Lake Nokomis will never be as hip as its western neighbors in the Chain of Lakes — fortunately. With the addition of the seasonal restaurant Sandcastle in 2013 (it opens April 17 this year), Nokomis reached a level of just-cool-enough that suits it and its neighborhood perfectly: It's still family-friendly but not too boring for young single people. Summertime relaxation and recreation are easy to come by here. There are two beaches, multiple fishing docks, plenty of athletic fields, picnic shelters, playgrounds, wetlands and native plant gardens, and sailboat races on weekends. Bikes, canoes, and paddleboats are available to rent. Even during the offseason this lake draws plenty of visitors: It hosts the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in January, and in September, its Monarch Festival celebrates the butterfly's migration route to Mexico with a fun event featuring great Mexican food and cultural entertainment.