Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Urban Hike

Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

The Mdewakanton Dakota once considered the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers to be the sacred center of the world. You will understand why once you have sat quietly on the small beach at the tip of Pike Island, at the very point where the two mighty rivers meet. It can seem a palpably spiritual place, made all the more beautiful by the journey to get there, an easy mile-and-a-half stroll through the lush woods of Fort Snelling State Park, shaded by cottonwood, elm, and silver maple. Along the way, there's a good chance you will spot deer through the trailside leaves, and you will think the experience no less profound for the occasional roar of an Airbus landing at nearby MSP International. That nearness to civilization is one of the remarkable things about Fort Snelling, and one reason why it is usually the most visited state park in Minnesota. Yet even on weekends, you will probably only see a handful of other seekers on the Pike Island trail. A trip to the park will cost you $5, but that seems a small price to pay for a visit to the center of the world.

Best Place to Jog (2015) Fort Snelling State Park

Best Park (2013) Fort Snelling State Park

Best Nature in the City (2009) Fort Snelling State Park

BEST PUBLIC PARK (2006) Fort Snelling State Park

Best Beach Hidden Beach

Best Bike Trail Grands Rounds, along the Mississippi River

Best Bowling Alley Bryant-Lake Bowl

Best Boxer Jason Litzau

Best Coach Ron Gardenhire

Best College Athlete Emily Palkert, Concordia University

Best Day Trip Drive around Lake Pepin

Best Golfer Troy Merritt

Best Hike Interstate State Park

Best Ice Skating Lake of the Isles

Best Lynx Player Rebekkah Brunson

Best Outdoors Store Gear West

Best Picnic Spot Boom Island Park

Best Place to Run Mississippi River Road

Best Place to Shoot Pool Grumpy's Bar

Best Place to Walk a Dog Minnehaha Off-Leash Dog Park

Best Public Golf Course Chaska Town Course

Best Sledding Kenwood Park

Best Swarm Player Ryan Benesch

Best Timberwolves Player Kevin Love

Best Trail Running Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Best Twins Player Joe Mauer

Best Vikings Player Adrian Peterson

Best Weekend Getaway North Shore

Best Wild Player Martin Havlat

Best Winter Escape Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como

Best Winter Resort Lutsen Lodge

Best Winter Sport You've Never Tried Skijoring