Sports & Recreation

  • Best Day Trip

    Interstate State Park

    As comfortable as life can be in the Twin Cities, we all occasionally need a getaway, a place that feels like a real escape from urban life but is close enough that we can get back for chores or work the next day. Interstate State Park, just outside of Taylors Falls, makes a spectacular day trip to a postcard-pretty basalt… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    The Wisconsin Dells

    Want to get away for a weird weekend? Set your sights southeast down I-94 and pull off the interstate at the Wisconsin Dells. As you look around you may ponder, "Why in the world is this tourist trap here? And how did it come to possess the world's largest collection of circus wagons?" Well, it all makes perfect sense, actually.… More >>
  • Best Twins Player

    Glen Perkins

    Let's face it: Between injury-plagued underperformance and a handful of integral players lost to free agency, last season's 99-loss Twins squad might appear a bit short of strong nominees for this category. But Glen Perkins wasn't the best player by default — he earned it by being the only sure thing in a nightmarish bullpen. Perk put up excellent numbers,… More >>
  • Best Vikings Player

    Jared Allen

    Thank god for Jared Allen. When the guy isn't writing cookbooks, he's the heart and soul of the Vikings defense. Much like Adrian Peterson was to the offense before going out with an injured knee, Allen was the one undeniable star on defense, a relentless competitor with a sixth sense for finding the ball. Of course, what old Rodeo really… More >>
  • Best Timberwolves Player

    Kevin Love

    Perhaps Kevin McHale wasn't quite the knucklehead exec many people thought he was. After all, McHale did engineer the 2008 post-draft trade that, at its core, sent O.J. Mayo to Memphis and Kevin Love to Minneapolis. In the four seasons since, Love has made himself into one of the NBA's top players and has become the Timberwolves' most identifiable baller… More >>
  • Best Wild Player

    Dany Heatley

    To describe the Minnesota Wild's season as "polar" isn't in reference to the temps outside the X on game nights. After going 20-7-3 in their first 30 games under first-year head coach Mike Yeo, the goal-starved Wild went 7-17-6 in their next 30 contests to play themselves out of Western Conference playoff contention. Not that Dany Heatley had much to… More >>
  • Best Lynx Player

    Seimone Augustus

    Seimone Augustus led the Minnesota Lynx to the 2011 WNBA championship and won the Finals MVP award in the three-game sweep. The former No. 1 draft pick more than lived up to the hype that has followed her since Sports Illustrated for Women asked, "Is She the Next Michael Jordan?" Augustus was only 14 years old at the time. Averaging… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Cheryl Reeve

    In a year when the Twins and Vikings were bottom feeders, the Timberwolves hovered around .500, and the various Gophers teams disappointed in fresh ways, the Lynx were the lone bright spot on the Twin Cities' sports landscape. The team didn't just make a massive season-over-season improvement, it dominated the WNBA with a 27-7 record and then a trio of… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    Caleb Truax

    For all the momentum gained by Minnesota boxing in the late 2000s, the onset of the millennium's second decade has given a swift uppercut to patrons of the sweet science. Following a stunning upset of Celestino Caballero in late 2010, St. Paul's Jason Litzau suffered a first-round loss in his ensuing bout to undefeated Adrien Broner. After running off nine… More >>
  • Best Golfer

    Tom Lehman

    The scorecard of time hasn't affected Tom Lehman's impact on the world of golf. In 2011, the Alexandria native and former Golden Gopher dominated the Champion's Tour trophy case with three wins, including a major victory at the Regions Tradition. Of the 21 Champion's Tour events Lehman played last year, he finished with 12 top-10s and 20 top-25s. In his… More >>
  • Best College Athlete

    Nick Bjugstad

    After four consecutive seasons of often substandard Minnesota stick work, the 91st year of Golden Gopher hockey found the maroon and gold back where they belong among the forefront of national powers. Aside from the stellar goaltending of Kent Patterson, the rebirth can be largely attributed to Blaine High grad and 2010 Minnesota's Mr. Hockey, Nick Bjugstad. Taken with the… More >>
  • Best Minnesota Twins Addition

    Corey Provus

    At the retirement of radio mainstay John Gordon, the Twins looked to Milwaukee for his replacement. Brewers fans can tell you that Corey Provus, who's been working play-by-play with Hall of Famer Bob Uecker since 2009, calls a clean, clear game. Provus bridges the gap between old-school broadcasting and the modern stat-head, able to keep the dedicated Twins fan up… More >>
  • Best Unofficial Twins Souvenir

    Andy Sturdevant's "Minneapolis-Based Baseball Team" scorecards

    Andy Sturdevant, the bearded, bespectacled man-about-town, bon vivant, host of the long-running and ever-popular Salon Saloon (among many other pursuits), is also the creator and proprietor of the finest baseball scorecard to be found. His "Minneapolis-based Baseball Team" scorecards feature dual portraits of Hubert H. Humphrey and Joe Mauer beneath Sturdevant's nod to the Twins: Romulus and Remus nursing from… More >>
  • Best Heckler

    Michael "Sammy" Samuelson

    A fixture at Twins and Gopher basketball games for over three decades, Michael "Sammy" Samuelson is diminutive, but his size belies his fireplug personality. Even more impressive, Samuelson lost an arm to cancer years ago and is fighting both a failing kidney and blood cancer, but that doesn't keep him from harassing opposing teams and underperforming local athletes with the… More >>
  • Best Sid Hartman Moment

    Joe Mauer's first press conference after 2011 return

    Each year there are so many mind-blowing Sid Hartman moments it's honestly hard to keep track, much less choose one. In the press box the Twin Cities dean of sportswriters might devour a stack of ice cream treats or cajole clubhouse attendants to give him free hats. He mumbles, complains, and writes in a style that suggests pure stream-of-consciousness. Wandering… More >>
  • Best Gym

    YWCA of Minneapolis

    It's hard to believe, but just over a century ago a major concern for women was finding a place to congregate outside the home, a safe spot to have lunch or even go to the bathroom. Women were supposed to exist in the private sphere, men in the public, thus the lack of woman-friendly facilities. When in 1890 the statewide… More >>
  • Best Personal Trainer

    Damien Rochon-Washington

    Among all the modern-day ways to shape our bodies, there is no shortage of technique, instruction, or method. But really, at the foundation of any perspiring temple is the preacher. Personality, patience, and persistence are what make a trainer successful, and no instructor exemplifies those attributes like Damien Rochon-Washington. A two-year gridiron starter and record-setting runner at Augsburg College, and… More >>
  • Best Yoga Studio

    Yoga Center of Minneapolis

    There's a point in all our lives when living like the rock stars we are finally catches up with us. Suddenly, going to work with a hangover isn't fun and games anymore, and all these strange new aches and pains start showing up. That's when yoga comes to the rescue, and we finally discover that it feels good to take… More >>
  • Best Race

    Big Gay Race

    The Big Gay Race was held in October in and around St. Anthony Main, a 5K event that brought together several thousand runners (and joggers and walkers) raising money and showing their support for Minnesotans United for All Families, a broad coalition formed to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota banning marriage for same-sex couples. It was a cool,… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Willingers Golf Club

    Playing golf in Northfield may sound as convenient as playing in Dubai, but in reality the town isn't all that far away. Nor is it north (at least from the Cities). Point the golf cart south and in about 40 miles from the state Capitol on I-35 you'll reach one of the state's true golfing gems. Gill Design has crafted… More >>
  • Best Hike

    Superior Hiking Trail

    The Superior Hiking Trail near Duluth is well worth the drive. Stretching a total of 275 miles, the footpath follows the ridgeline of Lake Superior across northeastern Minnesota from Duluth to Canada. It's been called one of the best hiking trails in the country by writers for BackPacker magazine and National Geographic, and there's no mystery as to why. The… More >>
  • Best Urban Hike

    Downtown St. Paul

    An outdoor walk does not have to take place in a nature preserve to be considered a hike. And in fact, one of our two downtown areas contains a key feature in its terrain that is not often found in the Twin Cities, even in park areas: major hills. It's not hard to get in a real workout on these… More >>
  • Best place to Run

    West River Parkway

    For runners looking to put in the miles, the Chain of Lakes is often the first place that comes to mind. Unfortunately, that can mean crowds, pets, and unruly bros playing beach volleyball. That's why the Mississippi Parkway is the real must-hit spot for runners, with scenic views, flat terrain, and snakes (not real reptiles, but iron ones embedded in… More >>
  • Best Bike Trail

    Minnehaha Trail

    When it comes to bike trails, the Twin Cities suffers from an embarrassment of riches. But for our money, the most beautiful stretch has to be the Minnehaha Trail, which runs from Minnehaha Park through Fort Snelling State Park. The trip begins at Minnehaha Falls — always a stunning sight in itself — and wends its way south, where the… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Penn Cycle & Fitness

    In a place as bike-crazy as the Twin Cities, it makes sense that the array of bike shops to be found is almost as diverse as the group of people doing the riding. Choosing the right shop can be as tricky as finding the perfect steed, an inexact science that requires the right mix of comfort, feel, and reliability. Penn… More >>
  • Best Park

    Como Park

    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… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Hidden Falls Regional Park

    "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou," a poet once said. That'll work in a pinch, but it doesn't make for a great picnic. When you're considering the best place for an open-air lunch in the Cities, you're also going to want scenic beauty, lots of open space, an absence of crowds, and plenty of amenities, whether… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Flaherty's Arden Bowl

    Somehow it seems that the best, most comfortable bowling alleys are the ones with a pronounced retro vibe. They don't have blaring music and specialty cocktails, they're family-friendly, and they're big enough that you can usually get a lane. Few alleys in the metro are as homespun as Flaherty's in Arden Hills. It's been around in one form or another… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch a Meteor Shower

    Wesley Park

    The Lyrids, Eta Aquarids, Perseids, Orionids, Leonids, and Geminids — keep an eye on the sky, and on a stargazing calendar, and you'll find plenty of opportunities to spy a good meteor shower, weather permitting. For best viewing, it's important you drive as far as possible from the glow of the city lights, but with most of these "dirty snowballs"… More >>
  • Best Pool Hall

    Shooters

    For reasons we will never understand, it can be far too difficult to find a decent pool table in the Twin Cities. The bars around town that do offer billiards are few and far between, and are often overcrowded, making it hard to comfortably hold onto a table. That's why we recommend taking the short trek to Shooters in Burnsville.… More >>
  • Best Ice Skating

    The Depot Rink

    Remember how things worked out for Rocky and Adrian? Balboa felled a slew of formidable fictional foes and ended up cast in real bronze outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And it all started with a simple glide around a rink. For $8 per adult ($7 more for skate rental), show your honey some backward crossover skills with a date… More >>
  • Best Sledding

    College Park

    In St. Paul's picturesque Saint Anthony Park neighborhood there exists a charming little rectangle of land known as College Park. The park is shaped like a basin. On its southern rim are a basketball court, two tennis courts, and a small playground, but those are irrelevant here: What is important is that all four sides of the park feature varying… More >>

Best of Award Graphics

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