A trip to the Land of 10,000 Lakes wouldn’t be complete without spending some time on, well, a lake—even if you’re only visiting the cities. In Minneapolis, everyone heads to Bde Maka Ska, the largest of five in the city’s Chain of Lakes. Located in the Uptown neighborhood, the 401-acre lake is surrounded by parkland and trails, making it a favorite of locals for everything from ice fishing in the winter to swimming, biking, and volleyball games in the summer. Along the shore are rental options for nearly every water sport, from sailing and kayaking to paddleboarding, plus lockers for stashing your stuff when you’re out on the water. For those who prefer dry land, there are also several Nice Ride stations where you can access the city’s bike-share program, and a seasonal restaurant serving sandwiches, wings, and tacos.

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Wind Down or Up at Lake Calhoun

Lake Calhoun is circled by nearly 3.5 miles of walking and biking trails that lead to an even longer set of trails that connect Lakes Isles and Harriet. As the largest of Minneapolis’s Chain of Lakes, Lake Calhoun is the center of water and land activities for the city. Surrounded by green space, athletic fields, trails, and downtown views, you can have a relaxing or adventurous day depending on your mood. Rent a bike or kayak from Wheel Fun Rentals, learn to sail or windsurf with Lake Calhoun Sailing School, or grab some friends for a stroll, volleyball match, picnic, or day at the beach.

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