The Absolute Essentials for the Outdoors


When it comes to the outdoors, there is a sense of beauty and benevolence within its charm. For many outdoor enthusiasts, nature provides a sense of humanity that has long been impacted by the advancements within our worlds. As much as we can continue living out our days with our faces in our smartphones, we have to understand the vital importance that nature brings to our lives.

In the grand scheme of things, the outdoors gives us an opportunity to be one with ourselves. Throughout our lives, we are constantly consumed by our everyday task that we tend to lose sight on the greater things. Especially in today’s world with the rise of technology, many of us have become more distant and superficial from the true aspects of nature. Yes, we all have specific responsibilities and objectives to fulfill, but we cannot get lost and consumed by those responsibilities. If we do, we will inevitably face the overarching perils and downfalls of burning out.

Because of this, I would advise you take advantage of the various outdoor activities that nature has to offer such as camping and hiking. With these types of activities, you are not just gaining the physical healthy benefits of moving and exercising. Instead, you are also gaining the gift of nature. That entails the beauty, the art, and the spirituality that the world has to offer. In many ways, the world is still undeniably unexplored. While we cannot see everything, it does not mean you do not have the chance to engage with life. For years, the natural world has become more withdrawn. We, as a whole, have relied so much on technology that our lives are tailored for a more leisure style of living. But with how the world is now, it is important to enjoy the little things and view the world outside of the rose-colored technology glasses. Yes, various technological activities such as Pokémon Go and Fitbits forces thousands of users to engage with the world. But to truly gain a grasp of the importance of nature, we need to think bigger. We need to do more.

With that being said, I encourage you to spend some time within the outdoors. I may be biased because of my own personal experience and interest, but spending the time exploring and enjoying the world can be incredibly beneficial to your life. It can, in fact, reinvigorate that much-needed positivity to help you for the workweek.

To help you with this, consider the following activities below:

  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Outdoor rock climbing
  • Kayaking / Canoeing
  • Running
  • Photography adventures
  • Visiting parks
  • Outdoor yoga

While this list can go on forever, just know that the possibilities for enjoyment are endless. You just need to decide whether or not you are willing to take that leap of faith and jump into unexplored opportunities that the outdoors have to offer.

The Beauty and Tranquility of Fishing


Henry David Thoreau once said that, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.” Exploring the outdoors has become a huge passion of mine. Like many people, it provides an unexplored beauty of adventure and tranquility. As much as we can get lost with the various technological gadgets in our everyday life, I would advise you to take the time and embrace the outdoor world around you.

Now, with it being summer time, one of my favorite pastimes and hobbies is to get out on the water and go fishing. While some people have specific reservations about fishing, what they really need to understand are the positive factors that fishing can have, especially within a group. To begin, as much as fishing is a journey, it can also be seen as an opportunity to escape the pressures and stresses of the world. In my mind, it is an incredibly cathartic experience. Simply getting out on the water with your friends allows you to clear your mind of all worries and enjoy the hunt of the game. While some people may view this as a lackluster activity, the ability to just float around and converse with your close friends is an experience that anyone can enjoy.

As for the hunt, there is a culmination of anticipation and pride. Similar to soccer and baseball, fishing is a patient sport. The much-anticipated wait will continue to build as you sit on the edge of your seat knowing that something out in the water, at any minute of the day, could snatch the bait and land you with that golden prize. While each fishing journey provides a wide range of opportunities, you cannot help but love the unknown.

Now, the true thrill is when that bait is caught. This is what I call, ‘on the hunt.’ Once you get that bite, a jolt of electricity seems to hit your body. For novices to the sport, you can immediately see a sense of gratification and happiness when this happens. In the grand scheme of things, there really is nothing like the first bite. As this happens, that is when you have the corroboration and support of your friends. The excitement and advice from them and the final applause once you reel the prize in the boat is truly a remarkable moment.

But what really makes this special is the camaraderie. As much as you see the support when you catch that big bite, the ability to spend your time with your friends and loved ones in an atmosphere where anything and everything are open for discussion is a beautiful moment. But even with that sense of collaboration, there are still simple instances of pleasant solitude. To just be in your thoughts as you wait for a catch is something people strive for each and every day. That ability to self-reflect and just think is rare and should never be taken for granted.

Now, to wrap everything up, the last benefit of the experience is dinner timer. Depending on where you go and what you catch, many people will walk away with a fresh meal. Yes, there is a cooking portion to this experience, but unlike other meals, this one will have a better satisfaction because you were the one who caught it.

Best Restaurants in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a vibrant city filled with many things to do and lots of delicious places to eat. Like any city, there are some restaurants that are absolutely amazing. Here’s a list of 5 of the top restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota made by a local.

Butcher & The Boar

Type of cuisine: American, Steakhouse

Location: 1121 Hennepin Avenue

One of the best restaurants in the city, Butcher & The Boar is top notch when it comes to food and service. The food is out of this world- you can truly tell that the chefs are of the highest caliber and put care into the food that they make. The atmosphere here is great, especially in the summer when you can sit outside in the beer garden. The only this is that you should expect to get a hefty bill at the end of your meal. This is a great spot to go to on a special occasion.

George & The Dragon

Type of cuisine: Pub

Location: 813 W 50th Street

George & The Dragon is a pub that serves both American and British pub staples. The waitstaff here are extremely friendly and on top of things, always making sure that your glasses are filled with water and that you’re getting the proper attention. The food is incredible. No matter what you order it will be delicious. The vibe in the restaurant is friendly and casual. There’s even a bookshelf where children can pick a book from to read during their meal!  

Lotus Restaurant

Type of cuisine: Vietnamese

Location: 113 W Grant Street

When looking for Vietnamese food there is no better place to go in Minneapolis than Lotus Restaurant. No matter what you get here- it’s delicious! Whether you get a classic like pad thai or something different like the cream cheese wontons there is no doubt that you will leave satisfied. It should also be noted that the waitstaff is incredibly helpful and friendly!

Brasa Rotisserie

Type of cuisine: Southern, Caribbean

Location: 600 E Hennepin Avenue

You might be very much in the north but it’ll feel like you’re down south when eating at Brasa Rotisserie. Everything is cooked fresh, right of the grill and made with love like true southern food. The service is great, with all the food being brought out quickly. Another great thing about this restaurant is that you won’t break the bank eating here.

Bar La Grassa

Type of cuisine: Italian

Location: 800 Washington Avenue North

There’s no better place to get Italian in Minneapolis than Bar La Grassa. You can really tell that the restaurant wants you to have a great and special experience while eating there as they give you a small bowl of white beans and pickled veggies as an appetizer for free upon your arrival. Everything here is delicious. Simply put, it’s the best Italian in the city.

Best Family Vacation Spots

Going on vacation with your family can be a fun time and fill you with lifelong memories. When finding the perfect spot to vacation with your kids you find to find somewhere that every member of your family will be able to enjoy. This is especially important when traveling with young kids. As your kids get older you’ll be able to branch out on the places that you’re traveling to. But don’t miss out on traveling and creating memories just because your kids are young. Here’s a list of some of the best places to travel to in the United States with your family.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is so much to see and do here all at a reasonable price. Depending on your kids ages you can go hiking, kayaking, rafting, for horse rides and a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. Whether you want to be adventurous on this vacation or just sit back and enjoy the views, the Grand Canyon is a perfect place for a family vacation.  


Located on the breathtaking island of Oahu, Honolulu is the state capital of Hawaii. No matter how old you are Hawaii is always a great place to vacation to. You can sit back and relax on the beach with a drink in hand while your kids play in the sand. Take surfing lessons, go on a hike, eat some of the local cuisine and just enjoy your incredible surroundings.


What could be better than taking your kids to the happiest place on earth- Walt Disney World? Spend some time on the roller coasters, kiddie rides, playing games or travel around the world in Epcot. You could spend your entire vacation in Walt Disney World. But Orlando is also a great city filled with lots to do so don’t forget to get out of the park for a bit and check out the city while you’re there!

Washington D.C.

The capital of our country, Washington D.C. is a great place for a family vacation. First off, D.C. is a great city to explore. It’s filled with delicious restaurants, friendly people, and a lot of history. Lose track of time in the Smithsonian, take a tour of the White House (make sure to book this very far in advance) or explore one of the other museums in the city. Washington D.C If you’re looking to stay outside of the typical tourist spots there are lots of art galleries, farmers markets and neighborhoods to explore.

Why Fitness is Important

Do any of these things sound like something you’d want: decreasing your risk of disease; feeling better physically and mentally; looking better; avoiding injuries; continue doing activities that you enjoy throughout your life? If so then you need to exercise. Participating in regular physical exercise can even help you live longer!

Exercising, along with eating healthy, keeps you in shape. In the United States over the last 20 years there has been a significant increase in obesity. About thirty-three percent of adults and seventeen percent of children and adolescents in the United States are obese. Obesity leads to many health problems such as diabetes, chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, and asthma.

Not only does not exercising lead to health issues but these health issues can lead to financial issues as well. Those who are obese have medical costs that are on average typically $1,500 more than those of normal weight. Moreover, annual direct costs of childhood obesity are $14.3 billion.

Scheduling just thirty minutes of exercise a day, while watching what you eat, can significantly decrease your risk of getting any of these health problems. A thirty minute workout can be many different things. Maybe you like running so you can do cardio for thirty minutes. There are other types of exercise you can do too, like weightlifting, crossfit, spin, or a HIIT session, that switch up your routine more so that you don’t get bored of doing the same thing over and over and you target different parts of your body.

There are many other positive effects to working out as well that you can see more immediately. They include increasing your muscle strength, reducing fat, promoting strong bone, muscle, and joint development, conditioning your heart and lungs, improving your sleep, increasing your energy and self-esteem, relieving stress, and increasing your chances of living longer.

Day Trips from Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a bustling and exciting city filled with culture, art, food and activities. There is no doubt that it’s the perfect place to live. However, sometimes you just need to escape the city for a day. Hoping in your car for a day trip to the lake, a bike path or a quaint little town is the perfect getaway.

Lake Minnetonka

Located approximately 15 miles southwest of Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka is the ninth largest lake in Minnesota. It is one of the most popular locations in the state for fisherman, boaters and recreationists. You can rent a boat, take out your own boat, go shopping in the near-by towns, enjoy a delicious dinner or take a lake cruise all at lake Minnetonka. The area is full of fun and exciting activities for all ages!

Taylors Falls

For anyone who enjoys outdoor activities, Taylors Falls is the perfect place to go! Just an hour away from Minneapolis, Taylors Falls is the ideal location for hiking and paddling. Located right on the St. Croix River, the area is a beautiful forested area with high cliffs. During the summer months it’s perfect for hiking, biking and river activities. In the fall you will be surrounded by the most incredible foliage. And in the spring the temperature is just perfect for all of your favorite outdoor activities.

Menomonie, Wisconsin  

Calling all bicyclists! The next time you want to take your bike out for a beautiful spin head over to the Red Cedar State Trail in Menomonie, Wisconsin. An hour and a half due east of Minneapolis, this 14 and a half mile trail is perfect for a scenic bike ride. You will see beautiful trees and it is typical to see a great deal of wildlife including eagles, herons, hawks and wild turkeys. There is no better place to go for a bike ride and spend the day outside of the city!


A 45 minute drive from Minneapolis, Northfield is a cute town and the perfect place to go to if you want to escape from the bustling city for a day. Northfield is home to two colleges, Carleton College and St. Olaf College, so the town is filled with a great deal of culture and activities. St. Olaf College is world-renowned for its music program and offers free recitals and concerts to the public. Head Downtown to Division Street, which is filled with cute mom-and-pop shops. Stop in to the Northfield Historical Society Museum to learn about a famous bank raid that occurred in the town back in 1876. This quaint town might seem like a small random place to go but it’s filled with many fun activities for the perfect day trip!

What to do in Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is a city that is thriving with culture, art, music, things to do and incredible people. No matter when you decide to visit this amazing city, whether it’s snowing or sunny, there is plenty to do!

Minneapolis Institute of Art
This museum is a fun, and free, thing to check out in Minneapolis. There are around 80,000 permanent objects in the museum that span over 5,000 of word history. You can go and check out paintings, photographs, drawings, architecture, and art that was made all over the world over thousands of years. The museum also hosts special exhibitions from time to time. Whether you want to take the kids or go with friends the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a great place to spend the day!

Target Field 
Home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. In 2010 ESPN The Magazine named Target Field as the #1 baseball stadium experience in North America. It was even the home of the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star game. With an abundance of delicious places to eat, an amazing view and baseball what more could you ask for?

Minnehaha Park 
Having a beautiful park in the middle of the city is incredible. It offers an escape from city life without making you travel far. Minnehaha Falls and the end of Minnehaha Creek are located inside Minnehaha Park. There is also a great deal of history preserved within the park such as a Victorian train depot built in the 1870s, the John H. Stevens House that was built in 1849, and the Longfellow house. In 1969 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the perfect place to come for a hike, to enjoy nature and relax.

Lake Calhoun
Lake Calhoun is a center for outdoor activities for those living in Minneapolis. Surrounded by a park and encircled by bike and walking trails, Lake Calhoun is the perfect summer spot. You can go swimming, boating, windsurfing, fishing, hiking, walking, etc. all in one place. The lake has three great beaches for everyone to enjoy.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
This 11 acre park in the city is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country. There are over 40 permanent art installations with additional temporary pieces that are moved in and out periodically. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a really cool place to come and explore one of the most interesting parts of the city.

Best Lakes for Fishing in Minnesota

Minnesota borders Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, and is famous for being home to more than 10,000 lakes. All of these lakes make it a haven for fisherman. Minnesota has become a popular tourist destination for fisherman. Even during the winter, fishing doesn’t cease when the lakes freeze. Minnesotans have learned to embrace their long, harsh winters. Ice fishing has been around since the arrival of early Scandinavian immigrants. But which lakes in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” are the best to go fishing in?

Lake Louise
Preston, MN
Lake Louise is located in lake Louise State Park, just north of the Iowa border. The lake is 25 acres and man made. It is situated next to an 1,147 acre state park. The lake is only available for shore fishing. While a total of 47 species have been found in the lake, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, sunfish and channel catfish are the most widely caught fish in Lake Louise. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, fish travel into the lake from the Upper Iowa and Little Iowa rivers.

Fort Snelling Lake
St. Paul, MN
Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, Fort Snelling Lake is part of Fort Snelling State Park. On the north side of the lake there is a wooden fishing dock, which is handicap accessible. There are also drive-in and carry-in boat launches. This spring fed lake is home to northern pike, sunfish, crappie and carp.

Annie Battle Lake
Whitetail Lane Battle Lake, MN
Glendalough State Park in northern Minnesota is home to Annie Battle Lake. You aren’t allowed to take motor boats out on the 355-acre lake so fishing there is very peaceful. The lake is home so sunfish, crappie, walleye and bass.

Lake Andrew
New London, MN
Lake Andrew is located in Sibley State Park. Crappie is the most populous fish found here followed by walleye and northern pike. At 918-square feet, Lake Andrew doesn’t have any boat access so fisherman have to fish from the shore. The lodge offers free rental equipment.

Lake Minnetonka
Minneapolis, MN
Bluegill, northern pike, and yellow perch are the most populous fish in Lake Minnetonka. The lake covers 14,205 acres and has a maximum depth of 113 feet, making it the ninth largest lake in Minnesota. It is one of the most popular lakes among boaters, fishermen and recreationists. An inland lake, lake Minnetonka is located approximately 15 miles west-southwest of Minneapolis.

With over 10,000 lakes to choose from, Minnesota is one of the best places in the United States to go fishing. For a list of all the lakes in the state check out this list.

Why Should You Go Fishing?

Fishing is one of the most accessible outdoor sports. Almost anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or income level, can participate. Moreover, it is no longer a sport that mostly men participate in anymore. According to a report by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, over one third of the 46 million Americans who fish today are women. Not only is fishing enjoyable, whether you go by yourself, with friends or with family, but studies have found that fishing leads to a happier and healthier life. Below are a few reasons why you should go fishing.

It’s healthy for you
While fishing itself isn’t necessarily going to get your heart racing, many of the best fishing spots require work, such as paddling, biking, or hiking, to get to. The effort put into getting to these amazing spots is great exercise.

Simply being outside is great for you. Whether it’s sunny or not being outside allows your body to get much needed Vitamin D, which helps keep your teeth and bones healthy. Moreover, studies have shown that Vitamin D has been linked to helping battle depression.

Escaping the chaos of everyday life, especially if you live in the city, helps lower your stress. When asked, nearly ninety-percent of people who fish recreationally said that escaping crowds was their ultimate goal. Today there are even charities whose main goal is to use the power of fishing to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

If what you catch is big enough, and you decide to keep and eat it, this has multiple positive effects. Fish are an extremely healthy food and an excellent source of nutrition. They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of stroke and heart failure. According to research, eating fish can also help your eyesight, decrease your risk of asthma, protect your skin from UV-rays (this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still wear sunscreen!), and cut your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half. Moreover, according to the Mayo Clinic, eating fish can also reduce irregular heartbeats and improve brain function in children.

Fishing expeditions usually last multiple hours. This is a great time to form friendships, whether it be with your friends or family. Getting excited over a big catch, spending time talking, or just being in the presence of other people is a great catalyst for great friendships.

Contribute to conservation
Most people who fish are passionate about the environment. By purchasing fishing licenses, fishermen are helping to fund many of the wildlife and conservation programs that exist in the United States. Many fishermen are also advocates who speak to others about the importance of helping our environment.

There’s a reason that people still go fishing today, when they don’t need to for survival any more- it’s fun! People of all ages, genders, races, etc. can enjoy the sport, create lifelong friendships and gain invaluable skills. The thrill of catching a fish is unmatchable!

The Dos and Don’ts of Fishing

There are many reasons that people enjoy fishing. While it’s a great way to catch your dinner, there is a lot more to it. It relieves stress, helps you to fulfill yourself and serves as a good way to interact with others. Many people believe that being a good angler means being able to catch a large number of fish. While catching fish is a lovely reward, fishing is mainly about the actual act of fishing. It is important to perfect your technique in order to truly be a good angler. You can have a perfectly rewarding day of fishing without catching any fish. Here are are some dos and don’ts to get the most out of your fishing experience:

Do try out new spots. Many anglers get into the habit of fishing in the same spots multiple times. Once anglers get into the habit of fishing in a certain lake or pond, they stick with that spot because they know the best way to catch fish there. While this may be comfortable, it’s better to change the body of water that you choose to fish in. Changing it up will make for a more rewarding fishing experience. After all, what gets anglers into the sport in the first place is the spontaneity of exploring a new body of water. Figuring out a boy of water that you have not previously explored creates an added excitement that you just don’t get when you consistently fish in the same location. And who knows; you might even find your new favorite place to fish!

Don’t forget any crucial piece of gear. One of the most important pieces to always remember is your net. You never know when you might hook an extraordinary fish. After all, part of fishing is luck. And if you forget your net on a day when you get a large fish, you will be sorely disappointed. It’s the kind of regretful memory that haunts an angler long after it occurs.

Do go with the flow. It’s easy to plan things out and think that everything is going to plan, but this is not always the case. there’s no way to predict how other anglers, the weather, the fish themselves or any other variable will affect your experience. The important thing is that you are able to adapt to your surroundings, no matter what unforeseen circumstances occur. Going with the flow will allow you to have a great time no matter what the circumstances or the outcome. You can have a great time even if things don’t go as planned.

Don’t put off your fishing experience. As with many experiences in life, it is easy to get into the bad habit of putting off fishing in any way you can. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll have time to fish in the future, you should try to go fishing as much as possible. Not every fishing experience has to be lengthy. Plan a fishing tip and go, even if it’s just for an hour. Time flies, and if you don’t go fishing when you have the chance, you might look back and regret that you didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

Do pass on your love of fishing to others. Most anglers first get into fishing through another person, be that person a parent, grandparent or friend. If you are given the opportunity to teach someone else to fish, you should definitely take it. The person you teach will be forever thankful, and you will have a rewarding sense of pride! Not to mention you now have someone to go fishing with. It’s a win-win!

Fishing is an extremely enjoyable hobby. But you have to be sure to be open to the unpredictable nature of it. If you allow fishing to have its full effect on you, you’ll never regret taking up this worthwhile hobby. If you follow the tips given above, you will find that fishing is relaxing, rewarding and fun.