The Scout Guide Minneapolis Editor Kerry Ciardelli. Photography by John Wagner Photography for The Scout Guide.
So you have a ticket to Super Bowl LII and you’re headed up north for pro football’s biggest event. Obviously you know what you’ll be doing on Sunday evening, but what else should you do during your stay in Minneapolis? To answer that question, we turned to The Scout Guide Minneapolis Editor Kerry Ciardelli for insider tips that guarantee you will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, whether you’re rooting for the Eagles or Patriots (or are just there for Team Timberlake). Here’s what you need to know before you go:
Pack for the Bold North. “With highs in the mid-30s and lows hovering in the single digits, you’ll want to stock your bag with items to beat the chill. However, you don’t have to sacrifice style for warmth. Pack a pair of cute après ski-appropriate boots like Uggs or Penelope Chilvers (pick up a pair at Pumpz at Galleria Edina if you don’t already have some), on-trend bright striped or Nordic oversized sweaters, anything faux fur, and a classic puffer jacket. Keep dresses and skirts at home, and bring skinny jeans or pants for tucking into boots instead. Cold weather essentials like hats, gloves, and scarves, are a must. You can find local-inspired knits at Northmade, or pay a visit to Target, a Minneapolis-born store, and pick something from their exclusive #boldnorth line, a partnership with local shop Askov Fylinson.”
Scope out the Scandi vibe. “The Hewing Hotel, right in the center of the historic warehouse district, is the hippest hotel in the progressive North Loop area. In addition to being a great place to rest your head, the hotel lobby bar provides an authentic Minneapolis experience with craft cocktails and a cozy ambiance thanks to exposed timber, brick, and a roaring fireplace. After drinks, stay for dinner at Tullibee, or for more Nordic charm walk two blocks over to locally-minded restaurant The Bachelor Farmer.”
Enjoy an annual local tradition. “An annual nighttime cross-country ski race, Luminary Loppet takes place on February 3rd. It is a winter festival for all and an opportunity to get out of the city and enjoy a beautiful night on one of Minneapolis’s 10,000 lakes. The course runs through a chain of lakes, paths, and parks, known as the ‘Grand Rounds.’ It’s beautifully lit with hundreds of candles, and the unique evening includes bonfires, drum circles, fire dancers, and ice races. Insider know to bring warm mittens and an appetite, since various local food trucks are on site, and there’s a great sampling of local craft beer.”
Check out the famous Nicollet Mall. “Minneapolis’s core entertainment artery, located in the heart of the city, just completed a major renovation and is opening in time for the Super Bowl. Aside from being home to plenty of dining options, be sure to head to Nicollet Mall to enjoy the Light Walk and Art Walk, a two-block-long overhead light and art installation comprised of alternating rows of trees, light masts, and lanterns. This will be the main staging area for exclusive Super Bowl exhibits that include interactive booths, markets, and live entertainment all weekend long.”
Make a point to brunch. “Sunday’s not all about the game. Plan to grab brunch at The Kenwood, a hotspot with an approachable yet adventurous menu. Mostly hidden to outsiders, it’s nestled in the cozy, landmark neighborhood of Lake of the Isles. Afterward, take a driving tour of the beautiful, historic homes on Lake of the Isles Parkway and Mt. Curve. Or you can head to nearby James Beard Award semifinalist Esker Grove in Minneapolis’s world-class Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden. Be sure to check out the unique contemporary art collection when you’re done—especially the iconic cherry and spoon.”
Hit the ice. “Ice skating is a time-honored pastime in the Twin Cities, where locals will typically turn the nearest lake into their own rink. If that sounds too adventurous, enjoy the pop-up rink at U.S. Bank Stadium, which is bound to be a good spot for skating—or people-watching, if that’s more your speed. The stadium rink promises fire pits and warming rooms where you can get toasty afterwards.”
Enjoy an Instagram-able moment. “In addition to snapping selfies in front of U.S. Bank Stadium, Cherry and Spoon, and Stone Arch Bridge, in-the-know ’grammers should head to the top floor of the historic Foshay Tower, home of W Minneapolis / The Foshay, which offers sweeping views of the skyline in a chic atmosphere. While there, make sure to grab a cocktail (or two) at Prohibition, the speakeasy-style cocktail bar on the top floor. On your way out, visit the NFL’s pop-up shop in the W’s original marble lobby for your Super Bowl LII merch fix.”
Indulge in some outdoor drinking. “Yes, really. Insiders will be flocking to MartinPatrick3’s much-anticipated ice bar over Super Bowl weekend, when the upscale men’s apparel and interior design store is partnering with the Hewing hotel to host the city’s coolest pop-up bar in their charming alleyway. The ice bar is a work of art created by local artist Chris Swarbrick, and will be serving up custom cocktails all weekend long to well-heeled guests. (While you’re there, snap up a copy of The Scout Guide Minneapolis.) A few blocks over, Askov Finlayson is hosting a charming beer garden with brews exclusively from local brewers. Come early and give yourself plenty of time to shop all the other beautiful local stores in the North Loop.”
Make a reservation. “While the food at U.S. Bank Stadium is a notch above average game fare, your vacation deserves at least one, if not more, memorable meals. One of my favorite restaurants is Spoon and Stable, where you’ll find French-inspired local cuisine by James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen. Local denizens also love to flock to Bar La Grassa for spot-on Italian specialties and an extensive wine list. Finally, I adore Alma, a small, chic restaurant with New American cuisine and memorable craft cocktails.”
For more insider’s tips on how to enjoy Minneapolis like a local, follow The Scout Guide Minneapolis on Instagram.