Lake Harriet Bandshell
South of Lake Calhoun and west of Lake Harriet, Linden Hills snuggles into low-key, high-end comfort. One of the most dog-friendly neighborhoods in Minneapolis, it’s also filled with kids, thanks to excellent schools, parks, and an adorable three-block shopping district. Everyone is out by the lakes all year long—running, skating, skiing, and biking on the nearby sections of Minneapolis’s Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway or sailing and windsurfing the Chain of Lakes. And all of this is at the foot of downtown’s core. It’s the Minneapolis you’ve read about in those brochures, and it’s everything they promised.
Named for its abundance of linden trees, part of the neighborhood was developed as a “cottage city” around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, where boats have been sailing since the 1860s. As the Linden Hills Historical Society has noted, “The land between Lakes Calhoun and Harriet was an attractive retreat from the often-grimy urban Minneapolis at the turn of the century.” The rose garden, planted in 1908, was only the nation’s second municipal one, and it’s still a stunner. The Como-Harriet Streetcar line from the 1920s still runs on weekends and select summer days and winter holidays.
This is the highest-demand housing in the city. Craftsman homes and bungalows in various styles (including Spanish mission and Greek revival) dominate, but new construction happens too, most often when ranch homes are replaced by multistoried dreams that let in gorgeous lake and skyline views.
SCHOOLS TO NOTE
Just north of Linden Hills, this private Catholic college prep school for grades seven through 12 offers 15 AP courses and attracts students from more than 30 different districts. bsmschool.org
Southwest High School
A public high school with a required International Baccalaureate for all ninth and 10th graders, it’s often tops in the state. It’s the only Minneapolis school to offer American Sign Language as a world language. southwest.mpls.k12.mn.us
High-end ice cream and coffee on a dog-friendly patio with an indoor-outdoor fireplace. Add cheeky flavors such as Nicollet Avenue Pot Hole and Praline Home Companion and you get why everyone frequents this adorable hangout. sebastianjoesicecream.com
James Beard Award–nominated chef Steven Brown’s casual neighborhood place beckons regulars with beer and brussels sprouts. Even the kids’ menu is done well. And don’t skip dessert, from pastry chef Zöe François, author of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. As they say in the neighborhood, “good food tastes good,” especially when it’s locally sourced and locally owned. tiliampls.com
Lake Harriet Bandshell
Local concerts are free all summer long, and beach fare at Bread & Pickle is served right on the shores, close enough so that you can bait a hook with your leftovers. minneapolisparks.org