Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN, USA
6 am - 10 pm daily
water-activities, hikes, outdoor-adventures
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Minnehaha Falls is a classic place to visit while touring the best of Minneapolis.
Growing up in Minnesota, Minnehaha Falls have always been really special to visit in the Twin Cities, and the view is definitely worth the hype. It had been years since I had seen them, and I have never seen them in winter, and it was also the very first time our kids had seen the falls so there were all sorts of firsts for our family. Located inside one of Minnesota's oldest and most famous regional parks, Minnehaha Regional Park, this park sees visitors numbering nearly a million people each year.
The name "Minnehaha" is most often translated to mean "laughing water" though this isn't exactly correct. It actually translates to "curling water" or "waterfall." The name is derived from the language of the Dakota, and the falls were referred to by this name by 1855. It comes from the famed writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's grand poem "The Song of Hiawatha." Minnehaha was actually a fictitious character, but famous nonetheless. In the poem, she's depicted as a tragic figure, as she and the great warrior Hiawatha fall in love, however, Minnehaha dies a tragic death in the cold Minnesota winter. Minnehaha Regional Park also features a beautiful statue depicting Hiawatha carrying Minnehaha.
The waterfall itself is 53 feet tall and sits just 3/4 of a mile from where the water empties into the Mighty Mississippi. The falls were formed only 10,000 years ago, which is actually a really young age, in geological time periods. Visiting the falls in any season is quite wonderful, but the most popular time is in summer. It's difficult to reach the falls during winter, as the many, many staircases leading down to the falls are dangerous and not maintained during this time. It's best to visit during spring, summer, or fall, with shoulder seasons allowing for fewer crowds.
After enjoying this truly classic Minneapolis sight, head over to Mel-O-Glaze Bakery for a truly delightful dessert experience!