Best of Health & Fitness

Best Health Club


Some crazy people wake up at 6:00 in the morning to work out at a gym BEFORE they start their perspective busy days. Some people appreciate the feeling of a good old “sweat break out” before their eyelids open fully in the morning. Some people want their heartbeats to reach an invigorating 180 beats per minute before they have had breakfast, or a latte, or a cigarette. Some people are crazy. These crazy folks voted for YMCA as the best fitness and health club in these parts. We do suppose they boast a pretty competitive health center, with a childcare center, swimming pool, and amazing equipment; waking up at 6:00 is just a complicated issue if you’re a Reader Staff member. Runner up for best health club is Anytime Fitness who were behind by just two votes. This is because some people are even crazier and wake up at 3:00 a.m. to work out. Anytime fitness provides the anytime hours for those 2 or 3 a.m.-ers. These people win for most crazy we suspect. Isn’t this supposed to be the “best place to go when wasted at 2 a.m.” category? AZ


Best Bike Shop

Ski Hut

Once again Ski Hut takes the win for “best bike shop.” Not too much of a surprise here, it’s something like their 14th year in a row to when this. We can’t honestly even say for sure, it’s been so many years. Ski Hut has been offering great selection and service since 1955, we’re sure about that. Twin Ports Cyclery came in with a decent amount of votes and takes second place.


Best Ski Shop

Ski Hut

A knowledgeable staff, solid products and fair prices once again make Ski Hut the best ski shop of the Northland.  With two locations and a full service repair shop, Ski Hut is your best bet to get out on the slopes in style. They once again take a win.


Best Hair Salon


Adeline has been hacking away at people’s hair for over 13 years now and it seems fair to say that people love the results. Whether you need a “full foil” or some of that unsightly upper lip hair waxed off, Adeline and her staff will be there to provide quality and friendly service.  Last year’s winner, Great Clips, took second place this year.


Best Optical

Vision Pro

Vision Pro must be doing something right with another win. They specialize in eyes, offering eye exams, fashionable glasses and contacts. Vision Pro has locations throughout the region and frequently wins their category. Relf Optical take second place.


Best Place to Rollerblade


Why do we even put this in?  Every year we get the same answer.  Lakewalk wins again. You go Lakewalk.


Best Place to Walk


See “Rollerblade.”  Hartley Nature Center gained a fair amount of votes for their lovely trails and gets second place.


Best Bike Trail

Munger Trail

Ah yes, another win for the famous Willard Munger trail.  With well over a 100 miles of paved and natural surfaces, it’s easy to spend a whole day out in the beautiful East Central Minnesota forests. During winter months, segments of the trail are open to snowmobiling as well.


Best Sporting Goods Store

Play it Again Sports

Play it Again plays it again for another win.  Let’s face it, last year’s lightly used models are probably going to work just about as good as this years spanking new ones. And although you won’t notice much of a difference when using the equipment, your wallet will notice a big difference. We’d imagine that those with little growing athletes that Play it Again is a great option.