Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Hike

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Hiking at its best isn't just about exercise and fresh air, it's also about escape — the feeling that you've left the city behind and have immersed yourself in the natural world. True escape is hard to come by in the Twin Cities metro, but no place comes closer than Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. The park is huge: almost 2,000 acres, with 14 miles of heavily wooded trails wending around more than a dozen placid lakes and ponds. It's big enough to allow a genuine sense of isolation and wildness, and you could spend most of a day exploring the park without seeing it all. We recommend starting from the Holland Lake Trailhead on Cliff Road (less crowded than the Visitor Center Trailhead farther east) and making the loop to the charming footbridge at Bridge Pond, then to Portage Lake, and back. Lebanon Hills is just 20 minutes from either downtown, making it not just the best but the quickest escape in the Twin Cities.

BEST PUBLIC PARK (2008) Lebanon Hills Regional Park

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 Run The Downtown YMCA track

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

Best Race City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

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