Sailboats on the lake in Minneapolis

Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but Minneapolis is called the City of Lakes for a reason… there are so many lakes and not all of them are created equally!  We have created a list here of the best lakes in the area and which ones are the best for fishing, swimming, boating and more!

In The Heart of South Minneapolis: Lake Nokomis

With sunset views and beaches for everyone, Lake Nokomis is a favorite for all ages. This lake offers sand beaches along with a trail along the perimeter of the entire lake for your walking, running, biking or rollerblading pleasures. There are areas for picnics, tot lots along the way and restroom facilities. If you are getting hungry and didn’t bring any food, there is an area where they sell concessions. Lake Nokomis is also dog friendly, so bring your pup along.

Chain of Lakes: Isles, Cedar, Calhoun and Harriet

Lake of the Isles is going to be your most relaxed, and is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll around the lake to look at the beautiful houses that are surrounding it. Cedar Lake is one of the larger of the 4 and is notable for “Hidden Beach“. This is a great lake for fishing or canoeing. Calhoun is one of the more popular in the chain, helped along by the famous Tin Fish, where people line up for treats, eats and drinks. This lake doesn’t allow motorized boats but houses many sailboats each year. There is also a rental facility if you feel like paddle boarding, canoeing or pedal boating. Lake Harriet is one of the lakes that offers a bit more entertainment with the onsite bandstand offering summer concerts and lakeside activities.

The Biggest & The Busiest: Lake Minnetonka

Located just 15 miles west of Minneapolis, this is the lake that famous basketball player Kris Humphries and his then wife, Kim Kardashian, were known to be cruising during the hot summers in Minnesota, stopping at Big Island with the rest of the party-goers. Lake Minnetonka is one of the hottest lakes during the summer, as well as over the 4th of July. If you want to fish, this is your spot, or if you just want to take out your yacht, sailboat, pontoon or speedboat for a spin, you can do that, too. More interested in hanging on the beach? View this guide for the best locations around. Finally, if you feel like docking your boat at a local bar and restaurant (always a cool experience), we suggest trying Maynards or Lord Fletchers.

We hope that you take some time to enjoy one of these many lakes, and if you are ever in different areas of the state click here for more options to enjoy The Land of 10,000 Lakes!