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6 historic sites to visit in Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN is a city rich in history. Once called the “Flour Milling Capital of the Word,” it is home to a 19th-century mill, the first rail line out of the city, and a military fort that is a National Historic Landmark.

  1. Mill City Museum
  2. 704 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis

    Mill City Museum was built from the ruins of the Washburn A. Mill, the biggest and most advanced flour mill in the world from 1880 to 1930. It features a range of exhibits showing Minneapolis as an innovator in flour milling. The main attraction is the eight-story Flour Tower elevator show, which allows you a closer look at the old mill in action. You can also step into their water and baking labs, view the creative works of local artists, and take your selfies with the city as your backdrop on the rooftop observation deck.

  3. The Basilica of Saint Mary
  4. 1600 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

    The first basilica established in the US, the Basilica of Saint Mary stands as an architectural marvel and a historic landmark. Its interior features include a stunning High Altar, an elaborate wrought-iron grill telling the life of Mary, and marble statues of the Apostles carved in Italy. You will also find works of art in the Pope John XXII Gallery and a life-size Homeless Jesus bronze sculpture in front of the basilica.

  5. Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam
  6. Northwest end of the Stone Arch Bridge, Downtown Minneapolis

    St. Anthony Falls along the Mississippi River was key in generating power for milling and electricity in Minneapolis. Learn all about its history and how its locks and dams work at the visitor center. You can also get picturesque views of the falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, and the historic milling district from their observation deck.

  7. Fort Snelling
  8. 200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul 

    Originally named Fort Saint Anthony, Fort Snelling was built in the 1820s to protect the fur trade. It has had a notable part in the Dakota War of 1862 and World War II. Today, this military fort is a National Historic Landmark where you can learn about 10,000 years’ worth of history in the area. Get to know about the lives of early Native Americans, 19th-century military strategies, archeological discoveries at Fort Snelling, and more.

  9. Somali Museum of Minnesota
  10. 1516 East Lake Street, Suite 011, Minneapolis

    Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somali in the US. Learn about their culture and history in Minnesota in this dedicated museum. It is the only institution in the world devoted to preserving and promoting Somali traditions. The museum features a collection of around 700 artifacts from Somalia, artwork by Somalian artists, traditional Somali houses, and a café serving Somali cuisine.

  11. Minnehaha Depot
  12. Minnehaha Park Highway 55 & Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis

    See where the first rail line out of Minneapolis began. Built in 1875, this historic railroad depot now offers guests a closer look at the artifacts of the era including telegraph equipment, train order hoops, and coal-fired stoves. You can walk around the many beautiful areas in the park, as well as take photos by Minnehaha Falls and Minnehaha Creek.

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