Looking for a fun way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? Here are 10 activities the gang will love!
Life gets busy. Work. Family. There never seems to be time for just the two of you. That’s why it’s time to get away. We have the prefect sweet retreat that will allow you to reconnect and recharge. Come spend a long weekend in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot!
After you’ve settled into your hotel, head out to St. Louis Park’s West End. Start your weekend off with the ultimate in relaxation by getting a couple’s massage at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. Their dedicated space for couples will allow you to experience a massage together, side-by-side, enjoying time away from it all. Try their signature Hot Stone Massage – the heat will help release the tension in your back and shoulders. Or choose the Himalayan Salt Massage, where warm salt crystals will take away stress and promote an increased sense of well-being.
Now that you’re feeling carefree, stroll along the tree-lined boulevard and do a little window shopping at The Shops at West End. Dinner awaits at Raku Sushi & Lounge where traditional Japanese dishes have been cleverly fused with French, Italian and other Asian influences. Sip a glass of sake and enjoy the finest sushi and sashimi. Order traditional tempura and teriyaki or try one of their signature dishes, like the grilled Chilean sea bass marinated in yuzu miso and served with udon noodles in bonito broth.
Head next door and take in a movie at the ShowPlace Icon Theatre. Splurge on VIP seating and watch your movie in style as you put your feet up and sink back into a luxurious recliner. Enjoy the ultimate in cinematic digital sight and sound!
Consider wrapping up your evening with a craft cocktail from The Dampfwerk Distillery. All items are locally sourced, whether it be the apples and grapes for their fruit brandies or the premium botanicals in the gin and liqueurs. With a unique mix of modern German-American influences, they take traditional European-style craft spirits and infuse them with a contemporary style and playful attitude.
Start your day in the Historic Walker Lake District. Say cheers to togetherness with a strawberry sunrise mimosa from The Block Food + Drink. Their Biscuits Breakfast Bar features flaky buttermilk biscuits with fun option like the “I’m Eggs Sausaged Biscuit Sandwich.” Or try the pacos, three mini pancakes stuffed with cheesy scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and green onions topped with spicy pepper jam and maple syrup – yum! They also offer several vegan options and a dog-friendly “pawtio” complete with a dedicated dog menu. Snap a pic in front of their Minnesota-themed mural with the words “With love from SLP” and send it to your loved ones.
As you walk through this neighborhood, be sure to look down. The sidewalk between Lake Street and The Block is sandblasted with poetry by local residents and students. The poems explore themes of local identity, cultural expression and the concept of place and time. Additional sidewalk poems can be found nearby on Lake Street between Dakota Avenue and Walker Street.
Stop into sota clothing, a store with merchandise that screams Minnesota, in an elegant, understated way of course! Created by Minnesota native Spencer Johnson, sota offers everything from hoodies to hats to drinkware and artwork, many of which feature the brand’s signature design of two crossed oars accompanied by the state outline. (Bonus: There’s no sales tax on clothing and shoes in Minnesota!) You’ll find another great photo-op at sota’s Minnesota-themed selfie station. The side of the building is painted with an outline of the state emblazoned with the catchphrase “You betcha,” as well as Minnesota’s unofficial mascots, giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his friend Babe the Blue Ox.
Continue your Instagram-worthy mural tour with a visit to the Historic Walker Lake Mural (3550 Dakota Ave. S), which tells the story of the surrounding business district and St. Louis Park. Several notable local figures are depicted, including Phyllis McQuaid, the first woman elected mayor of St. Louis Park, and Dr. B. Robert Lewis, the first Black person elected to a Twin Cities school board and the Minnesota Senate.
Give your feet a rest and grab lunch at México City Café, a family-owned restaurant serving authentic and modern Mexican dishes. Chef Julio Margalli, who grew up in Mexico City, learned to cook traditional dishes from his grandmother. Upon moving to the U.S., he saved enough money to attend culinary school and eventually open his own place, serving up traditional Mexico City street tacos, classics like burritos and enchiladas, and specials like chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers).
Add some adventure to your afternoon by booking a trip with Kayak The Creek and explore Minnehaha Creek, which flows through St. Louis Park and the neighboring suburbs. Tamara, your host, will drop off kayaks, complete with paddles, life vest, and dry bag for phones and wallets, at your desired launch point and pick them up at the end of your 2.5 to 3-hour journey. Not a kayaking expert? Don’t worry – shoreside instruction is provided before you set off.
For dinner, you’ll fall in love with Lat14 Asian Eatery. Ann Ahmed, owner and executive chef, drew inspiration from her real-life experiences to create this Golden Valley gem. The restaurant is designed to bring people together with a menu full of unforgettable food inspired by her Asian culture. You’ll experience the flavors of several Asian countries that sit along the 14th parallel north — specifically Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Grab a seat on the beautiful pergola covered patio and dig in. You can’t go wrong with any meal, but our favorites include the Thai basil duck, the snow crab wontons and the bacon pineapple fried rice.
If you have time, you’ll want to check out Patina. They’re a specialty purveyor known for selling a curated mix of affordable gifts, home décor, scents, paper goods, jewelry and toys. You’re sure to find the perfect memento from your trip here.
When your day is complete, cuddle up at REVEAL Rooftop Bar& Lounge, located at the top of the AC Hotel by Marriott. Relax on one of their comfy couches, sip a craft cocktail from their master mixologists, and enjoy sweeping views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The open-air environment and retractable roof allow you to visit in style, rain or shine!
Wake-up and small the delicious coffee from Triple D Espresso. This family-owned coffee shop is known for their fresh roasted coffee beans and delightful baked goods. Be sure to pick up a muffin or scone to go with your morning latte. You can even scoop up some of their beans to bring home with you!
St. Louis Park and Golden Valley have more than 1,800 acres of green spaces, with miles of trails that are perfect for walking, hiking and biking. Enjoy the peace and calm of the great outdoors at Theodore Wirth Regional Park. This 740-acre park in Golden Valley features more than 5 miles of walking trails. Explore the park’s Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary to learn about the area’s flora and fauna. The Garden is home to over 500 plant species and 130 bird species.
Mill Valley Market, located at the Trailhead in Theodore Wirth, serves locally sourced, organic cuisine. They offer several picnic options, as well as Belgian waffles topped with strawberries, chocolate, and even fried chicken and honey.
For a little more adventure, hike the park’s Quaking Bog Loop trail, which spans the 5-acre, 3,700-year-old acid bog tucked into the wooded hills of the park. It crosses several boardwalks that float over islands of sphagnum moss. Or play a round of golf on one of Theodore Wirth’s two golf courses. The front nine of the 18-hole course offers incredible scenic views of Minneapolis.
But if relaxing in the sun is more your style, we’ve got you covered. Wirth Lake offers a sandy beach for laying out and a swimming area for cooling off. There’s even a floating swim dock and a fishing pier.
End your weekend with dinner at Doolittles Woodfire Grill, known for its rotisserie cooking. Try the woodfired smokehouse spareribs or the woodfired spit-roasted chicken. Their expansive wine list features over 60 wines from around the world. Raise a glass and toast to a wonderful weekend of togetherness.
This is just a sampling of what you might do in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot. View our list of Experiences to help plan your trip!