Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Picnic Spot

Hidden Falls Regional Park

"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou," a poet once said. That'll work in a pinch, but it doesn't make for a great picnic. When you're considering the best place for an open-air lunch in the Cities, you're also going to want scenic beauty, lots of open space, an absence of crowds, and plenty of amenities, whether tables and a grill for a cookout or a big lawn and shade for a blanket-and-basket affair. In the Twin Cities, no spot meets all of those conditions quite as well as Hidden Falls, nestled along a crook of the Mississippi River in St. Paul. The park is nearly as old as the city of St. Paul, dating back to 1887. Sheltered by the surrounding bluffs, the riverside park is gorgeously picturesque. The area is carved into two parts. The park's north entrance features plenty of tables, many with grills and a dozen covered by roofs for big groups or in case of bad weather. At least a few tables are in prime river's-edge locales. The south entrance is mostly a wide-open lawn and trees, perfect for a blanket and a game of Frisbee. Hidden Falls also has horseshoe pits, two fire rings, and a lovely shaded hiking path through bottomland woods. So besides the food, the only thing you'll need to bring is the thou.

BEST PICNIC SPOT (2008) Hidden Falls Regional Park

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