Twin Cities Mom Collective

Lakes for Days: The Main Beach at Lake Nokomis

lake nokomis
Lake Nokomis // Minneapolis

I made a Summer Bucket List.  I know that’s super cliché, but I did. Last year I was pregnant and didn’t want to do anything, so this year, I want to do everything.  One of the first things I was sure to do when the sunshine poked through the spring clouds was to hit up the Main Beach at Lake Nokomis.  The whole lake has a lot to offer, but my favorite spot is North Beach.

We started out with a walk away from the beach towards the sailboats.  It’s such a peaceful area for a walk, especially on a breezy, sunny day.  I even got the nerve up to walk out on the dock with a stroller and an independent 3-year-old.  I’m still recovering from the inner panic attack, but the view and smiles from her were worth it.

Lakes for Days: Lake Nokomis Main Beach | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Lakes for Days: Lake Nokomis Main Beach | Twin Cities Moms Blog

And if you get hungry on your adventures, opening this summer will be The Painted Turtle that is replacing the former concession stand, Sandcastle. On the menu is made-from-scratch fare, ice cream, local beers and snacks. I can’t wait to try it out this summer!

Lakes for Days: Lake Nokomis Main Beach | Twin Cities Moms Blog


The beach and the park connected are so much fun.  These beach areas within Minneapolis are like stepping into a different culture entirely.  Blocks away are busy streets, but beach life rules here.  This visit was on a weekday, but on weekends, towels are everywhere, Frisbees fly and kids are swinging at the park, or splashing in the water.  In previous visits, my husband and I have taken turns with the kids – one running around the lake, while the other keeps an eye on everyone.  It’s truly a spot you need to hit more than once a summer!


Besides the beach, you can rent family-style bikes, canoes, kayaks, paddle-boards, and peddle-boats.

Lakes for Days: Lake Nokomis Main Beach | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Lakes for Days: Lake Nokomis Main Beach | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Lifeguards are available at busy times starting in late May through late August. Check website for hours as it changes throughout the summer.

Should you choose to wander away from the beach, the Nokomis area has a lot to offer.  First things first – Fat Lorenzo’s is where it’s at for a date night, or family date night, gelato included.  If you’d rather eat by the lake, pick up your pizza to complete your picnic.  Not too far from Fat Lorenzo’s is one of the best spots for your littles to lay on the grass and watch the airplanes coming from and going to the airport.

Pumphouse Creamery is a local favorite that you won’t regret.  It’s open from 12-9 pm during the summer, with great outdoor seating.

If you need to grab your caffeine on the way, hit up one of many nearby coffee shops. Nokomis Beach Coffee is walkable and has ice cream for the kids.  And if (if?!) you prefer not to get the kids out of the car, the nearby Caribou Coffee location has a drive-thru.

Use this address to plug into your Maps app to find the beach area easily:

5001 Lake Nokomis Parkway W
Minneapolis, MN 55417

This post is part of our Lakes for Days Series. Read more posts from this series HERE.

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