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Minnetonka Guide: Lakes, Boating, Restaurants, and More

Updated May 18, 2020
Chad Hanson
Chad Hanson

As the Managing General Partner at Sustainable 9 Design + Build, Chad is responsible for establishing the vision and strategy for our clients. What helps separate Chad from other visionaries in the home building sector is his ability to create a unique customer service experience that is both highly personalized and encourages collaboration. Chad’s experience and expertise in the field makes him a pleasure to work with and an all-around expert in Minnesota Modern.

Recently we’ve been writing guides for a few different local Twin Cities suburbs that we love being a part of. We’ve covered Edina and Wayzata so far and are excited to be writing a Minnetonka guide.

We’re going to cover area schools, neighborhoods you should know about, noteworthy restaurants, shopping experiences, parks, and recreation opportunities. There’s a lot you can do and enjoy in Minnetonka.

Whether it’s looking for a relaxing day exploring new places or to move into a new neighborhood we hope you find this guide useful.

Let’s dive in and start off with the schools that serve the residents of Minnetonka.

Minnetonka Area Schools

The schools in the area serve around 10,000 students from k-12. There are twelve schools within the public school system. The public school system in Minnetonka is ranked #1 as the best school district in the state of Minnesota. Here’s a breakdown of some of the different schools:

Elementary Schools

There are seven elementary schools in the district and all of them are top-ranked for student performance and places for teachers to work. Here are the top three elementary schools in Minnetonka.

Scenic Heights Elementary School is the #1 top-rated elementary school in Minnesota. Covering grades k-5, there are roughly 850 students. The school offers a lot for its students including hands-on learning experiences and a great student to teacher ratio.

Groveland Elementary School is similar to Scenic Heights in that it has the same student count and serves the same grades. This school is rated #5 in the state and #2 for elementary schools in Minnesota. The class size ranges but has a median of 15 students.

Clear Springs Elementary School, ranked #6 in the state and third in Minnetonka is another great elementary school option for your students. This school is slightly more diverse than the former schools that we mentioned.

Middle Schools

The public school system in Minnetonka currently offers two middle school options for your students. Different based mostly just on their location. Here is some more information about them.

Minnetonka East Middle School is ranked as the best public middle school in Minnesota by Niche.com. It serves 1,200 students and boasts reading and math proficiency levels above 80%. The student to teacher ratio at this school is 18:1.

Minnetonka West Middle School, second only to Minnetonka East, is ranked #2 in Minnesota for middle schools. The biggest difference between this school and the former is location. They both have roughly the same amount of students, the same student to teacher ratio, and serve the same demographic. Minnetonka truly offers some great education options.

Highschools

Minnetonka Senior High, ranked the best senior high school in Minnesota, currently educates a total of 3,300 students. The school offers many bilingual options as well as college prep courses and advanced computer coding. Ninety-eight percent of their seniors graduate of which the vast majority choose to go to college.

Minnetonka Neighborhoods

Neighboring cities of Minnetonka include Wayzata, Edina, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Shoreview, Hopkins, and Plymouth. Each of these cities offer some of the same great things found in Minnetonka including great educations and neighborhoods. But, what some of them don’t offer is high-quality small neighborhood feels.

Some only think of lake lots when thinking of Minnetonka, but the majority of the neighborhoods aren’t on the lake.Neighborhoods in Minnetonka map.

This map shows median home prices for each area. You can see that the areas near the water are the most expensive (darker color) and the areas further from the water (lighter color) are cheaper.

Keep in mind, that there are plenty of beaches that you can access from the neighboring tons and plenty of boat landings along the shoreline for those who enjoy fishing and boating.

Noteworthy Restaurants

There’s no shortage of great restaurants both in Minnetonka and in the neighboring cities. Here’s a list of some of the best.

  • Bacio is a popular Italian American eatery. Here they serve up some of the best Italian food around and do so from their beautiful location. Their food draws from a variety of influences including Italy, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Their food is sure to leave you happy.
  • BLVD Kitchen & Bar, a popular “American bistro that adds an unexpected twist to traditional bar and grille fair.” From drinks and appetizers to great food, this restaurant offers some great upscale meals.
  • Bellecour serves up some of the freshest and tastiest Italian eats in the Twin Cities. Everything from the bread to the noodles and sauce is homemade from scratch daily. If you’re in the mood for something authentic, fresh, and paired with elegant wines, this spot is for you.
  • Snuffy’s Malt Shop is your classic burger joint. Established in 1983, this restaurant has been serving up some of the best burgers and malts for quite some time. Snuffy’s offers a great family-friendly night out.

Other restaurants in the area include Sushi Fix and CoV Wayzata. For more great restaurants in the area, check out this list. There is no shortage of great spots including pubs and bars located right on the lake.

Shopping

Minnetonka has no shortage of great shopping. There are some malls such as Ridgedale Center but the individual shops around the lake and near the city center are what makes shopping in Minnetonka so special.

The General Store of Minnetonka is one such place that offers a unique small-town feel. The best way to find good places to shop in Minnetonka is by taking a drive or heading towards Excelsior—a small town known for its unique stores such as Ace General Store or GOLDEN RULE.

Parks and Recreation

The city is full of public beaches and parks for your enjoyment. We’re going to highlight the top three and leave it up to you to decide which one your favorite is.

Lone Lake Park

Located on Lone Lake, this park offers trails that weave in and out of the forest and around the lake. There are basketball courts, tennis courts, fishing docks, playground equipment, and open fields. This is a beautiful and quiet park for anyone looking to get away from the busy city.

Purgatory Park

Purgatory creek runs right through this park. There are paved and unpaved trails throughout this quiet 155-acre park. Amenities include shelters, grills, and bathrooms for public use. This park stands out to those who enjoy hiking and long walks.

Big Willow Park

Paved trails, a concession stand during baseball games, and playground equipment make this park a great option for viewing a little league game or enjoying a slow evening stroll during the long summer months. This park is well maintained and has plenty of great reviews from the public.

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Chad Hanson
Chad Hanson

As the Managing General Partner at Sustainable 9 Design + Build, Chad is responsible for establishing the vision and strategy for our clients. What helps separate Chad from other visionaries in the home building sector is his ability to create a unique customer service experience that is both highly personalized and encourages collaboration. Chad’s experience and expertise in the field makes him a pleasure to work with and an all-around expert in Minnesota Modern.

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