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Terrible Google reviews of beloved Minnesota landmarks

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Getty

The internet is great for a lot of things. One of those things is voicing your loudest, rudest, most negative opinions about everything from airlines (thanks Twitter!) to your weird neighbor (thanks NextDoor!). And when it comes to bad reviews, no museum, cultural institution, restaurant, or body of water is safe.

Since we’re unable to visit many of Minnesota’s iconic attractions at the moment, we took to Google to see what their worst critics had to say. Did you think you missed taking a drive to Lake Superior? Going to shows at First Ave? Touring the SPAM Museum? Consider instead that maybe they’re actually “trash,” “gross,” “disgusting,” and “[poop emoji]” after all.

Some reviews have been condensed or edited for clarity. And hoo boy, did a lot of these critics ever need an editor.

Minneapolis Institute of Art
Average Google Rating: 4.8

Free to the public, this stately but hip institution houses over 90,000 works of art. But some Googlers made peculiar demands of a museum, recoiling from the nudity the art depicted, chafing at Mia’s refusal to, uh, “cater to non-gays,” and demanding more singing toilets.

“The visit went well and the exhibits were great! But while I was there I stopped at the gift shop on the way out and noticed they’re selling pins labeled ‘Gay Forever.’ I’m not gay and would expect that they would cater to non-gays also. Couldn’t they also have pins labeled ‘Straight Forever’? Why do only gays get credit anymore?”

“Quite a lot of nudity.”

“Guess you have to really be into art to enjoy this place...”

“No art.”

“Disappointed in flowers.”

“Would be five stars but did not have singing toilets in the bathroom. THE RUMOR IS FALSE.”

Lake Superior
Average Google Rating: 4.7

The largest of the Great Lakes and a formidable presence on Twitter, Lake Superior is also either way too dry or much too wet and somehow too big or not big enough, depending on who you ask. (And you’ll never guess what joke the rest of the critics make about it.)

“Lake Superior? More like Lake Mediocre. LAKE MICHIGAN GANG.”

“Misleading name. More like Lake Mediocre. At best.”

“Lake Superior??? More like Lake Mediocre.”

“As you can see from the pictures, very dry for a ‘lake.’”

“Meh, mostly water.”

“Too much water, 7/10.”

“Lake Inferior.”

“Trash.”

Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior

Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior Getty Images

Split Rock Lighthouse
Average Google rating: 4.7 stars

A commanding testament to the power of Lake Superior, Split Rock has stood guard since 1910, protecting ships from the rocky North Shore cliffside. The dramatically perched piece of Minnesota history is one of our state’s most photographed landmarks, though not everyone was happy to see it—particularly one indignant small-pet owner.

“Terrible customer experience. They wanted to kick me out for sitting under a tree with my guinea pig cage. Said I should have left it in the car. They charge you even if you just want to look around. For the time I spent on their parking lot the nice lady yelled at three other people.”

“Split Rock is not drone friendly.”

“It’s a light house that’s about 30 ft. tall. A very uninspiring landmark if you ask me.”

“$10 to see a lighthouse.”

“Cool place, stubbed toe on rock, continued to punch rock, broke hand, stuck it in the lake to ice it, 10/10 would recommend.”

SPAM Museum
Average Google Rating: 4.6

This gleaming cathedral honoring Minnesota’s contribution to American cuisine is a cheeky delight to most, the tongue-in-cheek Louvre for hyper-processed pork products. Somehow, not everyone appreciates the free Austin attraction. Valid critiques exist (Hormel’s historical treatment of its largely immigrant workforce; the indisputable horrors of industrial meat production), but these objections are... different.

“The staff followed me around the whole time so I just left.”

“Spam is gross.”

“Very disappointed. They claim to have samples. We kept asking about them and they’d say ‘they’re coming out soon.’ We were there well over an hour. I would have loved to taste some other flavors.”

“Well. We saw it.”

“Wanted to take the girlfriend, closed on Mondays. Pretty disappointed.”

“How much can you say about Spam?”

Mickey's Diner

Mickey's Diner Leslie Plesser

Mickey’s Diner
Average Google Rating: 4.2

Prior to coronavirus and a statewide executive order, the only guarantee at Mickey’s was that the doors would be open. The unpredictability of a busy, divey diner staffed by sassy employees is, to some, part of its charm. To others (to many, based on reviews), the realization that Mickey’s was around before you were born and does not, in fact, need you to love it is a heartbreaker.

“The cook is very very rude and even told me we don’t need your business. He was giving the gentleman next to me a hard time and pumping his chest across the bar to him, and what looks like the manager... defended the cook. I got up and said I’m not giving you my business. I was so looking forward to eating here and taking a few pictures for my daughter because of Jingle All the Way.”

“Was excited to see/eat at this landmark. As soon as I walked in, it went downhill. Place is not really clean and staff is not hospitable. Did not even try the food.”

“Everything was going fine, food was good, service, eh, not so good. Then there was a dead fly in my grandson’s chocolate milk which my grandson was really bothered by. They offered a new chocolate milk but when the bill came, they charged us for both chocolate milks. How appalling.”

“I will never go back. Not sure why this has such high reviews. First of all, the guy spills the bean soup all over the person I was with. Then grabs the smallest napkins to try and clean it up. The food is so bland. Service subpar. Ate about half my food and just was done with that place.”

“Terrible experience. Waited over an hour for food so we got up and left. As we were leaving, the waiter yelled at us to ‘never come back.’ Definitely won’t be going back.”

“Extremely hot inside. Felt sorry for the people working there. Decided to leave before placing order because we did not want to be dehydrated before we left.”

“I understand what people like about Mickey’s diner: bad service, trash food, disgusting environment. I just don’t like those things.”

Paisley Park
Average Google Rating: 4.8

Prince’s home and creative compound in Chanhassen was opened to the public as a museum after his death. But not all of the public were open to what they encountered at Paisley Park. And apparently one person panned the place because Prince died there. Bad place!

“Nothing was the same. Prince’s clothes and shoes didn’t look like his. What are they doing to Prince’s home?”

“Dude, it’s 50 bucks just to get in. I’m down for a 20 any day, but 50 bucks... and you don’t even get to take pictures?! This is wrong. Also the place isn’t even paisley OR purple. Looks like an office space building. Such disappoint.”

“Brought my mom from California to visit security guard was really rude to us.... Don’t think Prince would have liked that.”

“I don’t hate this place. But, with the news that Prince died there today, that’s just heartbreaking.”

“Unpopular opinion: The experience was underwhelming and mundane. If you want to look around a corporate office type building with some stage costumes and awards hanging on the wall this tour is for you.”

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Average Google Rating: 4.6

Back in spring 2017 (roughly two lifetimes ago), just about everyone was ready to hate on the Sculpture Garden, which had just erected artist Sam Durant’s horribly ill-advised Scaffold piece. Before and since that scandal, the chance to encounter modern art in a spacious and green outdoor setting seems, at worst, like a pleasurable way to get in a thought-provoking stroll. Not to these reviewers.

“A park with weird sculptures. Not impressed.”

“If you’re not into squashed naked women and other weird stuff or you are sober in general DO NOT GO it’s not going to make any sense.”

“The only positive was that it had a good view of the Minneapolis skyline. Most of the ‘art’ was modern art that has no meaning and looks like trash. One of the ‘art’ pieces was a bunch of scrap wood screwed together, which is a disgrace to all classical art. Another one was a bunch of scrap metal welded together. Again, ugly and has no meaning.”

“Not enough metallic phalluses for my taste.”

“Prime downtown real estate could’ve been put to better use than this overgrown garden of rummage sale items. Or maybe that’s the look these modern artists were going for.”

Stillwater Lift Bridge Historic Site
Average Google Rating: 4.4

Stillwater’s historic swing bridge hasn’t seen car traffic since it switched to the new St. Croix Crossing Bridge in 2017, but these spiteful reviews of time wasted waiting to cross it will live on forever.

“It is a bridge on the St. Croix river. I have no idea why everyone loves it so much. Currently closed for construction.”

“Takes forever to cross... thankfully there’s a new bridge.”

“Hate this stupid bridge. Can’t wait for August.”

“Hate summer time. You get stuck on the bridge constantly. More of a hassle than anything!”

First Avenue
Average Google Rating: 4.6

The iconic Minneapolis rock club, beloved by Prince, local music fans, touring bands, and basically everyone except a few people on the internet who argued with bouncers or forgot their IDs.

“The lady who’s a manager was so mean.”

“It’s too loud.”

“The venue is awesome but when I checked something I didn’t get it back the way it was when I put it in there. Won't be doing that again so it gets zero from me but won’t allow that.”

“WILL NEVER RETURN.”

“Went with my wife who had spent $200 for ‘front row tickets’ according to what she had purchased. Come to find out, there are NO seats. It is a standing venue.... We drove 200 miles for this show and spent well over $200 dollars as our ticket depicted ‘FRONT ROW SEAT’ FOR A MOSH PIT AND A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE. We will never come back. Beware.”

“Bring your ID, regardless of age. Learned the hard way that there were no exceptions to this policy, even though my wife was 45 years old, we had traveled from out of state, spent money on a hotel room, and spent $50 on tickets to see a show (non-refundable). Thanks for ruining a weekend.”

Stone Arch Bridge
Average Google Rating: 4.8

The second-oldest bridge along the Mississippi river and the only one made from arched stone, most people love walking or biking here, admiring the rushing river below and the crashing St. Anthony Falls. To others: just a bridge.

“The dubious Minneapolis Park Board closed the bridge to get funding for repairs unnecessarily.”

“Too cold!”

“It’s a bridge! Nothing more.”

“It’s a bridge.”

“It’s just an old bridge.”

“Overgrown area.”

Franconia Sculpture Park

Franconia Sculpture Park Carlos Gonzalez / Star Tribune

Franconia Sculpture Park 
Average Google Rating: 4.7

We never considered that a super-cool outdoor art park needed an exit sign?

“Some of the sculptures were not appropriate for kids. They need to remember that families come here and don’t want their kid climbing on a giant male organ.”

“It was a bit disappointing. Sculptures not very imaginative. Worst was no exit signs and unfriendly employees.”

Minnesota State Fair
Average Google Rating: 4.7

Ah yes, perhaps the most beloved Minnesota institution of them all. Who would even dare talk shit about the Great Minnesota Get Together? Google reviewers, they would dare.

“Been going my whole life, but the crowds have gotten absurd. It’s about how much money can we make. Great Minnesota Get Together? More like Great Minnesotan Infestation. Done.”

“They removed Pokémon Go. Not worth the drive anymore.”

“We were told by multiple people to get out of the way and how dare you bring a wagon to the fair type attitude.”

“Never going back again. How can I give this place and the experience zero stars? How about negative stars? I have more fond memories of funerals than I do of the Minnesota State Fair. I cannot understand how so many people think that surrounding themselves with armpits is the highlight of the summer.”

“Why does the State Fair have record attendance every year and the prices keep going up on everything?”

“It’s a soul-sucking, deep-fried zoo. But the rest of my family loves it dearly.”

Mary Tyler Moore Statue
Average Google Rating: 4.5

When you go to Philadelphia, you gotta run up a whole fuckload of museum steps. When you hit New York, you have to wait in line for hours no matter what you do. But if you visit Minnesota, just get a photo of yourself throwing your hat in the air on Nicollet Mall and you’ve done your touristly duty. Still, there are a few Google reviewers who prove that love isn’t all around.

“Couldn’t find it. Was not where the map said it should be.”

“Creepy place... creepy people. MSP is... well... kinda creepy.”

“Why is this here?”

“It’s a statue. It’s cold and rainy.”

Minnehaha Falls
Average Google Rating: 4.8

With its splendrous 53-foot waterfall and surrounding limestone bluffs, Minnehaha Park feels magically removed from the city, like you clicked your Tevas three times and were whisked away. Unless, of course, you find waterfalls “freaky” and someone gives you work to do while you’re there.

“Went here on a school field trip. The 14-page assignment that came with it ruined the whole place.”

“There was zero parking. I never got to even see the falls. I recommend not to go on the weekend.”

“This is very boring and should be burnt down, and no, I’m not an arsonist. All you can do is stand around and look at a freaky trickle of water falling through the air! I would give this a rating of negative 1,000,000 stars.”

The Weisman Art Museum

The Weisman Art Museum Jerry Holt / Star Tribune

Weisman Art Museum
Average Google Rating: 4.6

There’s an inevitable letdown here, right? The stunning, Frank Gehry-designed exterior of the Weisman is a gem known and admired by architecture fans the world over. Inside, the University of Minnesota’s museum focuses largely on modern or timely exhibits, and employs (gasp!) U students to staff the place, a feature not lost on some reviewers.

“The building itself is a work of art but there are not as many exhibits as there are in other museums.”

“I am not an art lover so it really didn’t hold my interest.”

“Laughable what some people call art! I would have been angry if it cost [money] to get in.”

“They were almost funny how they kept out us ruffians until the exact minute they opened. The collection was interesting. They had staff (student workers?) chatting about inane things while we were going through which was a bit distracting. Biggest disappointment was the huge billboard that shimmers with any air movement, but there’s no fan to do that. And there’s a sign not to blow on it, which I honestly didn’t see until after I did just that.”

“The building is beautiful and the art was nice. If I were that type of person I’m sure I would have loved it.”

Lake Harriet 
Average Google Rating: 4.3

Did you know there’s a conspiracy that a big ol’ plane lives at the bottom of the lake? Lots and lots and lots of disappointed critics did.

“Am I just blind or is the plane not there?”

“Where is the plane!!!!”

“Where is the plane at?”

“There are sailboats everywhere!”

Bell Museum

Bell Museum Anthony Souffle

Bell Museum
Average Google Rating: 4.3

After fighting in the Legislature for well over a decade, and through two vetoes by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the University of Minnesota finally got state backing of a $64 million rebuild for its natural history museum. Reopened in 2018, the Bell’s the sort of place local kids will grow up going to for field trips or afterschool programs. Adults, meanwhile, can content themselves with reliving their childhood while complaining online.

“The museum was boring and poorly labeled. The interactive exhibits didn’t work well and the rest of the exhibits are pretty to look at for a bit, but super stale. The staff was mostly unhelpful and standoffish. The location is horrible (in the middle of farm fields) and the parking was an expensive trap.”

“Not worth the price of admission at all. There are much better museums in Minnesota and across the world that deliver more solid science and fun while still costing less for admission. The dioramas were all stuffed animals that don’t move and the planetarium was quite boring. The planetarium presenter seemed to kind of hate his job and was rude to people asking questions.”

“Nice slick new building built with a lot of tax money, and then the $12 adult admission charges are high. On top of that you’ll get charged $5 just to park in the lot which has plenty of space. I don’t like being nickel and dimed, especially not by an institution like the U of M which has plenty of money already and still received millions in tax money to build this place. And the reason they needed to build this place? Well they just decided to demolish the old one to make room for something else on their Minneapolis campus, something they didn’t even need to do.”

“The planetarium was a letdown. The seats are positioned far too close to the front of the dome, making the whole top half of it unviewable unless you try to crank your neck backwards. The graphical presentation was very dated and in our viewing had several major visual glitches that they blamed on ‘Windows 10.’”

“They have a cool variety of nature and planets. But a lot of the things weren’t labeled so we had to question some of the animals.”

Green Giant Statue Park
Average Google Rating: 4.5

Not everyone is so jolly about this big green guy!

“It’s OK but nothing great.

“Fine piece of Americana. Just don’t go too far out of your way.”

“A giant statue of a green dude. Cute. Tourist trap.”

“Everything about this place is [poop emoji]. If you are going east through MN, skip over this whole town. Worse place next to Hell.”

Matt’s Bar
Average Google review: 4.6 stars

Who could possibly savage south Minneapolis’s iconic dive bar? At least a handful of jucy lucy haters, apparently. The most common gripe? The lengthy wait to score a table, something President Obama likely did not endure when he slipped into a booth in 2014. Others took issue with...

“NO ICE! Really?!?!?! Probably tastes awesome if you’re drunk or high. Probably will not be back. Really? No Ice? Two burgers, one fry and two cans of soda $24, but we can’t have ice?!?!?! GHETTO!”

“Horrible! $1.75 for a CAN of soda. Average fries.”

“The Jucy Lucy was tasty but I’m a Wisco gal and I like cheese and thought it would have been cheesier by the looks from the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, but to each his own.”

“I don’t know. I never been to Matt’s Bar.”