Attendee Experience

About MinneapolisThings to Do | Restaurant Recommendations and Nightlife | Friday Morning Run/Walk

About Minneapolis

ADRP welcomes you to the City of Lakes and one-half of the Twin Cities - Minneapolis, Minnesota!
While you are learning, creating, and connecting with other donor relations professionals, we hope you will take the opportunity to experience a bit (or a lot) of what the city has to offer in the way of natural beauty, food, culture, history, and entertainment.

The homelands of the Dakhóta Oyáte, Minneapolis straddles both banks of the Mississippi River centering around St. Anthony Falls, the only natural waterfall on the river. It is the largest city in Minnesota, and the second most populated urban area in the Upper Midwest (after Chicago). The coming together of many disparate ethnic groups in one place have made Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area culturally unique amongst America’s metropolitan centers.

Ubers and Lyfts are plentiful throughout the Twin Cities around the clock.

The lightrail is an efficient and cheap way to travel from here to there between the airport, Mall of America, and Downtown (Blue Line) and Downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, and St. Paul (Green Line). When waiting for a train, be sure to remain vigilant, stay in well lit areas, and travel with others after dark.

If walking somewhere, be aware that city blocks are longer than in other cities. It takes 30-40 minutes to walk from one corner of downtown to the other.

Many buildings in Downtown Minneapolis are connected by the Skyway System - enclosed pedestrian footbridges for traversing the city center without having to go outside. The skyway opens to the public at 7 AM and closes between 6 PM and 10 PM depending on the building you are trying to access. The second floor of the Hilton Minneapolis is connected to the skyway.

Free public-use restrooms are rare in Downtown Minneapolis, so you’ll want to plan ahead.
Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and attractions all have restrooms for paying customers.

Minneapolis, especially the neighborhoods that make up the Downtown area, are relatively safe for visitors as long as you remain aware of your surroundings, keep valuables put away when walking, and stick to well-traversed, well-lit areas after dark. Like many major city centers across the country, panhandling and drug use are common in some areas, especially around lightrail stations and smoke shops. The cleanest and safest downtown lightrail station is at Government Plaza.

During the day, walking alone on the street is very safe throughout the city. After dinnertime, it is recommended to walk in groups and to avoid walking through or visiting the riverfront, city parks, and lakes after sunset.

Minneapolis is generally a very LGBTQ-friendly city.

In October, Minnesota weather can vary wildly. Layers are highly recommended, and make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes! Minnesotans and Minneapolitans generally stick to a practical, comfortable, ‘come as you are’ approach to dining and events.

Welcome to Minneapolis! We hope you enjoy your time here, and if you need directions or recommendations, just ask a local! We are always happy to point you in the right direction.

Things to Do While You're in Minneapolis 

  • Chain of Lakes Regional Park
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Paisley Park
  • Minnehaha Regional Park
  • Mall of America
  • Mill City Museum
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (Cherry & the Spoon)
  • The Walker
  • Guthrie
  • First Ave
  • Mary Tyler Moore statue
  • St. Anthony Falls/Stone Arch Bridge
  • George Floyd Square
  • American Swedish Institute
  • Grand Rounds & Greenway (Biking Trail)
  • Russian Art Museum
  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
  • Walking Tour
  • Let's Roam Downtown Minneapolis - Group Scavenger Hunt

Restaurant Recommendations

Bars and Nightlife Suggestions

  • Cowboy Jack's, Country Bar
  • Prohibition, High-End Cocktails
  • Roxy's Cabaret, LGBTQ+ Bar and Drag Review
  • The Hewing, Cocktails & Finger Food, Lumber Themed
  • The Living Room, High-End Cocktails
  • Volstead's Emporium, Speakeasy
  • Jetset, LGBTQ+ Nightclub
  • Saloon, LGBTQ+ Bar & Nightclub
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, Brewery
  • Dayblock, Brewery
  • Finnegans, Brewery
  • Fire & Nice, Beer & Pizza
  • Fulton Brewery, Local Brewery
  • Indeed Brewing, Brewery
  • Lakes & Legends, Local Brewery
  • Lynlake Brewery, Local Brewery
  • Modist Brewing, Brewery
  • Surly, Brewery
  • Mpls. Cider Company, Cidery
  • Earl Giles, Restaurant & Distillery
  • Norseman Distillery, Distillery
  • Brits, British Pub
  • Prodigal, Irish Pub
  • The Local Irish Pub
  • Aster Cafe, Brunch
  • Blacksheep Pizza, Woodfire Pizza, Late Night
  • Devil's Advocate, Late Night Eats & Cocktails
  • French Meadow, Cafe
  • Keys at the Foshay, Brunch
  • LUSH Lounge, LGBTQ+ Friendly Lounge, Brunch
  • Nicollet Diner, All-night LGBTQ+ Friendly Diner
  • Psycho Suzies, Polynesian cocktails, wings, & pizza
  • The Bulldog, Bar, Hotdog Joint
  • The Freehouse, Brewery & Restaurant
  • The Loop, Bar, Restaurant, &Nightclub
 Learn More

Friday Morning Run/Walk

On Friday morning, meet in the Hilton check in lobby at 6am to log in your steps for the day!  We will be starting before sunrise so please dress warm and wear reflective clothing.  The plan is to walk 3 miles round trip to the Stone Arch Bridge and back. If it is raining, we will explore the skyways. This will be a brisk walk. If you want to join us for less miles, you are welcome to make it a shorter loop, and if you want to make it longer, venture across this historic bridge!