Skip to Content

Discovering Prince’s Minneapolis from Paisley Park to First Avenue

Prince has always been a hometown hero to the people of Minneapolis.

The rock icon’s influence was so significant that the state government took notice. Now you can travel a road named after him to explore the places where he lived, worked, and created.

Ready to learn more about the High Priest of Pop and his favorite city?

Let’s rock!

a bridge lit up with purple lights to honor Prince
A bridge in Minneapolis illuminated with purple lights as a tribute to Prince

About the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway

To the people of Minneapolis, Prince is a hero. The musician, born in the city in 1958, lived and recorded there for much of his career.

Now the iconic singer is immortalized in more ways than one. In addition to his records and awards, a stretch of road in his former hometown carries the musician’s name.

Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway was officially dedicated in May 2023. The area includes seven miles of Minnesota Highway 5 near the suburb where the artist lived at the time of his death.

The project was a collaboration between state lawmakers and some of the artist’s family and friends. Governor Tim Walz even used a purple pen to sign the bill into law. The signing occurred at Prince’s Paisley Park estate, including a tour and a small celebration.

The new name isn’t the only change to this stretch of road. The Department of Transportation also plans to swap the existing road signs for purple ones in honor of the musician.

Where Is the Prince Memorial Highway?

The Prince Memorial Highway is in Chanhassen, a suburb just a few miles from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The road helps connect residents to the Twin Cities area. From the Mall of America to hundreds of miles of outdoor recreation space, you’ll find anything in this Midwestern metropolis.

St. Paul, the Minnesota state capitol, is full of history. Visit neighborhoods like Summit Hill and explore well-preserved historic homes like the James J. Hill house, where the philanthropic railroad executive once lived.

And downtown Minneapolis, which was once the Flour Milling Capital of the World, is home to buildings old and new. Each has the benefits of a big city while retaining a homey, small-town feel.

If you love sports, this metro area is the place for you. The Twin Cities have their own pro football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer teams. Food lovers can also find every cuisine imaginable, from pizza to fine dining to Ethiopian feasts.

And if you’re a patron of the arts, you’re in luck! Minneapolis alone has two museums and three large theaters, while St. Paul has several historic theaters and an artists’ quarter called Lowertown.

Fun Things To Do Near the Prince Memorial Highway in Minneapolis

The music icon left his mark on the Twin Cities. He spent so much time in The Land of 1,000 Lakes that his presence continues even after passing. 

Here are three must-see attractions for your Prince-inspired trip to Minneapolis.

Explore Paisley Park

Want to see where the famous musician lived and worked? You can see Prince’s Paisley Park estate for yourself. The mansion is only a half-hour drive from Minneapolis and routinely hosts concerts, touring musicians, and special events.

Tours range from 90 minutes to three hours. You’ll see his in-home studio, studio, club, concert hall, and other rooms in the estate. We’re sure it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.

Tickets start at $70 per person. Plan your trip carefully, because some tours don’t permit small children.

Visit Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum inspired the final song on Prince’s One Nite Alone. Located less than 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, the Arboretum is beautiful in all seasons.

The Arboretum houses a restaurant, gift shop, art gallery, and outdoor terrace for relaxing. You can tour the grounds by path in the warm months and by ski and snowshoe trails during winter. The massive outdoor garden also hosts vendor markets, group bike rides, and shuttle tours.

Tickets start at $15 per person, and kids under 15 get in free.

Check Out First Avenue

Prince fans will already know about this iconic Minneapolis hotspot. First Avenue, which was once a bus depot, is now the epicenter of the Twin Cities music scene. The venue was his favorite place to perform and became the setting for the Purple Rain film.

These days, First Avenue hosts concerts by local and national acts. Artists like The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Lizzo have played here. You can check out a show, have a drink, or visit the Star Wall, where Prince’s gold memorial star stands out from the rest.

White stars painted on a black brick wall, including the names Prince, Soul Asylum, and Rage Against the Machine
The First Avenue Music venue in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Best Places to Stay Near the Prince Memorial Highway in Minneapolis

You’re in luck if you plan to camp or stay near the Twin Cities. Minneapolis’s Prince Memorial Highway leads to dozens of great campgrounds and hotels.

Here are some of the best accommodations in the area.

Lake Auburn Campground

For RV camping, you can’t go wrong with Lake Auburn Campground. Follow the Prince Memorial Highway west past the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and you’ll be there in less than ten minutes. The site sits within the Carver Park Reserve, a sprawling area with more than 3,500 acres of trails, lakes, and trees.

Lake Auburn Campground doesn’t have hookups but offers fire rings, picnic tables, vault restrooms, drinking water, trash services, and a dump station. It’s also ADA-accessible. Campsites start at $20 per day. 

Nicolin Mansion Bed and Breakfast

Nicolin Mansion Bed and Breakfast is just one example of the fantastic architecture in the Twin Cities metro area. This B&B was established in 1888 by Frank Nicolin, a German immigrant who built many buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. It’s about 20 miles south of Chanhassen, but this hidden gem is worth the drive. 

Nicolin Mansion has five rooms, each with unique decor, a fireplace, and a whirlpool tub. And their candlelight breakfasts are legendary.

Country Inn and Suites 

If you’re looking for a clean, comfy hotel to celebrate the musician, the Country Inn and Suites in Chanhassen is the perfect option. This hotel is only four minutes from the Prince Memorial Highway. In addition to a great selection of rooms, you’ll have access to a complimentary continental breakfast, an exercise room, and a pool.

Did you ever wonder: Can You Visit the Buddy Holly Crash Site?

Explore the City of Prince

A trip to Minneapolis is a must for any Prince fan. You can still feel the musician’s legacy throughout the city. But visiting places such as First Avenue and Paisley Park is only the beginning. The Twin Cities have so many great experiences to offer.

After you travel the Prince Memorial Highway and see the sights, keep going! Explore the Minneapolis-St. Paul area long enough, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: