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Six Reasons to Love Minneapolis Northwest in the Summer

Summer is finally here, which in Minneapolis Northwest means shopping for fresh produce at local markets, teeing off on a pristine golf course and fishing along the Mississippi River. Here are some of the top reasons to love Minneapolis Northwest in the summer.

1. Hit the local farmers markets. Get the area’s freshest produce and artisan goods at some of the most popular farmers markets around the metro area in Minneapolis Northwest.


After more than 10 years, the Maple Grove Farmers Market is still a long-standing, Thursday tradition offering a variety of delicious produce and locally made goods in a market setting, all while live music plays. Dozens of tents are scattered throughout Weaver Lake Road, selling a wide range of goods from gourds to flowers to handmade soaps, and from pickled beets to organic cuts of meat. The market is held every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., June to September and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in October. 


Other prominent farmers markets worth checking out are: Brooklyn Park Farmers Market (smaller and intimate with 20 vendors), Osseo Farmers Market (diverse, quality and freshness in a family-friendly atmosphere), downtown Minneapolis Farmers Markets (Lyndale and Government Center) Mill City Farmers Market (situated by the picturesque Mississippi River).


2. Try some ethnic cuisine. Although Minneapolis Northwest is a great place to get comfort food like barbecue, burgers, and sandwiches, foodies come here for the ethnic cuisine. Huffington Post ranked the Minneapolis area among the greatest destination food towns in America, praising some of the city’s signature dishes. Minneapolis Northwest is known for its large concentration of ethnic groups, bringing the best recipes from their homelands. Foodies looking for authentic dishes can find a wide array of restaurants specializing in Turkish, Indian, African, Mexican, Irish and Thai cuisine. The area is also home to ethnic grocery stores, where you can stock up on hard-to-find brands imported from several countries. Must-try restaurants include El Rodeo for tamales, India House for all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and Naf Naf Grill for shawarmas.

3. Opt for al fresco dining. Summertime in Minnesota means dining outdoors. Many restaurants take advantage of the perfect temps, putting chairs and tables outside wherever possible (on sidewalks, back patios and rooftop terraces). Enjoy fine cuts of filet mignon and ribeye steaks served outside at Pittsburgh Blue, an award-winning steakhouse. Punch Neapolitan Pizza, which has outside dining with oversized umbrellas, is the spot to go for wood-fired pies. Other restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating, include Sweet Basil, Girvan Grille and Roasted Pear.


4. Go fishing. Fishing is definitely a year-round activity in Minnesota, but summertime is as good a time as any to grab the fishing gear. Home to thousands of miles of shoreline, the Minneapolis area attracts lots of out-of-towners looking for catfish, bass, crappie and more. The region is home to several public lakes, including the 14,730-acre wide Lake Minnetonka and 886-acre Medicine Lake. Visitors have the option of fishing inland or by boat (many lakes have their own docks). 

And don’t overlook the world-famous Mississippi River, offering some of the best fishing around. Guests traveling without fishing equipment can visit one of the local bait shops, like JR’s Tackle and Wayzata Bait & Tackle. Boats can be rented for fishing from Harty’s Boats & Bait in Plymouth. Fishermen can check the fishing reports in advance for local lakes and rivers to find the best fishing spot during their visit.


5. Hit the links. Tee off and take advantage of the great summer weather at some of the award-winning golf courses in the area. Brookland Golf Park, with a 9-hole, par 30 design, can accommodate both beginners and advanced golfers. Make reservations online in advance, or join a series of golf lessons at reasonable prices if you’re a novice golfer.

Edinburgh USA is another pristine golf course in Brooklyn Park in Minneapolis Northwest, where golfers can hit a hole-in-one, complete with a gorgeous mansion as a backdrop. The course was rated the second-best new daily-fee golf course in America by Golf Digest, which also ranked it as one of the top 75 affordable golf courses in the country.


6. Plan a DIY adult summer camp. Companies are popping up all over the country offering pre-organized adult camps—think fun activities in a group cabin setting complete with adult beverages and good food. And while not such company exists here yet in the Minneapolis Northwest area, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan your own DIY summer camp.

A one-day, adult summer camp would include breakfast and setup at Elm Creek Park Reserve cabins, a bike ride to Coon Rapids Dam and hike along the Mississippi River, and more fun at Elm Creek or Fish Lake Regional Park (think biking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming), all before lunchtime. Take an afternoon ziplining adventure at Kerfoot Canopy Tour or rent a party boat on Lake Minnetonka before DIY lawn games and grilling out for dinner back at camp. For more ideas on adult summer camp and other summer fun activities in Minneapolis Northwest, check out our 2017 visitor guide.


Share your own ideas on which some of your favorite things to do and reasons you love Minneapolis Northwest in the summer using the #WeLoveMNW hashtag. 


Sports & Outdoors

Minneapolis Northwest is home to a number of Minnesota’s 10,000 Lakes, not to mention the Mighty Mississippi. From paddling down the river, fishing Weaver Lake, to cross-country skiing at Elm Creek Park Reserve, there is an abundance of outdoor activities to take part in year round.

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Minnesota offers a variety of craft beers and fresh wine to satisfy diverse palettes.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is a craft beer drinker's haven. A few years ago, Brooklyn Center's own Surly Brewing Company led the charge to make it legal for local breweries to sell pints on-site. Since the passing of the 'Surly Bill' in 2011, over 30 taprooms have popped up in the Twin Cities and the rest is history. Kick back and enjoy a few!

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2016 Summer

Summer in Minneapolis Northwest is gorgeous!  Come have fun with us whether browsing our farmers markets, enjoying our pristine lakes and trails, or shopping at Arbor Lakes outdoor mall and Albertville Outlet Mall.

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