So I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota–almost completely unplanned. This kind of haphazard and hopeful way of traveling needs to happen from time to time–spontaneity creates adventure, and adventure turns into fantastic stories.
The fantastic story: I went for romance, how idealistic and ridiculous of me. The happy ending: I fell in love with a city.
I’m a nerd at heart–history, architecture, and random non-tourist locales are my jam. I’m a different kind of tourist. I’m not one for the stereotypical per se. So my infatuation with Minneapolis is not just with the pristine view of the lakes, or the view of water everywhere, which for a desert lady was definitely a delight, nor is it with the Mall of America. The size of this mall is no doubt overwhelming, and it did have one of my favorite things in the world: an aquarium. I did partake in some of the stereotypical, I went to the Mall of America, but generally my adventures and sight-seeing is little more off the beaten path.
For instance, Minneapolis is home to the Basilica of Saint Mary–the first Roman Catholic basilica established in the United States. Architecture, art, and history are found in such places.
Not too far from the basilica is this wondrous park filled with art–apparently the Spoonbridge and Cherry pictured below is famous. I had never heard of it, but I loved it. In fact, the whole sculpture garden was beautiful.
In addition, Minneapolis is home to what is affectionately known as the most beautiful library in the state of Minnesota. Books are beautiful already, put them in place like Minnesota Central Library, and get ready to lose your breath. None of my pictures captured it well enough to post here, but trust me, it was stunning.
Now, in order to walk around the city, in order to keep up with the change of schedule, in order to adjust to a new plan, I needed some coffee. Good coffee. Great coffee.
Lucky for me, Minneapolis is home to quite a number of excellent coffee options.
Now, Penny’s–described as one of the Top 10 coffee places in the city– was my personal favorite discovery.
Penny’s, on 100 S Washington Ave, was right next to my lovely hotel–the Best Western PLUS The Normandy Inn & Suites. I took a mere 10-minute walk and I was surrounded by a stunningly beautiful venue.
The outdoor seating looked wonderful for a nice spring day. I was there during the start of a hot humid summer so I stayed inside as the humidity was killing me. I’m used to dry heat and my curly hair needed a break.
It was good decision to sit indoors–inside was magnificent. There were some high seats right next to large windows, windows for walls, facing the street. Sip coffee, eat delicious food, and enjoy the view. There’s plenty to see in an active city.
There were also some cushioned seats just outside the proper cafe, nice seats for group discussion or sitting super cozy.
Now, what kind of coffee? I ordered a latte. I was originally going to request almond milk but asked about oat milk, as I had recently heard about its growing popularity. The barista was super friendly, they not only recommended it, they also explained how it was made and how it enriched the flavor. I asked a few questions, there was no line so I felt good about asking about their food and milk options; the barista was incredibly attentive and knowledgeable. A latte with oat milk–creamy, rich, absolutely delicious. Now, I ask for oat milk everywhere it’s available.
As for food, I opted for a sweet treat: a banana nutella crepe. Now, this item hit every note. The presentation of both items was impeccable. The combination of flavors was sweet but not overpowering. It was light but filling.
Penny’s is an absolute gem in a major city. It helped me start my first day alone, a day of solo travel, on the best footing possible. I cannot wait to go back to Minneapolis, go to Penny’s and have another crepe, and have some more coffee.
If you’re in the Twin Cities, make sure to check out Penny’s–and make sure to get some oat milk in that coffee. 😉