South Lake Minnetonka Area

Welcome to the South Lake Minnetonka Area

Historic communities nestled along the south side of Lake Minnetonka with a wonderful mix of shopping, dining and activities

 

Nestled along the southern shoreline of Lake Minnetonka the communities of Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood, and Tonka Bay make up the South Lake Minnetonka area. Excelsior was founded in 1853 and quickly became a major tourist destination with lavish hotels, elegant street cars and steamboats, and world class entertainment. From the turn of the century to the middle of the 1900’s, the communities of Greenwood, Shorewood and Tonka Bay became their own cities with Excelsior remaining as the heart of the South Lake Minnetonka area. Today, Excelsior continues to be a destination for visitors with eclectic restaurants, locally owned boutiques, and an active community calendar with events all year round.

 

The South Lake Minnetonka area’s neighborhoods are as varied as the visitors who come from far and wide. Historic Victorian homes sit alongside luxurious new construction on the Lake Minnetonka shoreline while other stately homes enjoy large, private lots dotted with mature trees.

 

What to Love

  • Exciting Community Events and Festivals
  • Charming downtown with boutique shopping and dining
  • Rich in History
  • Beautiful, quiet neighborhoods
  • Award Winning Schools
  • Lake Minnetonka LRT Trail

 

People & Lifestyle

The South Lake Minnetonka area is highly sought-after community rich in history and offering a high quality of life. It features some of the best shopping and dining, exceptional schools, and a strong sense of community with exciting events through the year. Excelsior’s lakeside location draws residents and visitors alike who enjoy taking advantage of all that Lake Minnetonka has to offer no matter the time of year.

 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Water Street in Excelsior is the heart of the South Lake Minnetonka area. Restaurants in Excelsior include Maynards, a lively local favorite serving American fare on Lake Minnetonka. Boaters can cruise into the large outdoor Wharf and enjoy dockside dining. As you head up Water Street, you will find Coalition which sources its menu ingredients from local farmers and growers. Grab a pizza from Olive’s Fresh Pizza and head over to Excelsior Brewing Company. This brewery delivers a lineup of craft beers while patrons can enjoy live entertainment from local musicians. Boutique shops along Water Street include Ooh La La Boutique, Brightwater Clothing, Amore & Fede and Sweet Nautical Boutique, just to name a few. The Sitting Room and Gray Home + Lifestyle for elevated home décor, and several gift and specialty stores including The Golden Rule, Provisions, Minnesota Makers and Faribault Woolen Mills in addition to many others. Excelsior's prime location makes it a convenient spot for those looking to enjoy Lake Minnetonka with numerous options for boat docking including Excelsior Marina, Tonka Bay and Bayside Marina.

 

Just a short drive from Water Street is the vibrant heart of Tonka Bay. Situated on County Road 19, the Town of Tonka Bay Shops offers some wonderful dining options like Joey Nova’s Pizzeria and Hazelwood Food & Drink which serves meals that are an elevated take on American classics and the most delicious popovers. Residents also enjoy grabbing a slice of traditional pizza at Joey Nova’s Pizzeria and boating into the Tequila Butcher for tacos on Lake Minnetonka’s Echo Bay.

 

Things to Do

The South Lake Minnetonka area enjoys the atmosphere of a small-town with a jam-packed events schedule that offers some of the biggest festivals on Lake Minnetonka. The annual Lake Minnetonka 4th of July reaches over 200,000 spectators and participants with a day full of events including a parade, a 5k and 10k run, music in the Commons and a spectacular firework display. In June, Excelsior is home to Art on the Lake which brings together artisans from across Minnesota and around the world to showcase their eclectic styles. In the fall, people flock to Excelsior for Apple Days. This lakeside festival celebrates community, art, locally produced food, and a street dance. Excelsior continues to celebrate into the winter as the host of the Lake Minnetonka Klondike Dog Derby race. This revival of a historic Lake Minnetonka event brings spectators and dog lovers together to experience the essence of South Lake Minnetonka in winter. In February, Excelsior Bay is home to the North American Pond Hockey Championship. This three-day event includes live music, a bean bag tournament and the true Minnesotan pastime of pond hockey.

 

Nestled between Excelsior Bay and St. Alban’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka is the charming Village of Greenwood. This quiet neighborhood is where you will find the historic Old Log Theatre. Beautifully renovated, the theatre presents the finest in locally cast and produced musical theatre and children's productions along with a delicious dining experience at it’s Cast & Cru restaurant.

 

Right next to Greenwood is the community of Deephaven. The community’s center is the historic Cottagewood General Store, which has been serving the Lake Minnetonka area since 1895. Open from May through October, the General Store offers food, beverages, ice cream, baked goods, gifts and apparel. Residents enjoy stopping in for coffee or steaking out their spot for the annual 4th of July celebration.

 

No matter the time of year, residents and visitors also enjoy leisurely walks or exhilarating bike rides on the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail. Running from Hopkins, through Excelsior, to Victoria, the trail meanders through wetlands and neighborhoods while providing breathtaking views of Lake Minnetonka.

 

Schools

The South Lake Minnetonka area is primarily served by the Minnetonka School District. Highlights Include:

  • Minnetonka Public School District is among the highest performing school districts in Minnesota and the nation
  • Named one of the Best Communities for Music Education
  • Chinese and Spanish language immersion programs beginning in Kindergarten
  • 28 Advanced Placement courses are offered beginning in 9th grade
  • The VANTAGE program blends classroom learning with hands-on experience in a variety of professional settings
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