Gay Vacations in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis Highlights

  • Stay downtown. This is where you'll find most of the gay nightlife, and it's easy to get to other areas of town. Downtown also has the nation's largest skyway system, making it walkable even in the nastiest of weather.
  • Remember public transportation. Metro Transit runs buses between the Twin Cities, and the Hiawatha light rail line runs from Minneapolis's Warehouse District to the airport and the Mall of America.
  • Don't be scared of winter in Minneapolis. Local residents go outdoors and embrace winter, enjoying easy access to cross-country skiing trails, skating rinks, or ice fishing spots.

Minneapolis-St. Paul is a bona fide Midwest gay mecca. Some say Minneapolis has more of a Chicago vibe, while St. Paul has more of a Seattle vibe, but either way, Minneapolis is flashier than its low-key neighbor across the river. Minneapolis residents dress up to go out and take pride in their sophisticated arts and cultural scene. Although St. Paul has some interesting Art Deco and Victorian architecture, Minneapolis may be of more interest to the out-of-town visitor. And amid the city's 22 lakes you'll find the second-largest gay population per capita and the third-largest pride celebration in the country.

Minneapolis has no real gay ghetto, but there are neighborhoods scattered throughout this bulwark of tolerance that are popular with gays. The fascinating St. Anthony Falls Historic District sports old mills and warehouses, and St. Anthony Main has attracted LGBT residents. Lyndale-Lake near Uptown also has queer businesses, and artsy Lowry Hill–home to the ultra-modern Walker Art Center and its Minneapolis Sculpture Garden–is fairly gay. The city's Warehouse District has a great Old World atmosphere, and some gay bars and artist lofts.

Even die-hard shoppers will be overwhelmed by the tax-free shopping at the Mall of America on Minneapolis' outskirts, with more than 500 specialty stores and boutiques, movie theaters, nightclubs, bowling, a NASCAR racing experience and America's largest enclosed theme park. But be sure to get outdoors too: The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway connects the city's many lakes and offers 50 miles of trails for biking, running and hiking.

Twin Cities Pride happens in June at Loring Park, the queer Flaming Film Festival is in May, and the North Star Gay Rodeo rides into town in July. Or visit in August for the excellent 10-day Fringe Festival, the largest theater festival of its kind in the country.


Published: 17 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 9 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Minneapolis

$239
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#1
The Grand Hotel Minneapolis a Kimpton Hotel
$259
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#2
Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis
$215
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#3
W Minneapolis - The Foshay

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