Lake Living

Lake Minnetonka's Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day celebrates the timing of the upcoming spring.  In a similar way, Lake Minnetonka locals look for Gabriel Jabbour's (Tonka Bay Marina) steel hull icebreaker to celebrate the timing of the ice out, which also marks the start to the boating season.  Above the icebreaker is making headway, just outside of Excelsior Bay, towards Tonka Bay Marina by cutting through and breaking apart the ice, helping it melt faster.  Once the ice is out, the first boats back on the water from Tonka Bay Marina will the charter boats starting with Al & Alma's Belle Vista.


History of The Thompson Summer Cottage

The Thompson House awaits summerAs the railroad expanded westward, so did many of the vacationers that once visited Lake Minnetonka.  With the fewer amount of vacationers, lakeside summer homes became common.  Among the first was the Thompson Summer Cottage.  

Most likely you’ve passed this Queen Anne gem dozens of times as you’ve wound around the shoreline on County Road 15.  Perhaps you’ve even been stuck right outside as you approached the westbound stoplight at county road 19 during rush hour traffic.  

Charles Telford Thompson, an attorney and civil leader purchased the land from James J. Hill in 1886.  A year later the cottage was built in 1887.  The home was strictly used as a summer house and continues to this days.  Guests originally arrived from Minneapolis by train or by streetcar boat via Excelsior.  The home was accessed via the railroad and horse path that ran along the rear of the home.  You couldn’t drive through the sloping front lawn until 1924, when County Road 15 was built.

The home is situated on Lafayette Bay and down the shoreline from the old Lafayette Landing, the once regular stop on the streetcar boat line in Minnetonka...

Lake Minnetonka Lifestyle - South Upper Lake

Michael & Sagit


It’s a great place to spend time with family and friends.  Just being by the lake creates a sense of calm and relaxation, but at the same time is an exciting environment for water sports, fishing, dining and social activities.


Spending time with family and friends.  Boating in the evening when the water is very calm and watching beautiful sunsets.


The excellent, secluded location with panoramic views of the lake, virtually from every room.


Enjoying holiday get togethers with family, lots of food and fun.

The Enchanted House


Fall Decor Inspired by Lake Living

Fall Place Setting - Lake Living InspiredThis season on Lake Minnetonka, let the beauty of fall inspire you.  Honor this time of year by recreating nature’s grandeur at a table for family and friends.  Use the guide below and your resources in the surrounding Lake Minnetonka communities to help you form your fall table.

1.  Color.  Let nature be your guide here.  Look around, take note of what inspires you and choose colors that appeal to you.  Warm golds and creams, fall leaf orange and bright sky blue inspired us.

2.  Use natural elements.  Take advantage of fall’s gifts; flowers, tree branches, leaves, apples and pumpkins are just some of your choices.  We were motivated by a low antique candy dish to hold orange mums.

Fall Place Setting - Lake Living Inspired3.  Function.  Well-appointed table decor is the...

Healthy Home - Interior Light Management

Full Spectrum Light ComparisonAn essential step to achieving home health is implementing light management. Light Management is a term used by Dr. Sean O’Mara to describe the strategy of managing the influences of different types of light in your home. Dr. O’Mara is the founder of Medical Concierge Wellness, a company that focuses on optimum health and well-being. “Lighting is fundamental to our health. It has played a significant role in our lives since the beginning of time,“ says Dr. O’Mara.

“Both the presence and absence of light (darkness) have a biological effect on our bodies. Things happen because of light. Humans, as well as animals are programmed to respond to light. Ideally, as light increases, our brains begin to naturally increase the production of the hormone cortisol, thereby increasing alertness. As light decreases, such as in the evening, the brain naturally begins to increase the production of the hormone melatonin, and we become more restful,” says O’Mara.  To capitalize on the natural effects of light in your home, O’Mara suggests using full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting incorporates a hard presence...

The History of Noerenberg Memorial Gardens

Frederick Noerenberg HomeIf you have wondered why walking the grounds of Noerenberg Memorial Gardens feel so tranquil and peaceful, it may be helpful to know that the care and generosity cultivated on this land started over one hundred years ago.  Among the first settlers on Lake Minnetonka, Frederick Noerenberg, the founder of the Grain Belt Brewery, built his family estate on this site overlooking Crystal Bay in 1890 and named it Wilkommen. 

English in design, the Queen Anne inspired home was set on 73 acres and nearly 8,500 feet of Lake Minnetonka shoreline.  Alongside the staff of 17, the meticulously manicured tiered rose beds and groomed grasses were maintained by Noerenberg and his wife, Johanna. The northern part of the original Gilded Age estate included a gentlemen’s farm.  The livestock raised here went to supply the family as well as area establishments. The estate was doted upon for years by the Noerenberg’s daughter, Lora Noerenberg Hoppe.  Hoppe lived in the home until her death in 1972.  She was 85.  The family’s wish was to raze the home and dedicate the garden and...

Owning Historic Lake Minnetonka Homes

Historical Wyer Hill House

The Lake Minnetonka real estate market features many historic and aesthetically beautiful homes that are admired by many around the state and country.  However, for those looking to jump head over heels into a historic home purchase, it’s important to understand the responsibility associated with owning these homes and how it differs from traditional home ownership.   

The following are some of the many benefits and privileges in owning a historic home.  One benefit homeowners express is the ability to personally take an active role in the preservation of these historic properties.  However, the significant difference between traditional and historic home ownership is that the maintenance, renovations and improvements of historic homes must adhere to guidelines set by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  The purpose of the standards are to preserve the historical significance of the home.  On occasion, requests to deviate from the standards have been approved when it is deemed necessary to preserve the overall condition of the home.  

Additionally, there are economic benefits to be enjoyed by the...

Lake Minnetonnka Living - Jennings Bay

Kevin & Lori 

How does Lake Minnetonka Living enhance your life?Jennings Bay Sunset

Lake Minnetonka offers our family the luxury of having resort style living at home in the metro area.  We're able to take advantage of the short Minnesota summer without a commute to a cabin or taking time off work.  The comforts of home combined with the beautiful Lake Minnetonka setting make for invaluable family memories.  

What is your favorite thing to do on the lake?

Entertaining friends and family with a late afternoon cruise is one our favorite lake activities.  A stop after sunset at one of the many lakeside restaurants concludes a beautiful day on the lake.     

What is THE BEST Aspect of your lake Minnetonka home?

Our living room has a perfect westward view for watching Lake Minnetonka's picturesque sunsets.  Whether it's -10 in January or 85 and sunny in July, we're able to enjoy the sunset on Lake Minnetonka in comfort.   

What is your favorite Lake Minnetonka memory?

We were married on the shores of Lake Minnetonka at the Lafayette Club. Celebrating one of the most memorable moments in our lives we couldn't have asked for a more...

Badger Park - Shorewood, MN

Badger Park Hockey Rink - Shorewood MNLocated on the south shores of Lake Minnetonka, the City of Shorewood's numerous parks provide the venues for sport and recreational enthusiasts.  A featured park that offers year-round amenities and is located in the center of Shorewood, next to the Minnetonka County Club, is Badger Park.  Badger Park boasts a football field, hockey rink with warming house, a playground, and tennis courts.  In addition to recreational use, the park hosts youth football and lacrosse teams in the summer as well as the youth hockey teams in the winter.   The park’s well maintained amenities help brand it as the premier park in the area.    An added feature of the park is the Southshore Center.  The center conducts a variety of fairs and parties along with fitness and education classes for the local community.  Additionally, Badger Park is used for many outdoor community events, such as snow sculpturing for the Artic Fever Festival and ‘Movies in the Park.'  Due to the park’s popularity, the City of Shorewood is currently looking to improve Badger Park's amenities to suit future use.  

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