Minneapolis, Minnesota audio tour: Minneapolis River Walk: History Along the Mississippi

Minneapolis River Walk: History Along the Mississippi

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

Welcome to Minneapolis, the home of Nerf Balls, the singer and songwriter Prince, and, yes, Zubaz pants. On this tour, we'll stroll along the Mississippi River and cross it on the Stone Arch Bridge. We'll end our walk on an island overlooking St. Anthony Falls.

Along the way, you’ll hear about:

• The history of the milling industry in Minneapolis
• The massive Washburn A Mill explosion of 1878
• The 35W Bridge collapse of 2007
• The secret history of Funkytown
• An ugly mansion with 86 TVs
• Cougar attacks
• The untimely death of Tiny Tim
• The hiring of a hitman in St. Paul
• ”Untalented but adventurous” German artists, to quote the author Jonathan Raban
• How long it takes a single drop of water to travel down the Mississippi – and how long it take a person to make the same journey

Whether you're passing through or are here to stay, we'll learn and laugh while we move through the city's past and present together.

PHOTO CREDITS: Meet Minneapolis (the good photos) Minnesota Historical Society (Mill City Museum photos), and the author (blurry, badly-lit route photos).

Tour Producer


Frank Bures

Frank Bures is an award-winning travel writer based in Minneapolis. His book, "The Geography of Madness" was chosen by Newsweek as one of the best travel books of the decade. He's also the editor of the "Under Purple Skies," which collects some of the best writing about Minneapolis. Apart from giving tours of his home town, Bures has also tracked down genital thieves in Nigeria, gone on Sasquatch expeditions in the north woods and competed in the World Rock Skipping Championships on the Great Lakes.

Major Landmarks

  • The Stone Arch Bridge

  • The Guthrie

  • Open Book Literary Center

  • U.S. Bank Stadium

  • Mill Ruins Park

  • Water Power Park

  • St Anthony Main

  • Nicollet Island

Directions to Starting Point

We'll start at the Open Book Literary Center on Washingon Ave. in downtown Minneapolis.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Open Book Literary Center, Gold Medal Park, The Guthrie Gift Shop, Mill City Museum, St. Anthony Falls Visitor Center, St. Anthony Main, Nicollet Island.

Best time of day



If you stay long enough, you may not want to leave!


Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Minneapolis River Walk: History Along the Mississippi