The city of Minneapolis is home to countless beautiful lakes and amazing parks. As a fun-loving Minnesotan, chances are you're interested all of the outdoor delights Minneapolis has in store. We recommend you start from the chain of lakes! Set right in the heart of Minneapolis, chain of lakes is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and diverse areas of the city — the perfect nature getaway for all looking to have a great time with friends and family this summer.
Ready to explore the Chain of Lakes? We're pretty sure you are! Just go grab your polarized sunglasses — preferably our Isle or Harriet, and of course, keep up as we walk you through the best things to do there!
Let's dive right in!
First off, this area has separate lakes connected to each other in Minneapolis. As you probably expected, this chain of lakes is beautiful to stroll, walk, run, bike, in-line skate and more — it's an all-in-one spot for your ultimate outdoor pleasure! And of course, everything gets better in the summer! So yes, if you got time, you can just wear your polarized sunglasses, head to the lakes and have a blast.
We’ll go from North to South:
Cedar lake and Brownie Lake are at the northern most end of the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Just south of I394. Cedar lake is wrapped by Cedar Lake Parkway and has the N. Cedar Lake Regional Trail! These are great for jogging or walking, biking or rollerblading. Cedar lake is also one of our favorite spots for kayaking. Also, if you can hike and find the pathway, there is a hidden beach, which is one of the best hang outs in all of Minneapolis. You can follow a channel in the Southeast corner of the lake to get to Lake of the Isles.
Lake of the Isles is located at the west end of Franklin Avenue. It's good to know that this lake is surrounded by vintage and beautiful houses if you’re out for a stroll. You can also enjoy wildlife watching on the two large islands in the middle of the lake. Although Lake of the Isles has no beaches, that shouldn't kill the fun — just head over to Lake Bde Maka Ska!
Lake Bde Maka Ska
Yes, Lake Bde Maka Ska has not just one but three amazing beaches and is surrounded by a large park. There's more than enough space for everyone to have a great time. In the parks you will find amazing walking and biking trails, volleyball courts, and wide open spaces for people to spread out and Live. Life. Lifted this summer! There are also areas of the lake where you can rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and canoes to adventure throughout the entire chain. With this in mind, you can tell that Lake Bde Maka Ska is the perfect spot for everything from swimming to sailing to windsurfing and more. But of course, there's still more!
At the South end of the Chain you will find Lake Harriet. In many people’s opinion, Lake Harriet is the prettiest and most charming of the lakes. It also happens to be the best spot for quality family time! Lake Harriet boasts beautiful flower gardens — the Rose Garden is a spot you wouldn't want to miss, especially if you got a thing for beautiful, pleasant smelling roses. And don't forget to head over to the Lake Harriet bandshell — chances are you're going to enjoy a great concert on any given weekend. You may also choose to check out the lakeside parks for theatre performances and neighborhood festivals — it's fun all the way!
Finally, just between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun is Lake Street — an east-west running street that heads into Uptown, Minneapolis where you can do anything from rent bikes and grab a quick bite from any amazing restaurant to see a show or go shopping. There are still many other places to explore around the chain of lakes but of course, these should be a great start.
Have fun and get out there and Live. Life. Lifted