Bad Yogi City Guide – Twin Cities (Minnesota)
Looking for your next adventure that combines yoga, food, music, and art? Look no further than Minneapolis and St. Paul – better known together as the Twin Cities. The Minnesota license plate reads “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. However, our state nestled in the heart of the Midwest will surprise and delight you with much more than lakes. Along with an abundance of options for yoga, food, drinks (especially craft beer), and all kinds of entertainment. You’ll also find people who are proud of their strong craft culture, green spaces, and not to mention one of the highest percentage of volunteers in the country. Yup, we’re a friendly, helpful bunch and we’re ready to welcome you to the North Star State!
If you’re planning a trip to Minnesota, most people will suggest planning your visit sometime between June and September. When the summer vibes are off the charts. Typically, in October the temperature starts to drop and the weather radar begins to show the first signs of snow. However, if you can’t make it here in the summer, never fear! Fall is brief but arguably one of the most beautiful times to visit. If you’re a fan of winter recreation or cozy venues, winter can be a magical time of year to visit. Just make sure to pack your warmest garments and a sturdy pair of boots! Spring can be unpredictable (snowstorms in April?) yet, filled with a buzz of anticipation for warmer months ahead and a lovely time to check out the Cities. No matter when you come to visit, you’ll have no problem filling your time! So, with all of that said, let’s dig into some highlights.
Yoga – Minneapolis
Yoga is everywhere in the Twin Cities! No matter where you stay, chances are you’ll have easy access to at least a few studios or wellness centers. In Northeast Minneapolis, try out Yoga Sol, a welcoming donation-based studio that offers vinyasa, yin, and yoga sculpt for all levels. Up the road you’ll find Rise Yoga in one of the area’s warehouses that house artist lofts and studios. Nordeast Yoga is another local favorite offering up a variety of classes from Ashtanga, Kundalini, and their popular ‘Big Stretchy Nap’ on Saturday afternoons. Head to Uptown to One Yoga, a long-running nonprofit studio that delivers classes for all-levels, in a variety of formats.
In the beautiful and welcoming Seward neighborhood is Common Ground Meditation Center, voted as City Page’s Best Place to Do Yoga. Although it primarily focuses on meditation they also offer some yoga classes. This long-running center operates on a generosity-based model and all programs are offered on a sliding scale. For a completely unique and fun experience, look no further than, YogaQuest, which offers “narrated yogic adventures” that mix fandom and healthy movement.
Yoga – St. Paul
Of course, we can’t forget about St. Paul, Minnesota’s capital city that has inspired the tagline “Keep St. Paul Boring” – but it is anything but! Head across the river and check out one of the Twin Cities longest standing studios, The Saint Paul Yoga Center, which specializes in Iyengar Yoga. Tula Yoga and Wellness is another friendly, supportive, and welcoming studio that offers all kinds of classes, including fitness-oriented programs. On the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul is rising St. Anthony neighborhood staple, Healing Elements, a one-stop shop offering yoga, bodywork, and a café so you can grab a tea and chill after class. While also perusing the shop’s variety of books, crystals, and other locally-made goods. This list is FAR from complete so for more suggestions and ideas, take a look at local yoga and lifestyle guide, MN Yoga & Life Magazine. Another option is to immerse yourself in a weekend of yoga at the annual Minneapolis Yoga Conference, which happens every spring. This conference has drawn the likes of Dianne Bondy, Faith Hunter, Tara Stiles, and the area’s most highly-regarded teachers.
Visiting the Twin Cities can be a great culinary adventure for travelling yogis and foodies. Over in Northeast, a few favorites are Young Joni, known for their wood-fired pizzas and Korean inspired fare – and don’t forget to grab a cocktail from their speakeasy bar located in the alley next door. Just look for the red light. If beer is your thing, head next door to Dangerous Man Brewing Company, which offers something for everyone including non-alcoholic drinks like kombucha and cold-press coffee. On the same block you’ll also find Anchor Fish and Chips, another favorite in the city (Pro tip: Go at an off-time or as soon as they open for best chance of securing a seat).
Head over to Central Avenue where you’ll find an abundance of choices from Middle Eastern, Thai, African, and Mexican food. Going towards Uptown and South Minneapolis, “Eat Street” on Nicollet Avenue is a must for any foodie. Offering just about everything from Greek, Jamaican, Japanese, and Vietnamese. You’ll quickly see how this strip earned the name Eat Street. Over in St. Paul, a couple good areas to explore for dining are Lowertown and the West Side neighborhoods (which, confusingly, refers to neighborhood’s location on the west bank of the Mississippi)
Just off Central Avenue you can find a few good places to find drinks including Tattersall Distilling which offers delicious cocktails made with their own spirits. If you’re more into craft beer, you’re not far from Bauhaus Brewing or Indeed Brewing. If alcohol isn’t really your jam, head over to Spyhouse Coffee for a good cup of joe and chill vibes. For further research into where the foodies are going, Mpls-St. Paul Magazine is a good authority and The Growler is your guide to all things craft beer but also offers great coverage of food, arts, and culture in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Music might not be the first thing you think of when you hear about Minneapolis and St. Paul but we take our music seriously! We’ll quickly remind you that Prince is from Minnesota and continued to live here until his death back in 2016. Sadly, you won’t catch Prince but his spirit still lives on at the famed First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Come for a picture of the stars (Minneapolis’ own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame) then stay for a show in the Main Room. For more intimate options you can look into a show next door at 7th St Entry. Dakota Jazz Club and Fine Line Music Cafe are a few other established venues downtown.
Heading out of downtown, you’re sure to find some decent shows at The Cabooze and Icehouse (located on Eat Street). Over in St. Paul, the recently renovated and historic Palace Theatre has hosted the likes of Beck, Regina Spektor, Death Cab for Cutie, and so many more. Located in Midway (between Minneapolis and St. Paul) is The Turf Club, a great choice and an institution in the Twin Cities. For a list of gigs, The Current is a great resource (and local public radio station to tune into).
The Twin Cities is awesome for outdoor recreation. You’ll find cyclists enjoying the extensive bike trails that run along the Mississippi River and around the network of lakes. The Nice Ride bike stations are an easy and inexpensive way to scoot around the city. Minnesotans are also enthusiastic and loyal to their sport teams – and always hopeful! No matter what season you come to visit you’ll be able to catch a game whether it’s the Twins baseball at their Target Field, Timberwolves, or Lynx basketball at the Target Center, Wild hockey at Xcel Energy Center or Vikings football at US Bank Stadium, home of Super Bowl LII.
Theatre and Art
If you’re looking for more arts and culture, you’ll be pleased to find so many choices to enjoy art and theatre, from the world-renowned Guthrie Theatre to smaller venues like Mixed Blood Theatre. For art, locals love Walker Art Center and their newly renovated Sculpture Garden, home of the famous spoon and cherry. The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) is another wonderful option that offers general admission free of charge. In May of every year is one of the city’s favorite events, Art-A-Whirl, when artists open the doors to their studios. It’s a great way to learn more about the artist’s process and pick up some local art. While also enjoying local music, food, and good ol’ fashioned neighborly spirit.
So, there you have it! The Twin Cities is a vibrant and exciting destination that can be easy to overlook. Though, we guarantee that once you visit, you’ll already be planning your next trip.