Location: From Hwy 55 or Hiawatha Avenue go East on Minnehaha Parkway and you will run right into it.
History: Growing up, I spent my summers one week out of the year at my grandma's house a block away from the falls. We spent countless hours going up and down all the flights of stairs, playing on the swing sets to see who could jump the farthest off their swing, or just walking down to the Mississippi River. At night my grandma would keep her front door open to let the breeze come through the screen door. My older brother and I could hear the screams at night coming from the falls (1970-1977). The next day we would search the river for bodies but to no avail... not even a single dangling limb popping out along the shores!
My grandpa would take us across the Ford bridge for ice cream and tell us tales of riding side cars and armed with horse pistols (potato guns) in St. Paul pretending to run with the Dillinger gang. He was a great storyteller! Grandma on the other hand would bring us to the Sunrise Inn a few blocks from the falls as well. A small bar with great burgers and fries. I brought my daughter there many years later after telling her how awesome it was. The burgers weren't the best burgers ever anymore, but the place was still pretty nostalgic for me. Heck, the bartender thought he even remembered my grandma. She was a looker!
Location: Coming from Minneapolis, take Hennepin Ave N across the Mississippi and take a right on SE Main Street. From 35W, go west on University and take a left on Central Avenue and then a left on SE Main Street.
Two favorites for coffee and or something to eat are Wilde Roast Cafe and the Aster Cafe. Both venues also offer adult beverages, while the Aster Cafe on weekends also has live entertainment. The area is a favorite for outdoor seating, art festivals, and if you stray off the old brick path you will find a decaying part of the city by the St. Anthony Falls. Here you will find plenty of "urban art" on concrete ruins. Homeless bedrooms can be found in makeshift homes under rocks, structures, or even an old drain pipe. Sometimes beauty really can be found in odd places that has an unusual ugly attraction! At times you may feel you are at a crime scene. Other times you are in someones home... and maybe even on location where they filmed Planet of the Apes. Wild grapes can be found growing. Abandoned buildings and a past forgotten for those who are unaware of its existence... Afterwards you can head back up top and check out a movie at the historic Saint Anthony Main Theatre.