I have definitely been to Minneapolis area before, but primarily to the suburbs... and never to the extent that I did this weekend. I stayed in a downtown hotel, visited restaurants, bars, shopped - spent some time on street level. So consider this #27!
On Thursday night, Scott and I met Matt and Kelly at the airport to start our journey to Minneapolis. After an airport beer and an uneventful flight, we took the train ("light rail transit") from the airport to downtown Minneapolis and hit the town for an evening out.
Using a recommendation from a local, we hit a new Minneapolis hotspot - Crave. It had a really cool rooftop, and happy hour specials from 10p-12a (random but nice nonetheless). We had a late dinner (sushi for me) and a couple delicious cocktails - like one of the featured $5 Happy Hour specials - "Orange Crush" (pictured below - Stoli Vanil + Orange Soda).
We stayed at the DoubleTree a few blocks away (random fact: they gave us warm chocolate walnut cookies upon check-in) we got up, and walked around for a few hours, scoping out the downtown vibe. I liked it a lot!
After wandering around, we found ourselves at Keys - a local diner (and another recco that our group received). It was fabulous (and so were the spicy Bloody Marys).
Overall, I really liked Minneapolis. It has a lot of the benefits to a big city without being too big - downtown atmosphere, cool bars/ restaurants, a little public transit, etc. (All it's really missing is the horrible traffic... not a miss in my opinion).
After the quick downtown Minneapolis getaway, we were on our way to the real purpose of the trip: Jane & Bryan's wedding!