College Towns: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Learn more about Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Home of the University of Minnesota.

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The Town: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis and St. Paul make up the Twin Cities, a major metropolitan area with 3.5 million people. Minneapolis’s population is 384,000.

Located on the Mississippi River, the city gets much of its electricity from water power. Saint Anthony Falls is the highest waterfall on the Mississippi.

As both a college town and a major US city, Minneapolis has plenty to offer its residents.

The city is noted for its parks: More than 16.6 percent of the city is made up of parks, 770 square feet per resident. There are 12 lakes within the city, which is also known as a haven for bicyclists.

Winters are dry and extremely frigid, leading some area residents to say that the area has two seasons, winter and no sledding. But it doesn’t stay cold year-round – the summers tend to be hot and humid, like the rest of the Midwest. Still, the average temperature in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is the lowest of any major metropolitan area.

The School: University of Minnesota

One of the largest schools in the United States with 65,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the UM campus lies in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul (leading the school to be known as the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities).

The Minneapolis campus is bigger, busier and a little more urban. The center of the campus is Northrop Mall, which includes the library, Coffman Memorial Union, the College of Liberal Arts and various science buildings.

Across the river lies the St. Paul campus. Here you’ll find the departments of food and agriculture sciences. The grassy mall and plentiful trees make it a quieter, more serene environment than its Minneapolis counterpart.

Built upon a foundation of almost exclusively in-state recruits, the UM men’s ice hockey team has appeared in 19 Frozen Fours, won 12 Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championships, and captured five national championships.

What to Do

As both a college town and a major US city, Minneapolis has plenty to offer its residents. On the north end of the University of Minnesota campus is Dinkytown, a four-block area with a vibrant street community. Minneapolis is second only to New York City in terms of theaters per capita, so you’ll always be able to catch a top-notch play or musical.

While UM isn’t known as a powerhouse in football or basketball, Mariucci Arena is regularly sold out for men’s hockey games. Minneapolis is also one of the few cities that boasts professional sports teams in all four sports: the Vikings (football), Twins (baseball), Timberwolves (basketball) and Wild (hockey).

Where to Eat

Supposedly the narrowest restaurant in the city, visitors can routinely miss Al’s Breakfast, but make sure you stop by for breakfast or brunch. Renowned for its buttermilk pancakes, you can take advantage of a meal book to pre-pay for your next meal, which you’ll most certainly be going back to once you’ve been there.

Did You Know?

Andersen Library has the largest collection of Sherlock Holmes-related literature and memorabilia in the world.

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