While visiting Graceland in Memphis, my wife and I wondered if we could visit Paisley Park. Sure enough, so we made plans and headed out. I had 50,000 delta points and some Hilton points, so we had our transport and lodging covered. The only other expenses were a rental car, tickets for the tour and all the dining. When renting a car, I highly recommend autoslash.com. You book a car with them and if the price drops, the cancel and rebook your car. Ours started at $116 and went down to $77. Remember, don’t take any of the extras offered at the counter. If you buy their gas, you don’t get credit for any unused. If you take their insurance, you’re doubling coverage if you already drive a car with insurance at home.
Because parking is an expensive hell at DFW airport, we took a Lyft which has always worked well for us. Getting out to Minnesota was pretty easy on Delta, until we arrived at the Minneapolis airport (MSP). They seem to like to stack planes coming in an out on the same runway, so as we were just about to touch down, the pilot pulled up hard and circled around for a second pass. A first for me as well as my wife who was formerly a flight attendant.
Minneapolis is about as big geographically as Dallas, but only has the population of Fort Worth, around 400,000, so traffic just didn’t seem that bad to us. We were able to make it just about anywhere in under 30 minutes. It’s a lovely place and I’m sure great to visit for outdoor activities, especially water sports.
7801 Audubon Rd, Chanhassen, MN 55317
The place is easy to find. We did the VIP tour which was amazing. Standing in Prince’s atrium, seeing the doves, looking at many of his outfits and vehicles, learning about him as a man from people who knew him, playing a little ping pong on his table, seeing the scale of the property and his awards. There is so much here it will be worth the money. I hope they leave it the same, but a little upgrade in their souvenirs would be nice.
Purple Rain House
3420 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
The place is easy to find and get to, so there’s really no reason not to go. If you are like most people going to Minneapolis to visit Prince sites, this is one to go by. Quiet and unassuming, it’s easy to imagine little Prince Nelson running around those streets.
701 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Take a moment to pass by the club featured in Purple Rain. Think about the times Prince performed there and made the film that helped make him a legend. The place is easy to find and is still operating, so it might be worth catching a show if you can.
Tattersall Distilling Company
1620 Central Ave NE, Ste 150, Minneapolis, MN 5541
We stopped here first since our plane pulled up and did another pass around the airport after almost touching down. We were there just as they opened and were not the first. This place is popular. They can make just about any cocktail you can think of and have a pretty nice selection, almost entirely in house. We also took the 1pm tour with our guide and distiller, Penny. She was incredibly informative and patient answering our questions. We hung out a little to talk to her more and since there was only a few of us, we got to take a peek at another part of the ware house and try a smidgen more of their spirits. There was no food on premises, but there are a few places an easy drive away.
Volstead House Whiskey Bar and Speakeasy
1278 Lone Oak Rd, Eagan, MN 55121
We love trying anything called a whiskey bar or speak easy this was both. A little tricky to find, head to the Burgers and Bottles and ask for Volstead. We sat at the bar which is how you’ll get to talk with the manager Cody or Alan, both of which seem to be fixtures there. Cody is a fellow Texan and has a great love and respect for whiskey. We were more than happy to sit at the end of the bar and watch him and Allen create some amazing drinks. They have a special house Knob Creek which is amazing in any standard such as Old Fashioned, Kentucky Mule, Mint Julep or Manhattan. The place is a local favorite and attracts some great characters. If you find yourself in Minneapolis, you have to go and tell them James sent you. ;^)
3520 Galleria, Edina, MN 55435
We heard this was a good place to eat so we gave it a go. Our waiter Jason was very helpful and attentive as well as patient as it took me a while to get through the menu and decide what I wanted. There is just a lot going on; flat breads, steak, seafood, sushi, sandwiches, pasta, etc. I settled on the chicken pesto flatbread which was really delicious. The Old Fashioned I had just just ok, and maybe even a little watered down. I feel like the price point is a bit high for what they are offering. It might also help if they could find a focus and simplify the menu a bit.
80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
We had brunch here on a Monday before we left. The food was really good, though it is quite pricey. The staff is incredibly attentive, so your cup is never empty. Go here even if just for the decor which is just odd and amazing. Parking isn’t too bad especially if you can pre-pay in the garage above. After you’re done, take a walk to the First Avenue where Purple rain was filmed.
Mall of America
60 E Broadway, Level 2, Bloomington, MN 55425
Since we were in the area, my wife and I stopped in to see the Mecca of materialism. The Mall of America is a shrine to shopping. It is massive, but parking was surprisingly easy. You don’t really understand it until you’ve walked the entire perimeter on each of the four levels. Many shops have two stores on different levels. In the middle is a huge amusement park for kids with a log ride, Ferris wheel, many other novelty rides and character appearances. I have no idea what the cost difference is in a place like this and say Six Flags, but it might be fun with kids between 5 and 13. It might also be overwhelming and there’s little chance you’d get out without spending quite a bit on food and other items. It’s definitely worth a look even if just for the novelty of it.