Welcome to Minneapolis

At Independent Collection, we know the best kind of trips share one thing in common – the element of surprise. Like an award-winning restaurant in an unsuspecting strip mall, or chatting up strangers with fascinating stories. When you make a wrong turn and you’re totally lost and end up stumbling into the most adorable patisserie. These are the thrills we travel the world for. And when your hotel is equally thrilling, well, that’s just magic. 

Luckily for U.S. travelers, you don’t have to pack your passport for serendipitous moments like this; but you might need help knowing where to go. Among the many underrated cities we love, few will surprise you like Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now don’t let visions of snow piles and frozen lakes fool you. This city and its neighboring counterpart, St. Paul, are full of life year-round thanks to their incredibly diverse populations, jaw-dropping wilderness, booming restaurant scenes and much, much more. 

Whether you’re new to Minneapolis or a local who seeks an exciting staycation, anchor your adventure in a place as unique and surprising as the city itself: Rand Tower Hotel, a dazzling Independent Collection hotel and Marriott Tribute Portfolio property inspired by an adventure-loving Minnesota legend, Rufus Rand Jr.

The Sky’s the Limit

To fully appreciate today’s Rand Tower Hotel, look first to its storied namesake. Rufus Rand Jr. was known as a daring airman, brilliant engineer, and relentlessly curious inventor. In the 1920s, after returning home from a heroic tenure with the Lafayette Flying Corps – a name given to American volunteer pilots who flew in the French Air Force during World War I – he commissioned his Art Deco office building in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. 

True to self, Rand was deeply involved in construction and design, and, at his request, aviation-inspired iconography was weaved in from top to bottom, even etched onto the ceiling and marble floors. Almost 100 years later, these little details and Rand’s bold vision were meticulously restored and reimagined for the building’s next chapter as Rand Tower Hotel.

Blending contemporary luxury with historical ambiance, the newly opened Rand Tower is no ordinary Minneapolis hotel. First make your way to Bar Rufus, the hotel’s lobby bar and restaurant, and you’ll start to see why. This French bistro-inspired, Art Deco space creates a joie de vivre through good food, good wine, and better company. Like the hotel, Bar Rufus looks to capture the essence of the building’s innovative founder, Rufus Rand. Indulge in a French-centered wine list and cocktails paired with traditional dishes, and join us for Le Happy Aperitif, a daily happy hour from 4-6 pm.

Even more French-inspired culinary experiences await upstairs at Miaou Miaou and Blondette, the hotel’s 5th-floor cocktail lounge and rooftop restaurant. Choose from a selection of visually-stunning cocktails in both petite and large formats at Miaou Miaou, a sultry cocktail lounge honoring post-prohibition drinking culture. At Blondette, savor bold culinary takes on timeless French cuisine. Served beneath a retractable roof, this one-of-a-kind dining room exposes guests to the stars twinkling above downtown Minneapolis.

As you ascend Rand Tower Hotel to its 270 rooms and suites, you’ll notice the design feels lighter and brighter, like you’re soaring into the clouds. These luxurious accommodations have everything you need to feel right at home, from linen bedding and Turkish robes to a Lavazza coffee station and spacious work desk. The hotel also boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center, dry cleaning service, and 24-hour concierge for anything else needed for a peaceful sleep. 

Trust us, you’ll need it ahead of tomorrow’s adventures.

Meet the Locals

Unlike some of its Midwest neighbors, Minneapolis is a fascinating melting pot of cultures and communities. In addition to native Dakota people, the Twin Cities are home to numerous indigenous nations as well as large communities of Mexican, Somali, Chinese, and Scandinavian descent, among many others.

During your stay, experience Native American culture at a ceremonial powwow or visit one of many heritage sites across Minnesota. Catch an exhibition at the Museum of Russian Art, the only cultural institute in North America devoted exclusively to Russian works, or visit the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery. For a different kind of cultural immersion, plan a trip to Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace, a 100-year-old, family-run, Nordic marketplace that sells everything from home goods to butcher cuts to tiny troll statues.

A Taste of the Twin Cities

Like its unique cultural DNA, Minneapolis’ restaurant scene is a welcomed surprise. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it here: Asian delicacies, tater tot “hotdishes,” deep-fried walleye, upscale dining by James Beard-winning chefs, and everything in between.

Hop alongEat Streetfor an affordable food tour of international flavors, or visit the Midtown Global Market to shop stalls of groceries and crafts from around the world. Similarly, the new Market at Malcolm Yards offers global treats like Nepalese dumplings and Japanese sandwiches in a modern food hall. 

Minnesota has the largest Scandinavian American population in the U.S., a tempting reason to visit Fika Café for its seasonal New Nordic cuisine. Foodies should also plan in advance for Owamni, a new restaurant by celebrated Sioux Chef founder and James Beard Award winner, Sean Sherman, which aims to educate guests on true Native American cuisine through indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients.

Of course, a trip to Minneapolis would be incomplete without sampling its unofficial dish: the cheese-filled “Juicy Lucy.” Where to find the best is a hotly contested topic among locals; consider this guide a helpful start.

Wherever you go, you’re bound to stumble upon one of Minneapolis’ local craft breweries. (There are over 80 between the Twin Cities!) Pop into Surly, one of the region’s biggest names in beer, or kick back at Bauhaus Brew Labs colorful tap room. Fair State is another local favorite with award-winning pours. For the ultimate sampling, plan your Minneapolis staycation around the Autumn Brew Review or Summer Beer Dabbler Festival

Get Outdoors…

Of the many reasons to visit Minneapolis, gorgeous scenery and outdoor activities rank at the top. And the fun doesn’t stop when the snow comes down! 

During warmer months, take advantage of the city’s Nice Ride bike share program and cruise through the city at your leisure. (Fun fact: Minneapolis is consistently ranked among America’s most bike-friendly cities!) Bike along the Mississippi River across the Stone Arch Bridge and Chain of Lakes, or visit Minnehaha Regional Park, one of the city’s oldest and most popular parks known for its 53-foot waterfall and beautiful fall foliage. 

Fishing is a year-round sport in Minnesota. Plan your day on the lake with a private charter, or find a lakeside dock to catch walleye, bass, northern pike, and the ever elusive muskie. If you’re visiting with time to spare, consider a day trip to Lake Superior for daytime fishing and nighttime camping under the Northern Lights.

Cross-country skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey are also popular among locals who’ve grown accustomed to Minnesota’s perennial cold.

…or Stay Inside

Whenever you’re traveling, rest assured you’ll be able to get around smoothly. Rand Tower Hotel is conveniently connected to the Minneapolis Skyway System, a 9.5-mile network of indoor pedestrian bridges and pathways that connect downtown restaurants, shops, theaters, and more. 

If the weather demands a day indoors, plan to visit one of Minneapolis’ (heated) world-class cultural institutions like the Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater, or Minneapolis Institute of Art

Finally, cap off your adventure with cocktails and conversation at the hotel’s Rand Tower Club. Covered year-round by an arching glass canopy, the Rand Tower Club is where travelers and locals mingle over globally-inspired libations. Sit back and enjoy live music with your floral-infused cocktail, or gather ‘round the terrace’s fire pit with a glass of rare bourbon.

Wherever you land, Rand Tower encourages its guests to stay curious and look up – not only at the city views above, but “the limitless possibilities of the heavens,” just like Rufus Rand Jr. once did.

Elevate your stay at Rand Tower Hotel by reserving one of our special offers and packages. Discover more and plan your Minneapolis experience at