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Explore Minneapolis With This Stay-cation Itinerary

Melissa Johnson from MLJ Vacay and Lindsey Ranzau from Look About Lindsey collaborated to bring you the perfect stay-cation itinerary. Get to know one of Minneapolis lesser known neighborhoods, Mid-City Industrial, as well as the tried-and-true Nordeast neighborhood as you enjoy a weekend in your own city.


Alma Hotel

While you aren’t leaving the city, you can still get into the vacation spirit. Pack your bags and escape your own place for a night or two. Alma Hotel will make you feel that you have left your town without breaking the bank. Their rates range from $155 to $185 per night.

Friday Itinerary

5 PM

You’re off of work and it’s time for your weekend “away.” Head to Alma Hotel to check-in and get ready to see a new part of your city.

528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

6:30 PM

Stop by Aster Cafe for dinner. It’s only a short walk away from your home for the weekend and with live music most nights, it is the perfect place to relax and kick off your vacay.

125 SE Main St., Minneapolis, MN 55414

8 PM

After dinner, enjoy an evening stroll along Minneapolis’ prettiest street as you make your way to Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop. Grab your favorite drink from their extensive selection and make your own dessert cheese plate to take back to your hotel room.

2117 W River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55411

8:45 PM

Some of the best moments of a vacation are the times you spend relaxing and a stay-cay is no different. Wind down in your room, check out Netflix, enjoy your curated cheese plate, and toast to a weekend away from your normal responsibilities.

Saturday Itinerary

9:30 AM

Well, look at that! Brunch is just steps away at Alma’s cafe downstairs. Enjoy their delicious brunch before you begin a day of exploring.

11 AM

It’s time to explore Mid-City Industrial neighborhood, which is just a five minute Uber or Lyft ride away from your hotel. Start at Bad Axe Throwing, a unique experience bringing a Canadian backyard past time to Minneapolis. A word of advice from the experts: although they accept walk-ins, we recommend securing the 11 am reservation prior to arriving ($23.96 per hour per person).

2505 Kennedy St. NE, Suite A, Minneapolis, MN, 55413

12:30 PM

One of the best parts about the Mid-City Industrial neighborhood is that it’s home to several distilleries. We have put together a walking cocktail tour to indulge in the area’s best:

  • Kick it off at Brother Justus, whose tasting room has only been open since summer 2018 and bodes a slightly “secret feel.” You will find this underground whiskey distillery by heading to door 3 and following the Monk. It’s located at 451 Taft St NE and opens at noon.
  • At the same address, you will find Norseman Distillery, a Minneapolis distillery staple. If you are looking for a more activity-oriented afternoon, reserve your seat in a cocktail class ($65 per person) by checking their website for reservations. Otherwise, just relax in their open-air cocktail room. Now is the perfect time to score one of their limited charcuterie provisions as your brunch begins to wear off. It opens at 1 pm.
  • Our last stop is just a half mile away at Wander North Distillery. Break out the cards, play a game, or enjoy one of the rotating food trucks on site. It’s located at 771 Harding St. NE and opens at 2 pm.

4 PM

One of Lindsey’s favorite vacay tips for seeing as many places as possible is to dinner hop. Get appetizers at one stop and eat dinner at another. In this spirit, try an ‘app’ at Young Joni’s Back Bar. While the menu is limited to simple personal pizzas at this themed cocktail bar, they are definitely worth ordering. Timing is everything, so if you get there right as they open at 4 pm, you should be able to be seated right away—even on a Saturday.

165 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

6 PM

Less than a mile from Young Joni, you will find the perfect evening activity to let your food and drink settle. Meet at Boom Island to take the Minneapolis Water Taxi up and down the Mississippi on a private river cruise. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink on board for this one-hour cruise ($60 per cruise for up to six passengers).

724 Sibley St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Lindsey on the MPLS Water Taxi

7:30 PM

Finish your stay-cay with the Minneapolis newcomer Popol Vuh for elevated Mexican cuisine. With a new restaurant comes limited availability, so be sure to make a reservation online in advance of your stay-cay weekend. Pro travel tip: an easy way to save on nice dinners is by splitting an entrée or enjoying the prepared tasting menu—especially after a day where you’ve grazed.

1414 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413


MLJ Vacay offers customers a bonus location that they can decide day of whether they want to include in their itinerary. For instance, if you aren’t ready to call it a night (or aren’t too cocktailed out), head to Al’s Place. This speakeasy above the northeast staple Stanley’s is the perfect place to cap off a night.

If you want to get more of MLJ Vacay and Look About Lindsey’s tips, watch the video of our Take the Vacay panel at Fourpost MSP:

Make sure you share photos of your stay-cay using the hashtag #takethevacaystaycay.


Melissa Johnson is the owner of MLJ Vacay, a vacation planning service dedicated to helping travelers explore a destination with customized itineraries. She brings extensive travel experience and a background in logistics planning to handcraft each itinerary. In a world where vacation time goes unused due to stress and ‘not having time,’ MLJ Vacay steps in to make your dream vacay possible. Stress-free and the guarantee your vacation is tailored to you? Yes please! Follow them on Instagram at @mljvacay.

Lindsey Ranzau is a Minnesota-based travel writer behind the site Look About Lindsey. She loves to explore and share the hidden gems she finds in Minnesota, the Midwest, and beyond. She’s passionate about re-defining the meaning of travel and believes that travel can start in your own backyard—you just might need a few ideas to get started. Follow her journey on  Instagram at @lindseyranzau.