Let’s dive into a list of Team Kathy Borys’ “lake picks” that lie in and around the Twin Cities:
Lake of the Isles:
Nestled in the heart of Minneapolis, Lake of the Isles is a picturesque urban oasis renowned for its serene beauty. Surrounded by elegant homes and tree-lined paths, the lake offers a peaceful escape for joggers, walkers, and those seeking a tranquil spot for reflection or quiet canoe paddle. Its calm waters and graceful bridges contribute to its reputation as a haven for both relaxation and recreation.
A beloved gem of Minneapolis, Lake Harriet radiates a sense of community and natural splendor. Its sandy beaches invite families for picnics and sunbathing, while the Lake Harriet Bandshell hosts concerts that echo across the water during summer evenings. Biking and walking trails wind around the lake, providing opportunities for exercise and scenic strolls. Here you can truly stop and smell the roses in the beautiful Lyndale Park Rose Garden with over 3,000 plants and Florentine fountain.
Bde Maka Ska:
Formerly known as Lake Calhoun, Bde Maka Ska is a symbol of Minnesota’s rich history. The name change reflects a commitment to acknowledging Indigenous culture and heritage. This lake offers ample space for kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. Its vibrant atmosphere, coupled with the city skyline as a backdrop, make it a favorite spot for both relaxing and recreation.
Lake Nokomis, located in south Minneapolis, is a hub of water-based activity. With three beaches catering to swimmers and sunbathers, and a variety of watercraft available for rent, it’s a lively destination for families and water sports enthusiasts alike. The lake’s interconnected trails are perfect for joggers, bikers, and rollerblades.
Nestled between Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake offers a quieter retreat within the bustling cityscape. Its tranquil shores are favored by kayakers and canoers seeking a serene escape. The surrounding parkland, with overlooks and shaded paths, beckon visitors to unwind and soak in the natural beauty.
Tucked away in the suburb of Shoreview, Turtle Lake captivates with its secluded charm. Its calm waters are perfect for fishing and paddleboarding, while the adjacent park provides picnic spots and a playground for a day of family fun. The lake’s intimate size makes it a cherished local gem of water skiers and boaters alike.
White Bear Lake:
Just a short drive from the Twin Cities, White Bear Lake evokes nostalgia with its small-town feel and breathtaking views. The lake’s sandy beaches invite visitors to swim and sunbathe, and the lake’s size accommodates sailboats and larger watercraft. The charming downtown area offers boutiques and resturants that enhance the lake’s allure.
One of Minnesota’s most iconic lakes, Lake Minnetonka is a playground for boaters, anglers, and water sports enthusiasts. Its vastness is dotted with bays and inlets, each offering a distinct ambiance. Lakeside communities boast elegant homes, and the lake’s diverse marinas and dining options make it a popular destination year-round.
Nestled in St. Paul, Lake Como exudes a peaceful vibe amidst lush surroundings. Its tranquil shores are perfect for picnics and contemplative moments. The lake’s paved paths accommodate walkers and bikers, while paddleboats add a touch of old-world charm to the experience.
Little Carnelian Lake:
A hidden treasure near Stillwater, Little Carnelian Lake enchants with its small size and natural beauty. Its calm waters are ideal for kayaking and canoeing, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the serene landscape. The surrounding woods provide a peaceful backdrop for nature lovers who choose to hike before taking in the sounds of the water.
Located in St. Paul, Lake Phalen offers a blend of recreation and relaxation. Its sandy beach and fishing pier cater to those seeking outdoor leisure, while the park’s walking trails offer a chance to admire the lake’s scenic views. Canoe and paddleboat rentals are available and allow for exploration on the water.
South of the Twin Cities, Prior Lake offers a resort-like atmosphere with its sandy beaches and clear waters. It’s a haven for water sports, from wakeboarding and water skiing to fishing and boating. The lakeside park is a perfect spot for picnics, and the lake’s vibrant energy draws visitors in for a day full of fun.
True to its name, Forest Lake embodies tranquility amidst the woods. The lake’s expansive waters accommodate a variety of boating and water activities. Its quiet charm makes it a wonderful spot for fishing or simply gazing out at the serene landscape. The town’s quaint atmosphere adds to the lake’s allure and invites you to stay a while.
Each of these lakes holds a unique charm and offers a diverse experience that captures the essence of Minnesota’s natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle.
These bodies of water offer an array of activities to suit every water enthusiast’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day at the beach, a refreshing swim in crystal-clear waters, or the thrill of adventure while paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing, these lakes cater to your every whim. If you’re seeking a touch of excitement, delve into water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding for an adrenaline rush like no other.
If you’re searching for your next unforgettable Minnesota adventure, look no further than these, and many other local lakes. Each one has a story to tell, a memory to create, and an experience to cherish. Embrace the spirit of Minnesota’s lakes and redefine what it means to truly connect with nature and yourself.