The United States Coast Guard–certified captain of Magnolia Blossom, an old-fashioned black-and-white-painted steamship, pilots his vessel alongside city skylines and wild parks with up to 125 passengers on board. On its three cruise routes, the boat drifts by Pike Island and the skyline of St. Paul, passes through a lock and dam under the Minneapolis skyline, and floats past wildlife preserves and state parks on lengths of the Minnesota River, all without running any red lights. Inside the vessel, a climate-controlled lower deck lined with tall windows houses rows of banquet tables, each surrounded by chairs draped in white and tied with large red bows. On the top deck, café tables offer panoramic views from beneath a three-quarters canopy cover.
Before the team joined the independent American Association in 2005, the St. Paul Saints dominated the now-defunct Northern League, amassing four championships over 12 seasons. As the crèche of players faces off against its Midwestern rivals, it hopes to one day send envoys to play in the major leagues—a feat already achieved by 15 Saints alumni. As one of the same three owners who've overseen the team since its 1993 founding, actor Bill Murray lends the team a touch of Hollywood glamour, trumping other teams' attempts to replace their bases with Walk of Fame stars.
Home games unfold under the towering lights of Midway Stadium, an outdoor ballpark stocked with several concession stands, a bar, and family-friendly cafés and ice cream shacks. Along with plush porcine mascot Mudonna, a regular cast of entertainers delights crowds as the organist controls the weather with popular songs.
Helmed by founder Lawrence Yatch—a retired Navy SEAL who once led his platoon in securing one of the world's largest oil platforms—the instructors of Sealed Mindset Firearms Studio oversee a facility where every room upholds a training philosophy emphasizing knowledge, practice, and experience. The shooting range, for example, trains marksmen by simulating the conditions in which a defensive encounter is most likely to occur. Depending on shooters' ability levels, the range offers scenarios from simulated night to defending against multiple targets in up to a 270-degree shooting view. Other training rooms include a live-simulation room that re-creates encounters such as carjackings, a self-defense and fitness room, and a laser and dry-fire room.
Instructors use these training rooms to lead classes that range from firearms and fitness training for everyday citizens to specialized training for law enforcement and the military. Additionally, they also organize recreational immersion experiences such as Operation Geronimo, a simulated Navy SEAL mission complete with real combat gear, simulated fire, live role players, and a celebratory steak dinner with the president. Sealed Mindset also houses a children's playroom and a members' lounge.
For more than 25 years, families have flocked to Goony Golf for family entertainment ranging from curvy putting greens to a video arcade. When fully operational, three 18-hole courses star a cast of colorful creatures, such as a pink kangaroo, Humpty Dumpty, and a bird in a mortarboard and graduation robe. Beyond the 36 holes, guests can rack up points on pinball machines or head to the air-hockey table to re-create Team USA’s miraculous 1980 victory over the Soviet Union’s giant plastic mallet.
In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.