If you’ve done one beach in the Twin Cities proper, you’ve done ’em all. Why not escape the city and get your sunshine and sand fix on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin? The St. Croix Beach is about 35 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and offers stretches of soft, white sand on the St. Croix riverfront. Stock up on snacks and beverages, then stop at a few of the townie bars on the way home after you’ve had your fill of sun and relaxing. Sure, it’s a family beach, but it’s so big that you can easily scoot away from crying kids or sand fights. The water is cool, crisp, and oh-so-swimmable, especially on the hottest days of summer.
Readers’ Choice: Hidden Beach (Cedar Lake East Beach)