The Minnesota Vikings have been a part of the National Football League since 1961 and currently play their home games in the NFL’s best venue, U.S. Bank Stadium. The unique architecture of the stadium gives it the feeling of truly bringing the outdoors inside. As far as the city itself, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area has no shortage of things to do, whether your tastes favor shopping, dining, or taking advantage of America’s best park system.
Over the years, the Vikings have provided many great memories for their fans. While they have never reached the pinnacle of winning the Super Bowl, the fans have an unbelievable loyalty towards their team and have garnered a reputation as one of the most boisterous home crowds in the National Football League. The team will get to the top of the mountain one day, but regardless of when it happens, a game at U.S. Bank Stadium is something that every fan should experience.
What to Eat
When you think of places to get great Southern fare, Minneapolis might not immediately spring to mind, but one trip to Revival will change that. While they do offer southern fare like fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits, the specialty at Revival is their fried chicken. The chicken is so good that it might ruin your desire to get fried chicken from anywhere else. You can get it in Southern Fried or Nashville Hot, and you can even have it as part of a chicken and waffle feast. Revival also offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10 a.m., so you could definitely squeeze it in on a Sunday morning before the standard noon CT kickoff.
Surly Brewing Company
The craft beer scene in Minneapolis is positively thriving, and there is perhaps no better example of that than the Surly Brewing Company. With nearly 40 beers on tap, there is something on hand to satisfy every taste, whether you favor a traditional stout or brews infused with flavors like mango or wild cherry. The food menu offers fare like tacos, burgers, and sandwiches, but the beer is the primary attraction at Surly. Unfortunately, COVID has temporarily limited the hours and shut down tours of the brewery itself, but there is still plenty to satisfy you at the beer hall.
Biggest tourist attraction
Mall of America
It’s hard to believe that the Mall of America has been open for nearly 30 years, having opened its doors to the public in 1992. It is still one of the biggest tourist attractions in America, and whatever it is that you might be shopping for, it would be difficult not to find it at one of MoA’s more than 520 stores. It also features attractions like Nickelodeon Universe amusement park and the Sea Life Minnesota aquarium. If you don’t mind big crowds and want an outing that’s great for the whole family, Mall of America is the place to check out. Be sure to find home plate from the first home of the Vikings (and the Minnesota Twins), Metropolitan Stadium, which used to stand on the MoA’s site and has been memorialized with a bronze plaque.
Under the radar attraction
The Bakken Museum has been a part of Twin Cities culture since 1975, and has fostered a love of science and innovation in children and adults ever since. It is a smaller, more intimate museum experience, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a bunch of great things to check out. There is a constant rotation of exhibits, currently featuring “Frankenstein’s Laboratory” and “Ben Franklin’s Electricity Party,” among others. Admission is very family friendly, and if you have children this is a great way to jump-start their interest in science in addition to being a fun way to spend an afternoon as a family.
Game day experience
U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016, and though the raucous tailgating experience has been halted temporarily due to COVID, there is still no shortage of parking or options to get to the stadium. There are 20,000 parking spaces within a 20-minute walk to the stadium, and if you don’t feel like parking at the stadium, there are many other options as well. The city’s light rail service can bring you to U.S. Bank Stadium from Minneapolis, St. Paul, or Bloomington. You could even park at the Mall of America (in Bloomington) and take the light rail to the stadium if you don’t mind the post-game rush.
If you are using Uber or Lyft, there are two dedicated pick-up/drop-off locations at the stadium as well. Depending on where you park, you can also take advantage of the city’s extensive skyway system to keep you protected from the elements as you make your way to the game. There is definitely no shortage of ways to get to U.S. Bank Stadium, and there is something to satisfy just about everyone regardless of what form of transportation they prefer.