1. The lakes.
No other Twin Cities neighborhood boasts such access to the Chain of Lakes—that 13-mile loop of beach and blossom, blue water and green space. The way we live, love, and recreate on those lakes is why the Twin Cities are oft described as the healthiest in the nation, and the best for biking.
2. The restaurants.
Anything you want, at any hour of the day, and probably within walking distance. The diversity in both price and cuisine is astounding—you can pair a $2 slice of macaroni-and-cheese pizza with a $7 single-brew Ethiopian coffee. And if you like your eats locally sourced and locally owned, you’ll feel right at home at many of Uptown’s tables: Nearly 20 percent of Mpls.St.Paul magazine’s critic picks for “Best Restaurants” of 2014 are in Uptown or within blocks of it.
3. The arts and entertainment.
Nightlife? Sure. But what Uptown really rocks is inventive ways to engage the arts. Think prairie ingenuity paired with huge talent. Think bowling alley attached to black-box theatre. Think hip-hop festival in an art gallery. Two movie theaters show independent film in Uptown. Seven performance spaces feature comedy, drama, live music, literary readings, and dance. Nine galleries show visual and installation art from local, national, and international artists. And all of this happens within about thirty blocks. That’s what we call “an arts scene.”
4. The shops.
Of course you’ll find “the bigs” here—Victoria's Secret, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Apple, even the very Minnesotan phenomenon of Columbia and The North Face right next to each other. Home furnishing outfitters like Nadeau, Jonathan Adler, and Crate & Barrel’s modern sister CB2 round this out. But what really sells in Uptown is the throng of independent retailers. Clothing boutique Local Motion showcases local designers with one-of-a-kind pieces, plus international designers, too. Covered caters to high-end (and hard-to-fit) denim-lovers searching for the perfect pair of jeans. Magers & Quinn, one of the best independent bookstores in the country, thrives, and Kitchen Window, one of the first high-end cooking retail outfits in the country, cooks splendidly. Independent salons and spas line Uptown’s thoroughfares, including Aveda, the national leader in plant-based beauty products and a Minneapolis-based company; it has long loved Uptown, with a Juut SalonSpa location anchoring one of the neighborhood’s most active corners. Don’t miss some of the finest vintage apparel shopping this side of New York City’s East Village. And don’t forget the Uptown Art Fair, which draws nearly half a million people annually, all looking to support regional artists, clothiers, and craftspeople.
5. The luxury apartments at Elan Uptown.
You couldn’t live and rent any better. All apartments are outfitted with high-end condo finishes (granite counters, designer lighting, walk-in closets, and custom bamboo flooring). The bedrooms are all king-sized. The bedroom closets are all walk-in. Each residence has its own wine fridge. The buildings are LEED silver certified and pet friendly, with a pet-washing station on site. Amenities? How about underground parking, a sunny fitness center (with complimentary tanning), and an outdoor pool and rooftop lounge and terrace (with stunning skyline views)? Throw in Uptown’s neighborhood walkability score of 97 and its direct access to the Midtown Greenway, and Elan’s free breakfast twice a week is just icing on a very delicious donut. Welcome to Uptown. You’re an Uptowner.