Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Lake

Lake Harriet

When Minneapolis was creating its first parks in the 1880s, one of its earliest acquisitions was the land around Lake Harriet, which was already prized as the finest jewel in the city's lovely tiara of lakes. Today Lake Harriet is still the best Twin Cities lake, primarily because it offers the greatest sense of seclusion from modern life. The lush canopy of trees that lines the lake path seems to wall off the city's traffic and commerce, leaving lakegoers in their own world of relaxation and recreation. The second-largest lake in the chain, it has something for everyone: nearly three miles of walking or biking around the shore, fishing, sailing, two beaches, and Lyndale Park on the northern shore, with its bird sanctuary, peace garden, and a rose garden dating back to 1908 that is said to be the second-oldest public rose garden in the U.S. The working streetcar, hand-pumped water wells, and lovely gingerbread bandshell for concerts in summer lend an old-fashioned romance unmatched by other lakes. On a warm summer day, with a light breeze blowing across the water, there is no finer place to be in the Twin Cities.

Best Lake (2014) Lake Harriet

Best People-Watching (2013) The Chain of Lakes

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests (2009) Lake Harriet

BEST BEACH (2006) Lake Harriet

BEST PLACE TO MAKE OUT (2010) Middle of frozen Lake Harriet

BEST BIKE TRAIL (2010) Lake Harriet, Minneapolis

Best Bathroom Graffiti Women's lower-level bathroom, Turf Club

Best Billboard MIA's graffiti-bombed Titian

Best Bridge Franklin Avenue Bridge

Best Bus Route The 3A

Best Celebrity Letdown Prince almost joins Gayngs at First Avenue

Best Celebrity Sighting Lady Gaga at the Turf Club

Best Cemetery Oakland Cemetery

Best Charity Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Best Corner University Avenue and 13th Avenue Northeast

Best Festival Ten Second Film Fest

Best Fight The dog park controversy at MLK Park

Best Free Activity Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Best Graffiti Oh, the Manatee!

Best Hipster Hangout Turf Club

Best Local Blog The Adventures of Johnny Northside

Best Local Boy Made Good Vincent Kartheiser

Best Local Girl Made Good Aditi Kapil

Best Local Website MNBeer

Best Mayor R.T. Rybak

Best Neighborhood Lyn-Lake

Best New Hipster Hangout Hell's Kitchen

Best Old Building The Pioneer Building

Best Park Mears Park

Best Place for a First Date Lawn bowling at Brit's Pub

Best Place to Break Up McDonald's parking lot

Best Place to Get Lost Crosby Farm Park

Best Place to Make Out Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Best Place to People-Watch The Brass Rail

Best Place to Take Out-Of-Town Guests Nye's Polonaise Room

Best Place to Waste an Afternoon Minnehaha Park

Best Politician Amy Klobuchar

Best Scandal The Trevor Cook Affair

Best Sightseeing Indian Mounds Park

Best Sign of Spring Sunken pickup trucks

Best State Fair Food Cheese curds

Best Street Nicollet Avenue South

Best Suburb Eden Prairie

Best Tweeter @NickColeman

Best Undiscovered Neighborhood Victory Neighborhood, Minneapolis

Best View Prohibition at the Foshay

Best Villain Steve Drazkowski