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The Top 5 Free Things to Do in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Woman smelling flowers

From U.S. News & World Report to WalletHub, Minnesota ranks as one of the top three states to live in. One of the biggest factors that rank the quality of life in the Twin Cities higher than most cities, is the accessibility to all types of activities year-round.

Enjoying some of the cities best sights and spots for recreation doesn’t cost a penny.

Here’s our guide to the best things to do for free in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Take a Stroll Down Summit Avenue and Gawk at Beautiful Victorian Mansions

There are many modern homes that take our breath away, but nothing really compares to the castle-like homes that line Summit Avenue. They are massive, detailed, beautifully constructed works of art. Start at the James J. Hill House, and head southwest on Summit Avenue for a self-guided walking tour of the homes. If you want to learn about the history, guided tours of Summit Avenue are $14 for adults and $10 for children.
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Explore the native wildlife and wildflowers of the region’s wetlands and prairies without leaving the city! Tall, arching flora surrounds the walking trails of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, giving it an almost storybook landscape. There is a lot to be learned about the natural history and ecosystem of Minnesota.
Browse Through the Foods and Products of the Region at a Farmer’s Market
Both St. Paul and Minneapolis host impressive weekly farmer’s markets that showcase the foods and goods of the region. The St. Paul Farmer’s Market has been operating since 1854, and runs year-round at various locations throughout the city. The Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale officially opened in 1937, with the original making of the market dating back to 1876. Both markets are free to attend and walkthrough.
Have a Beach Day!
Minnesota is home to thousands of lakes that all have something different to offer. Whether you want to lounge, have a picnic, be active or social, there’s a beach to accommodate. Phalen Regional Park, Lake Harriet Park, Lake Nokomis, Lake Clahoun, and Bde Maka Ska Park are home to some of the area’s most popular beaches. They all host a wide range of activities and recreational options. If you want some peace and quiet, or close encounters with wildlife, Fort Snelling State Park, Shady Oak Park, and Square Lake are smaller and have watercraft restrictions.
Admire the Architecture and Snap Photos of the Cathedral of Saint Paul
Regardless of what religion you do or don’t follow, the Cathedral of Saint Paul is an architectural wonder of the Twin Cities. As you might have guessed, the Cathedral is the city of Saint Paul’s namesake. The original cathedral was a simple log chapel that the first priest in the area dedicated to Saint Paul. Before the designation of apostle paul, the City of Saint Paul was called the Pig’s Eye Settlement.

Honorable Mentions

  • Free Concert at the Ted Mann Concert Hall
  • Taylor Falls
  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Hound for Fossils at Lilydale Park
  • Harriet Island
  • Witch’s Hat Water Tower

Is it time for you to move to a city that has more to offer? Life doesn’t get much better than it does in the Twin Cities from the school districts, to must-try foods, to the top places to visit. Click here to start your home search with us today!