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Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka, MN

www.threeriversparks.org
Lake Minnetonka is a lake located about 16 miles west-southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lake Minnetonka has about 23 named bays and areas. The … See more

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Jul 6, 2021
The lake is large enough that you can cruise all day on the boat watching the beautiful homes on the shores. We stopped for lunch and swimming and then it was time to go back so fast. Full review by Sara T
Jul 6, 2021
The lake is large enough that you can cruise all day on the boat watching the beautiful homes on the shores. We stopped for lunch and swimming and then it was time to go back so fast. Full review by Sara T
Jun 23, 2021
The regional park has a divine pool from lake Minnetonka where you can spend a completely day under ones of many umbrellas and play on the pool in adición has a park for kids and bicycle trail plus … Full review by Deelove67

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Popular Among Boaters, Sailors, and Fishermen
Lake Minnetonka is an inland lake located approximately 15 miles west-southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lake lies within Hennepin County and Carver County and is surrounded by 13 municipalities. At 14,528 acres, it is Minnesota's ninth largest lake and is popular among boaters, sailors, and fishermen. It is also one of Minnesota's most affluent residential areas. Some of the most popular attractions on Lake Minnetonka are restaurants. Lord Fletcher's restaurant in Orono has been one of Lake Minnetonka's most popular establishments since opening in 1968. Maynards Restaurant, established in Excelsior in 1998, is currently regarded as Minnesota's most popular waterfront restaurant. In recent years, downtown Excelsior and Wayzata have become popular Twin Cities culinary destinations as many new restaurants continue to appear there. The Old Log Theater, located in Greenwood, first opened in 1940 and is now Minnesota's oldest professional theater organization. Alumni of the theater include actors Nick Nolte and Loni Anderson. Paisley Park, the former home and recording studio of the late musical icon Prince, is located approximately two miles south of Lake Minnetonka in Chanhassen. The complex is now open to the public as a museum. Lake Minnetonka is home to several regional parks owned by Three Rivers Park District. The largest and most popular among these are Lake Minnetonka Regional Park in Minnetrista and Noerenberg Gardens in Orono. Three Rivers Park District also maintains two regional bike trails near the lake. Two other large public parks on Lake Minnetonka include Big Island Nature Park and the Excelsior Commons. Boating, sailing, and fishing are the most popular activities on Lake Minnetonka. Boats of all sizes and horsepower may be legally launched on Lake Minnetonka, but speed and noise restrictions do apply. The lake has four active yacht clubs and an antique and classic boat society known as the Bob Speltz Land O' Lakes Chapter of the ACBS. Several cruise companies operate larger excursion vessels on the lake, the largest of which is 83 feet long. Lake Minnetonka's magnificent homes are a common highlight on these sightseeing, dinner, and brunch cruises. Other common activities on Lake Minnetonka include swimming, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding during the summer, and ice fishing, snowmobiling, and ice yachting during the winter. Several community festivals are held around the lake each year. Some of the larger events include James J. Hill Days in Wayzata, Apple Day in Excelsior, and the Spirit of the Lakes Festival in Mound. The first people who inhabited the Lake Minnetonka area were likely indigenous natives who migrated to the region at the end of the last ice age circa 8000 BCE. Later peoples who inhabited the area between 3500 BCE and 1500 CE are often referred to collectively as the "Mound Builders" because they constructed large land features serving spiritual, ceremonial, burial, and elite residential functions. The Mound Builder culture reached its apex circa 1150 CE and ceased to exist circa 1500 CE. The construction of hotels and boarding houses near Lake Minnetonka boomed during the 1870s and early 1880s. The first large hotel on the lake, the Hotel Saint Louis in Deephaven, was built in 1879 and offered 150 guest rooms with private verandas. The larger Lake Park Hotel was completed in Tonka Bay later that year. The largest hotel ever built on Lake Minnetonka, the Hotel Lafayette in Minnetonka Beach, opened in 1882. At nearly 800 feet long and five stories tall, the Hotel Lafayette had over 400 guest rooms. Many guests hailed from the Deep South and spent entire summers on the lake to enjoy its natural beauty and cooler climate. Large steamboats became prevalent on Lake Minnetonka during this time. The first inland steamboat ever to be equipped with electric lights, the City of Saint Louis, was assembled in Wayzata in 1881 and began servicing lakeside communities and resorts later that year. The largest vessel ever to operate on Lake Minnetonka, the Belle of Minnetonka, was launched and put into service in 1882. At 300 feet long, the Belle of Minnetonka could purportedly accommodate up to 2,500 passengers.
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