Best Park - 2012
Acknowledged: The Twin Cities area is full of awesome parks. A resident could point to one of any number of beautiful outdoor public spaces and make an argument that it's our best park. But how many of those parks have a year-round indoor conservatory that gives visitors a taste of the tropics during the dead of winter? How many have both a peaceful Japanese garden and several athletic fields? How many have an 18-hole golf course and mini golf, not to mention an amusement park? How many have a zoo? And starting this summer we can add: How many have a swimming complex featuring lap and splash pools, a lazy river, a zip line, and water slides? Como offers all that, plus a lake (with paddleboat rentals available), a historic carousel, scenic picnic areas, a pavilion where concerts are held, and an endless stream of activities and new stuff to check out, including kids' day camps, changing zoo and garden exhibits, and tours and classes for all ages. The park's 384 acres offer plenty of room to just sprawl out and relax, too. If ever you're put under some kind of spell and forced to choose just one park to visit for the rest of your life, make it this one.