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Minneapolis Skyway System, Minneapolis

4.1
#3 of 25 in Sightseeing in Minneapolis
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Minneapolis Skyway System is an interlinked collection of enclosed pedestrian footbridges that connect various buildings in 69 full city blocks over 11 miles (18 km) of Downtown Minneapolis, enabling people to walk in climate-controlled comfort year-round. It is the longest continuous system in the world. The skyways are owned by individual buildings in Minneapolis, and as such they do not have uniform opening and closing times. The eight miles of skyway are comparable to the Houston tunnel system, the systems of Canadian cold-weather cities Toronto and Montreal, and Calgary's 11-mile Plus 15 (+15) Skyway system.The Minneapolis skyways connect the second and third floors of various office towers, hotels, banks, corporate and government offices, restaurants, and retail stores to the Nicollet Mall shopping district, the Block E Entertainment District, and the sports facilities at Target Center, Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium. Several condominium and apartment complexes are skyway-connected as well, allowing residents to live, work, and shop downtown without having to leave the skyway system.History and developmentThe city's first skyways were planned by real estate developer Leslie Park in the early 1960s. Sensing pressure from indoor shopping malls such as Southdale Center, Park wanted to create a similar environment in Downtown Minneapolis that would offer a climate-controlled space and a way for pedestrians to move from building to building. He built two skyways connecting the newly constructed Northstar Center building to the Northwestern Bank Building and the Roanoke Building. The skyway to the Northwestern Bank Building was built in 1962 and the skyway to the Roanoke Building followed the next year. The second skyway still remains in use today and is the system's oldest segment.
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Where to stay in Minneapolis

To stay in the thick of tourist action, choose a hotel in downtown Minneapolis. This area offers many independent and chain hotels, with rooms that range from budget-friendly to high-end. You can also stay close to the area by exploring mid-range hotels just a few blocks from downtown that are set in quieter neighborhoods with fewer tourists. If you have access to a car and don't mind driving to most major attractions, you can consider a good value motel or inn just outside the city.
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  • We were going to take the Skyway from our hotel to the Light Rail system. On a Sunday, it was kind of dark and empty except for some folks hanging around. It didn't feel all that safe.  more »
  • In Minnesota, we tend to have very bitterly cold winters so the Skyway System is very helpful with getting people off the streets into somewhere warm to get to and from whatever part of Downtown they ...  more »
  • We used the skyway to get from the Convention Center to restaurants and close to stores. It would be good to use in summer (cooler) or winter (warmer).  more »