Minneapolis skyline from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is filled with amazing things to see, but one of the museum's prettiest pictures isn't inside its walls but outside. On your next visit, venture up to the top floor and walk to the far north end. There you'll find an enormous glass window framing the city's best view of the modest but magnificent Minneapolis skyline. The buildings rise impressively above the trees of Washburn Fair Oaks Park across the street (lush and green in summer, snow-covered in winter). Even better, to enhance your viewing pleasure the museum has installed a detailed rendering of the scene before you on a railing in front of the window. The drawing of the skyline names each building in view, the architect who designed it, the date it was constructed, and the number of stories, from Marquette Place on the west to the towering IDS and Wells Fargo buildings in the center to the little 12-story Grain Exchange East Building in the east, erected in 1902. The view is not only impressive and educational, but like everything else in the museum, can be seen for free.