Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Paying Respects to Prince at Paisley Park

Prince is a musical icon known around the world. Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate and production complex is located in a suburb of Minneapolis, and Prince had a special impact on the area that we call home. I’ve always enjoyed Prince’s creations; sure, I may not be a die-hard fan like so many of you out there, but I certainly have fond memories of all things Prince related. When the news broke of Prince’s passing, it was a complete shock to fans everywhere. The streets of Minneapolis were closed for an all-night dance party, and for days on end, everything was filled with purple—purple clothing, purple signs, purple flowers, purple, purple, purple. We went downtown Minneapolis and passed Purple Rain playing on the big screen outside of the Twins Stadium. We saw the Prince star outside of First Avenue with so many fan memorials placed in front of it that they had to close off part of the street. And we made our way to see our friend’s band play a Prince tribute show across from First Avenue. While it was a sad and sobering experience, it was wonderful to see so many fans come together in remembrance of a person who gave the world so much joy.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

I had been wanting to visit Paisley Park, but for one reason or another had yet to make the trip out there. So, I was really looking forward to visiting when I noticed Paisley Park on our itinerary during my trip with Marriott this summer. The morning of the tour, our group boarded a bus and made our way out to Chanhassen, where Paisley Park is located.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Photo Credit: Paisley Park/NPG Records

Before touring the inside of the estate, we walked around to the front to observe the fan memorials and tributes left at the fence of the property. At one point, the tributes ran the entire length of the block, but many had to be taken down as they were a disruption to traffic passing by. There are still plenty of tributes along the fence, but the ones that had to be removed were saved by Paisley Park and some are now on display inside the estate. They tried to save every piece that they could and hope to make an exhibit out of them at some point in the future.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

One of the most amazing tributes was a painting located in the passageway under the road. It’s a portrait of Prince that was created out of a bunch of little Prince symbols.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Once we made our way inside Paisley Park, we had to check in for our tour. Photos are not allowed inside the estate, so we had to turn in our cameras and put our phones inside of a locked pouch.

Our tour started in the atrium and we learned about all of the symbolism Price instilled throughout the property. One thing that I didn’t realize about Paisley Park was that it was so much more than just a house. In addition to being a private estate, it was an entire production complex, as well. Plus, Paisley Park is huge—the complex is 65,000 square feet and it allowed Prince the ability to create any type of creative work that he desired. Some examples are music recordings, artwork, full-length movies, music videos, and even clothing production.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Photo Credit: Paisley Park/NPG Records

Prince created many of his own albums and movies at the estate, and in addition to that, many other artists recorded there, as well. Some of the other artists that have created songs and albums in these studios are Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Aretha Franklin. Over the years, Prince had opened up his estate to the public many times for live entertainment, and I can’t even imagine how neat it would have been to have visited then.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Photo Credit: Paisley Park/NPG Records

During the tour, we made our way through the atrium, Prince’s office, recording studios, rooms with memorabilia from his life and movies, a sound stage and a live event space. We saw motorcycles, music instruments, awards, music and video recordings, costumes and so much more. Prince had envisioned that one day Paisley Park would be open to the public for tours and over the years he had made plans on how he would like to do just that. It was interesting to see some of these plans come into motion just as Prince was planning.

Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Photo Credit: Paisley Park/NPG Records

The inside of the estate was eclectic, funky and fascinating. It’s no surprise that every element of the property was designed with a creative mind, and it definitely shows. At the end of the tour, you will be led into a gift shop and café. It is here that you will get your phone unlocked, and you can purchase Prince related merchandise in the gift shop. The café features a menu consisting of some of Prince’s favorite meals, and his private chefs will be the ones to cook for you. The menu tells a Prince story with each item and it was fun to learn a bit more about the artist through his favorite foods.

There are a few different tour options that you can take at Paisley Park. We went on the general admission tour, but you can also visit through a VIP Tour, the “Ultimate Experience”, or Paisley Park after dark. Each tour offers something a little different and they all sound like great ways to see this iconic destination.

In Prince’s words, “Paisley Park is pretty much representative of everything I am musically”, and it shows. From the funky designs to the beautiful symbolism, Paisley Park is a special place, and I have to say I left even more of a fan than I was going in.

Special thanks to the Marriott and Paisley Park for hosting me on this tour. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Paisley Park, Prince Memorial, Chanhassen, Minnesota

Paying Respects to Prince at Paisley Park
  • Les Petits Pas de Juls
    Posted at 18:23h, 30 September Reply

    Not a huge fan of Prince either here but good music doesn’t need excuses.
    Paisley Park sure sounds and looks fantastic and if you went out a little bit more of a fan than you entered, they succeeded their very purpose.
    Thanks for the tour!
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  • Victoria
    Posted at 20:09h, 30 September Reply

    This is so amazing! The prince mural under the bridge was awesome and inspiring! If I am ever in MN I could definitely visit this memorial site!

  • Sreekar
    Posted at 02:59h, 01 October Reply

    Not exactly the biggest fan of Prince, but boy does he have a fan following! Not in the least evidenced here! Loved the colours that kinds represent Prince and his life!

  • Vishal Vashisht
    Posted at 12:37h, 01 October Reply

    Oh wow. Such a nice place to visit. When I started reading I thought Paisley Park is a park, but then realized it is much more than a park. I still remember my college days when Prince was really popular amongst youngsters in Delhi. I think any and all Prince fans should visit Paisley Park once in their lifetime, especially when they are in the area.

  • Anna Johnston
    Posted at 16:58h, 01 October Reply

    I was never a real fan of Prince, but I knew he had such an impact of the world, so it was fun to read more about what Prince did. He had an amazing style about him (even if you don’t really love it, you have to honor the style huh). Whenever I think of Prince, which isn’t really much, I always think of purple…. his fans obviously do too.

  • Candiss
    Posted at 22:05h, 02 October Reply

    What a fantastic place to get to visit. I love that they are planning on creating an exhibit with the fan’s tributes to him. That is such a special and unique thing on top of everything else.

  • Paige
    Posted at 01:52h, 03 October Reply

    What a unique estate. I’d love to visit Paisley Park sometime myself. I really love that they collected as many of the memorials as possible to make an exhibit. That’s a really unique idea and I’m sure it will be amazing-looking!

  • Eve Kay
    Posted at 21:46h, 03 October Reply

    I was just a kid in Prince’s heyday but I remembered thinking that his music was “wow!” when I first listened to it. Although I dare not proclaim myself as a huge fan, I really liked him and admire his work, style and talent. So sad about all these 80s rock legends passing (Tom Petty as I typed this comment). But I had no idea his base was in Minneapolis. Definitely need to visit Paisley Park when in the area.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:52h, 13 October Reply

      Yeah I would have to say that’s similar to my experience too–compared to so many others I feel like I can’t call myself a die hard fan, but I really do enjoy his work! And I know–so sad about all the legends passing lately 🙁
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  • Julie
    Posted at 22:28h, 03 October Reply

    What a lovely tribute to a great musician. Your photos are beautiful.

  • Megan Jerrard
    Posted at 23:25h, 03 October Reply

    What amazing tributes to such a music legend and icon of our times. Paisley Park sure does sound huge, I wonder why they don’t allow photos inside? It’s fantastic that they’ve kept the estate as a memorial and museum to his work, and who he was musically.

  • Jennifer Melroy
    Posted at 20:27h, 04 October Reply

    I like how they saved many of the memorials. I love seeing all the creative ways people honored this cultural icon. I love the street art portrait of him (I assume its on the roof of a tunnel somewhere).
    Jennifer Melroy recently posted…Seven Spectacular Reasons to Visit Alaska in SeptemberMy Profile

  • Jennifer Kohl
    Posted at 23:02h, 24 September Reply

    Prince Rogers Nelson was and is a huge part of my life. I LOVE his musical genius and the controversial topics that I never had the guts to be. I have never been to the Paisley Park, although it would be a dream come true. From the late 80’s until present day, his music will continue to inspire me as well as be a comfort to me in tough times. Maybe one day I’ll get to go on a tour of Paisley Park.

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