One of my favorite places in the Twin Cities metro area is Centennial Lakes in Edina. I love going to Centennial Lakes when I need a break from the city and when I need to just sit back and relax. It is a beautiful park with large ponds connected by a canal and beatiful walking trails. There are also countless varieties of flowers and other flora, including my favorite of all trees: the weeping willow.
The genius loci of Centennial Lakes resides in nothing material, but rather in the fact that it is merely fifteen minutes away from downtown Minneapolis but seems infinitely removed from the city. Although it is surrounded by condominiums and office buildings, the design of the park somehow creates an illusion of this complete reinsertion into nature. I love Centennial Lakes because of this very fact. It is easily accessible and quite close, yet generates as much peace and tranquility in me as a visit to the Boundary Waters would.