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Officially known as the City of the Village of Minnetonka Beach, and known locally as "The Beach," Minnetonka Beach is in Hennepin County. County Road 15 is the main route through the city. Minnetonka Beach is on a peninsula on Lake Minnetonka, with Lafayette Bay to the south, Crystal Bay to the north, and a larger portion of the lake to the east. A bridge connects the city with the city of Crystal Bay to the north, while it is connected by land to Spring Park to the west. Other nearby communities include Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Mound, and Tonka Bay. Mahpiyata Island and Big Island are south and southwest of the city. Minnetonka Beach is largely residential, except for the Lafayette Club and St. Martin's Church. Although there were white settlers on Minnetonka Beach as early as 1855, it was not officially opened for settlement until 1872. The village was platted and named in 1883. James J. Hill had chosen Minnetonka Beach as the site of the Great Northern Railroad's first great summer resort, which catered to the rich and famous. The Hotel Lafayette played an important part in shaping the town, as the railroad restricted development of other parts of the peninsula. A road was built through the peninsula in 1887. In 1897, the hotel was destroyed by fire and, a couple of years later, the Minnetonka Club was formed at the former site of the hotel, although its name was later changed to the Lafayette Club. Minnetonka Beach was incorporated as a village in 1894, and became a city in 1922, and is one of the smallest incorporated cities in the state, with a peak population of 614 in 2000.



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