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BEST BEACH Minneapolis 1998 -

Summer invariably finds hippies and punks rebelling without a cause at the murky, unauthorized "Hidden Beach" on pristine Cedar Lake. What they won't admit is that the best beach in Minneapolis is actually the legit one directly across Cedar in the northwestern corner. Cedar North sits way out on a forested point in the lake that everyone foolishly ignores. While the beach is deceptively easy to reach by bike or car from Uptown, Near North, and St. Louis Park, one of its greatest virtues is the bucolic absence of traffic noise. Once you're in the water, the depth drops off like a rock, and on any day you can overhear children shouting in two or three different languages. Date idea: Row a rented canoe from Lake Calhoun through Lake of the Isles and the hidden channel to Cedar, and picnic at the Chain of Lakes' best-kept secret. (Though not for long, we suppose.)

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