Best options in Minneapolis for 7 popular outdoor activities

Written by:
April 29, 2024

Best options in Minneapolis for 7 popular outdoor activities

Between America's sprawling public lands system and our nearly universal love for road trips, outdoor recreation isn't exactly a new phenomenon in the U.S. However, according to reports from the Census Bureau, millions more Americans have been getting outside since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking records and generating billions of dollars in revenue for many outdoor industries.

It's easy to understand why outdoor recreation has become so popular in a post-pandemic world—spending time outside can do so much more than just help you catch a tan. Studies show that participating in outdoor activities can improve focus, reduce stress, and lead to higher energy levels. That's to say nothing of the physical benefits, like lower risk for cardiovascular disease.

Though more Americans are spending time outside than ever before, many people who live in large cities still struggle to find outdoor spaces and activities near them. But contrary to popular belief, you don't need to drive far from home or spend hours prepping for a strenuous workout to enjoy the great outdoors. Instead, set aside some time to meander through your nearest botanical garden, or spend your lunch break picnicking at a local park. Adding even a few extra minutes of fresh air to your day can help boost your mental and physical health.

Whether you want to explore hiking trails, relax on a sandy beach, or try your hand at an unfamiliar sport, your new favorite outdoor destination could be right around the corner. To help you decide where to go and what to do, Stacker compiled a list of the best places for popular outdoor activities in Minneapolis using data from Yelp as of April 12, 2024. Locations and businesses were selected using Yelp's ranking system, which calculates an adjusted rating value that takes into account the number of ratings as well as the rating score itself.

Read on to discover where you should plan your next day out, and don't forget to grab that sunblock.

Beach: Mississippi River Gorge

- Rating: 4.6/5 (5 reviews)
- Address: West River Pkwy Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Beaches
- Read more on Yelp

Boating: Lake Harriet

- Rating: 4.8/5 (92 reviews)
- Address: 43RD St. West And East Lake Harriet Blvd. Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Parks, Boating, Lakes
- Read more on Yelp

Fishing: Mend Provisions

- Rating: 5.0/5 (5 reviews)
- Price level: $$
- Address: 2719 East 42nd St. Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Hunting & Fishing Supplies, Fishing
- Read more on Yelp

Hiking: Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

- Rating: 4.6/5 (27 reviews)
- Address: Theodore Wirth Parkway And Glenwood Ave. Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Hiking
- Read more on Yelp

Water Park: Jim Lupient Water Park

- Rating: 4.3/5 (3 reviews)
- Address: 1520 Johnson St. Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Water Parks
- Read more on Yelp

Botanical Gardens: NE Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens

- Rating: 5.0/5 (2 reviews)
- Address: 3300 Central Ave. Ne Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Botanical Gardens
- Read more on Yelp

Park: Springbrook Nature Center

- Rating: 4.9/5 (21 reviews)
- Address: 100 85th Ave. Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Categories: Parks
- Read more on Yelp

This story features data reporting by Karim Noorani, writing by Cu Fleshman, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 170 metros.

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