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BEST BEACH Minneapolis 2001 - Hidden Beach

Readers' Choice: Calhoun Beach

As its name suggests, Hidden Beach offers a measure of seclusion rare for a city beach. Tucked in the woods on the east side of Cedar Lake, its sands are not even visible from the nearest roadway, Upton Avenue. There are no parking lots nearby. There are no roped-off swimming areas. And there are no lifeguards to enforce the dreaded "safety breaks" that swimmers must endure on the city's "official" beaches. It is, in short, gloriously unregulated, which is one reason it has long been considered Minneapolis's premier nude beach. But if Hidden Beach may be problematic for people unnerved by the sight of bared flesh, it's hardly the French Riviera. Nine times out of ten, the swimmers and sunbathers here meet a Disney standard for decency. On a hot summer day, the beach attracts an entertainingly diverse crowd--Hacky Sack-playing hippies, guitar-strumming wanderers, mudbath-taking burnouts, freaks, teens, stoners, geezers, Uptown pretenders, and plenty of regular folk.

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