BEST PLACE TO HIKE (URBAN) - 2000
It took a visiting relative to point it out to us: You can walk the length of Lake Street, from the Mississippi River to Uptown, in just a little over an hour. Okay, there are times when it might get a bit lonely, but we're not talking midnight exercise. We're thinking Saturday-afternoon sightseeing-and-shopping odyssey. Start with the car-parts-and-vinyl enclaves at the east end; stop at El Norteño for some salsa (both the edible and musical varieties); proceed to the dollar-store bonanza at Hiawatha and Lake. Take a breather among the faded headstones at Old Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery and decide what to pick up for lunch at Mercado Central on Lake and Bloomington. (Tacos al pastor from La Hacienda? A Cuban torta from Manny's?) Forge on, fortified, toward Lake and Chicago, home to Roberts Shoes, the penny pincher's Nordstrom; the mini-barrio at Lake and Fourth; the big-box retail mecca between I-35W and Nicollet (Mufflers! Paper clips! Martha Stewart Everyday!); and finally, slowly, make your way toward bohemia. This summer your stroll will double as an art-gallery visit, as photographer Wing Young Huie displays images from Minneapolis's longest street on every surface he can find--storefronts, bus sides, even the massive flank of the Sears building.