Five things to experience in the Midwest metropolis.

In Sioux, the word minne means "water" and it's also the word from which Minneapolis derives its name. The beautiful Midwestern city – surrounded by rivers and lakes – is often overlooked or considered a quaint (though distant) relative of larger urban centers, but those notions couldn't be further from the truth. If you ever find yourself with a few spare hours in the cultural hub, here are five things we think are worth checking off your list.


Stumbling across an independent bookstore is always a pleasure, especially if it has an important mission. Birch Bark Books is an Indigenous American-owned and operated book and gift store that seeks to highlight the literary excellence of indigenous peoples. Besides stocking a range of titles that can't be found anywhere else, the shop also works with local indigenous artisans to offer their unique crafts artwork.


Founded by multidisciplinary artists Ryan Fontaine and Kristin van Loon, Hair and Nails is one of Minneapolis' most exciting contemporary art galleries dressed up as a nondescript beauty parlor. The gallery has a strong program of visual art but also acts as the frequent home of experimental dance performances, reflective of van Loon's own dance and choreography background. This fusion represents its desire to create a space where new ideas and unique collaborations can flourish.


The Guthrie probably isn't what you imagine when you think of regional theater. Far beyond the blinding lights of Broadway, it transformed the American theater scene when it opened its doors in 1963. The Guthrie created the framework for countless other small theater venues to act as the testing ground for experimental works that skipped the usual razzle-dazzle of The Great White Way. Its influence proved so great, it even won a Tony Award in 1982 for its significant contributions to American theater. Today, The Guthrie Laboratory, a subset within the larger organization, stays true to its name by incubating new productions and developing theatrical techniques that often find their way to even more prominent stages.


A minimal haven, The Foundry Home Goods is a purveyor of homewares that are both photo-ready and properly functional (a rare, but very desirable combo in our eyes). Located in the city's Tangletown neighborhood, the shop is made for those looking to buy fewer, better things, like the crisp linens, locally made beeswax candles and handcrafted tableware it has in abundance.


Minneapolis has one of the largest indigenous populations of any city in the US, and its food scene is finally growing to reflect that. Sean Sherman and Dana Thompson's restaurant Owamni presents what it refers to as a "decolonized dining experience" whereby colonial ingredients like wheat flour, cane sugar, dairy and others not traditionally farmed by indigenous American peoples have been eliminated. Going one step further, the restaurant prioritizes purchasing its ingredients from indigenous food producers throughout the country when developing its menus.