comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST PARK

Loring Park

If there's one thing Twin Cities residents like to brag about to out-of-towners, it's our parks. We have sprawling acres in the suburbs with miles of paths for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. We have small green spaces dotting every city neighborhood, complete with swings, slides, and kiddie pools. We have parks that include stunning scenery such as Minnehaha Falls. Many have traits that stand out among the crowd, but this year we honor the best truly urban park around, and that's Loring. Its location on the southwestern edge of downtown Minneapolis means it's right there in the hustle and bustle, neighbor to shops, restaurants, a college, and an art museum. And while downtown St. Paul has two parks even more centrally located (Mears and Rice), they are smaller and don't offer the amenities that Loring does: tennis and basketball courts, biking paths, a pond, and all-important restrooms. And Loring has many charms: the "Garden of the Seasons" with benches where you can sit and enjoy the blooms, the pedestrian bridge over Hennepin Avenue to the Walker's sculpture garden, mature trees including a bur oak estimated at 300 years old, and the beloved Dandelion Fountain. On any given day (at least in pleasant weather) the park hosts a cross-section of humanity, and special events such as the Pride Festival, a major art fair, and the Walker-sponsored music and movies series bring even more crowds and big-city feel to this urban oasis, which is also the oldest Minneapolis-owned park.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS (2006) Loring Park

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE (2010) Loring Park Summer Music and Movies

BEST FESTIVAL (2008) Twin Cities Pride Celebration

Best Dog Park (2019) Loring Park Dog Grounds

Best Place to be Drunk (2019) Pride

BEST AMUSEMENT PARK Valleyfair

BEST BATHROOM Macy's Minneapolis, fourth-floor ladies room in Intimate Apparel

BEST BUS ROUTE 21

BEST CHARITY Second Chance Animal Rescue

BEST CORNER Lyndale Avenue South and 26th Street, Minneapolis

BEST CURE FOR WINTER DOLDRUMS Learn to skate ski

BEST DAY TRIP Red Wing

BEST DOG PARK Airport Dog Park

BEST FESTIVAL Soundset

BEST GRAFFITI Jimi Hendrix in Uptown

BEST KARAOKE Cloggy's Tavern

BEST LAKE Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis

BEST LIBRARY Franklin Library

BEST LOCAL BLOG The Adventures of Johnny Northside

BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD Al Franken

BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOOD Dessa Darling

BEST LOCAL WEBSITE Minnesota State Legislature

BEST MAYOR Chris Coleman

BEST MISSISSIPPI RIVER EXPERIENCE The view from the Guthrie

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD Northeast Minneapolis

BEST NEW HIPSTER HANGOUT Angry Catfish

BEST NON-FOOD THING ABOUT THE STATE FAIR Feeling better about your lot in life

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Loring Park Summer Music and Movies

BEST PLACE TO BREAK UP Minnehaha Falls

BEST PLACE TO DO SOMETHING FOR FREE Aquatennial fireworks

BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT WITH THE KIDS Midtown Global Market

BEST PLACE TO MAKE OUT Middle of frozen Lake Harriet

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN (GAY) 19 Bar

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN (STRAIGHT) Vertical Endeavors

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN (LESBIAN) The Town House

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN (STRAIGHT) Bar 508

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Mayo Clinic

BEST PLACE TO STAY WARM IN WINTER Water Park of America

BEST PLACE TO STUDY Dunn Bros, University Avenue and Sixth Street

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS Linden Hills neighborhood

BEST PLACE TO WASTE AN AFTERNOON Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

BEST POLITICIAN Al Franken

BEST PUB CRAWL Zombie Pub Crawl

BEST SCANDAL Denny Hecker's fall from grace

BEST SHOUT-OUT TO THE TWIN CITIES BY A NON-NATIVE Ringo Starr's plug for the Electric Fetus

BEST SIGN OF SPRING Art in Bloom at Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST STATE FAIR FOOD Pig Lickers

Best Staycation Bloomington

BEST STREET Summit Avenue, St. Paul

BEST TWEETER Jason DeRusha

BEST UNDISCOVERED NEIGHBORHOOD Dayton's Bluff

BEST VIEW The High Bridge

BEST VILLAIN Michele Bachmann

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Madeline Island, Bayfield, Wisconsin