Madison Road Trip

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Minneapolis MN

Como Park Conservatory

The Como Park Conservatory is a tropical paradise on the frozen Minnesota prairie. Substantially larger than most midwest conservatories, it houses a Fern Room, Palm House, Sunken Garden, Orchid and Tropical houses, along with many outdoor gardens. The venerable collection… Continue Reading →

Walker Art Center

Claes Oldenburg (Coosje van Bruggen)’s iconic sculpture “Spoon Bridge” appears on nearly every piece of tourism advertising for Minneapolis. The piece, along with many others, is housed in a sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center. The Walker not only… Continue Reading →

Midtown Global Market

Inspired by traditional markets like Cleveland’s West Side Market or Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the midwest is now getting our own international shopping markets. Joining the Milwaukee Public Market,¬†Minneapolis’s Midtown Global Market delivers on its international promise. Housed in a… Continue Reading →

Hunt & Gather

Minneapolis’s Hunt & Gather calls itself an “antique store,” but the title doesn’t do it justice. The¬† location, once seen, is never forgotten. One of their specialties is old sign letters.¬† The front of the store is crusted (for lack… Continue Reading →

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The University of Minnesota’s Landscape Arboretum is a short drive from Minneapolis. With its more rural location, the Arboretum has the opportunity to spread and sprawl in a highly satisfactory manner. At over 1100 acres, plan to spend at least… Continue Reading →

American Swedish Institute

The American Swedish Institute is likely the most ornate house in the midwest open to the public. The original owners, the Turnblad family, made their fortune with a Swedish language newspaper. The mansion has every feature de rigueur to the… Continue Reading →

Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction/Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore

Update: During the protests of 2020, Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore was burned to the ground. Whether they rebuild is still up in the air. Sales are available online, but the future is still uncertain for a new physical location. Unlike the… Continue Reading →

Once Upon a Crime

What better way to spend an hour or two than browsing a bookstore, especially if it is packed wall-to-wall with murder, mystery and deceit? Once Upon a Crime is a cozy bookstore that, despite its size, is loaded with excellent… Continue Reading →

Weisman Art Museum

Clinging to the banks of the Mississippi, the Frederick R Weisman Art Museum looks like it landed, rather than was built. One of famed architect Frank Gehry’s designs, the museum is a convoluted, twisting silver mass reminiscent of one of… Continue Reading →

Architectural Antiques

Housed in an old warehouse, Architectural Antiques hosts a vast array of salvaged architectural features. Many of the most graceful details on historic architecture end up in dumpsters – lighting fixtures, glass doorknobs, stained glass windows, wood paneling and more…. Continue Reading →

(Original) Bell Museum of Natural History

Update: The Bell Museum has closed it its old location. It has been rebuilt as a new, shiny, interactive and thoroughly repugnant shadow of itself. I would not recommend this new museum. While modern museums with hands-on demos, touchpads of… Continue Reading →

Wild Rumpus Bookstore

The Wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis is a magical, addictive space. The books run from board books for infants to a vast array of YA literature. Every book a child (and adult) could desire is here – from the Little… Continue Reading →

Bakken Museum

Come for the architecture, stay for the electric shocks! No wait, maybe it’s the other way around? The Bakken Museum’s focus is on electricity, its history and properties. Founded by Earl Bakken, inventor of the first battery operated pace-maker, the… Continue Reading →