Between the balmy and beautiful weather, long days and lively nights, there’s no better time than spring and summer to make the most of the metro area just outside Minneapolis. A spirited mix of stylish restaurants, shops, hotels and spas, Edina is a prime location for letting go without straying too far from such major draws as Minnehaha Falls, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the sculpture garden that stars a larger-than-life spoon and cherry.
Here are eight ways to plan the perfect trip around Edina with your significant other….
All of the Westin’s accommodations boast an aptly named Heavenly Bed. King suites kick things up a notch with a separate living area, vibrant downtown views, and a Lululemon Fitness Mirror for working out in style without actually leaving your room. Club level bookings also gain access to an executive lounge, cushy robes, and complimentary snacks.
More substantial meal options can be found at McCormick & Schmick’s, whether you’re looking for a plate full of freshly shucked oysters, a dry-aged, bone-in pork chop, or a half-pound lobster tail sourced from the seas of West Australia. Looking for something a little bit lighter? Try the cafe and cocktail offerings at Prelude Bar, which shift throughout the day to meet the needs of guests.
2. Treat yourself to a restorative spa treatment.
Speaking of the Galleria, the fast-growing local chain Face Foundrié offers five different “focused facials” that incorporate everything from cryotherapy to Hungarian massage techniques in their quest for the perfect glow. Optional add-ons include dermaplaning, chemical peels, collagen and jelly masks, scalp massages, and LED light therapy. For a full-on spa day, head over to Lili and opt for a four-and-a-half-hour “hydration escape” that starts with a Swedish massage and ends with an exemplary pedicure. A three-hour “booster experience” is also available if you’d like more time to explore the mall itself.
3. Get a little something for everyone.
Among the many standout Galleria shops is Trailmark, an outfitter specializing in such functional and fashionable brands as Canada Goose, Patagonia, Relwen, Holebrook and Helly Hansen. Similar in spirit is PXG shop at Southdale Center, a nearly 7,000-square-foot space that sells design-savvy golf apparel alongside a putting green, fitting bays, and state-of-the-art simulators. Not to be outdone is the Nolan Mains complex in Edina’s bustling 50th and France neighborhood, which counts a classy lingerie shop (Flirt Boutique), boho chic clothing store (Wild Ivy), and casual menswear brand (Scout) among its top-notch tenants.
Don’t let its name fool you; the full Nine Mile Creek trail that connects Edina with the Minnesota River Bluffs and several other suburban areas is actually 15.3 miles long. Its paved, well-maintained pathways now include a new segment complete with a boardwalk that connects to an underpass beneath Highway 169. Like the rest of the trail, it’s a welcome glimpse of wetlands and woodlands right in the middle of everything that makes Edina and its surrounding cities so special.
5. Watch the sun set atop Southdale Center.
RH Gallery isn’t just a three-level, nearly 60,000-square-foot retail center for elegant home furnishings and interior design inspiration. It also sports a rooftop restaurant with dishes as dynamic as its golden hour views. Think: shaved ribeye on charred garlic bread with Emmentaler Swiss cheese and cherry peppers, a roasted half chicken with garlic confit, potato pureé and natural jus, and a carefully arranged prosciutto and délice board featuring seasonal fruit, strawberry preserves and a warm baguette.
As if it’s Creole crab cakes, chicken-fried boudin balls, and elevated crawfish etouffee weren’t transportive enough, the involvement of Bittercube co-founder Nick Kosevich as Mr. Paul’s beverage director means a cocktail menu on par with the very best of Bourbon Street and beyond. Look out for familiar Nola favorites like a Hurricane, Vieux Carre and Pimm’s Cup alongside house specialties like the Poor Trinity (blanco tequila, pineapple amaro, fennel bitters, fortified Portuguese wine, and a grapefruit-lime elixir) and Born on the Bayou (two different rums with orgeat and tropical undertones of pawpaw, persimmon and mandarin).
7. Catch a concert.
One of the country’s most iconic music venues (the Prince-and-Replacements-approved First Avenue) is a short drive away from Edina, as are such fellow downtown favs as The Armory and Fine Line. Headliners this upcoming season include Hot Chip, Bright Eyes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fleet Foxes, Gogol Bordello, The National and Sylvan Esso.
Start your day off with a French toast chicken stack, smoked Scottish salmon scramble, or a breakfast bowl made of brown rice, pinto beans, avocado, spinach, charred corn, salsa roja, sunflower seeds, queso fresco and a poached egg. Can’t forget a mimosa flight either, or a Bloody Mary built from scratch and served alongside a short glass of ice-cold beer.