BEST PICNIC SPOT - 2005
Minneapolis celebrates its lakes (the motto is "City of Lakes," after all), but the truth is those modest little puddles in ritzy southwest don't offer half the pleasures of the dirty old Mississippi River. In terms of fishing, boating, and the prospect of escape, the Miss has the lakes beat. And it also has better picnic grounds. Sure, you can always grab a table by the pavilion at Lake Harriet. You'll probably enjoy yourself, too, especially if you like the roar of the airplanes, enjoy breathing exhaust from the constant stream of cars looping the parkway, and want to check out the latest models in luxury baby strollers. Or you could grab your picnic basket and head for Minnehaha Park and actually enjoy yourself. The great virtue of picnicking at Minnehaha is choice. Feeling lazy? You can walk 50 feet from your car to a picnic table, mow down the chow, take a gander at the Falls, and motor back home. Feeling like throwing an outdoor party? You can reserve any of three picnic sites at Minnehaha Park, which come complete with rain shelters and pleasing riverfront vistas. Feeling adventurous? Then you can scramble down the gorge and locate more remote spots where you can inhale the grub. Given the generally lax police presence, you might even chug a brew.