Whether you are a tourist or a local, a leisurely evening walk can uncover hidden treasures and soon-to-be favorite stops that you never knew existed. Minnesota has countless places to discover in this way. But where can you take in the most interesting sites, cool new haunts and gorgeous views with each step? Read on for five great nighttime strolls in Minnesota.
Grand Marais Waterfront
1st Ave. W. & Wisconsin St.
Grand Marais, MN 55604
The quaint community of Grand Marais has plenty to offer, including in the early evening. Take in the colors of the late-day sun while climbing along the rocks of Artist’s Point. Then head down along the waterfront of Grand Marais Harbor past the lighthouse and boats while stopping in local artisan shops along the way. Angry Trout Café makes a great ending point with a delicious seafood dinner right on the water.
Stone Arch Bridge Area
W. River Road & Portland Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
A nighttime walk around the Stone Arch Bridge area provides the perfect combination of metropolitan luxury and history. Take in the lights of the breathtaking downtown Minneapolis skyline as you explore the riverfront of the Mississippi. Many bridges cross the area, including the Stone Arch Bridge built in 1883. Be sure to check out the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, the charm of the milling district and the many parks and restaurants that surround the area.
Summit Avenue Architecture
Summit Ave. & Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Start on the northeastern end of this stretch of grand buildings at the divine Cathedral of St. Paul, which provides a nice nighttime vantage point of the Minnesota State Capitol and downtown St. Paul. Then, head down toward the largest Gilded Age mansion on historic Summit Avenue, the James J. Hill house. As you continue, take in the exterior of the spectacular homes at dusk, including the F. Scott Fitzgerald House, nearly a mile down at 599 Summit.
Downtown Stillwater Waterfront
Main St. & Chestnut St. E.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Along the St. Croix River lies the charming town of Stillwater. A nighttime stroll in this picturesque area can take you past plenty of interesting stores, eateries and bars. Stop along the waterfront to watch boats pass as you take a breather on a park bench. If you’re looking to expend more energy, hike up the many steps near the Luna Rossa wine bar and Italian restaurant for a beautiful overlook of the twinkling downtown lights and river.
Downtown Duluth Waterfront
Canal Park Drive & W. Railroad St.
Duluth, MN 55802
An evening walk around this popular area of downtown Duluth and its Lake Superior waterfront can include Bayfront Festival Park, portions of the Superior Hiking Trail system and Canal Park shops and restaurants. Watch the boats, barges and ships as they go under the Aerial Lift Bridge. Enjoy the gardens and sculptures as you stroll the peaceful Lakewalk. Thirsty? Stop in for a drink at Vikre Distillery or the Endion Station Public House set in an old 1800s railroad building.
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young son and daughter, who are her partners-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.