September Tours

More tours: June Tours  |  July Tours  |  August Tours

Cost: $8 per person unless otherwise noted ($10 on-site at the tour for walk-ups, although please note that tours will likely sell out in advance, with no room for walk-ups.)
Please note that space is limited and some events may sell out before the day of the event.
If you lack internet access, or have any questions or concerns about the tour program, please contact our Tour Coordinater, Katy Epler, at or 612-695-7572.
Time: Tours typically last 90 minutes to 2 hours. Exact times are contingent on factors such as weather and group size. Please contact us if you have any questions about lengths of specific tours, or ask your guide at the beginning of the tour.
Distance/terrain: Please see details listed for each tour. Some tours are short and flat, others are longer and hilly.
Kids (and strollers) are welcome, but no dogs or other pets, please. 


Murder & Mayhem: Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, September 6, 10 a.m. 
Cost: $8
This tour is sold out, but click here to get on the waitlist

If you think of the past as the “good old days,” you’ll want to think again. Come walk through the seamier side of Minneapolis’ history at Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. We’ll stop and pay our respects (or not!) to a host of folks, both casualties and criminals, who most definitely did not die peacefully in their sleep.

Last year’s tour covered the south side of the cemetery; this year we’ll explore the north side.

This tour walks about half a mile over lumpy terrain, and is not ADA-accessible. The tour guide is Sue Hunter-Weir.

Downtown Minneapoli
s Riverfront (Sold Out!)

Sunday, September 7, at 1 p.m.
Cost: $8
Click here to get on the waiting list.

Walk both sides of the downtown Minneapolis riverfront to learn about the city’s origins and its rise to become the flour milling capital of the world. See and explore historic buildings, structures, and landscapes as well as new developments within this historic context. We’ll visit and learn about Saint Anthony Falls and its lock and dam, the Saint Anthony Main complex, the Stone Arch Bridge, Post Office, and Guthrie Theater, Main Street SE and West River Parkway, the Water Power and Mill Ruins parks, and the east and west side milling districts and remaining historic buildings including the Pillsbury A Mill and the Mill City Museum. Discover how the city and its riverfront have evolved over the past 165 years—and continue to do so.

This tour walks about two miles; the tour guide is Aaron Rubenstein.

Nicollet Island (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Cost: $8
This tour is sold out, but click here to get on the waitlist

Nicollet Island developed as a microcosm of early Minneapolis, with separate zones for water-powered factories, main-drag storefronts, full-block rowhouses, and a mover-shaker mansion district…and even its north tip neighborhood, an architectural sampler from the 19th century which still looks much as it did in the early days.

The 40-acre island just above St. Anthony Falls next to downtown Minneapolis is the site of the first bridge anywhere across the Mississippi River (where Hennepin Avenue crosses now), and is said to be the only inhabited island the entire length of the Mississippi.

This tour will delve into some of Nicollet Island’s quirky background: the underground caves that have been a haven for bootleggers and legal brewers alike; the resident donkeys who lived on the island until the 1970s; and the 1912 plan for putting an Olympic stadium and an airport on the island.

Many people are familiar with the controversy over the DeLaSalle High School football field, but may not know that the island has been the center of disputes about its use many, many times over the years. From the efforts to bring waterpower to the island in 1869 (almost destroying the falls), to the Minneapolis Park Board’s efforts to take control of the island in the 20th century…Nicollet Island has never been a dull place.

This tour walks about one mile; the tour guide is Chris Steller.


East Hennepin: Behind the Scenes (SOLD OUT!)

When:  Sunday, September 14 at 10 a.m. 
Cost: $8
This tour is sold out, but click here to get on the waitlist 

The bustling commercial district surrounding East Hennepin Avenue has hosted many names throughout the years, but everyone knows its unforgettable landmarks . . . Surdyk’s, Nye’s, Kramarczuk’s, Historic Main Street, and Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Located across the Hennepin Bridge from Downtown, this neighborhood was originally established in 1855 as the Town of St. Anthony Falls and later merged with The City of Minneapolis in 1872. Its proximity to the Mississippi River, Downtown, the University, and Northeast Minneapolis have made it an influential hub for transit, industry, and commerce. The last decade has brought dramatic change and the area around East Hennepin is now considered one of the trendiest and most exciting places in Minneapolis to eat, shop, and live. Fortunately, the area has managed to maintain its old-world flavor to this day.

Join us for a “behind-the-scenes” history of the busy streets, unique businesses, and colorful people that have shaped this popular walking neighborhood.   Hear amazing stories told from the perspective of individuals who have lived and worked here, through good times and bad. Come away with perspective on what life and work here might have actually felt like throughout this neighborhood’s most defining eras.

This tour will walk approximately 10-12 city blocks. The tour guides are Scott Parkin and Michael Rainville.

Southeast Lake Harriet Parks and Residences

When:  Sunday, September 21, 1 p.m.  
Cost: $8
Buy tickets on Eventbrite

For centuries a place where the Dakota gathered; now a bustling lakeside park setting. This tour traces the transformation of the landscape by the Minneapolis Park Board, as well as the development of the Lynnhurst community. Characters in the narrative include Colonel William S. King, James Merritt and architect Jack Liebenberg. We’ll focus on the early visionaries and residents of the neighborhood, and describe a few examples of some of the early 20th-century residences.

This tour walks about 1 mile; the tour guide is Peter Sussman. This  tour is co-sponsored by the Lynhurst Neighborhood Association.

More tours: June Tours  |  July Tours  |  August Tours