Just Add Water

Just Add Water

Treat your guests to a day on the lake or an afternoon on the river.

Now that the ice is officially out on Lake Minnetonka, it’s time to start planning entertainments that expose your guests to Minnesota’s great natural assets. And since we’re known for our magnificent lakes and rivers, why not take them out on the water for an afternoon or evening? It’s a welcome change of scenery, and provides quality time for relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Don’t own a boat? No worries: Here are three great options for getting out on the water in style.

 

Excel Boat Club

Tom Jacob offers members of his Excel Boat Club a fleet of luxury boats including open-bow speedboats, deck boats, and custom pontoons that can be taken out on either Lake Minnetonka or the St. Croix River. Customers enjoy Jacob’s high-touch service, delivered by well-trained staff that haul coolers, pull boats in and out of slips, and even captain boats for clients. Members pay $3,799 a year for 12 uses, Monday through Thursday, or 10 uses any day of the week; or they pay $4,599 a year for 25 uses any day of the week. Nonmembers can rent 25-foot or 30-foot pontoons ranging from $250 for a half day, to $499 for a full day. 141 Minnetonka Boulevard, Excelsior, 952-401-3880; and 2 Lake Circle, Bayport, 651-430-3118; excelboatclub.com

 

Stillwater Boat Club & Rentals

Situated in downtown Stillwater within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants, the Stillwater Boat Club offers unlimited use of deluxe pontoons, open-bow boats, and cabin cruisers for $4,960 a year. “Boat clubs are great for people who don’t want the hassle and expense of owning a boat,” says Andy Malon, the club’s owner. Nonmembers can rent pontoons from $255 for a half day, or $370 for a full day. 422 East Mulberry Street, Stillwater, 651-439-9000, stillwaterboatclub.com

Your Boat Club

After testing the waters on Prior Lake, Gull Lake, and Lake Minnetonka last summer, Luke Kujawa, former president of Crystal Pierz boat dealerships, is expanding his members-only boat club concept to the St. Croix River and White Bear Lake. With a focus on flexibility, Kujawa offers a variety of packages and prices, including an “explorer” membership subscription with unlimited usage of ski boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats every day, for an annual membership starting at $3,000. Five locations statewide. 4424 Lake Avenue South, White Bear Lake, 612-208-1800, yourboatclub.net

 

Lakeside Eats

Lord Fletcher’s

On sunny summer afternoons, Fletcher’s is the place to see and be seen on Lake Minnetonka. If you arrive by boat, make sure it’s big, fast, or both. Toss the keys to a wharf rat, grab a table on the deck, and enjoy a round of cool cocktails followed by the famous walleye dinner. 3746 Sunset Drive, Spring Park, 952-471-8513, lordfletchers.com

 

Maynard’s

In any season, but especially in the summer, Maynard’s on Excelsior Bay is a favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike. Relax on the patio and enjoy beverages, burgers, and a stunning sunset. After dark, the action moves to the bar inside. 685 Excelsior Boulevard, Excelsior, 952-470-1800, maynardsonline.com

 

Dock Café

After boating on the St. Croix River, relax on Dock Café’s large, leafy brick patio, order from the extensive wine list, and enjoy delicious, Italian-inspired specialties and uninterrupted views of the river from downtown Stillwater. 425 East Nelson Street, Stillwater, 651-430-3770, dockcafe.com

 

Acqua Restaurant and Wine Bar

Whether you arrive by car or boat, this comfortable restaurant overlooking White Bear Lake is a great way to spend a summer evening. The menu offers a sophisticated take on rustic Italian dishes with an emphasis on top quality local ingredients. 4453 Lake Avenue South, White Bear Lake, 651-407-7317, acquawbl.com

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