56 Minneapolis

PopulationMetro: 2,885,000
Minnesota’s biggest city is a mash-up of Prairie hospitality and forging one’s own path in the northern heart of America.

The nice thing about a city that ranks #18 in our prosperity category, including #15 globally for the the number of headquarters of Global 500 companies, is that there’s lots of smarts (Minneapolis ranks #21 in Education Attainment by residents); it’s easy to get a direct flight (#48 for Airport Connectivity) and lots of disposable income (the city ranks #26 for GDP per capita).

Fortunately locals play as hard as they work and that money travel from work to play quickly here—Minneapolis ranks #48 for Culture, our measure of concerts, shows and major cultural events. The city hosted Super Bowl LII and, for the second time, the X-Games in 2018.

But Minneapolis is also about the Walker Art Center, refreshed after a $33 million makeover that has brought new life—and new works—to the 60 sculptures in the country’s largest urban sculpture garden.

Place 34
Product 21
Programming 7
People 64
Prosperity 57
Promotion 5

We’re particularly drawn to Hahn (Cock), a 20-foot-tall rooster in ultramarine blue. The 11-acre property also offers crowd-pleasers like Robert Indiana’s Love and Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. The Walker includes an artist-designed mini-golf course frequented by way too many coiffed and mustachioed first-timers reveling in the irony. The hot spot is also home to Esker Grove, a James Beard nominee for Best New Restaurant.

But Minneapolis is, was, and will always be, home to His Purpleness: there are themed tours of key Prince-influenced sites in town, along with walkthroughs of newly accessible Paisley Park, his home and studio, that allow visitors to absorb Prince’s inimitable resonance.