Deep within a secluded, 200-year-old forest, more than 100 actors terrify visitors at Scream Town's more than five haunted attractions. Scares begin as the fabled and deranged Blood family puts chills into hearts while roaming the facility’s Oak Blood Forest, which patrons wander without tour guides, protective wagons, or flashlights. Over in the 10-foot-plus cornfield, guests navigate a 15-minute maze that passes through a meat freezer with frozen cow parts, a botanical center with living vines, and an alien-occupied zone. Further foreboding hangs over the more than 7,000-square-foot Circus Asylum, a wooden maze where circus freaks petrify visitors by creating balloon animals of three-headed poodles. A guide leads small groups along the Scream Town path where sasquatches are rumored to prowl, and the 500-foot, pitch-black Rabid Alley startles guests with creepy sounds and in-your-face sensations. Once patrons have returned to safety, they can decompress from the cache of frights with snacks such as mini donuts or hot cider.
Several years ago, Ken Smith and Chase Williams were typical door-to-door salesmen. In need of a gimmick to boost sales and a quicker mode of transport, the duo tried riding Segways and immediately fell in love. Eventually, they turned their love for the two-wheeled transporter into their current venture, All American Segway. Their company provides all manner of Segway engagement, including guided Segway tours that offer rolling educations in local history and wildlife. Customers can also discover the revolutionary devices on their own by renting out Segways for recreational use, private parties, or as a friend for a lonely office chair or shopping cart.
Since purchasing a used limo in 1993, Leland “Lee” Casto has had the same job: transporting clientele on trips and tours throughout the Twin Cities. His fleet, however, is now significantly larger, with numerous vehicles including stretch limos that fit 6–22 passengers. Guests can sip refreshments from tumblers and champagne flutes as Lee whisks them off on all types of journeys, from bar-hopping excursions to airport-bound jaunts. He also accommodates patrons on several tours, which include winery visits, two gangster-themed expeditions, and guided treks past ghost-filled mansions and twinkling holiday lights.
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.
Northern Vineyards is a shared winery owned by the Minnesota Winegrowers Cooperative, a group of winemakers who own 1- to 15-acre vineyards across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Members grow Frontenac, Prairie Star, and other grape varieties that perform well in the region; since the region has a cold climate and short growing season, grapes grown here must tolerate lower temperatures, ripen early, and be able to knit their own woolen mittens. In the fall, growers lug their mature grapes to the main winery in Stillwater, where award-winning winemaker Robin Partch transforms them into 30 kinds of wine.
The winery’s barrel room hosts wine tastings seven days a week at a glossy, wooden tasting bar. There’s also an outdoor deck that overlooks a historic lift bridge along the St. Croix River. In nice weather, visitors can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with a glass of wine on the deck.
The youngest of nine children, Luna Rossa’s owner and chef, Raffaele Virgillo, grew up at his mother’s side, studying her every move as she cooked in the kitchen of their small cottage in southern Italy. Emigrating to the United States in the 1970s, Virgillo put the culinary skills and magical Italian incantations he learned from his mother to use here in the States. He settled in the Twin Cities, where he cooked his way through four restaurants before opening the original Buona Sera, and eventually, Luna Rossa. There, he works alongside his daughter, Anna, son-in-law, Jesse, and grandson, Vinny, serving a menu of Italian-inspired cuisine within a rustic eatery near Stillwater’s historic limestone caves.
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.
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