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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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.
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I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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What It's Like Being A West Coaster Attending College On The East Coast

From California to New Jersey, here are changes I've encountered and how I've handled them.

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Aside from better pizza and bagels, I've encountered a lot of changes since I've moved to New Jersey. I'm from the coastal side of Los Angeles where rain doesn't exist and you could wear either shorts and a tank top almost everyday of the year and be comfortable.

There's an abundance of coffee shops and little boutiques that occupy some of the coastal front. We don't go "down the shore," we don't have to pay to get on the beach, and we don't have debates on whether it's called pork roll or Taylor Ham. It was nice knowing that the weather ranges from 65 to 75 about eighty percent of the year. But, at the same time, I like having a variety of seasons.

Apparently leaves falling from trees is an annual thing. Southern California has a small number of deciduous trees, so I experienced a real fall last year. I picked a pumpkin from the vine instead of from a tub at the grocery store and got farm fresh donuts from an actual farm with fields and animals.

I was able to witness a first snow and how pretty the trees look when they're covered. I made a snowman in the back of campus and had a snowball fight with some friends.

I also experienced a terrible snowstorm where my umbrella turned inside out and smacked me in the face and then hit the person behind me. I then tried to go after my umbrella and slipped on some ice which the person also saw...so after that I died of embarrassment in my dorm for the rest of the weekend. There were a lot of ups and downs.

Everything in suburban New Jersey is spread out, so it's been a struggle not having access to a car. Back home in California, a CVS, Target, Office Depot, and even a Spencer's (if you're in that weird shopping mood,) was right around the corner. The other night I tried looking up the nearest Mexican restaurant and it was 15 miles away. The Uber was expensive so I canceled it and decided my basic white girl order of plain chicken tacos with a side of guac wasn't worth the trip.

I've tried remembering major cities in Jersey so that when I meet someone and they talk about where they are from I can say, "Oh, I know where that is!" I try asking about their town, how school was, or their family. The only question I've been asked when telling someone I'm from LA is, "do you know any celebrities?"

I don't really mind the question, I've actually come up with some pretty good fake stories on the spot. I just can't believe people think that the famous actors of Beverly Hills just randomly walk the streets. But just for the record, one time I met Wee-Man from "Jack-Ass" at his chronic taco shop. And yes, I got plain chicken tacos.

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