Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Wirth Beach in Bryn Mawr
Wirth Beach got a great makeover. Now there's a 280-foot swim dock just steps from the city.
Bordered on all sides by parks and lakes, Bryn Mawr boasts more than 650 acres of such, with paved commuter biking right into downtown Minneapolis. Located just west of the core, this neighborhood earns accolades for its quiet, quaint, small-town atmosphere with some dynamite skyline views. But it also borders the suburban shopping and amenities of nearby Golden Valley and Edina, making it truly the best of both worlds.
Bryn Mawr means “big hill” in Welsh. Developed from farmland in the 1800s, the area has thrived over the years as a “garden suburb” or “cottage city” due to the amount of green space and its proximity to lakes. Many workers of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway yard lived here prior to the 1960s.
From Victorians to colonials to ramblers, there is a variety of housing, and that includes pre-war “cottages.” Most are owner-occupied and well groomed, with very few rentals. This is one of the best-kept affordable-but-high-end secrets in the Twin Cities.
SCHOOLS TO NOTE
Bryn Mawr Elementary
Serving pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students, this relatively new neighborhood public school opened in 1996. brynmawr.mpls.k12.mn.us
Anwatin Middle School
This public International Baccalaureate World School offers the only middle-school Spanish Dual Immersion program found in the Minneapolis Public Schools. anwatin.mpls.k12.mn.us
Blake Upper School
A private, independent college prep school for pre-K through grade 12. The focus is on integrated academics, athletics, and becoming responsible world citizens. blakeschool.org
A private Episcopal college prep school for pre-K through grade 12 nearby in GoldenValley, with a strong spiritual component and integration between the classroom and life. breckschool.org
For locals, by locals, Sparks features a wood-burning oven, seasonal menus, and a changing draft list. sparksmpls.com
Ice Cream Social
As many as 500 neighbors gather for ice cream, entertainment, and mingling at this annual event from the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association. bmna.org
Theodore Wirth Park is Minneapolis’s largest, with an 18-hole golf course and a snowboard park. But the beach redo wows this year. minneapolisparks.org