Minneapolis's Stone Arch Bridge crosses the Mississippi River where it separates downtown Minneapolis from near-northeast, and is near the old historic Mill City Museum and Ruins and the new Guthrie Theater. It's a gorgeous expanse of limestone and granite, with fantastic views of the city from any angle. Pedestrians and bicyclists can be found here every day of the year, and there's a major summer festival dedicated to the bridge. It's a beautiful combination of history and breathtaking views.
Parking and public transportation at the Stone Arch Bridge
There is a parking lot adjacent to the bridge with parking meters, and several blocks of metered parking on both sides of the bridge, as well as higher-priced parking ramps. Metro Transit has several bus lines that stop nearby, and the light rail is close as well.
Best and worst time to go to the Stone Arch Bridge
Saturdays and Sundays in the summer, particularly when the weather is nice, can find heavy foot and bike traffic on the bridge, and the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival packs the people as well. Early mornings, you're more likely to find fitness enthusiasts using the bridge for running and biking, with fewer people sightseeing and taking photos.
Admission to the Stone Arch Bridge
There's no admission fee to access the bridge, but if you drive to it, you'll need to pay for parking.
Must see/do at the Stone Arch Bridge
Cross the bridge and take time to view the vistas in all direction. In addition, there's a company in St. Anthony Main (on the near-northeast side of the bridge) that offers Segway tours of the riverfront and the bridge during good weather. Visitors can also take a self-guided tour that includes the bridge and its history involving St. Anthony Falls.
Other places to visit near the Stone Arch Bridge
Next to the bridge are several points of interest, including the renowned Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Museum (great for visiting with kids), and St. Anthony Main, home to several river-view restaurants. On Saturday mornings from May-Oct, the Mill City Farm Market is nestled next to the Mill City Museum and by the Guthrie, and easily accessible from the bridge.
Insider tip for visitors to the Stone Arch Bridge
During the annual summer festival known as Aquatennial, there are massive fireworks at the river. To enjoy them from the bridge, plan to arrive hours in advance to stake out a spot. Bring a group of friends, and get takeout from one of the many close-by eateries.
Author's bio: Amy C. Rea is the author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer's Guide, and Backroads & Byways of Minnesota.