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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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.

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Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th

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I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore

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I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

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