Minnesota is known for lots of things, — snow, lakes, and constant highway construction come to mind — but one thing that I believe it shouldn’t be known for are boring summers. If you’ve had a boring summer in Minnesota, specifically Minneapolis, you have just simply been doing it wrong. Here’s my 100 percent credible list of things to do this summer if you’re staying in Minneapolis:
- Jazz it up
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is an absolute must even if you’re not that big of a fan of jazz. The energy, people, and music here are so infectiously fun that you get a buzz just from being there. The entire block is full of food trucks, vendors, and performances that you have to go to both days to experience everything. There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing this festival is. Go check it out for yourself.
- Jump off a cliff… into water
Now, this isn’t in Minneapolis. It’s near Duluth, but it’s worth the drive. Located in Tettegouche State Park, Illgen Falls is home to one of the best swimming holes in the state. The hike is a bit complicated because the swimming hole is pretty hidden. However, the view, the cliff, and the water are worth every second. Ropes are set up for people to swing into the water, and the ledges are perfect to dive off of. This is a great place to try out cliff diving if you’ve never done it before too. Trust me, this is a game changer.
- Drink to your heart’s content
What is summer synonymous with? Coffee. Minneapolis is stacked with great coffee houses. Spyhouse Coffee, a local chain in the cities, is a great place for both quality coffee and time. Do you have work you need to do? Spyhouse. Trying to land a job? Spyhouse. It’s the place to go when you need to make an attempt at being productive. Any of their Trademark House-Crafted drinks are a must try. Another favorite is Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea. This place is a great hang out spot thanks to their indoor swings, fun baristas, and tasty funnel cake fries.
- Sing your heart out
The Minneapolis concert scene really kicks in during the summer. Though it may seem expensive to go to some concerts, there are a bunch of small artists that come and perform in local venues around First Avenue at around 20 dollars a ticket. Go check out their concert list, and find one to go to. You don’t even have to be a big fan of or really know them. Sometimes, those are the best experiences.
- Nights outside at the movies
Tired of drive-ins or can’t find one close by? Movies in the Park is the perfect replacement. Hosted at the Lake Harriet Bandshell Park, Movies in the Park is a series where both old and new movies are shown daily after sunset throughout the summer. There’s also plenty to enjoy around the bandshell too — ice cream, trails, and water activities. Grab some friends, buy some ice cream, and enjoy a movie in the park. Pro tip: bring bug spray, they get vicious after dark.
Kenzie Nguyen is from Minneapolis, Minn.
Her major is creative writing.