Photo by: Paul VanDerWerf (CC BY 2.0)

Self-Guided Bike Tour

Minneapolis

Self-Guided Bike Tour

One of the loveliest ways to get to know Minneapolis, encounter people and enjoy the accessible nature characterizing this area is through riding the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway. While it’s possible to ride 50 miles on trails through seven districts, it’s easy to break up this trail loop into shorter excursions, like the one described in this tour.

Start at Loring Park, the Central Park of Minneapolis, located at the southwest corner of downtown. From there, take the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge over Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues. On the west side of the bridge is the entrance to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a free public park, which is also home to the unofficial symbol of the city, the “Spoonbridge & Cherry” artwork by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Wander through or visit the Walker Art Center, just across the street. Then, take Kenwood Boulevard to the Kenilworth Trail to pick up the route. The Kenilworth Trail is smooth and flat with a pleasant mix of prairie and woods.

Keep on the Kenilworth, until it intersects with Dean Parkway. Then, take a left and go down a hill. Follow the boulevard trail on Dean Parkway about two blocks until it intersects with West Lake Street. Be careful at this intersection as it’s a busy one, but once across, it’s a smooth ride around Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), the largest in the Chain of Lakes at 3.19 miles around. One important note, bikers must travel clockwise around the lake.

Bde Maka Ska is a great place to pause. Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and other rentals are available at Wheel Fun Rentals, located at the northeast corner of the lake. Right next door in the Mediterranean-style park shelter are restrooms and drinking fountains.

Continue down the east side of Bde Maka Ska and take a left on the trail along William Berry Parkway. Here’s the first hill on the route, but it’s worth the effort, because at the top is Lake Harriet and the Victorian-style band shell. Lake Harriet is a great place to stop, especially in the summer. The band shell is home to a live music and movies series and a small restaurant called Bread & Pickle. Gardeners and birders will want to continue along the trail and visit the Lyndale Park Rose Garden and Lyndale Park Peace Garden.

Return back north to Bde Maka Ska. On the northeastern corner of the lake, hop on the Midtown Greenway, which heads east across town. You’ll pedal through Uptown, a fun place to stop and shop—think gourmet coffee, upscale kitchen and stationary stores, an independent bookstore and chain clothing stores. From the Midtown Greenway, exit at the Mall; this is a good place to lock a bike while exploring the shops, which are concentrated at the intersection of West Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue.

Back on the Midtown Greenway, continue to take this flat trail east to the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge, which allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross over Hiawatha Avenue. Then pick up the Hiawatha LRT Trail north back to downtown.

Things to see and do in Minneapolis

Hmongtown Marketplace

217 Como Avenue, MN, Saint Paul, 55103
hmongtownmarketplace.com

Saint Paul has the second largest Hmong community in the United States. Come experience Hmong food and culture at this year-round market.

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Hmongtown Marketplace

217 Como Avenue, MN, Saint Paul, 55103
hmongtownmarketplace.com

Saint Paul has the second largest Hmong community in the United States. Come experience Hmong food and culture at this year-round market.

St. Paul Farmers Market

290 5th St E, MN, Minneapolis, 55101

Spend a Saturday morning exploring (and sampling) the freshest local fruit and veggies, meats, cheeses and more and taste how sweet, if short, the growing season is in Minnesota.

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St. Paul Farmers Market

290 5th St E, MN, Minneapolis, 55101

Spend a Saturday morning exploring (and sampling) the freshest local fruit and veggies, meats, cheeses and more and taste how sweet, if short, the growing season is in Minnesota.

Eat Street

Nicollet Avenue S between E , MN, Minneapolis,
twincities.eater.com

A string of blocks running from Franklin Ave to the Midtown Greenway featuring restaurants serving everything from Vietnamese to Jamaican with highlights, including pho from Quang Restaurant, bahn mi...

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Eat Street

Nicollet Avenue S between E , MN, Minneapolis,
twincities.eater.com
A string of blocks running from Franklin Ave to the Midtown Greenway featuring restaurants serving everything from Vietnamese to Jamaican with highlights, including pho from Quang Restaurant, bahn mi from Lu's Sandwich and gourmet doughnuts from Glam Doll.

Midtown Global Market

920 E Lake St, MN, Minneapolis, 55407
www.midtownglobalmarket.org

Conveniently located off the Midtown Greenway, you can truly taste the Twin Cities at the Midtown Global Market where you'll find authentic tamales at La Loma, French pastries at Salty Tart, craft...

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Midtown Global Market

920 E Lake St, MN, Minneapolis, 55407
www.midtownglobalmarket.org
Conveniently located off the Midtown Greenway, you can truly taste the Twin Cities at the Midtown Global Market where you'll find authentic tamales at La Loma, French pastries at Salty Tart, craft beers and kombucha at East Lake Brewery and everything in between.

Sea Salt Eatery

4825 Minnehaha Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55417
seasalteatery.wordpress.com

Gorge on fried seafood at this seasonal (April through October) restaurant next to Minnehaha Falls. If the weather's nice, be prepared to wait in line. Pro top: Beer and wine can be ordered at a...

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Sea Salt Eatery

4825 Minnehaha Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55417
seasalteatery.wordpress.com
Gorge on fried seafood at this seasonal (April through October) restaurant next to Minnehaha Falls. If the weather's nice, be prepared to wait in line. Pro top: Beer and wine can be ordered at a separate counter, so you can sip while you wait.

Restaurant Alma & Caf¿ Alma

528 University Ave SE, MN, Minneapolis, 55414
www.almampls.com

Chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard award-winning chef who operates two restaurants in the space below the Alma Hotel. Alma Caf¿ offers bakery and casual dining all day, walk-ins are welcome. Next...

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Restaurant Alma & Caf¿ Alma

528 University Ave SE, MN, Minneapolis, 55414
www.almampls.com
Chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard award-winning chef who operates two restaurants in the space below the Alma Hotel. Alma Caf¿ offers bakery and casual dining all day, walk-ins are welcome. Next door, Restaurant Alma offers three-course, prix fixe dinners. Roberts also operates the casual and delicious Brasa Premium Rotisserie, which has a location nearby in Saint Anthony Main, plus one in Saint Paul.

Science Museum of Minnesota

120 W Kellogg Blvd, MN, Saint Paul, 55102
www.smm.org

Perched above the bluffs over the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, the museum is sure to delight kids and adults alike with its collection of dinosaur bones and fossils, omnitheater films and...

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Science Museum of Minnesota

120 W Kellogg Blvd, MN, Saint Paul, 55102
www.smm.org

Perched above the bluffs over the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, the museum is sure to delight kids and adults alike with its collection of dinosaur bones and fossils, omnitheater films and hands-on exhibits covering topics ranging from natural history to physical sciences and mathematics. 

Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

725 Vineland Pl, MN, Minneapolis, 55403
www.walkerart.org

Come for the fine collection of contemporary art and stay for a dinner at Esker Grove and a stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which features the unofficial symbol of the city - the...

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Walker Art Center & Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

725 Vineland Pl, MN, Minneapolis, 55403
www.walkerart.org
Come for the fine collection of contemporary art and stay for a dinner at Esker Grove and a stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which features the unofficial symbol of the city - the Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Freewheel on the Greenway

2834 10th Avenue South, MN, Minneapolis, 55454
freewheelbike.com

Rent a road or hybrid bike from the Midtown location of this local chain. Locks, bags and other bike accessories are also available to rent. Mechanics are on site, as are various facilities for...

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Freewheel on the Greenway

2834 10th Avenue South, MN, Minneapolis, 55454
freewheelbike.com
Rent a road or hybrid bike from the Midtown location of this local chain. Locks, bags and other bike accessories are also available to rent. Mechanics are on site, as are various facilities for bikers, including a bike shower.

Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Bar

4208 28th Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55406
angrycatfishbicycle.com

Just steps from Lake Hiawatha, you'll find beautiful bikes, gourmet coffee and the cool (non-technical) biking clothes at this combination bike shop and coffee shop. Bonus: Buster's next door has...

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Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Bar

4208 28th Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55406
angrycatfishbicycle.com
Just steps from Lake Hiawatha, you'll find beautiful bikes, gourmet coffee and the cool (non-technical) biking clothes at this combination bike shop and coffee shop. Bonus: Buster's next door has great burgers and Baker's Wife, two doors down, has what are considered some of the best doughnuts in Minneapolis.

Cherry Cycles

1621 Hennepin Ave #150b, MN, Minneapolis, 55403
www.cherrycycles.com

Get a repair, fitting or a custom bike from this rad woman-owned bike shop off Loring Park, open on Fridays and by appointment.

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Cherry Cycles

1621 Hennepin Ave #150b, MN, Minneapolis, 55403
www.cherrycycles.com
Get a repair, fitting or a custom bike from this rad woman-owned bike shop off Loring Park, open on Fridays and by appointment.

Lowertown Bike Shop (Union Depot)

214 4th St E #160, St Paul, MN, Minneapolis, 55101
www.lowertownbikeshop.com

Train travelers will disembark at the historic and recently renovated Union Depot where the conveniently located Lowertown Bike Shop can provide any needed repairs.

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Lowertown Bike Shop (Union Depot)

214 4th St E #160, St Paul, MN, Minneapolis, 55101
www.lowertownbikeshop.com
Train travelers will disembark at the historic and recently renovated Union Depot where the conveniently located Lowertown Bike Shop can provide any needed repairs.

One on One Bicycle Studio

117 Washington Avenue North, MN, Minneapolis, 55401
www.oneononebike.com

Get a repair, grab a coffee from the shop or browse the handsome selection of bikes and accessories. Rentals and demos are also available.

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One on One Bicycle Studio

117 Washington Avenue North, MN, Minneapolis, 55401
www.oneononebike.com
Get a repair, grab a coffee from the shop or browse the handsome selection of bikes and accessories. Rentals and demos are also available.

Graduate Minneapolis

615 Washington Ave SE, MN, Minneapolis, 55414
www.graduatehotels.com

In the heart of the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus, this boutique hotel is right on the Green Line light-rail route and across the river from downtown. It is often the site of...

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Graduate Minneapolis

615 Washington Ave SE, MN, Minneapolis, 55414
www.graduatehotels.com
In the heart of the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus, this boutique hotel is right on the Green Line light-rail route and across the river from downtown. It is often the site of conferences and a popular hotel among visiting collegiate sports teams.

W Minneapolis - The Foshay

821 S Marquette Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55402
www.starwoodhotels.com

The Foshay Tower, a 32-story art deco skyscraper, was completed in 1929. Shortly after, the builder, a businessman named Wilbur Foshay, was bankrupted by the stock market crash. His building, however,...

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W Minneapolis - The Foshay

821 S Marquette Ave, MN, Minneapolis, 55402
www.starwoodhotels.com
The Foshay Tower, a 32-story art deco skyscraper, was completed in 1929. Shortly after, the builder, a businessman named Wilbur Foshay, was bankrupted by the stock market crash. His building, however, has stood the test of time, and the W Hotel opened in 2008. The 20th-floor observation deck is worth a look, no matter if you stay at the hotel or not.

Nicollet Island Inn

95 Merriam St, MN, Minneapolis, 55401
www.nicolletislandinn.com

Nicollet Island Inn is a hotel, restaurant and bar tucked away on the quiet side of the river but still only a short walk from downtown. Built in 1893, this building served as a factory and mens...

Read More

Nicollet Island Inn

95 Merriam St, MN, Minneapolis, 55401
www.nicolletislandinn.com
Nicollet Island Inn is a hotel, restaurant and bar tucked away on the quiet side of the river but still only a short walk from downtown. Built in 1893, this building served as a factory and mens shelter before being converted into an inn. It is a popular wedding venue.

Minneapolis Trails

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway

Minnesota - 50 miles

At the heart of Minneapolis’ world class trail system is the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a series of interconnected parks and parkways that loop around...

Samuel H. Morgan Regional Trail

Minnesota - 9.3 miles

A quintessential part of St. Paul's extensive trails system, the Samuel H. Morgan Regional Trail offers a variety of sights and sounds along its...

Dinkytown Greenway

Minnesota - 1 miles

Although only 1 mile long, the Dinkytown Greenway provides an important link in a biking network connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The trail...

Accordion

Hiawatha LRT Trail

Minnesota - 4.7 miles

Minnesota’s Hiawatha LRT Trail runs along a north-south route paralleling both Hiawatha Avenue and the Metro Transit Blue Line in Minneapolis. The...

Kenilworth Trail

Minnesota - 1.5 miles

The Kenilworth Trail runs through dense forest along the eastern side of Minnesota's Cedar Lake. Occasionally, trail users can catch glimpses of some...

Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail

Minnesota - 4.5 miles

The Cedar Lake Light Rail Transit (LRT) Regional Trail is an integral component of Hennepin County’s extensive trail network, in which rail-trails...

Midtown Greenway (MN)

Minnesota - 5.5 miles

The 5.5-mile Midtown Greenway follows a former railroad corridor through the heart of south Minneapolis, heading due west from the Mississippi River...

Willard Munger State Trail (Gateway State Trail)

Minnesota - 18.3 miles

The Gateway State Trail is an 18.3-mile-long segment of the Willard Munger State Trail that offers an urban link to the countryside. The western end...

Bruce Vento Regional Trail

Minnesota - 7 miles

The trail is named in honor of Bruce Frank Vento, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 until his death in 2000, representing...

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