Monday, August 15, 2011

Daily Adventures August 15 - 19

Tuesday, August 16  Today we're headed to Wood Lake Nature Center.  It's tucked right into "downtown Richfield" but you'd never know it.  There are trail loops for every sized leg out there - from the 0.1 mile long Woodland Loop to the 1.8 mile Perimeter Trail.  My favorite is the 0.8 mile Boardwalk Trail which takes you across the Wood Lake marsh.  You'll also find a play area (everything is natural here) and an interpretive building with interactive displays.  If you like what you find, you can become a F.O.W.L. (Friend Of Wood Lake) and enjoy free cross-country ski rental and a New Year's Eve party, complete with trail luminaries, for the next year.

Wednesday, August 17  "Come and ride the train, c'mon and ride it, Woo-woo!"  Years ago the Twin Cities were criss-crossed with miles and miles of streetcar tracks.  It would have made Jesse "the Body" Ventura proud.  A little piece of those tracks remain in operation connecting Lakes Harriet and Calhoun.  On Wednesdays in the summer the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line runs from 1-4 pm.  You can also catch it in the evening and on weekends, if you'd rather.  For $2 per person, you can ride the trolley from Lake Harriet to Lake Calhoun and back again.  The ride is definitely spiced up if you wear a hoop skirt or engineer's hat, but it's kinda neat anyway.

Thursday, August 18  Back when those streetcars were still running, there were also gangsters running around St. Paul.  As long as they checked in with the police chief upon arrival, and put their "business" on hold while in the city, they were left alone.  They were even tipped off by the police if the FBI were on the way to their hideout.  One of the nightclubs at which the gangsters liked to hang out was called Castle Royal.  It was located in the Wabasha Street Caves and you can tour the caves today!  It'll cost $6 per person, cash only.  Tours start at 5 pm with tickets going on sale 10 minutes earlier.  Again, you can spice it up by wearing a pinstripe suit or flapper dress, but this is not required.

Friday, August 19  We're going on an urban hike in downtown Minneapolis.  Start at the Minneapolis Central Library and check out the children's section.  Cross Nicollet and head southwest to Gavidae Common.  Go up to the skyway level and check out the multi-floor fountain.  Continue in the skyway to the Crystal Court of the IDS building, the tallest building in Minnesota.  The fountain here drops from the ceiling.  Follow the skyway to the Young-Quinlan building and check out the displays about this buildings past.  Hit the street again and stop on the patio at the Local for a snack.  Then continue to Peavey Plaza, where you might catch some music around lunch time in the summer.  Cross Nicollet again and look for the Loring Greenway on the near side of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  Follow the greenway to the final destination, Loring Park.

Next week will be my last post for the summer.  I'm planning on doing a top-5 recap.  If you visited any of these places over the summer and want to nominate one of them for top-5 consideration, leave a comment here.

Have a great week! 

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