Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Sign of Spring

Nice Ride returns

Nice Ride shut down rentals of its communal bikes on November 4 this winter season. As crews moved from block to block to haul away the docking stations, they signaled more than the end of easy access to cheap, convenient, eco-friendly transportation for novice bikers, visitors, or bike owners with a ride on the side. No, they foreshadowed something more ominous: the end of outdoor activity. For the next four months, the only travelers in our Cities' hard-won and well-loved biked lanes were the die-hard, goggle-wearing type (or the wayward car), as the rest of us looked out on gray perma-snowbanks where the Nice Ride stations had been. By April, though, those snowbanks started to melt. And as they did, joggers, bikers, and unicyclers began appearing on our streets and trails again, along with flashes of green: tree leaves, flower sprouts, and the distinctive bright lime of the Nice Rides, back for their fourth season.

Best Neighborhood Longfellow

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests The Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater

Best Tourist Attraction Walnut Grove

Best Historical Site Split Rock Lighthouse

Best Cemetery Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

Best State Fair Food Classic Walleye Roll at Giggles Campfire Grill

Best Festival Northern Spark

Best Trans-Friendly Event Cirque Du So Gay Bike Ride

Best Place to Do Something for Free Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best Planetarium ExploraDome (Bell Museum)

Best Charity GiveMN

Best Undiscovered Neighborhood Keewaydin

Best Make-Out Spot Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best First-Date Spot A midnight movie at the Uptown Theatre

Best Breakup Spot The corner of Franklin and Hennepin avenues

Best Place to Run into Your Ex The Depot Tavern

Best Place to See a Fistfight Cowboy Jack's

Best Website Minnesota Historical Society

Best Blog Bluestem Prairie

Best Facebook Page Old Minneapolis

Best Hipster Neighborhood North Loop

Best Tweeter David Brauer

Best Politician Branden Petersen

Best Mayor Minneapolis's mayoral wannabees

Best Unlikely Activist Chris Kluwe

Best Local Girl Made Good Cheryl Strayed

Best Local Boy Made Good Denis McDonough

Best Scandal DRE Drug Scandal

Best Boondoggle St. Paul Crime Lab

Best Villain Archbishop John Nienstedt

Best Corner 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue

Best Street Nicollet Avenue

Best Lake Powderhorn Lake

Best View Indian Mounds Park

Best People-Watching The Chain of Lakes

Best Bus Route Route 16

Best Viral Video "Hot Cheetos and Takis"