I Heart My City: Gary’s Minneapolis

In 2007 Gary Arndt packed up and set off to travel around the world. He hasn’t stopped since, visiting over 100 countries and launching his popular Everything is Everywhere blog. But before he began life as an intrepid world traveler, Gary had roots in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today, city lovers, he gives you an insider’s tour of this Midwest metropolis.

Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, videos or links) to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org.

Minneapolis is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to Uptown.

When I crave ribs I always go to Market BBQ.

To escape snow I head to the Skyway.

If I want to ice skate I go to The Depot.

For complete quiet, I can hide away in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Sarah Fritz/My Shot

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the big spoon with the cherry on it.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Matt’s Bar it has to be the Jucy Lucy.

Byerley’s is my one-stop shop for great produce.

Locals know to skip The Mall of America and check out Nicollet Mall instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to Ragstock for great vintage clothing.

For a huge splurge I go to Manny’s Steak House.

Photo ops in my city include Minnehaha Park and the best vantage points are on top the IDS Building.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Prince .

The most random thing about my city is it has the third largest theater scene in the country after New York and Chicago.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves walking around Lake Harriet.

My city’s best museum is the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

My favorite jogging/walking route is around Lake Calhoun.

For a night of dancing, go to Nye’s Polonaise Room for polka. Or, for live music, check out First Avenue.

Perkins is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the City Pages.

You can tell a lot about my city from how efficient the snow plows are after a storm.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they aren’t wearing any rings (sorry, that’s a dig on Vikings fans).

Target Field by Todd Hanselman/My Shot

In the spring you should catch a Twin’s game at Target Field.

In the summer you should get outside.

In the fall you should visit the University of Minnesota arboretum.

In the winter you should stay indoors.

A hidden gem in my city is the Minnesota Orchestra.

For a great breakfast joint try the Triple Rock Social Club on weekends.

Don’t miss the Minnesota State Fair in August/September.

Just outside my city, you can visit St. Paul.

The best way to see my city is on a bicycle or walking.

If my city were a pet it would be a walleye.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live (where?) somewhere in the Pacfic.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is the Mary Tyler Moore theme.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the great schools.

Urban ice fishing could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it is one of the best cities in America.

Want to see your city on Intelligent Travel? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses (with any photos, video, or links) to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org.

Follow Gary Arndt on Twitter @EverywhereTrip.

[48 Hours Minneapolis]


  1. the Minnesota man
    November 8, 2011, 10:58 am

    It’s great to see a fellow Minnesotan out there! Love the post and I share in your enthusiasm for our State! Go Minnesota! Feel free to check out my blog at http://www.theminnesotaman.com

  2. dug
    St Paul
    August 24, 2011, 11:38 am

    While he makes some decent points overall, sounds like a guy that hasn’t really spent much time here in the last few years. His suggestions read like a travel book. Produce at Byerley’s? In the winter you should stay indoors? Whatever. Come visit more often, Gary, and see what cool and interesting things are going on here besides tourist attractions…

  3. Supriya Basu
    Kolkata, India
    August 14, 2011, 11:57 am

    I have to agree it’s a great photograph.Noway to deny it. I like it very very much. If you want the rating for it , then it will be 100 in 100.

  4. […] Check out my interview with National Geographic Traveler about my former town: Minneapolis […]

  5. Henry Williams
    August 9, 2011, 8:28 am

    These are some great photos was that 4th of july

  6. Packman
    August 7, 2011, 4:36 pm

    What? Packers fan Gary is from Minneapolis???? The shame!!

  7. Mack Reynolds
    August 5, 2011, 4:29 pm

    really great photos. i really like that giant cherry sitting atop that white spoon.

  8. mplsjacob
    August 5, 2011, 4:07 pm

    agreed on all accounts, except one: late-night dining at perkins? maybe if you’re 17 and on summer vacation.

    what about uptown diner? pizza lucé?? taquería la hacienda on lake??? any number of places on eat street????

    no, sir, perkins is not late-night dining.