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Best Fun things to do in Lake Elmo, MN

Although Best Fun things to do in Lake Elmo remains mostly rural, particularly compared to other nearby St. Paul suburbs like Woodbury and Maplewood, the city has cemented plans for major urban expansion over the next decade, making it an up-and-comer in the metro area. Plus, as home to Lake Elmo Airport, we thought we’d help our fellow pilots and passengers take a look at some of the best things to do for passing through the area — let’s take a look.

About Lake Elmo

Tucked away to the east of Minnesota’s capital, St. Paul, the history of Lake Elmo as we know it today begins with its first settlers, Virginians Maria and Bernard B. “Bun” Cyphers. In 1848, they arrived in the area, building a hotel, tavern and stage stop. As a stop along Stillwater road, which connected the eponymous town to St. Paul, Lake Elmo became particularly important in the industries of trade, tourism and commerce. Its attractive natural setting along the lake allowed the town to flourish as a popular travel destination, particularly in the mild summers of Minnesota’s continental climate. On top of that, the growing railroad system, construction of county fairgrounds and increasing number of resorts started to draw even more people to the area. Although the town seemed poised to become a shining example of the flourishing St. Paul suburbs in the early 20th century, and investors tried their hand at implementing several grand living complexes, the transition to a fully urban city never came. Construction of a streetcar line through neighboring Mahtomedi rather than in Lake Elmo hampered the tourist industry. The county fairgrounds were unfortunately destroyed in a tornado and were moved to Stillwater, as well. Because of this, Lake Elmo has remained uniquely untouched, and its economy was — and still is — mostly dependent on agriculture. Even today, a large portion of the area within city limits is still farmland, while much of the rest is dedicated to natural spaces like the Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve and Mississippi River. But, that will soon change. As development of St. Paul continues eastward, the government has been granted legal authority to increase urban development of Lake Elmo over the next 15 years, particularly to the Historic Old Village area.

Fun things to do in Lake Elmo

With a number of fun things to do, and more popping up everyday, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained in Lake Elmo — take a look at some of the following recommendations:

Recreational Areas in Lake Elmo

  • You can’t mention recreational areas in Lake Elmo without mentioning its namesake. For a day of aquatic activities and reconnecting with nature, Lake Elmo Park Reserve is the ideal spot to do so. Enjoy boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding and cross country skiing in the winter, among many other activities.
  • Sunfish Lake Park offers 284 acres of woodland, wetland and prairie environments to explore, with a full interpretive nature center coming soon.
  • There are two fantastic golf courses in Lake Elmo, a public 9-hole, Cimarron Golf Course and the more pristine Royal Golf Club. Both offer a relaxing day on the links in their own way.

Restaurants & Bars in Lake Elmo

  • For five-star food in a laid-back setting, you’ll find it at Twin Point Tavern, a long-standing bar and grill known for its fried delicacies and extensive drink offerings.
  • Lake Elmo Inn is a classic supper club eatery offering creative fare from steaks to pasta, ribs, seafood and so much more.

Fun things to do in Lake Elmo

  • Catch the latest flick in the comfort of your car at Vali-Hi, a classic drive-in movie theater that also features an arcade.
  • For something new, the team at Inflight Pilot Training offers a wide range of services for both pilots and aspiring pilots. For instance, take the controls of an airplane on a Discovery Flight, where you get to play pilot under direction of a professional flight instructor while taking-in an unforgettable view of Lake Elmo from above.


Get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training to find out more about our flying programs.

Whether you have always wanted to become a pilot or are searching for a higher level of certification, let our team of flight instructors take you under our wing. We’ll develop a personalized approach so you can get started off on the right foot toward obtaining a license — all it takes is a quick call or note to our team to get started. For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.