of traveling every waking minute?

If you're like me, travelling to new places makes your soul come alive. So why aren't you traveling right now? School, work, bills, and other commitments pile up and leave us to stay put, even if only for a season.

When I'm between trips I like to stay inspired by watching videos from these YouTube channels. When I am ready to book my next adventure, I dive into these channels for research and tips. No matter where I am geographically, these four channels continue to influence and inspire my life as a globetrotter.

1. DamonAndJo - Hilarious and Trendy

Damon Dominique and Joanna Franco

shutupandgo.travel

Great for: Millennial travelers

Suggested video: Everything We Know About Travelling Cheaply (in 5 Minutes)

Playful and distinctive, DamonAndJo make hilarious videos for the millennial traveler. I encountered their channel during college when I was looking for advice about studying abroad. BFFs Damon Dominique and Joanna Franco met during college in New York City, studied abroad together in Paris, and went on to create a successful Youtube vlog chronicling their adventures. Their channel's motto is simple: "Shut up and go". The pair make travel videos with guests, together, and individually, keeping their content fresh and exciting. If you're looking for a laugh, travel advice, or even fashion and design inspiration (because they moonlight as style gods and trendsetters), then look no further than DamonAndJo.

2. Travellight - Best female solo traveler vlog

Jordan Taylor

travellight.me

Great for: Female solo travelers

Suggested video: Best Way to See the Great Wall!

Jordan Taylor is a female traveler who left the U.S. in 2016 to explore the world and hasn't stopped since. She has been all over Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East since she began her big adventure. I found her channel while researching for my first solo trip. She is a talented videographer and puts serious effort into producing quality visual content. Her videos include stunning landscapes, cities, wildlife, and waters, and she heavily focuses on her personal experiences and impressions traveling solo as a woman. Jordan's cinematography is stunning, but she remains completely honest about her encounters, revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Travellight is especially ideal for women considering traveling alone.

3. Gabriel Traveler - Down-to-earth and practical

Gabriel Traveler

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgZM50Ig7STDS0l6f_QnrXw

Great for: Conducting in-depth country research

Suggested video: Travel in Greece on $30/ a Day

Gabriel Morris is a solo male traveler who has traversed the world for over three decades. Who does that? Now middle-aged, Gabe has shown no signs of slowing down and continues to visit countries far and wide, making fascinating videos about the places he visits. I like Gabriel's channels because though he is the most seasoned traveler on this list, he remains humble by sharing his knowledge and expertise while maintaining a learner's mindset in his videos. His channel is simple and his videos straightforward, but content-rich and honest in depicting each destination. Check Gabriel's channel for inspiration and practical information from every continent.

4. Vagabrothers - for an in-depth lesson on history and culture

Marko and Alex

Vagabrothers on Youtube

Great for: Longer videos covering history and culture of destinations

Suggested video: Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Inca

Brothers Alex and Marko started their YouTube channel in 2013. Since then, they have developed a successful business traveling the world and cataloging each place they visit. Their high-quality videos put PBS travel documentaries to shame. I found the Vagabrothers' channel when I was traveling a backpacking trip across Catalina Island in California.

Their videos dazzled me from the start, and I've watched their videos before every trip I've taken since. Each destination video is dotted with facts about the destination, tips for traveling there, and stories that captivate and inform. For Americans who want to spend more time traveling within their homeland, Vagabrothers is a wonderful resource. They have entire series on U.S. destinations from coast to coast. I recommend this channel to anyone who's looking for information-rich advice on how, when, and where to travel.

YouTube is an incredible way to share knowledge and inspire others to see the world. When you're saving up money and biding time until your next flight or road trip, look to these channels to be educated, entertained, and inspired. I hope you can enjoy the hard work these travel vloggers put into sharing their experiences online as I do.

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