A few years ago I bought the book 1,000 Place To See Before You Die in North America and Canada. It’s a lofty goal, but my kids and I are slowly checking them off of the list. One of the first ones we tackled was the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.
Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway is 55 miles of roadway through Minneapolis. The Byway is the country’s longest continuous system of public urban parkway. The route takes you around lakes, through beautiful neighbor hoods, over rivers, next to waterfalls and with as many stops as you would like along the way as you would like to make. According to the website you can do the loop in 2-4 hours by car. It took us three day trips to do it, but my kids are little and we stopped at a lot of fun places along the way!
The route can also be done on foot, bike, roller blades or any other means you like to travel. This trip can be done anytime of the year, but spring and fall are recommended. Spring brings beautiful flowers and fall showcases some wonderful tree colors.
The route is pretty well parked, we were able to follow it mostly by following the signs. A couple times I pulled out my GPS to get back on track after we got side tracked.
Some of our favorite stops along the journey included:
- Stone Arch Bridge
- Lyndale Park Gardens
- Ride on the Lake Harriet Street Car
- Lunch at Bread and Pickle on Lake Harriet
- William Berry Park – an excellent playground with views of Lake Harriet
- Minnehaha Falls
- Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary
To keep the trip fun for the kids I made sure to pack plenty of snacks (always a priority!), but this is also a great trip for them to ‘help’ navigate and also to have a say in where to stop. The speed limit on the byway is 25mph, nice and slow so the kids can help watch for the signs and also to see sights coming up where they would want to stop. My kids saw lots of playground they wanted to check out! This is why I suggest tackling it in sections, leave the day wide open so you can stop wherever your hearts desire.
Cruising the byway is a fun way to see some of the best of what Minneapolis has to offer!
sKIDaddlers was started by 2 local Minnesota moms with a love for traveling and a knack for research. Learn more about us and what you can find on our site here.