Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA

Lake Minnetonka’s 14,000 acres contain many bays and coves, resembling a collection of smaller lakes. “Minnetonka” comes from the Sioux language meaning “big waters.” Many Native Americans, including the Dakota, Sioux, Ojibwa, Cheyenne, and Iowa tribes, lived in the Minnetonka area in previous centuries. In fact, the area around the lake was considered sacred by the Native Americans and was used as a burial ground. Some of the burial mounds – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Minnetonka! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Minnetonka cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Minnetonka! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Minnetonka cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Minnetonka

Lake Minnetonka’s 14,000 acres contain many bays and coves, resembling a collection of smaller lakes. “Minnetonka” comes from the Sioux language meaning “big waters.” Many Native Americans, including the Dakota, Sioux, Ojibwa, Cheyenne, and Iowa tribes, lived in the Minnetonka area in previous centuries. In fact, the area around the lake was considered sacred by the Native Americans and was used as a burial ground. Some of the burial mounds are still visible today – this is how the town of Mound got its name!

Lake Minnetonka has a long history as a popular resort destination. In the 1800’s, railroads transported passengers from far away to enjoy the pleasures of the lake. Steamships were built that carried tourists around the lake. One of these steamships, “City of St. Louis,” was the first inland steamship to have electric lights.

In the 1900’s, Twin City Rapid Transit brought streetcars to the Minnetonka area. They also made boats, modeled after streetcars, to ferry people to and from destinations on the lake, including an amusement park on Big Island. Though all of these boats were eventually destroyed, one of them, the Minnehaha, has been restored and is in use today.

The lake has been well-known for many years and has been mentioned many times in history. Thurlow Lieurance wrote a song, “By the Waters of Minnetonka,” based on a Native American legend. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, “The Song of Hiawatha,” refers to landmarks in the Minnetonka area. And, of course, the beautiful lake was a prized spot for summer homes among many wealthy and famous people, including President Taft. Sioux legend tells of an ill-fated love between Moon Deer, a daughter of the Moon Clan, and Sun Deer of the Sun Clan. Because tribal law forbade marriage between the two clans, the lovers ran away to Lake Minnetonka, only to encounter the Chippewa, enemies of the Sioux. Fearing both the Chippewa and a return home, they took their own lives, disappearing between the waves. Many moons later when the Sioux drove the Chippewa from the shores of Lake Minnetonka, they heard a strange melody emanating from the waters. The spirits of Moon Deer and Sun Deer appeared as two lilies that grew to the sky in the light of the moon. The lovers’ song can still be heard today in the rhythmic sounds of the waves and in the pines along the shore.

Today, Lake Minnetonka is still a popular place to vacation. No matter what your interests, you’re sure to find something to please at the lake and in the surrounding region. For anglers, Lake Minnetonka is a paradise. The lake is a popular fishing area, with many tournaments being held there each year, and it is known for having large fish, especially muskies. Other fish species in the lake include largemouth bass, northern pike, and walleye.

Of course, if you don’t care to go fishing, there are still plenty of other fun activities. You can zip around on a jet ski, cruise the lake on a pontoon boat, or experience the fun of sailing. Or, take a ride on the restored antique steamboat, the Minnehaha.

One fantastic place to visit is the Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, especially if you have children. The park holds many attractions, and has something for everyone in the family!.You can cast a fishing line off the pier, cool off in the swimming pond, launch your boat at the boat ramp, or walk or bike along the trails. Kids will love the amazing play area, a 20,000-square-foot area with slides, climbing nets, and other fun equipment.

The towns surrounding Lake Minnetonka hold many other attractions for any activity that you’re in the mood for. Take in a show at a local cinema or playhouse, or browse the charming shops and stores, looking for the perfect souvenirs. Get some exercise on one of the hiking trails, or enjoy a fun ride on one of the trolleys in Wayzata or Excelsior. Explore the Minnesota Transportation Museum, or stroll among the beautiful flowers in the historic Noerenberg Gardens.

This beautiful lake and the surrounding region will keep you fascinated with its many wonders and attractions. Try it out; you’ll be glad you did!

Things to Do at Lake Minnetonka

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Jet Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park
  • Movie Theater
  • Antiquing

Fish Species Found at Lake Minnetonka

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Walleye

All About Lake Minnetonka

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Minnetonka

The Lake Minnetonka map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Minnetonka Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Minnetonka Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Minnetonka Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Minnetonka Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Minnetonka lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

Surface Area: 14,043 acres

Shoreline Length: 110 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 929 feet

Average Depth: 30 feet

Maximum Depth: 113 feet

Water Volume: 400,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1979

Drainage Area: 181 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Minnetonka news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Minnetonka forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Minnetonka photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Minnetonka article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Minnetonka? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Minnetonka forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Minnetonka vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Minnetonka forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Minnetonka photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Minnetonka article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Minnetonka vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Minnetonka forum group? Click Here

New Lake Minnetonka photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi