If summers in Minnesota were meausured in seashells, we'd have a handful of broken and chipped sand dollars we treasured like gold. Like our too-short summers, seashells are magical, fragile, otherworldly formations, totally flattened and pancaked by the weight of everything between it. 

August can feel like the month of anxious. There are a million things to do before autumn dances its way into summer's private party. But if you make a list, my mom says, everything will be just fine. So before we bid our sand dollar summers adieu, here are a few not-to-be-missed gems to honor our sweetest season. 

1. Go to Sea Salt at least twice. Tip: Go to the drink line first, just around the corner from the  food line. Get a beer or a carafe of wine. Meet your neighbors. Have strange conversations about why you prefer black licorice over red. Discover you could be lifelong friends. 

2. Visit St. Anthony Falls Water Power Park. Situated right along St. Anthony Main, this park is the perfect wedding of nature and city and offers some of the most breathtaking views of Minneapolis. The Guthrie's vertical scroll is a beautiful accompaniment to the pines reaching for the sky.

3. Check out Hidden Falls in St. Paul. Have a picnic. Build a fire. Toss some horseshoes. Beware of mosquitoes. 

4. Attend a St. Paul Saints game. The stadium will be gone after this year. Soak up some history at the original home of everyone's favorite minor league team.

5. Walk through our past. Milwaukee Avenue, White Castle, S. Edward Hall House...They are all part of 25 metro area places and properties to be found on the National Register of Historic Places.  

6. Tour a scenic byway on bike. Did you know that the Grand Rounds in Minneapolis is a designated National Scenic Byway? Forget the small town kitsch of a road trip and hop on a bike to tour downtown, the Chain of Lakes, and the Mississippi River. 

7. Go to the top of the Foshay Tower. The observation deck is located on the 30th floor of this historic landmark. 

8. Visit the Bakken Museum. Did you know the Bakken is the world's only museum dedicated to medical electricity? Step into the dream-filled former home of William Goodfellow and explore the power electricity and magnetism have to make our world better.  

9. Walk along Stone Arch Bridge. This might be one of the best views of the city, with the Guthrie's "endless bridge" extending its arms out to you and the skyline like lit-up trophies in your own diorama.

What would you add to this list? 

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