Best Parks in Minneapolis: Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Guide

Best Parks in Minneapolis

Residents in Minneapolis, Minnesota, enjoy getting out of the house, even during the city’s summer highs and winter lows. While some other cities in the U.S. are not positioned to keep parks accessible throughout the year, Minneapolis has a team of professionals who make just that happen, allowing residents to access parks during light to moderate weather conditions. If a major wind, rain, or snowstorm rolls through the city, the parks are cleaned up and opened quickly.

With so many parks around the city, it can be hard to know which ones are worth visiting—especially for people who have just moved to the area. Fortunately, the best parks in Minneapolis are listed below and have the right amenities to keep residents coming back all year long.

Lyndale Park Gardens

Lyndale Park Gardens Amenities

  • Picnic space in the park
  • Rose Garden
  • Butterfly and Hummingbird Perennial and Border Gardens
  • Peace Garden

Address: Lyndale Park Gardens, 1300 W 42nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Lyndale Park Gardens has been an established park in Minneapolis since 1906. The park’s original superintendent, Theodore Wirth, wanted to improve the park to make it a destination that locals and tourists alike would love to see.

Wirth’s idea was to establish gardens, all of which still exist today. The Rose Garden was established in 1907, the Butterfly and Hummingbird & Perennial and Border gardens in 1909, the Annual-Perennial Garden in 1927, and the Peace Garden in 1929. Each of the themed gardens feature exactly what their name implies, except for the Peace Garden. Originally, it was called the Rock Garden, but the name was changed in the 1980s.

Visitors can enjoy walking through each of the well-maintained gardens while taking in the history. The gardens are cared for throughout the year, and visitors are encouraged to visit during the spring and summer when almost everything is in full bloom. Aside from seeing flowers, visitors can also enjoy a picnic in the park to create a perfectly relaxing afternoon.

Boom Island Park

Boom Island Park Amenities

  • Biking path
  • Boat dock
  • 22.5 acres of parkland

Address: Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413

Boom Island Park is no longer an island, but that is where it received its name. Booms were used to separate logs that were floated to sawmills off the Mississippi River, using sawmills that were actually powered by St. Anthony Falls. The men working at Boom Island separated each of the logs by the loggers’ individual branding. This interesting piece of historic Minnesota often draws history buffs from around the city.

Today, the park is home to fun activities that are mostly adaptable to Minneapolis’ extreme weather. During summer, the biking path and boat dock are filled with visitors. During the winter, many still walk along the paths and take in water views along the 22.5 acres of the park.

Minnehaha Regional Park

Minnehaha Regional Park

  • Disc golf course
  • Biking paths
  • Picnic areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Volleyball courts
  • Restrooms
  • Minnehaha Dog Park
  • Sea Salt Eatery

Address: Minnehaha Regional Park, 4801 S Minnehaha Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Minnehaha Regional Park was acquired by the city of Minneapolis in 1889. The name comes from the Dakota language, which means waterfall. However, the popular translation of the name is “laughing waters,” due to the Anglophone translation of the “ha ha”.

The park features the Sea Salt Eatery, which boasts some of the best dishes visitors can find in a city park. Additionally, visitors can stroll through the Longfellow Gardens, Minnehaha Falls Pergola Garden, and Song of Hiawatha Garden. Minnehaha is filled with rich history and is home to historical sites such as the Longfellow House, Princess Depot, and John H. Stevens House.

Those with four-legged friends are welcome to visit Minnehaha Dog Park from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Furthermore, the park’s disc golf course, biking paths, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and restrooms are also open during daylight hours.

Lake Harriet Bandshell Park

Lake Harriet Bandshell Park

  • 470 acres of parkland
  • Hosts free summer concerts and movies
  • 3 miles of walking and jogging trails
  • 3 miles of biking trails
  • Small gardens for viewing
  • Non-motorized water vessel rentals
  • A boat dock
  • Fishing piers

Address: Lake Harriet Bandshell Park, 4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Lake Harriet Bandshell Park is a large 470-acre park that contains Lake Harriet. It is also one of Minneapolis’ most popular parks for hosting free summer concerts and movies.

The beginning of this park is humble. Had it not been for Minneapolis residents voting to establish a park board in 1883, Lake Harriet Bandshell Park and other Minneapolis parks may not even exist! This was the first park to be established after the vote.

Lake Harriet Bandshell Park features close to three miles of walking/jogging trails and nearly three miles of biking trails. Additionally, visitors can enjoy small gardens, non-motorized water vessel rentals, a boat dock, and fishing piers.

After a long day at the park, the Bread & Pickle at the Pavilion has just the right bites to cap off the day.

Powderhorn Park

Powderhorn Park

  • 65 acres of parkland
  • Ice skating
  • Basketball courts
  • Tennis courts
  • Volleyball courts
  • Football fields
  • Biking trails
  • Wading pool
  • Stocked lake for fishing

Address: Powderhorn Park, 3400 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Powderhorn Park is one of Minneapolis’ most versatile parks. At only 65 acres, this park packs in numerous seasonal activities throughout the year. Ice skating, basketball, tennis, volleyball, biking, and football all exist within the park’s boundaries. There is even a wading pool available for use during summer months.

The lake is regularly stocked with fish, which allows anyone with a valid Minnesota fishing license to catch throughout the year. Crappies, sunfish, and adult catfish can be found in the waters, weighing up to 10 pounds.

Powderhorn Park’s name comes from the shape of the lake, which looks like a vessel that was used to store gunpowder during the 1800s.

Lake Nokomis Park

Lake Nokomis Park

  • Over 400 acres
  • 200 acre lake
  • Biking and hiking trails
  • Pond hockey locations
  • Softball fields
  • Soccer fields
  • Football fields
  • Swimming locations
  • Tennis courts
  • Pickleball courts
  • Free library

Address: Lake Nokomis Park, 4955 W Lake Nokomis Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Lake Nokomis Park is over 400 acres, but 200 are occupied by the Minneapolis lake Nokomis. Even with half of its landmass covered in water, this park offers amenities and activities that keep visitors here from dawn until dusk.

Sports are prevalent throughout the park. Biking, pond hockey, softball, soccer, football, swimming, tennis, and even pickleball can be found during the year. Depending on the weather, some sports may not be available until winter.

In addition to a large lake and many sports, Lake Nokomis Park offers a little free library. Visitors can “check out” a book they want to read and return it, and are also encouraged to leave books they believe others should read as well. Books range from children’s books to fiction and non-fiction.

The name of the park dates back to 1909. Originally named Lake Amelia Park, the Hiawatha Improvement Association proposed to have the name changed to Lake Nokomis Park. The name comes from the grandmother of Hiawatha in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “The Song of Hiawatha”.

Enjoy the Day Outdoors at One of Minneapolis’ Best Parks

Parks in Minneapolis go above and beyond what most residents would expect from such a space. From the large lakes surrounded by cozy lakefront homes to well-maintained gardens, eateries on site, and various sport activities, residents are hard-pressed to think of another city that has parks with so many offerings. Each park is worth the trip during the spring, summer, fall, and winter.

If Minneapolis is the city for you, contact Kris Lindahl Real Estate at 1-(855) 967-7653 to get in touch with a local real estate agent who can help you find your dream home today.

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