If there’s one thing we all learned during lockdown, it was how to truly appreciate the restorative power of sunlight and a little fresh air. Whether you’re window shopping around 50th & France or exploring one of our many sprawling greenspaces, it’s easy to get your daily dose of Vitamin D in Edina. All while being just minutes away from South Minneapolis and such like-minded areas as Linden Hills, St. Louis Park, and Hopkins.
Here is how to make the most of a day in Edina throughout the spring and summer. Maybe even a much-needed staycation at The Westin Edina Galleria, Homewood Suites by Hilton Edina Minneapolis, or Residence Inn by Marriott Minneapolis Edina. All of which are offering special rates and packages in the months ahead.
Oh, and if you run out of things to do while you’re here (doubtful), the Westin also has an entire “Weekend Wonders” page devoted to exclusives like indoor camping, a rare Pappy Van Winkle tasting, and a VIP tour of Paisley Park….
- Bogey and birdie your way through Braemar Golf Course.
As the weather begins to warm up, amateur players of all ages and skill levels leave Braemar’s dome — the largest indoor facility within the Twin Cities area — behind for two different outdoor courses. While Academy 9 is par 3 perfection ranging from 70 to 194 yards a hole, Championship 18 has the distinction of being Minnesota’s first regulation-size revelation in more than a decade. Get all the latest gear before your match at PXG Minneapolis in Southdale Center, the country’s first indoor mall.
- Escape the everyday at Centennial Lakes Park.
A much imitated, rarely duplicated marvel of man-made waterways and mixed use development, Centennial Lakes offers many recreation opportunities across 24 acres. We’re talking about everything from lawn bowling to paddle boats to pond fishing. Oh, and a maze with a 10-foot pinecone in the middle of it. Locavores should also look out for a farmers market every Thursday between 3 and 7 p.m. The weekly affair starts on June 10 and winds down at the end of September. Or if you’d like a break from cooking during the hot summer months ahead, there’s always noteworthy Centennial Lakes Park neighbor Pinstripes, an Italian-style bistro that happens to host bowling and bocce matches.
- Hunt for public art.
Edina’s Arts & Culture Commission works closely with the city to allocate funding and commission original sculptures, paintings, and photography every year. The Edina Promenade right next to Centennial Lakes Park is a perfect starting point for appreciating these pieces, including the surreal contributions of James Bearden (Lunar Trap), Sam Spiczka (Crescendo), and Dean Holzman (Time Piece). And then there’s I in Edina, an Instagram op designed by Concord Elementary School student Mac Anderson and built with the help of professional sculptor Charles Morrill (see also: the walk-through work Rainbow Bridge).
- Dine al fresco.
It’s hard to think of a better way to support a resurgent ding scene than by scoring a patio seat at one of Edina’s many beloved eateries. There’s plates for every palate here, including tacos and tequila (Barrio), steak frites and French onion soup (Salut Bar Américain), and blue plate specials and a best-in-class turkey burger (Edina Grill). Also of note: the aged beef awesomeness of Pittsburgh Blue, the farm-to-table fare of The Good Earth, and the no-plane-ticket-needed Nantucket getaway that is CōV.
- Tackle the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail.
Talk about selling yourself short; the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail is actually nearly 15 miles long, and includes stops in such nearby cities as Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield, and Bloomington. Edina’s stretch runs past wetlands, woodlands, and three different parks (Bredesen, Fred Richards, and Walnut Ridge). No wonder why thousands of riders hit this road every year, making it an absolute must within the greater Three Rivers Park District.
- Score a season pass at the Aquatic Center.
After taking last summer off due to the pandemic, Edina’s unofficial cool-down complex is set for a June 4 opening, with plans to keep things wet and wild all the way till August 22. Season passes cost $88.50 per person and give you unlimited access to such popular attractions as the 207-foot Pirate’s Plunge, an Olympic-sized lap pool kept at a constant 82-84 degrees, and a full-on surf simulator aimed at both seasoned riders and bodyboarding beginners. Otherwise, daily admission is $11.50 for adults, with an additional $6 fee for The Lost Wave.
- Check out the recent openings around 50th & France.
Time to get caught up on all the new tenants that have opened their doors in Edina’s bustling small business corridor. While Stranger & Co is a lifestyle store that looks and feels like an Instagram account come to life — it started as an online shop — The Lynhall and Pajarito are the second acts of cult restaurants from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Their menus run the gamut from elegant afternoon tea service to a very Minnesota take on fish tacos. (Who needs fried haddock or cod when you can have smelt instead?)
- Drink with your dog at Wooden Hill Brewing Company.
Brothers James and Sean Ewen bring a scientific bent to craft beer thanks to their respective backgrounds in nanotechnology and medicine. That doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have fun with hops, malts, and mash bills; quite the contrary, actually. Wood Hill’s season offerings include a brown ale nod to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a cucumber lemon sour, and a non-alcoholic pilsner that pretty much puts O’Doul’s on notice. Cocktail folks can also opt for hard seltzer riffs on classics like pina coladas, mojitos, and Moscow mules. Well-behaved pups are welcome on the patio, with treats and water bowls available upon request!