I made a Summer Bucket List. I know that’s super cliché, but I did. Last year I was pregnant and didn’t want to do anything, so this year, I want to do everything. One of the first things I was sure to do when the sunshine poked through the spring clouds was to hit up Lake Nokomis. The whole lake has a lot to offer, but my favorite spot is the North Beach.
We started out with a walk away from the beach towards the sailboats. It’s such a peaceful area for a walk, especially on a breezy, sunny day. I even got the nerve up to walk out on the dock with a stroller and an independent 3-year-old. I’m still recovering from the inner panic attack, but the view and smiles from her were worth it.
After a walk back, the Sandcastle was just too much to resist, so we grabbed lunch. I love the whole feel of this place! Any place where it feels peaceful to dine with a 3-year-old and baby in tow quickly climbs to the top of my list!
The beach and the park connected are so much fun. These beach areas within Minneapolis are like stepping into a different culture entirely. Blocks away are busy streets, but beach life rules here. This visit was on a weekday, but on weekends, towels are everywhere, Frisbees fly and kids are swinging at the park, or splashing in the water. In previous visit, my husband and I have taken turns with the kids – one running around the lake, while the other keeps on eye on everyone. It’s truly a spot you need to hit more than once a summer!
Besides the beach, you can rent family-style bikes, canoes, kayaks, paddle-boards and peddle-boats.
Lifeguards are available at busy times, from 11am-7pm early June-late August.
Should you choose to wander away from the beach, the Nokomis area has a lot to offer. First things first – Fat Lorenzo’s is where it’s at for a date night, or family date night, gelato included. If you’d rather eat by the lake, pick up your pizza to complete your picnic. Not too far from Fat Lorenzo’s is one of the best spots for your littles to lay on the grass and watch the airplanes coming from and going to the airport.
Pumphouse Creamery is a local favorite that you won’t regret. It’s open from 12-7pm during the summer, with great outdoor seating.
If you need to grab your caffeine on the way, hit up one of many nearby coffee shops. Nokomis Beach Coffee is walkable and has ice cream for the kids. And if (if?!) you prefer not to get the kids out of the car, the nearby Caribou Coffee location has a drive-thru.
Use this address to plug into your Maps app to find the beach area easily:
5001 Lake Nokomis Parkway W
Minneapolis, MN 55417