Gordon Franks and Pat Worley are more than black belts. They’re ninth-degree black belts who share their chosen martial art with youngsters and adults alike through USA Karate, the school they cofounded. The school - which opened in 1973 and has been operating for more than 40 years - was featured on the local CBS station and teaches self-defense techniques that help students graduate to higher-level belts and translate into increased agility, coordination, and self-confidence.
Cutting through the still surface, free from the churning wakes and roaring engines of speedboats and snowmobiles, a kiteboarder can lift off more than 40 feet in the air, spin over their shoulder, and land back safely on the water to finish the stunts. An offshoot of Lakawa, the region's leading advisory for kiteboarders and windsurfers, the Lakawa School of Kiteboarding teaches students to ride the water and snow themselves, powered only by the sky's giant oscillating fans. Using gear held to high standards of durability and performance, a team of PASA-certified instructors lead classes during both summer and winter, covering the basics of boarding on a lake even when it's frozen over. The Lakawa School offers a complete online store with all necessary adventure gear. Lessons are also offered in stand-up paddleboarding, a pastime that recreates the fun of being a Venetian gondolier without the stress of tying a tight red ascot.
Your Boat Rentals helps people enjoy the benefits of boat ownership without hassles such as towing, cleaning, and repairs. The club maintains a fleet of boats, including leisurely Luxury Bennington pontoons that can hold up to 11 people. Renters need only make online reservations for one of these vessels, arrive at their dock of choice, and speed away with a fully fueled and clean boat. Six different lakes set the stage for these aquatic excursions, giving families many boating options. On any given day, Your Boat Rentals' vessels carry passengers across a number of lakes including White Bear Lake, Forest Lake, Waconia, Prior Lake, and Lake Minnetonka.
Tucked in the cool shadows of old, forest oak trees, St. Croix Valley Golf Course's nine-hole layout invites golfers to swing across 133 acres of rolling topography. Originally sculpted into the woods in 1925, the 3,060-yard course eschews sand traps and favors natural obstacles including ponds, trees, elevation changes, and indigenous photographers who snap their shutters during players' backswings. The golf experts that preside over the pro shop can sharpen swings with lessons, ensure trustworthy equipment with club regripping services, and offer rental clubs so players don't have to hit with the oversized gavel normally used to settle remote control disputes at home.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 36 course * Length of 3,060 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 34.7 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 122 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
For two to three hours at a time, the bustle of the city recedes into memory as bird song replaces the abrasive honking of car horns, and pine trees—those ancient predecessors to skyscrapers—cast their shadows over the banks of the St. Croix River. Riverwood Canoe’s owners spread their enthusiasm for the great outdoors with visitors, who come from all over to experience the beauty of St. Croix National Scenic Riverway as it snakes through the wilderness. After arriving at the Osceola landing, participants take a shuttle up to the heart of the park and hop into a canoe that can fit up to three passengers, depending on weight. Thanks to the river’s gentle flow, participants can expect a smooth ride suitable to all levels of experience.
In the early 20th century, trains chugged along the St. Croix Valley Railway, rolling over scenic bridges and past rolling waterfront vistas lined with trees. Today, an old-fashioned locomotive still runs from Osceola, Wisconsin to Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota?a 10-mile route that transports passengers across state lines and into the past. Inside the period-accurate passenger cars, Minnesota Transportation Museum staff relay facts about area history and refute the wildly inaccurate science in The Little Engine That Could. Regular round-trip rides run twice every Saturday and Sunday from May to October, but special-event trains and rides with dining service often round out the schedule.