Best Place to Waste an Afternoon - 2011
With nearly 200 acres of colossal oak, elm, maple, and cottonwood trees to hide you, Minnehaha Park is the best way to waste time on a sunny afternoon. Overlooking the Mississippi River near Hiawatha Avenue and Minnehaha Parkway, it is one of Minneapolis's oldest and most popular parks, attracting 850,000 visitors a year. But the only place you're likely to feel the crush of a crowd is waiting in line for fish tacos at the Sea Salt Eatery, which serves some of the freshest seafood in town from April to October. The rest of the park has plenty of room to move about, whether you want to admire the park's sculptures, take in the views of the 53-foot waterfall pouring into Minnehaha Creek and the immense limestone bluffs, or do something a little more active like walking the trails, dipping in the wading pool, throwing some disk golf, or chasing your pup at the off-leash dog park. For history buffs, the park is also home to the Longfellow House (built by eccentric Minneapolis businessman Robert "Fish" Jones, who maintained a quirky zoo on the grounds), the circa-1849 Stevens House (the first wood-frame home built west of the Mississippi), and the historic "Princess" Depot.