Address: 701 North 1st Ave.
Coolest Feature: The stars located on the exterior, which bear the names of its most notable performers
Minneapolis residents and traveling music junkies know that First Avenue gets its name because it rests on the corner of First Avenue and 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis. The building was built in 1937, originally a Greyhound Bus Depot, and was appreciated because of its décor and (at the time) top notch amenities. In 1970, it became a nightclub, opening with by Joe Cocker and his band, Mad Dogs and Englishmen (insert "With a Little Help from My Friends" joke here). The venue would experience several more name and management changes before adopting the name "First Avenue" on New Year's Eve, 1981.
First Avenue got its biggest boost during the '80s thanks to the Purple One himself, Prince. Aside from using First Avenue crowds as testing ground for new music, Prince also featured the club in Purple Rain. Some of the classic album was recorded here, and it was the primary setting for nearly the entire film. First Avenue closed briefly in 2004 due to financial issues but swiftly reopened. April 3, 2010 became First Avenue Day, commemorating the club's 40th anniversary, and solidifying First Avenue's place in pop culture history.