Pokémon Go Hotspots in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Photo by Derrek Helmin

by | Mar 21, 2018

I wanna be the very best
At looking at my phone
To catch them is my real test
And not get hit by cars
I will travel across the land
Swiping strong and true
Each Pokémon to understand
The candy that’s inside

I’ll stop my Weird Al Yankovic impression here.

While the excitement has cooled off a bit since its release, the game that swept mobile devices by storm and had hoards of people staring down and swiping at their screens while seemingly wandering around aimlessly is still alive and well. Niantic, the game’s creator, has done a pretty good job at keeping people interested with the release of second and third generation Pokémon, raid battles, and legendaries for eager trainers to fill out their Pokédex—Professor Oak would be so proud. But if you’re just as tired as I am at catching Pidgeys, Sentrets and Swinubs—don’t get me wrong, Pidgey, you’re great, I just don’t need 1,000 of you—you might have a little more luck with these trainer-tested X marks the spots. Disclaimer: you are not guaranteed to catch anything outside the norm, but these hotspots are known for being home to a wealth of player activity, rare spawns, nests and raids.

Centennial Lakes Park

Nestled in Edina, Centennial Lakes Park was at one point a Dratini goldmine at the game’s inception—ah, the good ol’ days. And while the Dratini may have moved on to greener pastures, the spot’s popularity hasn’t faded. Thanks to four Pokéstops situated right next to each other, trainers can often be spotted luring the quad in hopes that the more elusive ‘mons are attracted to their eventual captured fate. In addition, the park is host to gyms—and where there are gyms there are raids—and mini golf and paddleboats to enjoy.

Victory Memorial Parkway

A proverbial Yellow Brick Road of Pokémon, Victory Memorial Parkway is reminiscent of walking down a grocery store aisle. But instead of cans of green beans or Cinnamon Toast Crunch lining the shelves, it’s Pokéstop, after Pokéstop, after Pokéstop thanks to a number of memorials lining the path. And while you aren’t able to shop for specific Pokémon like you are items in a grocery store, your odds of meeting other trainers—and sought after Pokémon—are through the roof.

State Fair Grounds

Now of course the best time to visit this spot is the 12-day window at the tail-end of summer when nearly 2 million visitors make their way through the gates and turn styles for the Minnesota State Fair, but the gyms, Pokéstops and trainers don’t call it quits when the fair folds up shop. Players on the prowl for the rarest of Pokémon and raids can still be found scouring the grounds year-round. But if you’re lucky enough to visit during fair time, and the sheer amount of trainers luring every Pokéstop in sight and filling every raid within the first 10 seconds aren’t enough to get you to venture out, the food will. Nearly 500 foods available at 300 food concessions are available to provide players with plenty of fuel—and I’m talking food, not battery life.

Mall of America

It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country is an oasis of ‘mons. Spread out among all four levels and Nickelodeon Universe, trainers can catch ‘em all while dining at Rainforest Café, shoe shopping at DSW or riding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock ride—just kidding, don’t do this one.

Rice Park

In the heart of St. Paul is a park of legend to local trainers. Known for spawning wild Aerodactyl, Machamp and the legendary Dragonite, Rice Park is one of the most popular spots to play Pokémon Go in all of Minneapolis and St. Paul. While the park’s size is nothing to write home about, its central location, amount of Pokéstops and gyms, and rare Pokémon sightings make it a real life Safari Zone.

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