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.
Club swingers thrive on the tree-lined fairways of Chomonix's 6,596-yard course, where the flora and fauna of Minnesota's wilderness bespeak the course's location on the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes park reserve. Water hazards pepper seven holes, and sand traps camouflaged as golf-ball resorts add excitement to each shot. With a full bucket of balls, orb whackers can improve their form and distance on the driving range, and players can practice distinguishing between real holes and invisible wormholes on the putting green nearby. Golfers quash hunger with the clubhouse's grilled brats or burgers. The course experiences little or no winter-kill, so the local flora stays healthy all year long.
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.
The Life Time Turkey Day 5K jump-starts Thanksgiving celebrations with a healthy, full-body feast of exercise, with proceeds benefiting local food organizations. Starting on the world-famous Fremont Street, pavement stompers weave past the historic downtown vistas lining Las Vegas Boulevard, home to myriad celebrities, reality television shows, and retired slot machines. After coasting to a finish beneath the Fremont Street Experience, participants gather for a postrace party, where refreshments, music, and chances to win prizes from sponsors accompany huffs and puffs of accomplishment. Additionally, strollers are permitted during the race but must line up behind individual runners and must not be equipped with nitrous.
Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.