When we were moving to MN and searching for a home we had a bizarre desire to live in Minnetonka just so we could tell people we lived there and make them say MINNETONKA, too. Side note, our GPS had fun pronouncing it and made us laugh every time. Do GPS’ learn regional pronunciation at some point? I haven’t noticed the weirdness since I moved here, but then again I’ve started saying things like “OPE!” and “UFFDA!” and the most common of them all “Oh, sure!” (it’s not “You betcha” – I think that must be more North Dakota, or “NoDak” if you’re cool)
I also had a strong association with Minnetonka slippers. Warm feet. Cold winters. Fun words.
What is the reality of Minnetonka? Here are 5 things to know if you’re thinking about moving there.
- It’s a second ring western suburb of Minneapolis. Commute to downtown is about 20 minutes (14 miles to the heart of downtown). Maybe about 5 minutes further to the airport.
2. Minnetonka is not the most affordable place to live in the Twin Cities metro area. The median home price in Minnetonka is $436K for a single family home, $282K for a townhome. The median income in Minnetonka is $91,374 (national median is closer to $55K).
The population is educated – about 60% of adult residents have some college education. And speaking of education – the schools in Minnetonka are consistently rated A or A+ on Niche and other school rating web sites.
3. Other than nice homes and great schools with an easy commute – what do you get for your money in Minnetonka? Well, how about easy access to a lot of really nice parks like including the Bryant Lake Regional Park (technically in Eden Prairie but close!) which has a beach, trails, disc golf, and a dog park and as well as the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail and easy access to the Dakota Regional Trail which begins in Wayzata.
Per the Three Rivers Park District: “The Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail stretches over 15 miles between Hopkins and Carver Park Reserve, offering scenic views of Lake Minnetonka along the way. This aggregate trail passes through the communities of Minnetonka, Deephaven, Greenwood, Excelsior, Shorewood, and Victoria. For more ambitious trail users, pack a tent and enjoy an evening under the stars while camping at Carver Park Reserve. No car required!” If you really like biking, this trail also connects to the Cedar Lake Trail heading into Minneapolis and the Midtown Greenway which heads east and west across Minneapolis and into St. Paul.
Dakota Rail Regional Trail
“The Dakota Rail Regional Trail is a popular attraction for bikers, in-line skaters and hikers. The 13 mile paved trail offers spectacular views of the lake and passes through a variety of scenic areas, including wetlands, wooded areas and agricultural land. In Carver County, an additional 12.5 miles of paved trail extends west of St. Bonifacius to Mayer.”
4. Minnetonka is close to shopping – my fave, Costco, is just south of Minnetonka in Eden Prairie. There are a lot of smaller shops and restaurants within Minnetonka as well Ridgedale Mall and shopping center up on the northern side of the city.
5. What do you get from the city?
Things I like to see are places for the community to enjoy outside of their homes. Minnetonka offers the Williston Fitness Center – aquatics, batting cages, indoor pickleball & tennis, fitness center and gym.
They also have the Minnetonka Ice Arena, Lindbergh Center (basketball courts, weight room), Grays’s Bay Marina where you can rent a boat slip or have public boat access to Lake Minnetonka and two public beaches.
PLUS – you get to say “MINNETONKA” all the time!