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BEST PICNIC SPOT Minneapolis 2002 - Noerenberg Garden

Edward Hopper once said, "I hated to draw people gesturing and grimacing. What I wanted to do was paint sunlight on the side of a house." In that quote, the modernist painter perfectly captured the art of picnicking: When you finally lay your wine, cheese, and baguette down upon your blanket, you want to do so in a place where you're not concentrating on gabbing to strangers or gobbling up crumbs. Picnics aren't about eating, anyway--you can do that at McDonald's. If you're going to risk ants and itchy grasses, though, you want an outdoor setting that's designed to convert natural light into endorphins. And what better place to observe the sun than at the open-air Asian boathouse in Noerenberg Garden, where you can lie back, take in Lake Minnetonka, and dangle your legs over the water. Surrounding flowers (hollyhocks, Russian sage, artemisia) make the already-clean air even sweeter. And the boathouse is close enough to the parking lot to ensure that you won't starve before it's time to dig into your basket, but far enough away that you won't hear drivers honking from the nearby road. In fact, Noerenberg's serene setting is enough to make you want to picnic all by yourself

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