"Excelsior on the Lake" Excelsior by goodfish

Excelsior Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 54 photos

One of my very favorite escapes during the warmer months, Excelsior is a mere 20 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis but feels like a completely different world. Perched on the south side of Lake Minnetonka, this historic community prides itself on supporting local businesses and maintaining the relaxed, welcoming personality of a long-ago time.

Unlike some of the other local lake communities, it hasn't been "McManshioned" to death so a wander along shady side streets turns up scads of cheerful little cottages and charming, other-era houses with breezy front porches and pretty gardens.

Not to say that it's old fashioned or set in its ways. No way. You'll find upscale shops, art galleries, antique stores, a terrific coffee shop or two (no Starbucks here!), a movie theater, an excellent playhouse, microbrewery, and enough restaurants to make just about any hungry visitor happy.

And between a 14-acre lakeside park, docking for the majority of Lake Minnetonka cruise operations (as well as private craft), the LRT Regional Bike and Walking trail system, lots of seasonal events... you'll find something to do. Or find a spot by the lake and just do nothing.
Slow down.
Kick back.
Watch the boats.
Ahhhh......

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly, casual and fun for all ages
  • Cons:No hotels (yet) or fast, frequent way to reach by public transit from downtown
  • Last visit to Excelsior: Oct 2013
  • Intro Updated Oct 30, 2013
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Reviews (16)

Comments (5)

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Great page! I've recently come across the "Crewel World" books and decided to check out their setting. Your page tells me that it's real, I was almost expecting to see a shopping tip about yarns. Thanks a lot.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    That's a totally unusual story of the Minnehaha being raised, refurbished and put back into operation. Great that Jake O'Connor's Public House has no parking lot! I hope they have lots of bicycle stands instead.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 29, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    The Minnehaha on Minnetonka looks fun and relaxing! The story about Mr. Jimmy Hutmaker and Mick Jagger is priceless! Nice page!

  • Dester's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Pub Grub, yumm all of my favorite foods in one town. Looks like a good place to put on a few pounds for winter

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Wow! Gr8 nostalgia trip! All changed-no Amusement Park-Roller Coaster or Fun House, Dunn's looks like an upscale Men's Club & Caper's a riot of color. All not laid back & quiet as 50 yrs ago. I spent lot of time at Mound at other end of the lake. Doug

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