On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Lake Waconia: An urban oasis, and home to Coney Island of the West

Share story

Lake Waconia
Lake Waconia
William Lager | MPR News

Lake Waconia has made the top eight in our most-loved lake contest. See all the finalists and cast your vote here.

This is the only Twin Cities-area lake to make the cut for our top eight, and it's still in the far western reaches of the metro. 

Waconia's 5 square miles offer a bit of nature under an hour drive from downtown Minneapolis. A large regional park sits on the lake's southern shores, and it even has its own Coney Island. 

Coney Island, circa 1907.
Coney Island, circa 1907.
Minnesota Historical Society

The island used to host a hotel and is now in development to become a public park.

Meg Redshaw moved to Minnesota from Colorado in 2003, and she fell in love with Waconia immediately when a realtor took her to a lakeside restaurant.

"From the moment Nancy sat us at our table I was in love with the views as it reminded me of my hometown, right down to Coney Island! We chose Waconia from our first experience at the lake," Redshaw said.

"Lake Waconia provides beautiful views, pristine waters and tons of recreational activities. Due to its relatively small size it has remained charming and a great place to spend summer afternoons on the boat or at the beach," she said. "I love watching the fish houses pop up every winter as well as watching ice out in the spring. It is a treasure to the town and the surrounding communities."

Tell MPR News and the Water Main: What makes your lake special?