The Lake Minnetonka area features several picture perfect parks for picnicking.
Lake Minnetonka Regional Park
This park offers an abundance of activities and adventures such as biking, boating, disc golf, dog trails, fishing, hiking, paddling, picnic areas and swimming. This spacious park hugs the shore of Lake Minnetonka allowing you and your family to have a great day in the water or under the shade of a tree while enjoying a nice picnic. However, the park will undergo reconstruction in certain areas this year, details are posted on their site.
4610 County Road 44, Minnetrista
This park is beloved by Excelsior natives. It has traditional picnic sites, playgrounds, swimming beaches, tennis courts, baseball fields, boat docking and a band shell. If you are looking for a more colorful scene, take a trip to the Excelsior Parkland and see the community gardens or Studer Pond where woodland animals reside.
135 Lake St., Excelsior
City Hall Park
Located at the top of the hill above Wayzata’s downtown business district, this park provides an observation deck to take in the all-season view of Wayzata Bay and Lake Minnetonka. The garden borders the walking paths for a colorful stroll around the park. There are also multiple benches and seating areas for you to relax and take in the range of views offered at this hilltop park. City Hall Park also offers picnic areas for you and your family to enjoy your lunch out in the fresh air.
620 Rice St. E., Wayzata
Lake Minnewashta Regional Park
This large park is along the shores of Lake Minnewashta with a swimming beach, boat and fishing access. There are picnic shelters, sand volleyball courts, a playground, biking and walking trails. Lake Minnewashta Regional Park provides a fenced-in off-leash dog area for your furry four-legged friend, along with a mile of trail for you and Fido to wander and run. For the humans, there are five miles of natural ground trails to stroll or bike through forested and fielded areas. These trails are also open in the winter for skiing and walking.
6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Excelsior
Carver Park Reserve
This park has an abundance of space for archery, biking, camping, hiking, history exploration, horseback riding, nature education, geocaching, picnicking and play areas. There is even an off-leash area for dogs. If you’re more interested in the abundance of water, the interconnected lakes and marshes are perfect for a dip or dropping a line. It’s summer! Get wet. Burn off some excess energy. Get curious. Or simply find a spot to relax and read a book.
7400 Grimm Road, Victoria
Pack Your Basket
Once you’ve decided on a park destination, be sure to properly pack your picnic basket. You need not spend time cooking or rummaging through your fridge for food. Stop by Kowalski’s Market in Excelsior for a variety of essential picnic items and everyone’s favorite snacks. Be sure to keep cold foods chilled with ice packs and insulated bags and pack along separate bags for trash and recyclables in case receptacles aren’t easily accessible.
- Lemon Hummus: Pack this tasty dip for a hassle-free snack. Pair with Pita Crunch Pita Chips.
- Aunt Nettie’s Potato Salad: A “quintessential summer picnic food,” this potato salad is as good as when Aunt Nettie first created the secret recipe decades ago.
- Herbed Coleslaw: Created by Rachael Perron, culinary and branding director for Kowalski’s Market, this coleslaw has been an established summer favorite with customers.
- Artisan Bread & Specialty Cheese: For a classic French inspired picnic, choose either a baguette or a loaf of Artisan Bread paired with a soft ripe cheese from Kowalski’s specialty cheese case. Kowalski’s brie is highly recommended due to its richness, buttery texture and perfect size to pack into your basket. These simple items are also delicious when paired with fresh ham or smoked salmon from Kowalski’s meat department. And if the park permits, you might even consider a bottle of wine from the Wine Shop.
- Fruit & Veggie: Precut melon spears, mango or grapes are some of the easiest and tastiest fruits to pack for the park. As for veggies, mini sweet peppers paired with Kowalski’s Sriracha dip provides your daily dose of vegetables along with a nice spicy kick.
- Ka-Pop: A new, seasonal popped chip that is gluten free, vegan and all natural. This sorghum snack was invented by a former Minnesotan, Dustin Finkel, and comes in a variety of flavors. Favorites include cheddar and salt & vinegar flavor.
- Fruit Pies: Treat yourself to one of Kowalski’s summer best fruit pies that vary from peach-praline, strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, cherry and red raspberry lime.
- Chocolate Chunk Cookies or Sea Salt Caramel Brownies: Grab one (or both!) of these for a rich, chocolatey dessert to cap off your perfect picnic.