Welcome to Cvent's Minneapolis meeting planning guide – a Minneapolis city guide for meeting planners. Minneapolis/St. Paul is a convention-friendly metropolitan area with over 30,000 hotel rooms ranging from economy lodging to luxury accommodations. Downtown Minneapolis has more than 5,000 rooms-3,500 of which are conveniently attached to the Minneapolis Convention Center and other downtown attractions via climate-controlled skyways.
Minneapolis has been impressing conventioneers and vacationers for a long time. With a population of nearly 400,000 people, this warm and gracious Midwest city has one of the best designed public park systems in the country. Known as the "City of Lakes," Minneapolis is famous for its Chain of Lakes, five lakes that are part of the park system. The largest, Lake Calhoun, is a favorite recreational spot for water enthusiasts, energetic walkers, in-line skaters and bikers.
Minneapolis offers a wide variety of world-class cultural and entertainment facilities in addition to numerous family attractions. Visit the Minneapolis Children's Theatre and be inspired by music and the arts: past productions have included names like Disney's High School Musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Observe more than 2,300 animals and nearly 500 species at the Minnesota Zoo. Spend an afternoon shopping in the downtown area at Mall of America-the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex, or pedestrian-style Nicollet Mall. Visitors can also take in the city while sightseeing on a Mississippi paddle wheeler, a Segway scooter or a traditional tour bus.
Minneapolis is blessed with an impressive variety of ethnic and fine dining restaurants such as Wolfgang Puck's 20.21 Restaurant and Bar with its haute cuisine, signature open kitchen and award-winning design and La Belle Vie, chosen as one of America's Top 50 Restaurants by Gourmet Magazine. Minneapolis offers a flourishing nightlife with a number of hip clubs and bars dispersed throughout the city and the many attractions of the revitalized Riverfront District. The Riverfront District includes hot spots such as Pracna on Main, a cozy restaurant located in one of the city's oldest buildings, and Nye's Polonaise Room, a Minneapolis landmark, famous for its kitschy décor and the best polka music in the city.
In spite of its cold winters, Minneapolis is a year-round tourist destination. From Spring to Fall, visitors enjoy myriad recreational activities outdoors in the city's many lakes, spacious parks and greenways. The fun continues indoors. With a live theatre scene second only to New York City.
New York City, Minneapolis' performance spaces play to packed houses even on winter's coldest days. Thirty-five noteworthy museums attract visitors interested in the arts, sciences and history. The city's unique network of covered skyways connects many downtown buildings, making it possible for pedestrians to travel all over Downtown without experiencing inclement weather. Billed as the "oldest and coldest celebration in the nation," the legendary Winter Carnival in neighboring St. Paul features an ice carving competition and a magnificent, full-scale ice palace that attracts visitors from all over the country.
Visitors find it easy to get around Minneapolis with ample transportation services available including buses, taxis, Light Rail and shuttles. Taxi fares are metered at a rate of $1.90 per mile with the addition of a $2.75 trip fee. Taxi fares from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Downtown Minneapolis (approximately 16 miles one-way) range from $34-$40.