6 Walkable Minneapolis Neighborhoods: Stroll to Work & Play
Minneapolis is Minnesota's largest and most populous city, and is part of the Twin Cities, along with homes in St. Paul, the state capital. About 3.64 million people live in the Twin Cities and the surrounding suburbs. Minneapolis real estate supports around 430,000 people, and it's the second most densely populated city in the Upper Midwest region.
Many neighborhoods offer lakefront access, wide streets, parks, walking trails, and scenic beauty. Minneapolis' downtown area is home to the world's largest interconnected enclosed pedestrian footbridge, spanning 80 full city blocks. The system allows pedestrians to walk for exercise and enables visitors and workers in the city's downtown to move about without hindrance from traffic or weather.
- Walking/biking paths
- Community events
The Lyn-Lake neighborhood gets its unique name from the fact that the intersection of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue forms its central hub. The district is also the point at which four neighborhoods come together: homes in Whittier, homes in Lyndale, homes in South Uptown, and homes in Lowry Hill East. The Lyn-Lake neighborhood is located in south Minneapolis, just east of the Uptown district. The district began branding as Lyn-Lake following action by the Lyn-Lake Business Association in 1999.
Residents who most readily identify themselves as being from the Lyn-Lake neighborhood tend to be those residing in the district's southeast corner. The Midtown Greenway bicycle and pedestrian path sits just north of the Lyn-Lake district, while the neighborhood is accessible by vehicle via I-35 West coming from the east or I-94 from the north.
The district is known for its community events. Its two most prominent festivals are the Open Streets Minneapolis and the Lyn-Lake Street Festival, which draw over 20,000 locally every year. The district is also known for its restaurants and niche boutiques. Residents can have their Greek fix at It's Greek to Me Taverna E Parea, or grab some pastries at Wuollet Bakery & Coffee. Looking for a gift? Pick up an earthy souvenir from ZRS Fossils and Gifts.
This commercial district can be found among homes in Southwest Minneapolis. The Uptown district is anchored by the Uptown Theater, located at the intersection of Hennepin and Lagoon avenues.
Uptown is generally recognized as spanning the corners of four neighborhoods from the homes in Calhoun Isles: homes in East Isles, homes in South Uptown, homes in East Calhoun, and homes in Lowry Hill East. The district's boundaries have historically included Minneapolis' largest lake, Bde Maka Ska, to the west. It is also bordered by 31st Street to the south, Dupont Avenue to the east, and 28th Street to the north.
The lake area, including Bde Maka Ska, along with Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles, first became popular as local vacation destinations, when the streetcar became available in the 1880s. As the city expanded south, housing boomed through the 1920s, and a commercial district sprang up just east of the lake area that would later be rebranded as the Uptown district.
Uptown is a favorite destination for nightlife, as well as retail and cultural events. Lake & Irving Restaurant & Bar and The Pourhouse Uptown are just a couple of the go-to places for those in the area. The Uptown district was popularized in works by the artist Prince, who launched his career there.
The Whittier neighborhood is part of the homes in Powderhorn, though it more often identifies with adjacent neighborhoods from the Calhoun Isles community to its west and the homes in Stevens Square neighborhood to its north. Whittier lies west of I-35 West and north of Lake Street, compared with most of the Powderhorn community, which is found on the opposite side of I-35 and south of Lake Street.
The neighborhood is known for its coffee shops, diverse restaurants, and markets. Its Nicollet Avenue is so dominated by restaurants and eateries that it's known as "Eat Street." Whittier is also home to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Children's Theatre Company.
The neighborhood has become revitalized in the past couple of decades. The abandoned Milwaukee Road trench was developed into the Midtown Greenway, completed in 2005. Recent revitalization has brought major commercial development to the area as well, with Nicollet Avenue as the major area of focus. On the road, residents can grab a coffee from Spyhouse Coffee, or enjoy the Vietnamese food of My Huong Kitchen.
Downtown West Amenities
- Enclosed footbridges
- Arts and culture
Downtown West condos are found in a district within the greater central community of Minneapolis. It is considered to be the heart of the city's downtown and the city itself. Downtown West is home to the bulk of Minneapolis' high-rise buildings, as well as the Target Center where the Minnesota Timberwolves play.
The district is bound to the southwest by 12th Street; 3rd Avenue North, Washington Avenue North, and Hennepin Avenue to the northwest; the Mississippi River to the northeast; and Portland Avenue, 5th Street South, and 5th Avenue South to the southeast.
Downtown West features Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian zone stretching about a mile between the Minneapolis Public Library to Orchestra Hall and the nearby Peavey Plaza. Here residents and visitors can find the high-quality meats of 801 Chophouse and the restaurant, lounge, and wine bar of The News Room.
The Nicollet Mall is also connected to the Minneapolis Skyway System, an interconnected collection of enclosed pedestrian footbridges connecting various buildings and spanning 80 full city blocks in the city's downtown. The Skyway System, the longest continuous system in the world, enables pedestrians to walk in a climate-controlled environment year-round.
Loring Park Amenities
- Basketball courts
- Tennis courts
- Picnic area
- Wading pool
- Community events
- Arts and culture
Loring Park condos have front-row seats to the city's largest festivals and celebrations. Likewise, the area is known for its many eateries which dot the park, adding to the amount of foot traffic on any given day. Visitors to the park can also enjoy the Walker Art Center's Sculpture Garden. The park sees frequent visitors from in and out of the nearby Minneapolis Convention Center.
Loring Park is known as the park with the most amenities in the downtown area. It is complete with basketball and tennis courts, a children's wading pool, playground, a pond, a bandstand, picnic areas, and a garden. While three sides of the park border other Minneapolis residential neighborhoods and commercial buildings, the park's fourth side looks out onto the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Park visitors can easily access the Sculpture Garden via a bridge that passes over traffic on Lyndale Avenue.
The Lotus Restaurant offers Vietnamese food, and Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant is there for anyone looking for their Italian fix. It's easy to grab coffee and donut at one of the cafés in the neighborhood, like Dunn Brothers Coffee or Caribou Coffee.
- Medical clinic
- Historic architecture
Officially the Thomas-Dale neighborhood, but known locally as Frogtown, homes in Frogtown are located in the Minneapolis' twin city of St. Paul. It is bordered by University Avenue on the south, Burlington Northern Railroad tracks to the north, Lexington Parkway to the west, and Rice Street to its east.
Frogtown got its start between 1860 and 1880, as the downtown area began to spill over its original borders. Railroad workers sought out housing nearby, as railroad-related industries began to pop up.
The early neighborhood was dominated by modest wood frame and brick homes, later changed by urban development. The neighborhood still features some original architecture, however.
Today, Frogtown also offers a number of businesses and retail shops. It also features a multitude of restaurants, offering a diversity of world cuisine. People can eat Vietnamese dishes at Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, or enjoy Mexican food from Los Ocampo. For a quick pick-me-up, there are always cafés like Groundswell.
Get in Your Steps in a Great Minneapolis Neighborhood
From its quiet residential walking paths and parks to its extensive downtown pedestrian footbridge system, Minneapolis has much to offer those traveling by foot, whether as a primary means of transport, for exercise, or simply looking for a healthy way to get around the city.
Minneapolis is known for its scenic, natural landscapes, including a chain of lakes, that provide a natural backdrop to these walkable neighborhoods. Living in a walkable community makes it easy to enjoy the best local amenities without driving in Minneapolis.