Uptown is home to more than 20 bars and nightclubs in a 3-block radius. This brings students and young sophisticates to the streets, and the neighborhood buzzes with the energy they bring. But don’t let this fool you into thinking that it’s only a party neighborhood. It’s also one of the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
The chain of lakes in this area includes Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake and Lake Harriet, and the first two border Uptown. Minnesota is called the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a reason! Although jogging along the perimeter of the chain of lakes is popular among Minneapolis runners, many people enjoy more relaxing activities at the lakes as well. Lake Calhoun has a young, “see and be seen” vibe, while Lake of the Isles is a quieter and more reserved spot, perfect for a picnic.
Uptown invites you to spend your time there when you get home from work and on your weekends, thanks to the fabulous restaurants, clubs and festivals. The Uptown Art Fair and Uptown Bike Race are two annual events that draw crowds from all over the city. Museum in the Streets is a self-guided walking tour that lets you learn more about the neighborhood’s history. The Uptown Theater, located at the neighborhood’s busiest intersection of Hennepin and Lagoon, is a restored, early 20th century theater that features a balcony and plays host to indie films and cult classics.
You’ll be drawn to the eclectic shops in Uptown, like the Magers and Quinn bookstore and women’s clothing boutiques like Cliché. If vintage upscale clothing is more your style, you’ll find a well-curated assortment at June. Uptown also has more grocery stores than other city neighborhoods, ranging from Cub Foods to the more upscale Lund’s.
Minnesotans take their coffee seriously, and there’s no shortage of great places to get a high quality brew that will make you forget all the chain coffee shops. Dogwood Coffee has great tasting coffee, but some locals say it’s better for a grab-and-go cup than a place to hang out. Urban Bean is a minimalist coffee shop whose décor and ambience rivals anything you’d find in the Pacific Northwest, and the fast Wi-Fi makes it a natural place to get some work done or chat with a friend.
Families flock to Uptown, drawn by the family-friendly environment of the public library, the easy access to the lakes, and the many opportunities for arts and culture experiences that are within walking distance. Even though this neighborhood has plenty of nightlife and great shopping and restaurants to keep any twenty-something hipster happy, the low crime rate, thriving arts scene, and mix of 1920s to modern housing will appeal to everyone who shares that aesthetic sensibility.
The wide range of apartment styles and amenities suits any lifestyle. Though rent prices are high, you’re not paying as high a premium for the address as you might in nearby neighborhoods. New luxury condo buildings offer fun events like vodka tastings and doggie Halloween parties. You can find a good deal on an older apartment with fewer frills and perks, but these are increasingly harder to find.
The fortunes of Uptown have risen and fallen a few times over the past century. Anyone who visits now can tell that this is a boom time in Uptown. New shops and restaurants are always opening up, and so many new apartments are being built. People really want to live here, which means that finding apartments for rent can be pretty competitive. When you’re looking for an apartment in Uptown, be prepared for a tight rental market and come prepared to fill out an application on the spot. The good news about Uptown is that it’s also very dog-friendly: not only do most apartments allow pets, but many of the shops in the neighborhood welcome you to bring your dog, too.
Uptown draws people from all over the city and even the suburbs to take advantage of the unique shops and nightlife. While they may return to more boring destinations at the end of the day, the fun never has to end when you call Uptown your home.