How to See America’s Coldest Major City Without Stepping Foot Outside
As part of a summer series, T+L is highlighting amazing lesser-known attractions found in the United States. Next up: a scenic (and somewhat vertigo-inducing) way to see Minneapolis.
Minneapolis is home to one of the largest continuous skyway systems in the world, which is convenient considering it’s also one of the coldest major cities in the United States in winter months.
Skyways are enclosed walkways usually located one or two stories above street level. The original Minneapolis skyway in particular was built in the 1960s to separate walkers from the traffic below.
Because of its length—over eight miles or 72 blocks—the skyway has also become a tourist attraction in its own right, offering visitors a (warm!) look at Minneapolis’s architecture and everyday activity.
Home to hotels like the W Minneapolis and the Westin Hotel, there are 4,852 hotel rooms spread between 15 hotels throughout the entire connected skyway, with more venues coming soon. A short jaunt will lead visitors to amazing a variety of fabulous spots, including Vietnamese restaurants—where you can try specialties like phở soup or bánh mì sandwiches—as well as the famous Juut Spa, the original salon of Aveda, which hails from Minnesota.
U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Vikings) is also be connected, which means you can attend Super Bowl LII in 2018 without facing frigid February temperatures.
If sports are your thing, the Minnesota Lynx are a must-see. The current the WNBA champions play at Target Center, which connects directly to the skyway.
Opening and closing hours of the skyway vary because the buildings they connect privately own the different segments. Before you start out on a tour of the system, make sure to check that the skyway is open.
If you do decide to spring for a self-guided skyway tour, don’t miss Prohibition Bar on the 27th floor of the Foshay Tower, where you can sip a cocktail as you take in the 360-degree views of the city.
Insider tip: Saint Paul, located down the Mississippi from downtown Minneapolis (about ten miles apart), also has a skyway. It’s equally intricate and, unlike its western counterpart, publicly owned.