Make it a date: Grand Cafe
At Grand Cafe in Kingfield, you're within a scone's throw of Lakewood Cemetery, the Lyndale Rose Garden, and the Uptown VFW.
1. Tour Lakewood Cemetery
Sure, it sounds morbid, but since its 1871 founding, Lakewood has long been considered one of the country's most beautiful cemeteries, and it's a shame that it not be enjoyed by the living. Situated on a 250-acre plot between Lakes Calhoun and Harriet, the cemetery's rolling wooded expanse is the final resting place for many prominent Minnesotans (everywhere you turn, there's a memorial inscribed with a name like Pillsbury, Washburn, or Loring). Among the Classical and Egyptian Revival sculptures, architectural highlights include the 1965 Memorial Community Mausoleum and Columbarium, decorated with Italian marble, Impressionist paintings, and eight-foot-high stained glass windows, and the Memorial Chapel, with its 10 million piece mosaic, created and assembled by Italian artists at the turn of the century. The experience of standing alone under the chapel's dome is one of the cities' best kept secrets--it feels like being inside a faberge egg. (Gates are open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer.)
2. Enjoy peak bloom season at the Lyndale Park Rose Garden
The rose garden, constructed on the northeast corner of Lake Harriet in 1907-8, is the second oldest public rose garden in the United States. Designed by park superintendent Theodore Wirth, the garden showcases 3,000 plants in 100 different varieties and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
3. Nightcap and karoke at the VFW
Girls in Prince t-shirts and guys flashing their boxers sip cheap cocktails and perform B52's songs alongside old-timers at this Uptown hipster fave. No wonder Esquire named it one of the best bars in the country.