Lake Minnetonka: A Guide to the Best Activities
If you’re looking for a fun spot to hang out in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, you should definitely check out Lake Minnetonka. This place has been a popular destination for over a century, with a ton of history and a beautiful setting.
You can do all sorts of fun stuff there, like boating, fishing, and swimming. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Lake Minnetonka is definitely worth checking out!
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History of Lake Minnetonka
The first settlers to the area arrived in the late 1800s and immediately began to utilize the lake’s resources.
Fishing and hunting were the main activities, but the settlers also began to create summer homes around the lake.
By the early 1900s, Lake Minnetonka had become a popular destination for many and the area flourished.
Best Activities on Lake Minnetonka
The lake is now a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with a variety of activities to enjoy. Some of the most sought evert property is the Lake Minnetonka Homes.
Getting on the lake is a great way to enjoy the lake. There are tons of great ways to explore.
Boat Tours on Lake Minneotank
Taking a boat tour of Lake Minnetonka is such a blast! Not only do you get to experience the lake’s beautiful scenery from a unique perspective, but many tours also offer fun and informative commentary about the history and wildlife of the area.
Plus, you can kick back and relax in comfortable seating while enjoying snacks and drinks. It’s the perfect way to spend a sunny day with friends or family, and you’re sure to create unforgettable memories!
- Al & Alma’s Supper Club and Charter Cruises: This company offers a variety of cruises, including brunch, lunch, and dinner options, as well as private charters. Their boats are beautifully decorated and offer a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
- Wayzata Bay Charters: This company offers private luxury charters aboard their sleek and modern boats. They offer a range of options, including sunset cruises, sightseeing tours, and even wedding charters.
- Lady of the Lake: This historic paddlewheel boat offers narrated sightseeing tours of Lake Minnetonka, complete with a cash bar and snacks available for purchase. They also offer private charters for special occasions.
The Lake Minnetonka Streetcar Boats are historic boats that were once used to ferry passengers between lakeside communities on Lake Minnetonka. When they were decommissioned they sunk it to the bottom of the lake.
They recently found the boats and were able to bring Steamboat Minnehaha back to the surface. It was fully restored and feature unique and ornate designs that showcase the craftsmanship of the past.
For a short time tours were running on the boats until they lost their boat slip. Hopefully, they’ll be able to run tours again.
Lake Minnetonka is a fantastic fishing spot for several reasons! The lake is home to game fish like walleye, muskie, bass, and northern pike, among others.
The lake is quite large, so there are plenty of places to fish and explore.
It’s common to see people fishing of the dock, shoreline and of course by boat. Find a boat launch and get started.
The lake’s waters are well-maintained, which helps to ensure a healthy fish population.
Rent a kayak or paddleboard
There is no better way to explore the water than by paddleboard. Ok, I’m a little biased here. But the lake has plenty of coves to explore and hidden areas you can only get to by small craft.
There are several places where you can rent a paddleboard or kayak on Lake Minnetonka! One popular option is Bay Rentals, which offers a wide variety of watercraft rentals, including kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and more.
Another great option is Tonka Bay Marina, which offers paddleboard and kayak rentals as well as boat rentals.
If you’re looking for a guided paddleboard or kayak tour, check out the offerings from the Wayzata Bay Charters, which provides both equipment and instruction.
Whatever your preference, there are plenty of places to rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the stunning beauty of Lake Minnetonka!
Beaches on Lake Minnetonka
The Lake Minnetonka area is home to several beautiful beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun! With a lake this size, you gotta stop at one of these and enjoy it.
Excelsior Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Located in the charming town of Excelsior, the beach offers a beautiful sandy shore and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and relaxing.
One of the things that makes this beach so great for families is the playground, which is located just steps away from the water.
There are also plenty of picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal or snack while taking in the stunning lake views.
Wayzata Beach is a must-visit spot on Lake Minnetonka. This popular beach offers a sandy shore and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
What makes this beach so special is its location in the heart of the charming town of Wayzata. Nearby, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops, and other attractions to explore.
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
Lake Minnetonka beach is a great spot for beach-goers and outdoor enthusiasts.
With a long sandy shore and clear blue waters, there’s plenty of space for sunbathing, swimming, and playing.
The park also offers hiking trails, kayak rentals, a playground, and a fishing pier. It’s a perfect spot for a fun-filled day of outdoor recreation and relaxation.
Big Island Regional Park
Big Island is a popular spot for swimming on Lake Minnetonka and is home to the popular Big Island Beach.
The beach is located in Big Island Park and is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and parting.
The beach has a sandy bottom and is relatively shallow, making it a perfect spot for boats to tie up. On a hot summer day, you better get there early because it’s packed!
Great Lake Towns for Dining and Shopping
One of the best charms of Lake Minnetonka is the great towns around the Lake. They have amazing lake views and shopping. Perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Wayzata is a picturesque lake town that’s full of charm and character.
Its quaint downtown is home to a variety of shops and boutiques, as well as many restaurants and cafes that offer delicious food and drinks. There is casual dining or fine dining, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in Wayzata.
Plus, the town has a beautiful lakeside park and beach, as well as a marina where you can rent boats and explore the lake.
With its small-town is the best place on the lake to watch the sunset, Wayzata is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Excelsior is a charming lake town on the shores of Lake Minnetonka that’s known for its excellent dining and shopping scene.
The town is home to a variety of shops and boutiques, as well as many restaurants and cafes that offer delicious food and drinks. Whether you’re looking for a cozy coffee shop or an upscale restaurant, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in Excelsior.
Plus, the town has a beautiful lakeside park and beach, making it a great destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Excelsior MN is a great town to explore. For more Ideas on what to do, make sure to check out: Fun Things to do in Excelsior MN: Escape the Ordinary
Mound is a cozy lake town on the western shore of Lake Minnetonka. It is a great spot for fishing, boating, and water sports, with several public boat launches and marinas.
The town also offers a variety of restaurants and bars, from casual eateries to upscale dining options. Shopping opportunities in Mound include several boutique shops and specialty stores, with a focus on outdoor gear and lake-themed gifts.
Mound’s scenic parks and trails, as well as its proximity to other popular lake towns, make it a must-visit destination on Lake Minnetonka.
Other Must-See Attractions on Lake Minnetonka
Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge
Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge is a classic lakeside restaurant on Lake Minnetonka that has been serving up great food and drinks since 1968.
The restaurant offers a beautiful lakeside setting with indoor and outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying a meal with family or friends. As a boater, you can pull right into their dock and get a meal.
The menu is extensive, featuring a variety of dishes ranging from classic American fare to fresh seafood.
With live music, happy hour specials, and a lively atmosphere, Lord Fletcher’s is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty and fun of Lake Minnetonka.
The Wayzata Beach Bash
The Wayzata Beach Bash is an annual summer event that takes place on Wayzata Beach. It’s a fun-filled day with live music, food vendors, beach games, and more.
The event attracts both locals and visitors to enjoy the beauty of the beach and the excitement of the festivities.
Dog Sledding on the Lake
The annual Klondike Dog Derby sled race on Lake Minnetonka is a thrilling event for both competitors and spectators.
The race, which takes place the first weekend of February, covers a 40-mile course and attracts some of the top sled dog teams in the country.
Each racer circles the lake twice, starting and ending in Excelsior.
The race is open to both professional and amateur teams and features a variety of sled dog breeds including Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.
Spectators can watch the teams speed across the frozen lake, and enjoy hot cocoa and snacks from the vendors. It’s an exciting event that showcases the beauty and athleticism of sled dogs.
What is at the bottom of Lake Minnetonka?
There are about 76 identified wrecks at the bottom of lake Minnetonka.
The Wayzata Bay wreck is one of the most famous shipwrecks in Lake Minnetonka. The steamboat, named “City of Saint Louis,” was built in 1870 and was one of the most luxurious steamboats on the lake.
However, in 1883, it caught fire and sank in Wayzata Bay. Today, the wreck is a popular spot for divers, and the area around the bay is a great spot for fishing and boating.
Is Lake Minnetonka a clean lake?
Yes, Lake Minnetonka is generally considered a clean lake. The lake has had some issues with algae blooms and invasive species in the past, but efforts have been made to manage and prevent these problems.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District regularly monitors the water quality of the lake and works to maintain and improve it. Additionally, the lake has a no-wake policy in place to prevent erosion and maintain the shoreline.
Plan your next adventure
Lake Minnetonka offers a unique and enjoyable experience for visitors to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. With its rich history, beautiful scenery, and a wide variety of activities available, it’s no wonder that the lake is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, go fishing or boating, explore small lake towns, or enjoy the many dining and shopping options, Lake Minnetonka has something for everyone. A visit to this stunning lake is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.