What is a can’t miss for someone trying to get the best Mississippi River outdoor experience?
Depends on the season. I love when people down south come up here to see ice on the Mississippi River. In the warmer months, I love giving people directions to actually walk down to the Mississippi River—you can do that right here at the Science Museum—put your hand in it, put your feet in it. During spring and fall migration, you cannot miss Crosby Park. Crosby Park is spectacular for warbler migration birders. It's one of the few places you can see a prothonotary warbler in the Twin Cities, which is a really cool little gold bird with sky blue wings.
In the autumn, the river is so gorgeous in the evening. The city is so beautiful, especially if you're walking over by Harriet island and spending an evening there. You can see bald eagles and, depending on the time of season, you'll see herons cruising by and you have this gorgeous urban landscape in the background.
In the summertime, you have to get on the river. We have the new paddle share program where you can rent a kayak—you can take a route from Hidden Falls to Harriet Island. I guarantee you will see bald eagles and you get that fantastic view of downtown Saint Paul. I've also seen coyotes on that route. There’s nothing quite like being on the river and being part of the vibe there as the barges go by. If you don't feel great about your kayaking skills, you can do shows with us on the Padelford. I produced a show through the park service called “Murder on the Mississippi.” It’s a great evening—riverboat ride, you get to watch a murder mystery and maybe win a prize! If that's not your thing, you can also take a personalized park ranger pontoon ride and we will give you a great tour on the river.