Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the 48th largest city in America. It is home to over 387,000 people. Minneapolis is often paired with the adjacent city of Saint Paul. More than 3.3 million people live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region making it the 16th most populated metropolitan area in the United States. The city covers more than 58 square miles of land although just over 3 square miles is actually water. Minneapolis also has the distinction of being the coldest large city in the country. The name of the city is actually an invented word. By combining words from the Dakota Sioux language and Greek, the name was intended to mean water city.
Minneapolis straddles the Mississippi river. It also contains 20 lakes. The early development of the city was based on lumber and agriculture. Both relied on milling in the city. This was made possible by the powerful Saint Anthony Falls that was strong enough to power the early industrial mills. Minneapolis was noticed around the world because of the efficient and effective power drawn from the falls. Minneapolis has undergone many changes over the last century. One of the largest was the intentional demolition of nearly 40 percent of the downtown area in order to make way for new construction in the 1950s. The removal of historic buildings and unique architectural structures spurred several efforts to preserve the remaining buildings for historical purposes.
Minneapolis has a very rich cultural and arts scene. It has more performance theaters per person than any other city outside of New York. These theaters host a variety of performances from dramatic plays to ballets. The city has a number of major museums. The Walker Art Center is one of the five top modern art museums in the country. The Weisman Art Museum was designed by Frank Gehry. The Minneapolis Institute of Art holds over 100,000 works. In 2010, the Minneapolis Orchestra was called one of the greatest orchestras in the world.
Minneapolis holds a number of distinctive titles. Minneapolis was voted one of the best new food cities in the country. More than 60 percent of the people working in the downtown area commute by bicycle. This makes workers in the downtown area the second largest workforce in the country to commute by bicycle. Minneapolis is the ninth most walkable large city in the United States making it possible for tourists to ignore public transportation or driving when the weather is nice. Minneapolis has the third highest literacy rate in the country and is home to several publishing companies.