Nokomis, southernmost of the Minneapolis lakes, is a happy medium between Hiawatha, which is too small to really lose one's sense of urbanity, and the larger bodies of Calhoun and Harriet, which draw too many people to their waters to allow any sense of peace. When the exhaust and cracked sidewalks of the city get too claustrophobic, Nokomis promises a place where a misanthrope can quietly meditate on the natural world. But not on the shore—far too many joggers, sunbathers, and screaming toddlers. Instead, the overworked city-dweller should slip his canoe in the water (or rent one at the beach) and paddle out to the middle, drop anchor, and lie in the belly of his vessel, gazing up at the clear blue sky. Just remember to turn off your cell phone.