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Hip Daddy Travel takes us to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, a highly creative, friendly, vibrant, and overall amazing city that every Hip Daddy needs to visit right about now. And more importantly, Hip Daddy was born and raised here…and therefore a special tribute for us given Father’s Day Week.
Keeping with our week of guest writers, our local guest MPLS contributors are none other than Hip Daddy/Hip Mommy combo Cory and Stephanie Lake– a creative power couple known as much for their glamorous parties as their entrepreneurial endeavors…these two are one of the Twin Cities’ most distinguished pairs, but more importantly, parents to the beautiful Odette! Without further adieu, below is the Hip Daddy Approved Travel Guide for the great city of Minneapolis…
Where to Stay:
Behind the 21st-century re-launch of luxury hotel stays in Minneapolis and beyond is the Graves 601. Steps from the iconic First Avenue, and in the heart of downtown Minneapolis’ entertainment district, the hotel is drop dead gorgeous with babysitting / childcare on site as well as several noted restaurants (one with an in-house champagne bar). Book the “Giving Room,” and in exchange, a stay for a needy child is booked at a local homeless shelter in your name. Kind of brilliant.
For full-on kid friendly, The Depot is, yes, a converted 19th-century train depot. The romantic, historic exterior includes a glass-walled ice skating rink in the former train shed (ranked among the top places in the country to skate), and conceals a year-round water park, complete with 3-story slide. Kind of perfect.
Where to Dine:
A couple with a stroller is as likely, and as welcome, as a geriatric rocker at Muddy Waters, a much-beloved coffee shop that morphed into a full restaurant and bar. Aside from the eclectic clientele and the lovely, sophisticated take on bar fare, the wonderful thing about the restaurant is that you can stop in virtually any time from 8 AM to 2AM and find something amazing to eat.
A few miles from downtown is Travail Kitchen and Amusements. Opened by a renegade band of sous-chefs, it has rightly garnered every award in the book and recently opened a new space that also includes ‘The Rookery,” a craft cocktail and micro-plate restaurant. Everything is done with such joy and enthusiasm and the staff will always instruct you how to approach a plate, or warn you of anything that is actually not edible (like charred wood chips aside a deconstructed s’more). A recent tasting menu goes something like this: “Lobster Bisque will be flowing-cheddar biscuit, shrimp tartare, lobster roe powder, snow peas, pea tendrils, nasturtium, verjus compressed apples, and verjus bubbles.” This is offered at $85 for 2 people if you sit early, a not-so-subtle hint that they are always flooded with eager foodies. Only bring your children if they love noise and the potential for long wait times…got it?
Where to Shop:
Arguably one of the most darling things about the Wild Rumpus bookstore is their annual vet visit, when their in-house menagerie—Daniel Handler, Trini Lopez, Booker T & Sumo Mouse (the cats), Doodle & Ferdinand (the ferrets), and Amelia & Mr. Skeeter (the chinchillas)— receives their annual vet check. Everyone is invited to witness, listen to teeny heartbeats, and guess how much the critters weigh. If you are not in town for this event, there is “Tail Time” for babies and toddlers every Sunday (store tour and storytime), or just the chance every day to pick up a book from an indie bookseller where community and critters abound.
A vintage watch? An Italian settee? A cocktail shaker? Martin Patrick 3 offers a hand-picked assortment of men’s luxe hipster clothing, accoutrements, and furnishings surrounded by plenty of books and bibelots for the lady of the house. Bonus inside info: Todd Fliginger, formerly the star salesperson at Neiman Marcus (and Cory’s trusted personal shopper), recently joined the staff. Ask for him.
What To Do:
Part enchanted garden, part art gallery, open from 6 AM to midnight, as long as it is over 44 degrees, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park housing 40 works from the Walker Art Center’s renowned contemporary art collection. Free guided garden tours are available on weekends May through September, and “Free First Saturdays” take place year-round, with arguably the best kids activities (ages 6 – 12) taking place throughout the day. Perfect for a romantic stroll, too—it was our secret rendez-vous spot as teenagers, and it still does the trick.
Given this is the land of (more than) 10,000 lakes, the Chain of Lakes is a 13-mile system paths uniting five city lakes, each with its own highlight–Lake Harriet’s surviving streetcar line and beautiful rose garden, Lake Calhoun’s walk up “Tin Fish” pavilion restaurant with both ice cream and wine—plus the never-ending walking/ jogging/biking/ canoeing options laced around this metro “hotspot” for regional wildlife.
So there you have it. Thanks to the amazing Lake Family (Cory and Stephanie) for giving us the Hip Daddy Travel ‘goods’. Minneapolis is a special place, plain and simple. And most importantly, it is the birthplace of one of the greatest Dads of all time, Jimbo! Go Vikes. Happy Father’s Day. Go see this city now.