12. Lake Nokomis
For one weekend in the winter, the sleepiest Minneapolis city lake totally wakes up when it becomes the scene of what seems like the US Beer Drinking Championships, but is really the US Pond Hockey Championships.
Pro tip: Build a base with a pie from nearby Fat Lorenzo’s before hitting the lake.
11. Lake Pepin
The super-wide spot in the middle of the Mighty Miss 60 miles South of St. Paul is technically a lake, and with summertime towns like Bay City, WI on either side of it, it promises to be so much fun that by the end of an afternoon out on Lake Pepin you’ll likely forget how to spell Mississippi.
Pro tip: Sadly, man cannot live on beer alone, so two of the best chefs in the Twin Cities have a summertime-only outpost in Bay City, Chef Shack.
10. Detroit Lake
The sun-drenched throwback town of Detroit Lakes is home to myriad mini-lakes that are good for a boat ‘n beer, but none come close to its town-abutting namesake and its bevy of on-lake restos-cum-party places, not the least of which is the DL Zorbaz.
Pro tip: Three-day country music party WE Fest goes down only a few miles off the lake August 6-8.
9. Lake Mille Lacs
The massive mid-state lake known for its fertile fishing waters also has, come daily catch limits, fertile waters for lakeside celebrating.
Pro tip: Grand Casino Mille Lacs is just a hop, skip, and a jump off the Southwestern shore.