Best Lakes to Live Near in Minneapolis


When looking for a new duplex or a home in Minneapolis, you might want to take advantage of “The City of Lakes” proximity to numerous lakes. 

Which offers the best location to buy a new duplex? It depends on what you are looking for. Each lake offers a unique set of opportunities and features.

Our team is here to break it down to help you narrow down the areas to start looking for a duplex.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Minneapolis Lake

Before we explore the top lakes in Minneapolis, we want to look at some of the top factors to consider when evaluating lakes. Some of the criteria our team selected are:

  • Ambiance: Do you prefer a quieter, more family-friendly vibe or a lively atmosphere with restaurants and nightlife?
  • Amenities: Are parks, trails, and beaches vital to you?  Do you have children and need access to schools and playgrounds?
  • Proximity to Downtown: Do you value a short commute to downtown  Minneapolis for work or entertainment?
  • Property Values: What is your budget? Lakefront property tends to command higher prices.

Top Lakes in Minneapolis to Buy a Duplex Near

Without further ado, here is our list of the top lakes near Minneapolis to consider when buying a duplex or a home. 

Lake Calhoun 

Lake Calhoun is one of the most popular lakes in Minneapolis, with its upscale, trendy atmosphere. 

  • Ambiance: Upscale, vibrant
  • Amenities: Excellent biking and walking trails, the Lake Calhoun Aquatic Center, top restaurants and shops
  • Proximity to Downtown: Easy access to downtown. 
  • Pros: It has a lively atmosphere, an abundance of amenities, and beautiful scenery. This is one of the most popular lakes in the Twin Cities.
  • Cons: Upscale reputation can mean higher property values, forcing you to spend more.

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet is a quality, family-friendly lake in Minneapolis. It offers more options for kids than some of the other lakes.

  • Ambiance: Family-friendly, peaceful, quieter than other popular lakes.
  • Amenities: This features the Lake Harriet Bandshell for concerts, rose gardens, trails, and beaches.
  • Proximity to Downtown: Located in Southwestern Minneapolis, it’s further away from downtown Minneapolis but still has a decent commute with numerous easy-access options. 
  • Pros: Lake Harriet has various amenities, caters to families, and is a beautiful natural setting.
  • Cons: It can be crowded during peak season, meaning you’d have to contend with crowds near your home in the summer.

Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake in Minneapolis is ideal if you’re looking for a quiet, residential lake. This offers more affordable lakefront living than other lakes in the Twin Cities.

  • Ambiance: Quiet, residential
  • Amenities: This lake features Theodore Wirth Park, walking and biking trails, and beaches.
  • Proximity to Downtown: Located in southwestern Minneapolis, this is further from downtown than other lakes.
  • Pros: Peaceful and serene with access to nature. It also has relatively affordable lakefront property.
  • Cons: Fewer amenities compared to some other lakes

Lake of the Isles

Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis is an active, trendy lake in Uptown that’s very close to downtown. 

  • Ambiance: Trendy, active
  • Amenities: This lake has a sailing center, beaches, walking and biking trails, restaurants, and great nightlife in Uptown.
  • Proximity to Downtown: Located on the eastern border of Minneapolis, Lake of the Isles is very close to downtown, making it ideal for an easy commute.
  • Pros: Active lifestyle options with trendy restaurants and nearby nightlife. It also features beautiful lake views.
  • Cons: It can be noisy and crowded, especially near Uptown, where people enjoy the restaurants and bars.

Lake Nokomis

Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis is a beautiful, relaxed, family-friendly lake.

  • Ambiance: Relaxed, family-oriented
  • Amenities: This community features a fishing pier, boat launch, trails, and beaches and is close to Minnehaha Park.
  • Proximity to Downtown: Located in eastern Minneapolis, a bit further from downtown. However, it is close to some of the top Minneapolis suburbs and the Mall of America.
  • Pros: Family-friendly atmosphere, abundant green space, and good fishing opportunities.
  • Cons: This lake has fewer restaurants and nightlife options than other lakes.

Which Minneapolis Lake is Best?

As you can see, there isn’t a “Best Minneapolis Lake.” It depends on what you are looking for and the features you want near your house. When looking for a home, it’s essential to consider the factors we outlined above and determine which best fits your needs. Whether you want trendy nightlight or a quiet family-friendly neighborhood, the Minneapolis lakes have it all!

Call Our Experts at The Duplex Doctors

When considering buying a duplex near a Minneapolis lake, call our experts at The Duplex Doctors. We can guide you through the duplex buying process, help you find the best neighborhood and house, and answer any questions you have. 

Search by Neighborhoods

This makes finding duplexes easy.