Nestled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, the towns of Wayzata and Excelsior draw shoppers with oodles of unique retail stores, places to nosh and charming lakeside ambience. Just 15 miles from the Twin Cities, Wayzata’s shopping district feels like a coastal New England village. From there, a short drive around the southeast corner of the lake leads to Excelsior’s quintessential and vibrant main street. Shoppers can spend a full day in these towns hunting for treasures, taking in sights, and relaxing at a coffee shop, restaurant or bar.
Wayzata’s shops have everything from clothing and shoes for women, men and children, to antiques, pet supplies, jewelry, gifts and home furnishings. The main shopping drag, Lake Street, offers views of the lake and boats in Wayzata Bay and restaurants with sidewalk seating. Fashionistas may recognize a few familiar shops such as Talbots and Chico’s, but they’ll also find exclusive boutiques including Jan’s of Wayzata with upscale European lines, designer consignment stores such as & Again, and Circa Vintage, which is stocked with finds from local estates.
There are plenty of ways to relax during a shopping spree in Wayzata. The Wayzata Towne Trolley provides a free, 30-minute circle tour of the downtown and lakefront areas. Several salon and spa businesses offer pampering services for hair, face, body and nails. Hungry shoppers can find quick and casual food, but Wayzata is known for excellent surf and turf restaurants, including Blue Point Restaurant and Oyster Bar and Gianni’s Steakhouse.
Excelsior visitors can spend hours shopping a three-block stretch of Water Street and the surrounding area. The downtown’s 19th-century brick buildings with tin ceilings are a quaint reminder of Excelsior’s main street history, but the retail stores here feature today’s trends.
Hip women’s fashions and accessories abound at several boutiques including Martin’s, Meridian and Cherie Consignment. Fine imported goods such as hand-woven Irish blankets are stocked at Heritage II Scandinavian and British Isles Shop. Brightwater Clothing & Gear sells bold and fashionable activeware for men and women.
In the summer months, every Thursday is Girls Night Out in Excelsior, featuring special promotions from 5-9 p.m. During the holidays, shoppers will find horse and buggy rides, carolers, and free gift wrapping and hot cocoa.
For a post-shopping meal, drink and some people-watching, outdoor seating at Jake O’Connor’s Public House is a great option. Excelsior Brewing offers tours and growlers of its beers. The 318 Cafe serves up contemporary, casual American food and live music.