Talon’s best of Twin Cities

As summer vacation approaches, the Talon staff compiles a list of a few “finds” in the Twin Cities for students to visit

1st St. North, Downton : Warehouse District

Occasion: “Hit the town” and window shop for various items on a single city block. These brick warehouses are renovated into upscale storefronts, coffee shops, and cooking stores.

Description: Paw through miniature stationary and soft towels and shelves of pastel ceramics in a candle-lit and wood-framed home goods corner store called The Foundry. Browse through a men’s outfitting store called Askov Finlayson and guffaw at the northern, outdoorsy, hipster wardrobe, the Minneapolis-inspired graphics, the wall of leather boots, and the racks of clean-cut glasses frames. Then enjoy a game of free hockey-fusbol in the back of the store. Swing by the Bachelor Farmer Cafe for locally sourced pastries and brunch food. Or order lunch at the French-inspired restaurant called Spoon and Stable. Otherwise, take a cooking class on the classy counters in Cooks of Crocus Hill. Stop in at the Circa Gallery to enjoy art exhibits before heading back out to the urban walkway on West River Parkway.

General Address: 62 N 2nd Ave., Minneapolis

Tips: Bring enough quarters to fill the meter.

The Dead-End : for sunsets

Occasion: Needing a parking spot to watch the sunset from the warmth of your car.

Description: Behind and slightly uphill from the Highland Park Library is a dead-end street with a nearly-unobstructed overlook of Highland Park, making it a perfect private place to enjoy a sunset.

General Address: 1998 Hillcrest Ave., St. Paul

Tips: Bring a blanket and snacks!

Spyhouse Coffee: Northeast location

Occasion: Wanting a new, upbeat space to study or enjoy coffee with friends before exploring the rest of the city.

Description: Found in a brick and timber warehouse, Spyhouse Coffee on Broadway Street gives an “indie-rustic” vibe to the coffee scene. Boasting with original wood flooring and historical-looking brewing machines in the back, Spyhouse provides a hip place to hang out. 

Address: 945 Broadway St NE Minneapolis

Tips: Spyhouse has four different locations in the Twin Cities. However, the Northeast location offers not only the cafe, but an entire warehouse to explore out the back door.

The old Land O Nod Mattress factory building that this cafe is found in also houses a chic boutiques, salon, bustling bar and guitar shop. The aesthetic guitar shop downstairs is called El Diablo and Amps & Guitars.

Mesa Pizza: Late-night pizza by the slice

Occasion: When you’re wandering around Uptown late at night and need a place to sit and grub.

Description: Only a brief walk away from Lake Calhoun’s Tin Fish Restaurant, Mesa Pizza keeps its doors open until 1 am Mon-Thurs and until 2:45 am Fri-Sat. Mesa serves really big slices of unique pizzas: from “Bacon Cheeseburger” to “Grilled Veggie Pesto” to “Gyro.”

Slices cost from $3.60 – $4.10.

Address: 1440 West Lake St. Minneapolis

Tips: Underestimate how hungry you are and order something exciting!

The Oval: Sunken park

Occasion: Wandering around school with half an hour to spare.

Description: Only two blocks south of Minnehaha is a forested park in the middle of the city street. Its hilly sides can are  steep sledding inclines in the winter. Its tree branches bear rope swings in the spring and summer.

General Address: 3416 Park Terrace, Minneapolis

Tips: To mount the swing, pull it uphill as far as possible, assure a strong grip high enough on the rope, then jump.

Electric Fetus: Record shop

Occasion: Looking for new tunes.

Description: Colorful music shop with aisles of CDs, DVDs, and vinyls. Electric Fetus has walls plastered with posters of music legends. Though radiating with a counter-culture vibe, Electric Fetus sells music of all genres.

Address: 2000 4th Ave. S Minneapolis

Tips: You don’t need to be a music fanatic to enjoy searching through the aisles. Find what you like, or browse the quirky gift store in the back.

What’s close: Minneapolis Institute of Art, Vertical Endeavors, Glam Doll Donuts.

Hidden Falls: Regional park

Occasion: Needing a peaceful route to walk a dog, run, launch a boat, or hang a hammock.

Description: Behind the former Ford plant in Highland Park, a 6.7 mile long wooded trail runs alongside the Mississippi River, past boat launches, barbecue grills, picnic benches and bump into the shoreline of the river.

General Address: Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul

Tips: Don’t focus on the “hidden falls” waterfall as your primary destination; they appear disappointingly man-made.


About Sierra Takushi

As a junior, Sierra is a staff writer and photos/graphics editor for The Talon. She has a quirky fascination with slam and spoken word poetry and finds straight angle shapes (like squares) visually pleasing. Sierra enjoys exploring different types of writing and literature and likes to post her photography frequently on Instagram.

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