On the weekends, bicyclists travel along tree-lined Smith Avenue in the West Side, stopping to take in the panoramic views of downtown and the Mississippi River. Smith Avenue, a residential street with Craftsman and Victorian homes, also supports a variety of small businesses, from espresso cafes to antique stores, restaurants and grocery stores. The West Side is also home to the city’s active Latino community. District del Sol is packed with Hispanic restaurants and stores. Boca Chica and El Burrito Mercado are popular destinations along Cesar Chavez Boulevard. Residents flock to summer music and movies in Castillo Park.
The annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is must-do activity for residents across the Twin Cities. Harriet Island, a former island in the Mississippi River now connected to the neighborhood, hosts other festivals including Irish Fair of Minnesota and Festa Italiana. In addition to District del Sol, the West End encompasses West Side Flats, Cherokee Heights/Riverview and The Bluffs. Bordered on three sides by the Mississippi River, this historic, eclectic neighborhood has public, private and specialty schools, as well as numerous parks and recreational centers that enhance the area’s vibrancy.