There is so much to love about this season in MN. Barbecues are fired up, birds are chirping and green grass is peeking through. We are on the up & up! So, in the spirit of Spring, I have compiled some of the best ways to brighten up your days.
1. Walk the Stone Arch Bridge
Arguably one of the most iconic spots in the Cities, the Stone Arch bridge, offers both some great views and exercise. An added bonus that it is essentially free (other than parking) so you can spend time wandering with ease.
2. Hike somewhere
There are several great spots only a few moments away from the Twin Cities for a good hike. One of the best places to explore bluffs and ravines is Afton State Park, where there are 20 miles of trails to explore. On the other end of the Cities is Lebanon Regional Park in Eagan. These wooded trails go on forever, with markers guiding you along. Bonus: it is also very picturesque.
3. Happy hour on a patio
Finally!! It’s warm enough to enjoy the sun with a cocktail in hand. My favorite patios around the cities include:
Freight House in Stillwater, while it may not technically be in the Cities, this place does have incredible views of the river.
SandCastle, located on Lake Nokomis is a great stop after a walk around the 2.5 mile loop.
Boca Chica Mexican Restaurant has colorful decor, bright walls and a great patio for relaxing outdoors with a margarita.
Burger Moe’s in St. Paul is the best spot for cheap yet flavorful food, best enjoyed underneath an umbrella on the patio.
4. Sip Coffee at Fourpost
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I suggest stopping in on your next visit to MOA. Fourpost is the new retail store with local vendors selling their crafts, from coffee mugs to clothes and wall decor. Picture a mini-market place inside a store. It is so awesome.
5. Read a book at Lake Harriet
Lake Harriet is one of the best places to exercise in the Cities. Of course you can walk all three lakes (Isles, Nokomis, Harriet, Bde Maka Ska), but if you only have time for one I suggest going for Lake Harriet. I always seem to have an easier time parking there than the other lakes, and it offers some of the best views of the houses nearby.
6. Buy Flowers at Ma Jolie
Two words: Photo Shoot. Ma Jolie Marché Mobile is a french marketi traveling around the streets of the Cities selling fresh flowers. Although they are always on the move, they do participate in Food Truck Friday’s all summer long in North Loop from 11:30-1:30 pm. More details here.
7. Ride Bikes
I know we are the Land of 10,000 lakes, but it seems like we are also the Land of 10,000 bike trails. On a warmer day, Paul Bunyan State Trail or Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail are some of the best paved trails to try.
8. Explore Minnehaha Falls
One of the most beautiful wonders of the cities is Minnehaha Falls. I’m sure all you locals have been before to get your perfect Instagram shot, but there are actually lots of trails near the falls for you to walk. Plus, after working up an appetite you can stop by Sea Salt Eatery near the entrance of the falls where you can indulge in some killer seafood.
9. Sculpture Garden
Walker Art Center is home to the infamous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture and beautiful views of the city. The grounds are well-kept and fun to walk. Be sure to bring your camera!
10. Cheer on the Loons
I can’t tell you how excited I am that Minnesota now has a soccer team! The Minnesota United FC team is now well underway in their season. Check out their schedule here to make your way to Allianz Field!
Whatever you do, I hope these 10 adventures brighten your day!
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