Bicycle-thronged Lippstadt, the largest city in the district of Soest, sits in the verdant, green lowlands of Germany's Munsterland. The region's profound sense of history pervades the place: this castle-dotted landscape is where the historic Peace of Westphalia was signed. Lippstadt -- literally, the "city on the lip" of the Lahn river -- is no exception. To experience the best of the place, make like a local and hop on a bike to check out the local sights.
Catch a Show at City Theatre
A favorite night out for culture-vulture locals, Lippstadt's City Theatre is wide-ranging in its offerings. The lovingly modernized theater schedules its share of traditional German acts, of course, but branches out to feature well-known international artists across all genres. Take advantage of convenient bicycle parking, as well as convenient access to downtown restaurants, bars and cafes for an after-show nibble.
Canoe the Lahn River
Crossed by several rivers, canals and lakes, locals dubbed Lippstadt "the Venice of Westphalia." On a sunny day, rent a vessel at Canoe Tours Weilburg and head out on the Lahn River for a lackadaisical ramble downriver. The views take in the city's expansive waterside parks, historic architecture and plenty of zestful antics at the riverside's many swimming spots. Kayaks and canoes can be had for four-hour, half-day rentals or -- if you're feeling especially energetic -- eight-hour, full-day rentals. A word to the wise: since many miles of water loop in and around Lippstadt, pick up a map -- and, if you're not an adrenaline-seeker, ask the rental agent to point out where you might encounter whitewater.
Relax in Bad Waldliesborn
Indulge yourself in a classically German, highly idyllic spa town just 10 minutes north of central Lippstadt. Famous in Germany, Bad Waldliesborn seems like a well-kept secret, as it's virtually unknown to tourists. However, the "Bad" is certainly worth a stop: not only is the town lovely, but the namesake Mineral Spa at Bad Waldliesborn, set in a pristine parkland, offers a long list of medi-spa treatments -- or just a simple, soothing bath in the mineral hot spring. Once you've regained your energy, try Bad Waldliesborn's local climbing park and nordic walking route.
Get Wet at Wasserski Paderborn
Half an hour northeast of Lippstadt, the leisure park at Wasserski Paderborn is comprised of two lakes, a campground, several beach volleyball courts, a restaurant and several sun decks. The operation runs on cables, not boats: skiiers and 'boarders hang on to a handle that's attached to a motor-driven cable, pulling yelping participants on a large circuit around the water. Newbies are welcome. Staff instructors run hour-long water-skiing and wakeboarding courses on the water, the price of which includes skis or a board, a life vest and a wetsuit.