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.
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.
Fargo Air Museum began taking flight in the late 1990s, when a group of local military folks, pilots, and aircraft restorers realized they weren't alone in their passion for aviation. They opened the first hangar in 2001, and the museum has continued to grow ever since. Today, visitors can marvel at?but not feed?various aircraft on display, including a Wright Flyer replica, Huey helicopter, and a B-25 Mitchell Bomber. Most of the exhibits pay homage to the men and women who operated these machines, including a mural depicting a century's worth of legendary pilots and planes. But not everything here is anchored to the ground: the museum boasts a full roster of flyable planes, and an on-site simulator puts pilots-in-the-making behind the controls.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set