Snow Kiting

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Make the most of Minnesota's cold winters by taking up snow kiting.     Photo: Courtesy Explore Minnesota Tourism

Kiteboarding has been around since Revolutionary times, when Benjamin Franklin rode an experimental kite across a pond, but the sport didn't make it to ice until the 1990s. Today, winter-happy Minnesotans are doing their best to push snow kiting into the mainstream. There's plenty of frozen water near the Twin Cities, but wide-open Lake Minnetonka, 15 miles west of downtown Minneapolis, gets the most action; on a typical weekend, the lake will see 25 kiters. When the ice is Zamboni smooth, kiters wear hockey skates, attach themselves to foil kites, and fly across the ice at 60 miles per hour. "Our winter kiting season is ten times bigger than our summer season," says Larry Freeman, owner of Scuba Center ($50 per hour for instruction and equipment; scubacenter.com).

ACCOMMODATIONS: Minneapolis's Chambers hotel is the sister to New York's hip auberge of the same name. Doubles, $265; chambersminneapolis.com

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