Places to Go, Things to Do… Minnehaha Falls

Imagine the first above 60 degree-day of the year in Minnesota. We are coming out of an 8 month snow slump (yes, the months of October – May have graced us with snowfall) and everyone has been buried under 4ish feet of snow on any given day this winter. Now, consider how one might feel after such a lack of warm breeze and sunshine. Seriously in need of some vitamin D?  I think so. And to cure this deficiency – an outing.

All residents of the Twin Cities (seemingly so) flocked to one place on the first sunny, warm Saturday: Minnehaha Falls.

The Falls in all their early-spring glory!

The Falls in all its early-spring glory!

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A little ice hanging on for dear life.

A little ice hanging on for dear life.

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Soon the browns will turn into pale greens! Patience is a virtue, especially here.

Located in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, this gem of a {huge} park has something for everyone.  Bike trails, music pavilions, a dog park, a kids play area, and oh, a giant waterfall. As Minneapolis parks department says, “The 193-acre park features a 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs and river overlooks. The park contains oak, elm, silver maple, basswood, hackberry and cottonwood trees, as well as native and prairie woodland wild flowers.”

Of course, none of the flowers were out yet. That doesn’t stop Minnesotans, no sir. Tanktopped, sandaled, bare-legged city-dwellers flock here every summer to walk the trails and see the falls.

Rightfully so, as the waterfall is grandiose and impressive, as far as natural sightseeing within a city goes.  We spent the afternoon here with some friends, walking to the place where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi. There we witnessed a rock-skipping competition. Love. Summertime fun.

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Toes transforming into ice cubes.

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Serious hiking. The backpack is full of Huckleberry necessities.

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Do you notice the teeny tiny patches of green grass peeking out?? No amount of May snow can stop the summer from coming!

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The creek meets the river.

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Peek between the trees to see the love in the limestone. ❤

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Some little boys doing some climbing and/or admiring of artwork in the limestone. I love the color variance.

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My guys. By the Mississippi.

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Friends. Secretly, in between photos they were trying not to get hit with flying flat stones – there were some wild rock-skippers on the beach.

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Huckleberry was the most popular pup on the trails. What would have taken normal people a half hour took us about an hour. He’s quite social 🙂 p.s. Sorry if you’re blinded by our whiteness.

If wandering on woodland trails {only somewhat muddy from the thaw} is not your thing, or if you just want to sip a cold one and share some deep fried fish after trekking all afternoon, visit Sea Salt {facebook page}, a spectacular seafood restaurant in the park. They have fresh fish flown in daily from somewhere delicious. The line at Sea Salt is especially long on the first really warm day of the season. I’m told you can expect to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, just to get to the counter to order. Worth. It.

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Part of the menu. I’ve discovered I have a thing for chalkboard paint.

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Huck is tuckered out!

Waiting in line…Huck is tuckered out!

The wait staff was delighted to see our adorable pup, and consequently named our ticket “Huckleberry.”  I had the fish tacos (yum – cilantro-y) and my husband had the soft-shell crab sandwich. If you’ve never had softshell crab before, and you perhaps get squeamish at the thought of crawly critters in their animal form on your plate, don’t order it. Or do, and close your eyes as you crunch its tastiness. Both dishes were de-li-cious and relatively inexpensive.

My fish tacos.

My fish tacos.

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Thank you spring sunshine, for some excellent lighting!

The soft-shell crab sammy.  Fancy!

The soft-shell crab sammy. Dig in! Hah! Get it?

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Love the Martins!! Since all tables were full on the patio, we asked an older couple to join their {mostly empty} table (they’re not pictured here). We had a blast chatting it up with them. Add to list: sit with people who have room at their table. Ask politely first. They might have something interesting to say 🙂

We will definitely be back when the trees are bedecked in leafy greens and the paths are less crowded {does that happen?}.  Nonetheless, the beauty of the falls and park, both natural, and Minnesotan (blindingly white limbs begging for a sunburn), melted the snow on my Minnesota heart, so that blossoms could begin to peek and sunshine could permeate every corner of our week.

 

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p.s. I didn’t even try to rhyme that last line 🙂

 

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