Minneapolis loves bikes. Often considered “the best cycling city in America,” we have a long, storied relationship with our two-wheeled friends.
For residents of the Twin Cities, the comingling of two and four wheels is nothing new; we were sharing the road before it was fashionable. Within Minneapolis alone, there are 44 miles of bike lanes, and 83 miles of off-street, paved trails. We were one of the first major metropolitan areas to adopt a bicycle rental program. We have a bicycle highway.
And between the trails? Got that covered too. Below is a curated list of places to stop off and top off.
The Bike Date: The Nook – 492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul
I personally use The Nook to seem cooler than I am. It’s impossibly hip, slightly gritty, and the burgers are excellent. I prefer heading downstairs to the bowling-alley-bar for a casual dining experience.
The Midtown Greenway and West River Parkway will get you most of the way there. You’ll pop onto city streets for the final leg of the trip.
Best Burger: Bull’s Horn – 4563 S 34th Ave, Minneapolis
The Weather Brooklyn. Find it, order it—it’s the one. Bull’s horn opened a few years back after taking over the location of a long-standing 3.2 joint. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, then grab a beer or an ice water and enjoy the organic ambience this space has to offer.
The Greenway and/or Hiawatha’s large bike path will get you here. Plenty of places to lock up off-street or sit with your whip on their patio.
Grab a Beer: The Saloon – 830 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
All trails lead to downtown. That’s not true, but plenty of them do. When you’re looking for a centrally located, fun pit-stop—look no further. Drink variety, live music, a full menu…what else could you want?
Whichever direction is bringing you downtown, you’ll find a connection that points you into the city. Be mindful of where you’re locking up, as the good spots fill up quickly at popular hotspots. Frequent checks.
Get Your Fix: Freewheel Bike Midtown Bike Center – 2834 10th Ave S, Minneapolis
If you fall off the Greenway, you’ll likely land inside Freewheel’s Midtown Bike Center. Located on the Midtown Greenway, this is your place for a quick tire fix—or any other gear for that matter.
This site also offers secure, indoor bicycle storage and showers for folks riding their bikes to work in the Midtown neighborhood. Freewheel is a big name in Twin Cities cycling, and this is unique addition to their portfolio.
Because You Can: The Mall of America – Bloomington, MN
When trail and rail combine forces, the world becomes more accessible. Meet the train at the stop nearest you, hang your bike on one of the many vertical bike holders—and relax. The Mall of America is the last stop on Metro Transit’s Blue Line. Can’t miss it.
Once you’re there, you’re only limited by what you can carry back. Shopping, dining, drinks, treats, theme-park rides—you name it. If you have too much fun, you can check into one if the mall’s hotels.
Bring multiple locks. The mall has ample parking for bicycles near the train station, but it’s sort of out of sight. Combining a u-lock and a cable lock will deter thieves for longer, and let you enjoy your visit without thinking about your bike the entire time.