Upscale Four-Star Westin Hotel Linked to Minneapolis Skyway
One of the world’s largest indoor pedestrian walkways is the Minneapolis Skyway, which connects office buildings to shopping centers through 11 miles of indoor thoroughfares. Some have praised the system as the city's version of the canals in Venice. One link in the chain is The Westin Minneapolis, a four-star hotel inside the art-deco Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank building from the 1940s. Stepping inside, you’ll see the 34-foot vaulted ceiling soar over what was once the bank’s lobby, with a marble staircase and the building’s original woodwork symbolizing the leading industries at the time of its construction. During the city's brisk winters, Westin Minneapolis guests can use the Skyway to stroll from the hotel to the Target Center, the Nicollet Mall shopping district, and other Minneapolis attractions.
The Westin’s restaurant, named Bank in a nod to the building’s history, is also located in the vast main hall. Chefs use locally sourced ingredients in a variety of creative regional dishes, such as mushroom flatbread with leek fondue and Stickney Hill goat cheese.
Traditional rooms are decorated in soothing earth tones. Take a dip in the hotel’s indoor pool, or enter the Skyway system for a self-guided tour of downtown when it’s time to stretch your legs.
Downtown Minneapolis: Thriving Performing-Arts Scene near Idyllic Lakes
Downtown Minneapolis is more than just the geographic epicenter of the city—it’s the cultural heart too. Sports venues home to the Timberwolves, Vikings, and Twins neighbor the lively nightclubs of the Warehouse District and the neon-lit marquees of the Hennepin Theatre District. In recent years, the city’s arts scene has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason: Minneapolis has more live theater shows per capita than any other US city except New York. Additionally, dozens of eclectic galleries complement the wide-ranging exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which showcases everything from Japanese woodcut prints to turn-of-the-century European advertisements.
To navigate downtown with ease, step into the Skyway, the city’s ingenious solution to harsh Minnesota winters. The Skyway is a network of indoor, aboveground tunnels connecting a slew of buildings. A popular stop along the way is Nicollet Mall, a shopping thoroughfare where cars are not allowed. This is where you’ll find the iconic statue of Mary Tyler Moore tossing her 10-gallon Stetson into the air.
Nicknamed “The City of Lakes,” Minneapolis has 22 natural bodies of water within the city limits. A 10-minute drive from downtown brings you to the picturesque Chain of Lakes, which are surrounded by 12 miles of walking and biking paths. In the summer, the Lake Harriet band shell hosts concerts, which frequently include the renowned Minnesota Orchestra.