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Stop At: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota
Minnesota is full of twin cities and twin ports: places that share the same area but not the same vibe. To this list, we should add Wayzata and Excelsior. Separated by great waters, these Tonka communities represent hubs of dining and shopping. Yet you wouldn’t mistake them for the same place. Wayzata, to the north, prides itself on prominent chefs and retail. Excelsior, to the south, orbits around its lakeside park and the families that play there. Both towns come alive during the summer as ideal day-trip destinations, with ice cream shops, craft beers, and waterfront fun. Which twin matches your personality? Go find out!
Duration: 10 minutes
Pass By: Wayzata Depot, 402 Lake St E, Wayzata, MN 55391-1651
This 1906 historic train station is one of the city's most popular gathering places for residents and visitors. Lovely Perennial gardens planted and maintained by volunteers with the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club add to the ambiance of this park site abutting the shoreline of Wayzata Bay. Sit back and relax on the shaded lawn and watch the arrival/departure of the restored streetcar boat, The Minnehaha, or sailboats sailing in and out of the bay. The Depot docks has benches and Adirondacks chairs for seating and an overlook platform at the waters edge.
Work on a garden railroad east of the depot was begun in the summer of 2009. An initial layout was constructed in time for the annual J.J. Hill Days celebration, and a more permanent version was construct during the summer of 2010. The new layout allows multiple trains to run concurrently. A village has been created, along with a 'service area' for the train engines. And, the area has been landscaped by the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club. Stop by to check out our progress, or go to this link for a slide show of the project.