Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Race

City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

Once upon a time, Uptown was great for people-watching — punks, mods, hippies, all the once-counterculture groups converging in one space. Today the area has been thoroughly yuppified, but that doesn't mean the people-watching is gone. Every year during the first weekend of February, thousands of Subaru-driving yuppies converge in Theodore Wirth, Uptown, and on the trails in between for a celebration of Minnesota winter: the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival. There's plenty of fluffy stuff to be enjoyed: a snow sculpture contest, Swedish lawn games, noncompetitive ski events for kids and adults alike, and a nighttime ski around Lake of the Isles, lit by thousands of ice luminaries. But that's kid stuff. Many participants see to it that fellow revelers eat their snowdust in a series of ice bike races, dog-skiing, a 25K classic/diagonal stride race, and a 33K freestyle race. So grab a beer and a seat with a view, lazy people-watchers, and look on as Uptown for one weekend turns into a slightly less chichi Aspen.

Best Weekend Getaway The Jeffers Petroglyphs

Best College Athlete Trevor Mbakwe

Best Park Fort Snelling State Park

Best Bike Trail West River Parkway

Best Bike Ride Freedom From Pants Ride

Best Bike Shop Penn Cycle

Best Public Golf Course Rush Creek Golf Club

Best Hike Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Best Run The Downtown YMCA track

Best Road Race (Running) Get Lucky 7K and Half Marathon

Best Day Trip Winona

Best Sledding Powderhorn Park

Best Ice Skating Wells Fargo WinterSkate

Best Picnic Spot Minnehaha Falls

Best Dog Park Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

Best Apple Orchard Apple Jack Orchards

Best Gym YWCA of Minneapolis

Best Personal Training Studio APEX Personal Training

Best Outdoors Store Vertical Endeavors

Best Twins Player Joe Mauer

Best Vikings Player Adrian Peterson

Best Timberwolves Player Ricky Rubio

Best Lynx Player Seimone Augustus

Best Wild Player Zach Parise

Best Coach Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings