Sports & Recreation

  • Best Twins Player

    Joe Mauer

    Ever since his monstrous 2009 season was followed by four years of fundamentally sound yet lower-powered hitting, the question has lingered: How would Joe Mauer fare standing at the plate without all the wear and tear from nine innings of squatting behind it? While the productivity the Twins got from him in 2013 was strong — .324/.404/.476, with an OPS… More >>
  • Best Vikings Player

    Adrian Peterson

    AP's 2013 wasn't on par with his out-of-this-world MVP campaign of a year prior, but he was still easily the best thing the Vikings had going. Purple Jesus ran for over 1,200 yards during an injury-truncated campaign, but the Vikings' fortunes sagged along with their best player's health and performance. AP will still be on the young side of 30… More >>
  • Best Wild Player

    Matt Cooke

    Hockey is a brutal game. But it also demands grace, and few players have managed to skate this divide as deftly as Matt Cooke. His role as an agitator requires him to psych out the opposing team, meaning his contribution isn't measured solely by the scoreboard. Still, the left-winger ranks near the top of the Wild roster offensively and puts… More >>
  • Best Timberwolves Player

    Kevin Love

    The 2013-14 Timberwolves season may have been a disappointment, but Kevin Love's play was anything but. The sixth-year forward (can you believe he's been in the league that long?) continues to get better and better, culminating in his first-ever selection as an All-Star starter. Bottom line: When healthy, he's easily the best player employed at 600 First Avenue since a… More >>
  • Best Lynx Player

    Lindsay Whalen

    Since her 2010 homecoming to Minnesota, Lindsay Whalen has played the point for three consecutive Lynx teams that made it to the WNBA Finals, including championship teams in 2011 and 2013. During last season, Whalen, at the relatively old age of 31, posted a career high in points per game (14.9). Sure, you could argue that Maya Moore or Seimone… More >>
  • Best College Recruit

    Tyus Jones

    Tyus Jones has been called the best young point guard in Minnesota, and for good reason. The Apple Valley High School phenom, dubbed "a highly intelligent floor general" by ESPN, ranks among the top five players in the country, though he's long been a target of NCAA talent scouts. The summer after his freshman year, Jones wooed spectators at the… More >>
  • Best College Athlete

    Ra'Shede Hageman

    A Washburn High School product, Ra'Shede Hageman endured a difficult childhood in Minneapolis to rise to stardom as the anchor of Jerry Kill's defense last season. Hageman's 2013 national recognitions include first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American, and he also won the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given annually to the team's most valuable player. Hageman's emergence coincided with his… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Jerry Kill

    During his three years on the job, Jerry Kill has done remarkable work rebuilding the University of Minnesota's football program post-Tim Brewster. Kill has improved the Gophers' win total from three in his first season to eight last year during the team's best campaign since 2005. But perhaps more significantly, Kill has inspired many with the way he has approached… More >>
  • Best Sports Team

    Minnesota Lynx

    The Lynx are the reigning WNBA champions and have made it to the league championship series three years in a row (they also won the title in 2011). In other words, believe it or not, Minnesota may have a professional sports dynasty on its hands. It should be noted, of course, that the competition for "Best Minnesota sports team" wasn't… More >>
  • Best Sports Podcast

    Gleeman and the Geek

    Aaron Gleeman ( and John Bonnes (Twins Daily) are two dead-serious stat-minded baseball fans who use advanced metrics to explore every facet of the Twins organization. But get a couple beers in 'em and set them up in front of a mic, and the other side of their personalities — the fast-bantering, pop-culture-enthusiast goofballs — spills out. Gleeman and the… More >>
  • Best Place to Shoot Pool

    Grumpy's Bar & Grill

    After all these years, Grumpy's Bar & Grill manages to strike the right balance between downtown staple and low-key neighborhood bar. It's got comedy, bingo, and live-band karaoke, all wrapped in a kind of punk-rock cocktail lounge aesthetic. And on a weekend night, while burly dudes rub elbows with the suits, it's still possible to grab one of three black-felted… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Ran-Ham Bowling Center

    They don't make 'em like they used to — especially not like Ran-Ham. Built during the 1920s, these are some of the oldest bowling lanes you'll encounter in the Twin Cities, but that's not to say you can't throw some balls around. This tiny bowling alley isn't going for the ultra-polished retro look — it's just old and sturdy as… More >>
  • Best Gym

    9Round Fitness & Kickboxing

    Sometimes getting in a good workout isn't just about treadmills and weights. At 9Round Fitness & Kickboxing in Eden Prairie, members get a fun, intense, total body workout in just 30 minutes, without the monotony of a normal workout routine. Instead, elements of boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts are combined to create a workout that will make you feel… More >>
  • Best Bike Deal

    LaMere Cycles

    Jesse LaLonde turned more than a few heads in February when he finished first in the Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet on a mysterious new ride. In the winner's tent, he hoisted his black carbon steed so that everyone could see the brand: LaMere Cycles, made in south Minneapolis by the buzzy J.P. LaMere. The local tech entrepreneur has gotten… More >>
  • Best Bike Trail

    Lake Nokomis

    At 2.78 miles around, this paved bike trail that rings the lake is possible to traverse even if you haven't ridden a bike since you were a kid. The track is a smooth, oval shape that crosses streets only twice, and in each case, the crossings are well-marked. It's a beautiful ride for sightseeing: Nokomis is one of three sailing… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    The Hub Bike Co-op on Minnehaha Avenue

    In this town of co-op groceries and cafes, a worker-owned bike shop is almost obvious, but that doesn't mean we're any less lucky to have the Hub. All of the Hub's three locations — on the West Bank, at the U of M's Bike Center, and our favorite, the shop in south Minneapolis — take the community ethos to heart… More >>
  • Best Mini Golf

    Big Stone Mini Golf

    A trip out to Big Stone Mini Golf on a sunny day will always be worth your while. Each of the 13 holes at Big Stone are dynamic, challenging, and imaginative. Putt your way through towering sunflowers and grass that'll make you feel like Dorothy traipsing around Oz with a golf club. Try your luck making par with the metal… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Chain of Lakes

    We're not exactly breaking news by recognizing how awesome the chain of lakes is for Twin Cities runners. But Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles seem to have been created for the express purpose of humans getting their move on. All three feature a three-to-four mile round trip that's ideal if you're looking to circle just one… More >>
  • Best Place to Do Yoga

    One Yoga Studio

    Uneasy with the idea of corporate yoga? One Yoga is your antidote. For starters, there's the space itself, an airy building in Lyn-Lake that houses two spacious studios, a yoga library, and an indoor art gallery. Where other studios have mirrors, One Yoga's space has windows and plants. Some studios charge for mat rentals and water, but One Yoga offers… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Loop through Stillwater

    Start your day wandering around Franconia Sculpture Park — the communal artist-run sculpture park that houses gigantic and surreal works of art you can interact with among fields of tall, green grass. Next, take Lake Boulevard a few miles over to Taylors Falls and Interstate Park for an easy hike, a gander at the glacial potholes in the park, and… More >>
  • Best Place to Sled

    Staring Lake

    Nothing beats the whoosh of the wind in your hair, crisp air on your face, and watching the hillside quickly recede as you careen down on a sled. Pretty much any native Minnesotan will know the pleasure of scoping out the perfect hill and going sledding as a kid. No matter how cold or snowy each winter gets, there's always… More >>
  • Best Place to Ice Skate

    Centennial Lakes Park

    You don't need to know the difference between a triple lutz and a double salchow to enjoy some quality time on the ice — for most of this winter, you were already skating around the sidewalks. Located in Edina, Centennial Lakes Park offers more than just your standard rink. You can glide through a series of lakes, ponds, and canals… More >>
  • Best Hike

    Afton State Park

    Afton State Park's 1,620 acres make up one of the larger forest and prairie preserves in the Midwest, cut with winding paths and deep sandstone ravines. In this sense, the park has at least one thing in common with the Twin Cities: It's big enough to get lost in but easy to find your way out of. And clearly, it's… More >>
  • Best Park

    Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

    Sure, we have park systems that are the envy of the nation: Our neighborhoods are dotted with the green oases, and all of them are worth a visit, especially whichever one is closest to your home. But there's really no competition when it comes to the greatest of them all, because the Twin Cities' hottest park is Como. It. Has.… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Lake of the Isles

    Rumor has it that Josh Hartnett has been spotted at this off-leash dog park nestled in the idyllic Kenwood neighborhood. But your dog couldn't care less. He just wants to run really fast and wrestle and do his business totally untethered, in the fresh air. This fully fenced park, just shy of two acres, has plenty of room for him… More >>
  • Best Disc Golf Course

    Acorn Park

    East Bethel's Blue Ribbon Pines is Minnesota's most acclaimed disc golf course, and probably the state's best. But if you're looking to get a round in, live in the city, and don't want to drive more than an hour round-trip, Acorn is where it's at. The 18-hole course has all the requisite shots: downhill drives, tree-obscured heaves, and huge hooks.… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Shadow Falls Park Preserve

    Don't judge a park by its size. Shadow Falls Park Preserve may have nothing on Lake Nokomis's expanse, or Minnehaha Falls' facilities. But for the best place to picnic, this small park, which sits at the intersection of South Mississippi River Boulevard and Summit Avenue on the west side of St. Paul, has many of the Twin Cities' better known… More >>

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