Minneapolis: Bike-friendly City on the Mississippi
We only had a mere twenty four hours in Minneapolis and there was so much to explore. After our four hour drive from Park Falls, we were ready to jump on our bikes and try out some of the many bike trails that lace around the city. The drive was lush, along Route 70 straight across the lush green farmlands, interspersed with many rivers and lakes.
We went through the most charming and civilized little town called Stone Lake on our route. We stopped at the Schoolhouse Wine Shop. They had a great collection of wines under $20 and a lovely little stone patio with tables. The two sweet guys who own the store gave us a little tour of the store. We got a couple of delicious glasses of New Zealand sauvignon blanc for $3 and ate the lunch we had packed out on their patio. Dreamy.
Once we got to Minneapolis, I became completely smitten with the revitalized Mill City neighborhood that we stayed in, and all of the beautiful bike paths along the river. Amazingly, Minneapolis is only second to Portland, Oregon in number of bike commuters per capita. That is a staggering figure considering how many frigid days this city has each winter. The city has 46 miles of streets with dedicated bicycle lanes and 84 miles of off-street bicycle paths. How amazing is that?! What is even more impressive, is how the bikers and drivers co-exist. The path that we spent the most time on lined the river and went past the majestic St. Anthony Falls.
We wanted to be pampered at dinner so we headed to Sanctuary, a local foods-focused place that received terrific Yelp reviews, conveniently across the street from the hotel. Our favorite dish was the appetizer of Spinach, Artichoke, and Garlic Tartlets served with Cornichon, Olive, Lavender Seeds and White Verjus.
We also shared a dish with New Zealand Green Mussels, Shrimp and Scallops in a spicy Harissa Broth served with a Babaganoush Crostini, that was very tasty, although the bay scallops were a little tough and overcooked. The whole experience overall was exactly what we were in the mood for.
We figured that this city was our best bet in a long stretch for a good sushi lunch and we need to satisfy our pretty-serious sushi cravings. We did a little research and decided upon Origami Sushi, which has been consistently rated the best sushi in the city for years and years. We sat at the sushi bar and took the advise of our sushi chef on what to order. We weren’t disappointed by the sashimi lunch with buttery and fresh slices of fish, the special big eye tuna sushi, and the delicious shrimp, asparagus tempura and burdock rolls.
Feeling sated from all of the delicious food, and a little sore from all the biking and running we had done, we packed up the car and headed west to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.