Bordered by Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in Minnesota, this is a good day trip if you can’t take time off to make it to the mountains but still want to get away.
Access: Only about 40 minutes from Minneapolis, this lake is ideally located for an afternoon outdoors. You’ll take I-394 W and MN-7 W from the city.
Fees: Entrance to the off-leash dog area requires a $5 daily or $24 annual parking permit
What to do: This is a lake made for fishing. Otherwise, hike, play Frisbee, bicycle, jog, camp, sail, water ski, picnic, swim, play volleyball, or lay out on the beach. There’s also an off-leash dog park and boat access.
When to go: Lake Minnewashta Regional Park is open 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. or sunset, whichever is later, until September 15.