Located just southwest of Green Lake, Big Kahuna Fun Park enchants guests with indoor and outdoor attractions including an outdoor miniature-golf course, where balls somersault down steep, faux-grass corridors packed with tricky breaks. Kids and adults can satisfy needs for speed at the go-kart track, and a slower-paced power-wheels course lets younger drivers prepare for the grown-up traffic jams looming in their futures. Guests can splash away the summer heat by ramming their inner tubes into other circular vessels at the bumper-tubes pool or take refuge from the sun in the park's indoor arcade, which also houses a Subway sandwich shop.
At a certain point, the Rum River's slow, meandering current bends around a corner on its journey south, almost stopping entirely to soak in the view of Stones Throw Golf Course. In addition to the two holes directly on the Rum River, the course features O'Neill Brook, which babbles into play on six holes, and ponds that await on four more holes. The omnipresent water hazards, along with tight tree lines that form fairway chutes through dense forests, force players to demonstrate control over ball placement and enough self-control to leave portable-party-starting slip 'n' slides in their golf bag. In an effort to further beautify the grounds, the course received a major overhaul in 2000, with 11 new holes added.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-70 course * Total length of 6,103 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69.9 from the back tees * Course slope of 123 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
In 1977, Mark and Joan Hemker began with a simple dream: to own a zoo. Starting with just a few waterfowl, they soon amassed a collection of animals from around the world. After Mark passed away in 2006, Joan and their four children took up his mantle, keeping his legacy alive through Hemker Park & Zoo. Today, the family-friendly park introduces visitors of all ages to global wildlife with more than 50 animal species. Residents include giant tortoises, an 8-foot boa constrictor, sleek kangaroos, and inquisitive monkeys and lemurs. There's also a Budgie Buddy House where tiny birds alight on visitors' shoulders and two New Guinea singing dogs who never, ever do autographs. Seasonal events, such as kids' zoo camps and the Close Encounters program, let visitors touch and feed certain animals under the guidance of professional educators for an even more intimate experience.
The prairies southwest of St. Cloud are mostly known for corn and soybeans. But the growers at Hinterland Vineyards have turned those fertile fields into the incubators of award-winning wines, growing both white and red varietals to use in their house blends. Their Happy Creek Red was named Best Off-Dry Red at the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, and La Crescent, a semi-dry white, earned a Best of Class nod at the 2013 International Women's Wine Competition. At the on-site winery, guests can sample these and other vino varieties while nibbling appetizers or listening to live music on select nights of the week. Hinterland also serves microbrew beers for guests who prefer beverages made from browner, fizzier grapes instead.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.