Downtown – Minneapolis, MN

Known for its towering office buildings and vibrant cultural scene, Downtown is one of the most successfully revitalized areas in Minneapolis. With its central urban location, Downtown draws an intriguing mix of young and experienced professionals looking to live in the middle of the action. Driving through Downtown, you might be surprised at the lack of people on the streets, but don't be fooled -- the buildings link together by a unique system of skyways that enable residents to walk comfortably, even during the legendary Minneapolis winters. During the warmer months, residents of Downtown enjoy living within walking distance of entertainment centers such as Target Field and the Nicollet Mall. Bordered by the historic Mill District, Downtown East, North Loop and the Mississippi River, the neighborhood offers quick access to the city's most lively neighborhoods.

Schools in Downtown

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Dining options in Downtown line the sides of the Nicollet Mall and Hennepin Avenue, ensuring that you're never far from your next meal. The neighborhood houses a variety of mid-priced American and international eateries. When you're feeling indulgent, order the garlic mashed potato pizza at Pizza Luce, and wash it down with a customized Bloody Mary. The restaurant also offers vegan options and a range of innovative pizzas. Residents love the cheerful ambiance at The Local, where the beer flows freely. The restaurant's homemade barbecue chips and shepherd's pie make a satisfying meal on a cold Minneapolis winter night. Foodies will love the house special spare ribs at Butcher & the Boar, and regulars also rave about the Texas beef link sausage and the apple sundae. Nightlife in Downtown provides the usual Minneapolis mix of people dressed up and down; no matter where you go, you will always find someone in jeans. Patrons at Prohibition, a bar specializing in craft cocktails, generally dress to impress, however. Located atop the Foshay Tower, the lounge features period decor and stunning city views. Tucked away inside the Grand Hotel, the SIX15 Room, an ultra-chic bar littered with cozy couches, beckons to those who enjoy the nightlife scene. Sip on a Moscow Mule or try the bar's special Bloody Mary, which is made with bacon-infused vodka. For a unique midwestern treat, try the walleye tater tots. Numerous live music venues sit within walking distance of Downtown, including Shout House Dueling Pianos and First Avenue, a music club that hosts acts ranging from Mason Jennings to up-and-coming Minneapolis bands.

History & Culture

During Minneapolis' early years, Downtown played an important commercial role in the city. The area fell into disrepair during World War II, and an urban renewal project in the early 1960s caused the destruction of many of the area's historic buildings. Today, you can learn about the history of the area at the Wells Fargo History Museum, or browse unique works of art at the Louvre It or Leave It museum. Downtown hosts a thriving cultural scene, and locals enjoy a regular rotation of performances at the State Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Pantages Theatre and the nearby Guthrie Theatre. Those into classical music should check out the Minnesota Orchestra at the Minneapolis Orchestra Hall. The neighborhood hosts a variety of annual events, including the Minneapolis Holiday Market and the Minneapolis Marathon.

Transportation

Downtown makes transportation easy, whether you prefer to walk, drive or bike. Cyclists love the area for its numerous on-street and off-street bike lanes. The riverfront bike trail system makes a safe option for longer trips. Walkers can access businesses easily on the sidewalk or the temperature-controlled skyway system. If you prefer to take public transportation, choose between the bus and light rail system. Both the Green Line and Blue Line of the light rail run through the neighborhood, as well as multiple bus lines. Hailing a cab on the street can be difficult, so locals often call ahead. Alternatively, you can use Uber to get a ride. Both street and garage parking options line the streets of Downtown. For a long-term parking spot, expect to pay $150 per month. Driving out of the neighborhood can take a significant amount of time during rush hour, but Interstate 394 runs along the eastern edge of the neighborhood.

Cost

In comparison to Minneapolis as a whole, Downtown has a slightly higher cost of living. The difference can be attributed to housing costs, which sit just above the citywide average. A one-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood rents for approximately $1,600, while the same type of property in the rest of Minneapolis goes for about $1,400. On a night out, expect to pay an average of $6 for a draft beer. A ride on the bus or light rail system costs just 50 cents anywhere in the Downtown Zone. Car owners in Downtown enjoy gas prices that sit approximately 5 percent lower than the national average.

Shopping

Whether you're interested in designer clothing or mainstream chains, Downtown provides ample opportunity for shopping. Most of the options in the neighborhood line the Nicollet Mall, an 11-block pedestrian area. Here you'll find stores like Macy's, Target, and Brooks Brothers. If you have a little one in your life, don't miss Pacifier, a children's boutique that offers everything from personalized Christmas ornaments to Minnesota-themed storybooks. The owners choose products that are unusual, hip or cool. Celebrate other special occasions with a visit to Tommy Carver's Garden of Flowers, a locally-owned flower shop. Stop in for a bouquet of freshly cut flowers to decorate your home or pre-order arrangements for delivery. Many Downtown residents head to Lund's on Hennepin Avenue for standard grocery shopping trips. Locals also love Groceries on Harmon, where friendly employees greet regular customers by name. Pick up a fresh turkey sandwich from the deli or stop in to grab a last-minute ingredient for dinner. Fans of organic cuisine and vegan items visit the nearby Wedge Community Co-op for its wide selection of natural foods. For fresh vegetables, visit the Minneapolis Farmers' Market at the Nicollet Mall, which opens on Thursdays from May to October.

Parks

As an urban area, Downtown does not house many parks within its boundaries. Most residents head straight for the waterfront, where the beautiful Mill Ruins Park runs along the Mississippi River. On most warm days, the park's paved riverfront paths heave with runners, bikers and families out to enjoy the fresh air and the views from the Stone Arch Bridge. Bring the kids to the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, which runs along the river and includes informational signs about the neighborhood's industrial history. Each year during the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the park comes alive with Minnesotans out to enjoy the fireworks. Dog owners in Downtown appreciate the off-leash area at the Gateway Play Area park, which lies a short walk from any point in the neighborhood. The shaded and well-maintained park features a gravel surface and built-in water stations. Residents enjoy both parks free of charge.
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