The MSP Bucket List: 50 Things to Do Before You Die

Published On 06/01/2015 Published On 06/01/2015
Downtown Minneapolis |

Recently we’ve told you where to find MSP’s best mac & cheese, the Twin Cities' best ribs, and where to eat the cities’ most epic meals. You know what that means? You better tackle that bucket list before it’s too late: here’re 50 things to get you started...

Doomtree Blowout V at First Avenue | Flickr/jcbehm

1. Attend a concert at First Avenue

Order the $20 bottle of Champagne and drink it alone from the bottle to double down on the experience. 

2. Take a riverboat from Downtown Minneapolis to Downtown St. Paul

1885-style, son. 

3. Go to Big Island on the Fourth of July

Seriously, just once. Trust us.

Grand Rounds Bike Path | Flickr/Tony Webster

4. Bike the Grand Rounds

If only you could eat at a Ground Round after. 

5. Eat a Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar

The best. And yes, the original. 

6. Get the tasting menu at La Belle Vie

The standard at the standard. 

7. Eat at Travail

There’s a reason it’s one of the 23 most important restaurants in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota State Fair | Flickr/jpellgen

8. Have a Pronto Pup at the state fair

Then have a corn dog to remember how much better they are. 

9. Have a function at the Wabasha Street Caves

You too can have a cocktail party in the St. Paul caves where Prohibition-era gangsters were murdered. 

10. Go to Zorbaz on Gull Lake on a Saturday night

Buckle your seat belt.

Lake of the Isles | Flickr/smcgee

11. Go through the Downtown Minneapolis locks in a canoe

Yes. This is a gnarly thing you can totally do. 

12. Attend the Renaissance Festival...

... dressed as Bill & Ted. Just think of the possibilities. 

13. Watch a town ball game in a place like Howard Lake or Waverly

Optional apple pie on a rocking chair on a porch with a pinwheel in your hand. 

14. Curb it for the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade

Been making ‘Sotans feel good since your grandpa was a kid.

Boundary Waters | Flickr/Steven Conry

15. Take a trip to the Boundary Waters

Bring shloads of bug spray. And whiskey. 

16. See the Mill City Summer Opera

The dramatic indoor/outdoor Mill Ruins Park venue more than makes up for the fact that you’re watching opera. 

17. Order a Tiki drink on Psycho Suzi’s patio

A Polynesian oasis in an industrial desert.

Canterbury Park | Flickr/anaxila

18. Go to a horse race at Canterbury Park

We don’t really know what to do once you’re there either. Probably just wave around racing forms or something. 

19. Eat a dago at the Gopher Bar

Just don’t make eye contact with the regulars. 

20. Attend a Vikings vs. Packers game...

... even if you’re not all that into the NFL. Oh, and remember to root for the Vikings. 

21. Go to a beer festival

Preferably an outdoor one.

Hot dog at Butcher & The Boar | Flickr/eric socolofsky

22. Eat the hot dog at Butcher & The Boar

If ever there was a hot dog that could change your life... 

23. Snowmobile across a frozen lake at sunset

Hopefully to a bar. 

24. Jet Ski across a not-frozen lake at sunset

Hopefully to a bar.

Nye's Polonaise Bar | Flickr/Alan Turkus

25. Sing "Piano Man" to close out the night at Nye’s

Don’t worry, it’s during piano karaoke, so you’re not doing it alone. 

26. Drive to Canada for a fly-in fishing trip

The reason you’re not “really into fishing” is because you’ve never fished Canada. 

27. Play pinball at SS Billiards

Sure it’s in a Hopkins strip mall but it’s a treasure trove of vintage pinball. 

28. Spend Oktoberfest in New Ulm

Schell’s Brewery is only the beginning of the Bavarian bombast in one of the most completely German towns in Minnesota. 

29. Have a veal Parm hot sandwich and cannoli at Cossetta

Plan on taking a nap for two days afterward.

Sea Salt Eatery | Flickr/jpellgen

30. Wait in a three-hour-long line at Sea Salt

Just kidding. Don’t wait in that line. Go on a day like Tuesday when there is no line. 

31. Go over Minnehaha Falls in a barrel

JUST KIDDING! You’ll have to settle for fish & chips at Sea Salt.

32. Ride High Roller (aka White Rails) at Valleyfair

That’s Valleyfair’s first rickety wooden roller coaster, which means this could also be the last thing you do on your MSP bucket list. 

33. Somehow, someway, make it into one of the rare public performances at Paisley Park

If you find out the “somehow, someway” part please let us in on the secret. 

34. Play pool at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards

DO NOT “make a friendly wager.” 

35. Drive a tank at Drive A Tank

Why wouldn’t you want to crush a car with a tank you’re driving?

Target Field | Flickr/Drew Geraets

36.Watch a Twins game at Target Field

Err, better make that watch a St. Paul Saints game at CHS Field. 

37. Live in Uptown

Probably while you’re young. 

38. Complain about people who live in Uptown

Probably when you’re just slightly older but still young enough to want to go to Uptown. 

39. Drink a boot at Gasthof’s followed by a hit of snuff

It’s pretty singular.

The Spam Museum, Austin, Minnesota | Flickr/AnubisAbyss

40. Visit the Spam museum in Austin

Related: EAT MORE SPAM. 

41. Hit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Go on a (rare) day when when the front doors are open. 

42. Celebrate all the culture you got at the MIA by eating pho at Pho Tau Bay on Eat St

Lots of good pho on Eat St, but Pho Tau Bay’s got the undisputed champion.

Grand Marais | Flickr/Sharon Mollerus

43. Spend a fall weekend in Grand Marais

You have never seen fall until you’ve seen fall on the northern shores of Lake Superior. 

44. Fly fish the Mississippi River

People do that! It’s a thing! And after your aforementioned trip to Canada you’ll totally be into fishing, remember? 

45. Attend an open mic night at Acme Comedy Club

Is it funny because it’s funny or funny because it’s not funny?

46. Wear a suit and have a fancy steak dinner at Jax Cafe

Do it for no reason other than the fact your grandpa did the exact same thing 50 years before you. 

Flickr/Pedro Moura Pinheiro

47. Take a tour of the Red Wing boot factory in Red Wing

You’ll understand why they cost what they cost and gladly pay it. 

48. Own a pair of Red Wing boots

Because how could you not after No. 47? 

49. Take a leak in Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room’s epic Art Deco urinals

Proudly tell the person pissing next to you that Al Capone pissed in these very same urinals. 

50. Go to a live taping of A Prairie Home Companion

Consider it a monotone right of passage.

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