The search for beaches on the lakes of Minneapolis

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I felt silly laying out my towel and kicking back in swim trunks along the shores of one of the lakes in Minneapolis. But I was determined to get in some beach time, no matter what. This beach was tiny, but it was good enough.

Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and at least a couple dozen are located within the Twin Cities. A few even have beaches. Mostly small, most man-made. With little roped-off areas where you can stand in the water.

lake-calhoun-minnesota

I make fun of the Twin Cities’ beaches, but they’re not so bad. Believe me, I’ll take a beach that isn’t crowded any day over one where it’s hard to find a spot to put your towel.

These beaches have a few things going for them. Like playground equipment. Why don’t Chicago’s beaches have jungle gyms I can swing around on?

playground-beach

And they have volleyball courts… and sailing… and pavilions for live music.

twin-cities-beaches

And some sort of paddleboarding/kayaking/rowing hybrid.

minneapolis-beaches

I admit, the views are special.

skyline-dog-walker

Taking in the sunset.

lake-bench

The nearby lakeside houses probably cost a fortune. Perhaps we’ll see a spinoff reality show, Million Dollar Listing: Minneapolis.

lakeside-house

The beach I found in St. Paul was rocking. I mean, there were two whole families enjoying the sand and sun on this particular day. Not just one, but two!

st-paul-lake-beach

This site did have a cool environmental thing going on: A shoreline restoration project.

shoeline habitat restoration

The sign informed readers to be on the look out for butterflies. Just as I read that, I looked over right next to the board and saw this:

butterfly-flower

Consider that project a success!

So the little beaches of Minneapolis may not be so amazing, but the lakes are. With boating, paddling, kayaking, canoeing and great views of the skyline, the lakes are a place I’d spent a lot of time in the summer if I lived in the Twin Cities.

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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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