Wayzata is a bustling yet small city located around nine miles west of Minneapolis and situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Minnetonka. This sophisticated city is development-driven and restaurant forward, and there is a fine selection of eateries located close to the shoreline. The lakefront location provides this upscale city with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities on and around the water.
Several waves of development from the 19th century onward have given Wayzata an eclectic mix of housing options. Large hotels first appeared on the lakeshore in the late 1800s and were followed by summer cottages and grand country estates at the turn of the century. In the 1990s, new condominium developments began appearing close to the shopping and dining options of Lake Street. In the decades since, there has been a continued trend of older properties being replaced by new and larger single-family homes, which offer a luxurious living space in a beautiful lakefront setting.
Wayzata’s beautiful lakefront views, premier boating opportunities, and exceptional restaurant scene have all helped make it one of the top tourist destinations in Minnesota. The year-round lifestyle this captivating city offers residents is hard to beat.
Lake Street runs parallel to Wayzata’s Lake Minnetonka shoreline and has dozens of restaurants scattered on this main hub and surrounding streets. If you’re looking for an elevated evening, COV is a stylish destination for steaks and seafood served in an airy space with great views of the lake. The lakeside patio hosts a varied lineup of live music during the warmer months. Another local favorite, 6Smith also serves mouthwatering steaks and delicious fresh seafood alongside craft cocktails in a lakefront space with a spacious patio. Giannis Steakhouse boasts a menu of decadent seafood towers, succulent lobster tails, USDA Prime steaks, and refined pasta dishes.
The Muni is a city-run bar and grill which has been serving the community delicious eats since 194, as well as serving the city in other ways7. Formally known as the Wayzata Bar & Grill, every cent spent at The Muni is funneled back into city maintenance and improvements. McCormick’s combines the convivial atmosphere of a traditional Irish pub with sophisticated continental entrees, hearty burgers, and lakefront views.
The Grocer’s Table is a curated market, café, and wine bar, which is open from breakfast through dinner. The food menu includes Midwestern farmhouse fare and shareable boards of artisanal cheeses, smoked fish, and charcuterie. The market at The Grocer’s Table is stocked with high-quality provisions and specialty foodstuff from local artisans. Other retailers in the downtown area include the classy menswear store Judd Frost Clothiers, which sells custom footwear created in collaboration with legendary American shoemaker Alden.
Since 1975, the weekend after Labor Day is when Wayzata honors the influential Great Northern Railroad Company owner James J. Hill with the James J. Hill Days celebration. Hill contributed greatly to Wayzata’s early development into one of the top destinations on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and his legacy is honored with events including a parade, air show, carnival rides, and a craft beer festival. The centerpiece of the weekend is the Wayzata Beach Bash, with two days of live music taking place on Wayzata Beach. Past performers at this event have included Sammy Hagar, the Goo Goo Dolls, and ZZ Top.
Wayzata Beach is the place to be during the summer. The sandy beach allows for swimming on Lake Minnetonka, and amenities include picnic tables, volleyball nets, a playground, watersport rentals, canoe, and kayak racks, and public boat docks. Klapprich Park and Field offers recreation throughout the winter and summer with facilities for baseball, softball, hockey, and ice skating.
The Panoway has brought even more activities to Wayzata’s waterfront with bike and walking trails, as well as programs to preserve the lake’s natural habitat and engage local kids in hands-on education about its ecosystem. The Wayzata Yacht Club offers a packed calendar of regattas and sailing boat rides on Lake Minnetonka and has programs for both youths and adults.
Wayzata is served by the Wayzata Public School District, which is ranked among the top ten school districts in Minnesota.
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