Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Outdoors Store

Gear West

Let's admit it: Except for about four months of the year, Minnesota is all about winter. And as the largest retailer of cross-country ski gear in North America, Gear West specializes in equipping you to thrive in our longest season. Jan Guenther, the shop's owner, is one of the best athletes in the region and regularly wins cross-country events in her age group. She's made a special effort to sponsor ski events geared toward women, and she teaches free classes on ski wax technique. Gear West is packed with clothing designed to ward off frostbite, and the salespeople all ski and know what they're talking about. Not into skiing? The shop has a huge area dedicated to biking, and it also outfits for running and soccer.

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 Picnic Spot Boom Island Park

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