Best Lake Minneapolis 2014 - Lake Harriet
When the Minneapolis Park Board was created in 1883, one of its very first actions was to acquire a strip of land encircling Lake Harriet. It was a wise move that has benefited the city's outdoors-loving residents ever since. Nowadays Harriet has so much going for it that it's almost unfair to the rest of the lakes. The separate biking and walking paths ringing the water are themselves surrounded by a woodsy beauty. There are two official beaches plus an unsanctioned one, and kayaks, bikes, pedal boats, and paddle boards available to rent. The bandshell hosts concerts just about every night during the summer, and since concessions have been taken over by Bread & Pickle, you can also purchase a top-notch meal by the waterside. Benches and picnic tables abound, there's a playground and plenty of room to run for the kids, and on some summer evenings there are outdoor movie screenings. The nearby foliage, including the always impressive Rose Garden, are yet another draw.