Minneapolis Tours

Discover the history that makes the Twin Cities unique with a walking tour from MNHS.

Minneapolis Tours

All tours are rain or shine.

Washburn A Mill Tour

Departs Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Sat & Sun, Apr 21 & 29, May 5, 19 & 27, Jun 10, Jul 22, Sep 16 & 30, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$18/MNHS members save 20%, includes museum admission

Take an in-depth look at the historic Washburn A Mill complex and the award-winning Mill City Museum. A guide will take visitors into the building's many nooks and crannies, highlighting the lives of the men and women who worked there, how the building functioned during its peak flour milling years, and the many changes to the building over time.

This is the only opportunity for a guided tour through the entire museum building and the only chance to see some of its nonpublic spaces.

The tour includes no more than 1 mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.

Pillsbury A Mill Tour

Departs A-Mill Artist Lofts*, Minneapolis
Sat & Sun, Apr 14 & 22, May 6, Jun 2 & 23, Jul 8 & 28, Aug 19, Sep 15, 2018
$18/MNHS members save 20%

Discover the story of the National Historic Landmark Pillsbury A Mill, the largest flour mill in the world for many years, which recently reopened as the A-Mill Artist Lofts. A Mill City Museum guide will lead a tour of the former milling complex, including the rooftop deck and the basement waterpower facilities.

Visitors will explore parts of the largest and best-preserved waterpower system in Minneapolis (with views straight down a 50-foot drop shaft), discover how the building functioned during the flour milling era, and learn about the new hydroelectric plant that helps to power the complex.

The tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately-paced walking indoors and outdoors with some uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.

* Meet at the gray door on Third Avenue SE at Main Street (around the corner from the A-Mill Artist Loft main entrance at 315 Main Street SE).

Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tour

Departs Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Sat & Sun, Jun 17, Aug 5, Sep 2 & 22, 2018
$14/MNHS members save 20%

Take a guided walking tour of the Minneapolis riverfront and learn about its dramatic past and bright future. Visit the historic district at St. Anthony Falls, once the milling center of the world and now a growing cultural, recreational and residential neighborhood. Stop along the Stone Arch Bridge for spectacular views of the falls, view historic buildings surrounding the riverfront and downtown Minneapolis, and learn about the many people who have worked and lived in the area over the years.

Plus, explore the ongoing riverfront renaissance through the historic preservation of Mill Ruins Park, Mill City Museum, Milwaukee Road Depot, historic loft condominiums, and new developments, including the Guthrie Theater, MacPhail Center for Music, and riverfront housing.

This tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.

Historic Main Street Walking Tour

Departs A-Mill Artist Lofts, Minneapolis
Sat, Jun 23, Jul 28, Sep 15, 2018
10:30 am - Noon
$14/MNHS members save 20%

Stroll through Minneapolis' oldest neighborhood on a guided tour and learn about the rich diversity of the 1850s town of St. Anthony and the immense changes along Main Street throughout the years. Founded in 1848, a few years before Minneapolis, St. Anthony has been a crossroads for many diverse peoples, including Dakota, Ojibwe, Yankees, German and Irish immigrants, métis, free blacks, and Southern tourists accompanied by enslaved people.

Tour landmarks include the 1855 Upton Block, 1858 Martin and Morrison Building, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, the Pillsbury A Mill, and the Chalybeate Mineral Springs.

This tour begins and ends at the gray door on Third Avenue SE at Main Street (around the corner from the A-Mill Artist Lofts' main entrance at 315 Main Street SE). It includes about one mile of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces.

Disasters of the Riverfront Walking Tour

Departs Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Sun, Jun 24, Jul 15, Aug 26, Sep 23, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
$14/MNHS members save 20%

Take a guided walking tour of the St. Anthony Falls milling district and learn about some of the most tragic disasters in Minnesota history. Hear the stories of fires, floods, explosions, collapses and other natural and human-created calamities.

Visitors will learn about the Eastman Tunnel Collapse in 1869, the Great Conflagration of 1893, bridge collapses in 1859 and 2007, numerous fires, and massive landscape changes that shaped the Twin Cities.

This tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.

Hennepin Island Hydropower Walking Tour

Departs 125 Main St. SE*, Minneapolis
Thu, Jun 28, Jul 12 & 26, Aug 9 & 23, 2018
10:30 am - Noon
$18/MNHS members save 20%

Explore the history of waterpower at St. Anthony Falls, including rare access to Xcel Energy's Hennepin Island Hydroelectric Plant. During the early 20th century, more than two dozen mills and hydroelectric plants used the water power from St. Anthony Falls, today just one is left.

A Mill City Museum guide will lead participants to Hennepin Island and Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, including special access to the power plant. Along the way, participants will learn about the historic uses of waterpower at the falls for flour milling, sawmilling and hydroelectricity, the role of hydroelectricity in Xcel Energy's green energy and energy efficiency initiatives, and the future of waterpower on the Minneapolis riverfront.

All attendees must sign a waiver before the tour. This tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces, as well as climbing up an down several flights of stairs. Some historic locations on this tour are not wheelchair accessible.

* Meet at the green awning between Pracna and Aster Cafe.

Cedar-Riverside Walking Tour

Departs KFAI Radio, Minneapolis
Sat, Jul 28, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
$14/MNHS members save 20%

The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is the epicenter of Minnesota's Somali community. Join a Somali American guide to get an insider's view of "Little Mogadishu," as the locals call it, and learn how the Somali community has shaped the character of this vibrant neighborhood. Explore important community venues, including the Cedar-Riverside Towers, a neighborhood mosque, and the Brian Coyle Center. Visit a Somali shopping mall and grocery store, then take a break at a restaurant to enjoy delicious Somali food.

The tour involves up to two miles of walking at a moderate pace on uneven terrain in a city environment.

This program is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.

Women's Work Walking Tour

Departs Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
Sat, Aug 4, Sep 1, 2018
10:30 am - Noon
$14/MNHS members save 20%

Join a costumed interpreter portraying labor writer Eva Valesh for a walking tour that highlights working conditions along the Minneapolis riverfront in the late 1880s. The guide will discuss jobs that were available to women in the late 19th and early 20th century, key events in women's labor history in Minneapolis, and the factories that Valesh exposed, including the North Star Woolen Mill, which still stands two blocks from Mill City Museum.

This tour includes about 1.5 miles of moderately paced walking on uneven surfaces. Please call ahead to make arrangements for guests with limited mobility.