There are other ways beside the steamboat Minnehaha to sightsee Lake Minnetonka. Several companies offer pubic cruises from Excelsior throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons, and range from 4-course dinner events to bring-your-own picnics, family friendly to adults-only. They also do a booming business in charter cruises for weddings, class...more
Minnesota weather being what it is (two seasons: winter and road construction) we always have a Plan B in the back pocket for wet and/or frigid days. If the elements chase you off the lake, patios and trails, you can go see a flick at this dandy 1940’s-era movie theater. The first one burned down in 1944 - when practically all building materials...more
The Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail is a 15-mile spur of a greater system stretching from downtown Minneapolis to the far outer western and southern suburbs. Starting in Hopkins, this branch runs through Minnetonka and Excelsior out to Victoria on a mostly-flat, tightly-packed gravel surface that meanders along lakes and through woods, prairie...more
Haskell's is an long-time fixture for pub grub and spirits in Excelsior. It's loud, rowdy, casual, worn around the edges, and almost always busy. Burgers, sandwiches salads, appetizers at modest prices (for Excelsior) pull 'em in and keep 'em there until the wee hours. They claim to have a great view of the water but there are 2 other places even...more
Dunn Bros. is a mostly local family of coffeehouses and this one is particularly nice: roomy, comfortable and a fireplace for warming frozen feet. That's a gotta-have in Minnesota! They roast daily for maximum freshness (smells great!!) and they also have good sandwiches, pastries and desserts. Nice patio outside, free wifi, and live music now and...more
Maynard's is another of our Excelsior favorites for its very large (and busy!) patio on the water, and good, reasonable bar food. It's also a favorite with the Lake Minnetonka boating crowd as it you can park your party barge right outside. Casual and fun, people come in everything from ice-fishing flannel (winter) to swimsuit cover-ups and...more
This is just one of the scrappy little craft breweries that have exploded onto the Twin Cities scene since the the “Surly Bill” - which allows them to serve pints where it’s brewed - was passed in 2011. It’s also the closest to where we live so we see a bit more of this one than the rest of them. Like most of them, Excelsior’s taproom is in the...more
One of the joys of summer is lounging lakeside with a favorite boat drink and this is a good place to do it! Bayside Grille is right on the water of Excelsior Bay and a great spot for cocktails in the sun or under the stars. The restaurant/bar is actually right behind Bayview Event Center - a venue for weddings, corporate events and chartered...more
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This mini-mall of four shops and a cafe is located inside a restored, 100 year-old building that was once the J.E. Hennessy Lumber Mill. Retailers are:DB & Company/TaDah!: fancy stuff for fancy ladies, DB carries tea sets, imported soap, holiday ornaments, candy, silk florals and other do-dads. TaDah! deals in women’s clothing and...more
Minnesota’s melting pot includes healthy doses of Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Scottish, Irish and English seasonings and this shop celebrates them all. A fixture for three decades, Heritage II's stock includes clogs, dinnerware, crystal, wool sweaters, cookware, linens, jewelry and all sorts of other quality brand merchandise. Prices tend to run to...more
Capers is a girly-girl's dream of a store for fun stuff: jewelry, home accents, dinnerware, cards, candles, books and lots more. There's a sweet section for kids, too. I'm a hopeless tomboy and "cute" gives me a migraine but the place has enough non-frilly items to warrant a look when cruising Water Street. Ladies Who Shop, send the guys to the bar...more
So here is Excelsior's most interesting legend...
It starts with a beloved and infamous character, Mr. Jimmy Hutmaker: eccentric and partially disabled, he was also a devoted walker and regular visitor at the local businesses. Shop owners and locals, in turn, looked after "their" Mr. Jimmy.
Once upon a time, way back in 1964, the then-unknown Rolling Stones were playing the Danceland Ballroom in a since-demolished amusement park here, and Mick Jagger went downtown to Bacon Drug (also now gone) one day to fill a prescription. That's where he ran into Mr. Jimmy - whom he'd met the night before - at the soda fountain in search of a cherry Coke. Alas, they were out of that phosphate so after settling for a plain soda, Mr. Jimmy uttered the megamillion-dollar line "'Well, you can't always get what you want" to Mr. Jagger...and the rest is history.
True story; ask any local. Mr. Jimmy passed away in 2007 but you can rest your bones on his bench front of the Heritage II shop on Water Street (main street).
Fondest memory: Read more about Mr. Jimmy here:
And he even has a FB page: