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Excelsior

A historic downtown Lake Minnetonka city



Excelsior

Blending the old with the new

In 1852, when George Bertram traveled from New York to the Southern shores of Lake Minnetonka, he sought to create a village and farming community.  He teamed up with a home builder, Robert McGrath, and began to construct homes in the original Excelsior township.  The township incorporated in 1877 and allegedly the origin of the name came from either Longfellow’s popular poem “Excelsior” or New York’s state motto meaning “Ever Upward.”  

You can’t mention Excelsior history without mentioning the Excelsior Amusement Park that operated from 1927-1934.  The Amusement Park attracted hundreds of thousands to the area and even hosted concerts by the Beach Boys (1963) and the Rolling Stones (1964).  Legend has it that during that visit, Mick Jagger’s met “town ambassador” Mr. Jimmy and Mr. Jimmy lamented to Mick that “you can’t always get what you want” when he received a regular coke instead of a cherry coke. Mick was so inspired by Mr. Jimmy that the record breaking song was born. The amusement park ran until 1973 when it closed and was soon demolished.  

Today, Excelsior’s historic downtown pays homage to the “golden age” of Lake Minnetonka, but is apt to serve Excelsior’s 2400 residents and tens of thousands of people who visit it each year.  There are shops, delicious restaurants, historic movie theater and other entertainment that is glorified with the majestic backdrop of Excelsior Bay on Lake Minnetonka.

Excelsior is conveniently located 18 miles west of downtown Minneapolis right off of Hwy 7.  Although, the town is small in size at 0.70 square miles, it makes up for in Americana and community.  Every year, Excelsior host several annual events including Apple Day, Art on the Lake, Crazy Days, Independence Day parade and fireworks, and Christkindlmarkt- a festival during the Holidays.


INSIDER TIPS

Parks, Nature, and Beaches
The Excelsior Commons, the Community Gardens, the Commons Beach, and Excelsior Parkland

Restaurants and Retail
This Norman Rockwell-esque town is a must visit and has some really great dining and shopping options.  A few must-trys: Lago Tacos, Tommy’s Tonka Trolley, Yumi’s, and Jake O’Connors. Catch a current movie in the over 100 year old Excelsior Dock Theater.
 

SCHOOLS

Minnetonka School District is nationally recognized as one of the best school districts in the state. It currently has 10,600 students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The Minnetonka School District serves families in the Minnetonka, Chanhassen, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Victoria and Woodland areas. 91% of Minnetonka High School students graduate are college bound and over 97% of the students who attend MHS graduate. The Minnetonka School District has six elementary schools including Spanish and Chinese immersion schools, two middle schools and one high school.  

Schools in the Minnetonka School District
  • Clear Springs Elementary
  • Deephaven Elementary
  • Excelsior Elementary
  • Groveland Elementary 
  • Minnewashta Elementary
  • Scenic Heights Elementary
Middle Schools
  • Minnetonka Middle School East
  • Minnetonka Middle School West
  • Minnetonka High School

REAL ESTATE INSIGHTS

Exuding a classic Lake Minnetonka experience, as well as a rich history and vibrant downtown Excelsior is a fantastic place to call home. The average Excelsior home sold in 2017 for $785,900 with 68 days on market.