Located a short distance from the Twin Cities and partially along the banks of Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior is a charming small town with less than 2,500 residents. The town is popular with visitors looking to spend time on the lake.
Excelsior has a storied past, and today is a quaint town with a historic downtown area. While the local population is small, it's an enticing area for a second home or a vacation hideaway to relax and unwind on the lakeshore.
What to Love
Relaxed, casual lifestyle
Historic downtown area
On the shores of Lake Minnetonka
Small town living a few minutes from the big city
Excelsior is a small town within easy driving distance of Minneapolis and Minnetonka. The local area provides a plethora of outdoor activities, and Lake Minnetonka is a large draw for locals and visitors alike.
The homes throughout the area are mostly single-family homes, and there are some upscale, luxury homes available with breathtaking views of the lake. Most of the full-time residents work in town or nearby Minnetonka.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Excelsior is a small town, but the local restaurant scene competes with some of the options in larger cities. While many locals go into Minnetonka or Minneapolis, the chance for a meal out makes up for it.
Located on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, Maynards provides gorgeous views to complement its scrumptious menu. The dishes are billed as upscale American casual, and the martinis are divine. Coalition offers American small plates, an impressive wine collection, and fun cocktails.
Another popular spot is the Excelsior Brewing Company. The local brewery is located in the historic downtown area and has a tap room to sample some of their latest creations. The Red Sauce Rebellion brings authentic Italian dishes in a casual setting that's ideal for family dinners.
Things to Do
In cold and warm weather, there is a kaleidoscope of activities to enjoy. With Lake Minnetonka dipping into the city limits, a lot of the local things to do center on spending time on or around the water.
Throughout the year, the Port of Excelsior is a popular spot with amazing views of the lake. It's the starting point of many paths for walking or biking that wind their way around the water. Locals with boats can enjoy a day out on Lake Minnetonka and soak up the sun in warmer months.
There's a thriving industry for charter boats that take locals and visitors out on the lake for fishing, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing. Downtown Excelsior is a great place to explore, with its restaurants and small shops to discover.
As a charming small town, Excelsior is served by the Minnetonka School District, which is sometimes called the Independent School District 276. There is only a single school within the city limits, although children attend public schools in nearby Minnetonka. The old Excelsior High School and Excelsior Public School buildings are still located within the town, but children no longer attend classes at either location. Private schools are available in Minneapolis for families who prefer private education. The best schools serving Excelsior students include:
Excelsior Elementary School, kindergarten through 5th grade
Minnetonka Middle School West, 6th through 8th grade
Minnetonka High School, 9th through 12th grade, recognized by Newsweek as a school of excellence
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