The 4 Best Lakes Near the Twin Cities for Summer Fun

The 4 Best Lakes Near the Twin Cities for Summer FunWe said it before and we’ll say it again – what kind of summer would it be without a family trip to the lake?

We may have narrowed down some of the best lakeside beaches in the area, but with over 10,000 lakes in Minnesota alone, narrowing down the perfect spots for fishing, canoeing or those with beautiful scenery can seem intimidating.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of the best lakes in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas for summer fun:

Lake Harriet (Minneapolis, MN)

Driving distance from Eden Prairie: 12 miles, 30 minutes

Lake Harriet continues to be one of our favorites, since both the North and Southeast Beaches are such great family-friendly destinations during the summer. In addition to swimming, fishing and watersports, there are also lush rose gardens to admire in nearby Lyndale Park, as well as free summer concerts and movie showings at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.

Lake Minnetonka (Hennepin County, MN)

Driving distance from Eden Prairie: 19 miles, 36 minutes

This popular destination needs little introduction, and it’s no wonder why. Lake Minnetonka truly is a “fisherman’s paradise,” since it spans over 14,000 acres and has an abundance of Northern Pike, Muskies, Largemouth Bass, and Walleye. Not a fishing enthusiast? There’s also a sandy-bottom swimming pond, plenty of picnic spots, a fishing pier, biking and hiking trails, and a boat launch and access point.

Lake of the Isles (Minneapolis, MN)

Driving distance from Eden Prairie: 25 miles, 40 minutes

It’s hard to believe that such an amazing spot is not only less than an hour away, but is also located in right in the heart of Minneapolis. A reclaimed swamp from the turn of the century, Lake of the Isles is now a picturesque park, complete with walking and biking trails, a fishing pier, soccer field, and dog park. And if you’re looking for more “on the water” activities, this is popular spot for paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing as well.

Lake Vermillion (Tower, MN)

Driving distance from Eden Prairie: 245 miles, 4 hours

Yes, this one isn’t really near the Twin Cities, but we promise this gorgeous lake is definitely worth taking the journey up north. With 40,000 acres of water, 365 islands and 1200 miles of shoreline, Lake Vermillion has some of the best fishing in the state and is considered one of the most scenic lakes in the entire US. Just the beauty of this area alone will most likely make you want to stay the weekend! Fortunately, there are several lakeside resorts for both families and couples, as well as several popular camping destinations, like HooDoo Point, to get the complete nature experience.

What other lakes do you and your family enjoy visiting during the summer?