Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Picnic Spot

Boom Island Park

There's no more idyllic spot to plant your picnic basket and bottle of wine than the shaded bluff where Boom Island nearly kisses its neighbor, Nicollet Island. There are two ways to get there. For the more adventurous route, follow East Island Avenue toward the island's northern edge and park. You'll see stairs leading down to a bridge connecting Nicollet and Boom islands. Walk across and follow the path toward the left, and you'll come to a lovely, hidden spot overlooking the Mississippi. Alternatively, park on Main Street near Fifth Avenue Northeast and walk down to Boom Island (it's not really an island) to reach the same hidden gem. In the spring and summer's heat, this location is surprisingly deserted—except for a few tourists who might zip by on Segways.

Best Picnic Spot (2015) Boom Island Park

Best Beach Hidden Beach

Best Bike Trail Grands Rounds, along the Mississippi River

Best Bowling Alley Bryant-Lake Bowl

Best Boxer Jason Litzau

Best Coach Ron Gardenhire

Best College Athlete Emily Palkert, Concordia University

Best Day Trip Drive around Lake Pepin

Best Golfer Troy Merritt

Best Hike Interstate State Park

Best Ice Skating Lake of the Isles

Best Lynx Player Rebekkah Brunson

Best Outdoors Store Gear West

Best Place to Run Mississippi River Road

Best Place to Shoot Pool Grumpy's Bar

Best Place to Walk a Dog Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park

Best Public Golf Course Chaska Town Course

Best Sledding Kenwood Park

Best Swarm Player Ryan Benesch

Best Timberwolves Player Kevin Love

Best Trail Running Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Best Twins Player Joe Mauer

Best Urban Hike Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

Best Vikings Player Adrian Peterson

Best Weekend Getaway North Shore

Best Wild Player Martin Havlat

Best Winter Escape Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como

Best Winter Resort Lutsen Lodge

Best Winter Sport You've Never Tried Skijoring