Ours may be the land of 11,842 lakes, but we also get to enjoy a good chunk of the Mighty Mississippi. If you’re looking for a new way to get on the water this summer, give the MPLS Water Taxi a spin.
Founded four years ago by Captain Greg Hoseth, the company operates two small vessels out of the boat launch at Boom Island Park. The solar-powered cruiser and pontoon boat chart a course along the Mississippi River just above St. Anthony Falls. From Boom Island Park, you can head downstream to the Upper Lock or upstream to Lowry Avenue Bridge and a blue heron rookery. Scenic highlights include the 48-foot-tall Grain Belt Beer sign on Nicollet Island and a hypnotic skyline view of downtown.
The hour-long private cruises, which operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., cost $70 for up to six passengers; a special City Lights evening cruise, bookable for 9 or 10 p.m., costs $90. Guests can bring food and drinks aboard, including booze. All pleasure cruises are privately chartered and the captain, who stands more than six feet away from passengers while steering, will wear a mask upon request. The boats are also sanitized in between rides.
Though pontooning would be a lovely activity for a sunny afternoon, we opted for the 8-9 p.m. time slot. The oppressive heat had mellowed by then, and we were able to catch the start of a gorgeous sunset. The only other boat on the river at that time was another MPLS Water Taxi (not an uncommon occurrence, says Captain Greg), although we did spot a lone stand-up paddleboarder.
Cruise reservations can be made online at mplswatertaxi.com; for same-day or next-day bookings, call or text 612-801-1921. Maybe this could be a new summer tradition?
MPLS Water Taxi
Boat launch at Boom Island Park, Minneapolis, MN; 612-801-1921.