BEST BEACH Minneapolis 2002 - Hidden Beach
Known as Minneapolis's beach of ill repute, Hidden Beach is a bohemian haven in the city's otherwise yuppie lake land. To find it, you go to where South Upton dead-ends, and find the entrance to a dirt path, which is near a port-a-potty. Then you wind down a trail through the woods, running counter-current to those swimmers who have finished for the day: two twentysomething women with dripping, defeated mohawks, holding hands with their tattooed beaus; mothers in tie-dyed shirts, fussing over little girls and their pink inner tubes. The faint sound of an acoustic guitar is getting louder; the smell of clove cigarettes is getting stronger. The trees give way to Cedar Lake and its beach, peopled on hot summer days with good vibrations, and maybe a seedy character or two. As you pause to fully inflate your neon-green air mattress, a man with long black dreadlocks smiles and says, "I like your float." And so do you, as you splash and drift toward the middle of the lake, where you allow yourself to be drugged by the changing cloud shapes above.