Memorial Day is approaching and I am sure you are already getting excited for a little time away from work to enjoy time with friends, family and [hopefully] great weather. Here is a list of options whether you want to stay in the Twin Cities or if you want to hit the road and get out of town. Each year I try to do something a little different, so here are some of my favorites to celebrate the mini-vacation (in no particular order).


RJ’s Meats

1101 Coulee Road
Hudson, WI 54016

The temperatures are warming up and no matter where you live, barbecuing is on the mind. I drive here from Minneapolis each time I entertain as they have, in my opinion, some of the best meat products. Are you a cheese curd fan? So are they. Choose from some of the best, squeaky curds that will make you proud to live in the Midwest.


Beacon Pointe Condos

2100 Water Street
Duluth, MN 55812

Do you need to escape? I know the feeling. My number one recommendation for satisfying the need to “get away from it all” is booking a night or two at this resort. What’s different about this place is the occupancy is partially residents combined with visitors. Your stay will be quiet and overwhelmingly refreshing when breathing the Lake Superior air.

(credit: Jupiter Images)


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I am certain that at some point during the long weekend you will be up for some physical fitness. The Greenway in south Minneapolis stretches over 5 miles and will give you a new perspective on the city. I recommend going for a bike ride, however, there are paths for walking too. Maybe stop at a restaurant on the way, such as Tiger Sushi on Lyndale. This place, along with many others, cater to Greenway travelers.


Nicollet Mall Farmers’ Market

On the Nicollet Mall every Thursday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.


No matter what your living situation is like, I’d bet you have a flower pot or two that has a vacancy for some new life. I pass this farmers’ market each Thursday to pick up a banana or quick lunch, but the plants are what always reel me in. If you have a green thumb or maybe you want to start growing your own veggies, stop by this market. The vendors are fun and offer great deals.


The Bulldog

401 East Hennepin Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
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Watch a baseball game. The Bulldog in Northeast is my favorite place to watch sports. The energy is loud and fun to interact with the people around you. There is no fan like a Twins fan. Why not celebrate with a similar kind? The tater-tots paired with the black bean burger or green marvel is amazing.


The W Hotel

Foshay Tower
821 Marquette Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
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If “chic in the city” is more your style, check out The W Hotel. We all know W’s are fancy and high-end, but it is this location that is in a historic structure: the Foshay Tower. Get a cocktail down at the Living Room or live it up and go to Prohibition on the top floor (you can’t leave without seeing the view). The rooms are probably the coolest and the prices are very reasonable.


Water Park of America

1700 American Blvd. E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Who says acting like a kid is a bad thing? I have been here for several of my friend’s birthdays and had a blast. The lazy river is fun as well are the water slides. Don’t forget the mall is right around the corner so making this your last destination for the day, will be one to talk about when you get beck to work on Tuesday.


Fort Snelling

1 Post Rd
St. Paul, MN 55111
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Be patriotic this year and stop by this historical landmark. Learn what life was like back when this facility was first coming to life. You’d have a hard time imagining this area surrounded by wilderness versus highways, right? This is truly an experience you must check off the list, especially if you live in the area. Do you have kids? They’ll love it.


Wild Mountain-Taylors Falls Recreation

37200 Wild Mountain Rd.
Taylors Falls, MN 55084
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I went here for Memorial Day last year and went kayaking with a group of friends. Hope for great weather as there is nothing better than getting tan lines from a life preserver. With any joking aside, you’ll enjoy a fun workout and able to absorb the great outdoors. Ditch the concrete and high-rises and opt for something a bit more low-key.


Lady of the Lake

8 Water Street
Excelsior, MN 55331
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I went here last summer and had a great time. The boat was full of people and enjoyed making new friends. This is a great way to take a detour from the norm and let someone else take the wheel. Relax and enjoy the sites of the lake. Call ahead for boating schedule.

-Justin Reis is a WCCO intern studying broadcast journalism at the University of Minnesota. His passion for finding the “best” in the Twin Cities is inspired by his role as a group fitness instructor and interests ranging from “anything artistic” to “anything social.” Please leave a comment on what you think of his recommendations.