Best of the Twin Cities 2020: City Life

Lolli Morlock

Lolli Morlock


Look, some of the activities recommended below are an even better idea in 2020 than other years. The ones about getting away from people, out into nature, maybe on a bike or a pair of ice skates? Those hold up fine.

Some of the more hands-on activities -- things like salons, tattoos, retail shopping, nightclubs -- are only just making their weird, nervous, conditional returns to city life. If you must? Mask up.

Still others are probably only ever going to be our choice in a pandemic, the kind of year we learned to embrace keeping our distance, tip strippers from home, eating takeout, and spending any spare $5 on the businesses and people who need it more than we do. 

Click here to browse our entire Best Of issue

Best Place to Buy Jewelry: Instagram

Best Thrift Store: St. Vincent De Paul

Best Place to Buy Makeup: Sigma Beauty

Best Tattoo Parlor: Northeast Tattoo

Best Mechanic: Good Carma

Best Place to Buy Vinyl: SolSta Records

Best Green Business: Mighty Axe Hops

Best Day Trip: LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Best Strip Mall: Hub Shopping Center

Best Mall: Rosedale Center

Best Vintage Shop: Arlee Park

Best Festival: Monarch Festival

Best Free Event/Activity: Twin Cities Book Festival

Best Place to Buy a Gift: Victory Vintage

Best Pet Store: Twin Cities Reptiles

Best Salon/Spa: Haus Salon

Best Haircut: Cocoon Salon

Best Place to Buy Furniture: Southside Vintage

Best Clothing Store for Women: Mille

Best Clothing Store for Men: Target

Best Lingerie Store: Nordstrom

Best Boutique: Parc

Best Mini Golf: Centennial Lakes Park

Best Bowling Alley: Elsie’s

Best Place to Shoot Pool: Al’s Billiards

Best Casino: Treasure Island

Best Gaming Shop: Source Comics & Games

Best Head Shop: Lickety Split

Best Adult Store: Venus Unveiled

Best Toy Store: Brickmania

Best Place to do Yoga: Modo Yoga

Best Gym: Phillips Community Center

Best Dog Park: Airport Dog Park

Best Public Park: Marshall Terrace Park

Best Beach: Lake Nokomis Main Beach

Best Place to Ice Skate: Loring Park

Best Bike Ride: The Gateway State Trail 

Best View: Mendota Bridge

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests: Any bike path in town

Best Outdoor Store: Repair Lair

Best Garden Center: Tonkadale Greenhouse

Best New Building: Minnehaha Academy

Best Hotel: Celeste

Best Pool: Edina Aquatic Center

Best Place to Walk at Night: Cub Foods

Best Place to Take Your Most Boring Friend: Hunt & Gather

Best Place to Take a Tinder Date: Science Museum of Minnesota

Best Nonprofit: Mizna

Best Entrepreneur: Alex West Steinman

Best Way to Spend $5: Flirt Boutique/Sarah’s

Best Way to Score a Date: Speed dating/singles’ meetups at any Con

Best Gay Bar: Black Hart of Saint Paul

Best LGBTQ Event: Gay Monday at Up-Down

Best Strip Club: King of Diamonds

Best Dance Club: The Loring

Best Place to Be Drunk: On the berm at a Saints game

Best Place to Show Up Stoned: A bad movie at Lagoon

Best Place to Run: Downtown Minneapolis

Best Place to Make Out: Third Precinct ruins

Best Place to See and Be Seen: In line for takeout