Lake Minnetonka is the 10th largest lake in Minnesota; it has over 14,000 acres of water (approximately 22 square miles) with more than 100 miles of shoreline. The maximum depth of the lake is 113 feet. Lake Minnetonka is also the most heavily-used lake in Minnesota. (source)
Since my relatives are land-lubbers, we decided on the safe and smooth ride aboard the lovely and very vintage Steamboat Minnehaha. In the early 1900's the Steamboat Minnehaha was created as an extension of the Twin Cities' streetcar system.
It all came to an end with the rise in popularity of automobiles and the steamboat was scuttled in 1926. For five decades, the Minnehaha lay at the bottom of lake Minnetonka.
That changed, however, in 1980, when a salvage team discovered her and raised her back to the surface. Finally, after a complete restoration, the Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and has operated on Lake Minnetonka every season since.
Watching the Minnehaha come into dock from a previous tour.
Waiting to board....
I have the window seat and can't wait to get going!
We are just leaving the dock and heading out of the bay into the main lake.
The lake was not nearly as crowded as in the warmer days of summer, but there were still many people out enjoying the beautiful day. We saw several groups of sailboats and kayaks like the ones in the photos above.
This dad had his daughter out on the paddleboard and was keeping
a close eye on us!
An actual steam engine still runs in the belly of the Steamboat Minnehaha.
Here are just a few of the more modest homes on Lake Minnetonka. These are the ones I would choose to live in if I had a full-time housekeeper, gardener and maintenance crew!
Some historic mansions remain on the lake, but are more secluded and mostly hidden from the prying eyes of tourists. A few include prominent estates once owned by the first families of Minnesota, such as the Pillsburys (as in the Pillsbury Doughboy), the Daytons (Daytons Department Stores and founder of Target stores) and the Bells (General Mills). Most of the larger homes now are owned by professional athletes and insurance company CEO's.
The former Pillsbury house may still be for sale, I found this info on a real-estate site. It's been reduced to $24 million. Here's a photo from the site.....
I much prefer these "smaller" homes!
Our tour took us around the "Big Island" and then back into the bay. It was a pleasurable hour-long cruise around the lake.
The Steamboat Minnehaha is a floating museum and a real treasure to the city of Excelsior on the bay of Lake Minnetonka.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip with me. We still have a few more weeks of this glorious weather so maybe we'll make it back out to the lake before winter sets in. I hope you're enjoying this
beautiful time of year too!
See you soon!
~~ Diane ~~