16 Noteworthy Things You Might Not Know About Minneapolis
Disclaimer: I was born, raised and currently live in Minneapolis. After traveling and living abroad for four and a half years, visiting 40 countries, I returned to Minneapolis because I love this place. Forbes recently rated Minneapolis as Americaâ€™s Most Relaxed City, which inspired me to write this fawning post.
â€¢Â Â Â According to a survey taken by Central Connecticut State University, Minneapolis is the most literate city in the United States. The city was ranked 4th on the Daily Beastsâ€™ list of Americaâ€™s smartest cities.
â€¢Â Â Â According to Travel + Leisure magazine, Minneapolis is one of the worldâ€™s top cities for cyclists. Runner’s World magazine ranks the area as the sixth best for runners in the U.S.
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolis is second only to New York for the most live theater seats per capita in the U.S.
â€¢Â Â Â Target Field, the new baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins, is the nation’s greenest stadium.
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolis is the birthplace of the eclectic and singular â€œJucy Lucyâ€ burger.
â€¢Â Â Â Minnesotaâ€™s nickname is â€œThe Land of 10,000 Lakesâ€ (there are actually far more). There are 12 lakes in Minneapolis proper, as well as three creeks, three large ponds and the Mississippi River.
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolis is routinely honored by a variety of polls as one of Americaâ€™s safest cities, most fun cities, coolest cities, sustainable cities and best places to live.
â€¢Â Â Â Rollerblade, the company that popularized inline skating, was founded in Minneapolis.
â€¢Â Â Â The bulk of Minneapolisâ€™ downtown area is connected by the â€œSkywayâ€ system, nearly eight cumulative miles of second level, enclosed, environmentally controlled walkways connecting shopping, dining, hotels, entertainment, residential, business and government buildings.
Skyway Photo credit
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolisâ€™ 52-mile Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, comprised of several lakes, creeks, parkways and the vast, winding Mississippi River Boulevard, is collectively designated as the only national scenic byway located entirely within an urban area.
â€¢Â Â Â The first shopping mall in the world, Southdale Mall, is just south of the Minneapolis city limits. The Mall of America, also south of the city, is one of the largest shopping malls in North America.
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolis boasts the most golfers per capita of any major U.S. city.
â€¢Â Â Â From roughly 1880 to 1930 Minneapolis was the flour milling capital of the world, powered by Saint Anthony Falls, the highest naturally occurring waterfall on the Mississippi River. Minneapolisâ€™ historic use of the falls has been described by the Minnesota Archeologist as “the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen.”
Saint Anthony Falls Photo credit
â€¢Â Â Â Minneapolis has over 180 parks, comprising 16.6% of the city. This comes out to roughly 770 square feet of parkland for each resident, said to be the most parkland per resident among cities of similar population densities. No Minneapolis resident lives more than six blocks from a park.
â€¢Â Â Â Dudley Riggsâ€™ Brave New Workshop, founded in 1958, is the longest running satirical theater in the country. They specialize in political and social satire, as well as improv.
â€¢Â Â Â The area has one of the widest annual temperature ranges in the United States, ranging from upper-90s Â°F at the peak of summer, bottoming out at -20 Â°F (and colder) in winter. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Minneapolis was 108 Â°F (July 1936), higher than Floridaâ€™s hottest day on record. The coldest temperature ever recorded was âˆ’41 Â°F (January 1888). The cityâ€™s snowiest winter on record was 1983â€“84, when 98.4 inches of snow fell.
â€¢Â Â Â Bonus Minnesota trivia: California isnâ€™t the only place with a penchant for electing former entertainers. Former World Wrestling Federation personality Jesse â€œThe Bodyâ€ Ventura was Minnesotaâ€™s governor from 1999 to 2003. One of Minnesotaâ€™s current senators is writer/actor/comedian and Saturday Night Live alum, Al Franken.