Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Forest Lake, MN

  • Published 2023/03/02

Have you heard of Forest Lake, Minnesota?

Forest Lake is a city in Minnesota’s Washington County, about 43 kilometers northeast of Saint Paul.

It’s an ideal area to get away from the stresses of city life that retains many of its conveniences.

Whether you’re a guest or a local searching for exciting things to do, you’ll find lots of things to do and places to visit.

Do you want to know more about this city?

Here are the best things to do in Forest Lake, MN:

Spend an Afternoon at Lakeview Park

Lakeview Park is on the outskirts of Forest Lake.

You’ll find a boating dock with lake accessibility, a gazebo, grill, seats, picnic booths, a playground, and other amenities at this lovely location.

It’s a vast area ideal for families looking for a low-cost outdoor activity that kids will also love.

Spend a weekend on the lake or come together with family and friends for a BBQ.

Those planning an outdoor birthday celebration will have a great time soaking in the environment.

Go Shopping at Living Well Boutique

Are you looking for unique treasures at Forest Lake to bring home?

Living Well Boutique is a one-of-a-kind store with exceptional presents for ladies.

It’s one of Forest Lake’s most popular boutiques, and it’s welcoming, woman-owned, and sells high-quality products.

It provides you with American-made, eco-friendly health & beauty products, jewelry, clothes, essential oils, gifts, trinkets, and valuable home items.

Plus, you’ll probably find products that you won’t find anywhere else, ideal when shopping for a unique present for yourself or a loved one.

Try Mexican Food at Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant

Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant features a casual atmosphere, a full bar, and a broad menu of traditional items such as fajitas and tacos.

This Mexican Restaurant offers family-friendly cuisine that has been tried and true throughout generations.

Their food carries the special Jalisco flavor, which is also Don Julio’s hometown.

Experience Mexico thanks to the aromas, flavors, and atmosphere.

Don Julio’s Mexican Restaurant offers a variety of authentic Mexican cuisines, some of which are only available in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

Have Fun at Punch-Out Gaming

Punch-Out Gaming is a specialty facility that grants all of your child’s gaming system wishes.

Punch-Out Gaming takes pleasure in assisting players in filling their collections at reasonable prices.

They offer everything from antique wax packs to the newest and most popular ones.

They also offer hundreds of single cards and a large number of entire sets.

You can also play old and new video games on various consoles, such as the XBOX, Atari, the Nintendo Wii, Gameboy, PlayStation, and more.

This tourist hot spot is unique because it also features a virtual reality section for kids.

Enjoy a Lovely Meal at Keys Bakery and Cafè

Keys Bakery and Café is a Minnesota classic that always hums with customers searching for some lovely comfort cuisine.

The Keys Café concept is simple: exceptional service and food, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts made from scratch.

They offer dishes “you loved eating growing up.”

This restaurant provides typical American food, cookies, pies, cakes, and a variety of ample breakfast alternatives.

Their food is always freshly cooked to order.

Likewise, their salads, stews, brunches, grilled sandwiches, plus sweet delights are all popular.

Create a Memorable Golfing Experience at Forest Hills Golf Club

Do you want to have some fun in Forest Lake?

Forest Hills Golf Course is the ideal setting for a leisurely golf day.

It’s a beautiful and challenging golf course located less than 30 minutes from the Twin Cities.

Golfers of all abilities will love the 18 gorgeous holes on this course.

You can also visit the golf shop where you may purchase new clubs or an outfit to improve your golfing experience.

Bring your friends for a friendly game at Forest Hills Gold.

Unwind at the Famous Rendezvous Retreats

Rendezvous Retreats provides a comfortable and lovely Craftsman house in Forest Lake for a quick getaway.

You can hold business meetings, dinner celebrations, modest weddings, family events, and weekend vacations at the place.

They are in Forest Lake, Minnesota, about 20 minutes north of the Twin Cities.

Build a fantastic Rendezvous Retreat where work colleagues, artisans, crafters, family & friends can meet, discuss, plan, enjoy, interact, and unwind.

Celebrate at the Old Log Cabin Restaurant

The Old Log Cabin Restaurant has happily delivered full-service dining and services for almost 30 years.

All of your favorite appetizers are available.

You can also order from a fantastic assortment of salads if you want lighter fare.

They also offer a large selection of cocktails to suit all tastes, ranging from local beers to their world-famous Bloody Mary.

You can even rent the Old Log Cabin Restaurant for special events, corporate parties, picnics, celebratory events, and family get-togethers.

They can handle groups of 100 to 1,000 people.

Look no further than the Old Log Cabin Bar & Restaurant for a welcoming and festive atmosphere to celebrate special occasions.

Shop for Essential Lake Items at FXR Factory Outlet Superstore

FXR Racing will be your favorite shopping destination in Forest Lake if you enjoy snow, motorbikes, or fishing.

The factory outlet superstore features a large selection of snow equipment, including helmets, goggles, and coats.

You can also buy motorcycle jackets and pants, and boots and gloves.

Browse their rain gear, ice fishing clothes, and bags for essential hooks and bait before you go fishing.

Try Digital Firing at Best Defense Armory & Range

If you enjoy hunting or target shooting, visiting the Best Defense Armory & Range is a fun pastime.

The facility is entirely new, and it features a normal public gun range with seven lanes.

The longest range is 25 yards, and skilled shooting talents may use three tactical shooting lanes.

The facility offers a virtual reality area where you can train in digital shooting in real-world scenarios or take out zombies.

It’s a fantastic and affordable activity to do alone or with buddies.

This Forest Lake tourist attraction is great for budget-conscious vacationers.

Order the Daily Special at the Grillium

For over 17 years, the Grillium has served amazing burgers, gluten-free alternatives, a packed lunch and supper menu, local craft brews, and catering services to Forest Lake.

Grillium also has a daily specials menu that includes gluten-free alternatives and a kid-friendly menu.

Drop by the Grillium after a full day of exploring Forest Lake and indulging in various indoor and outdoor activities.

Come by Forest Lake Cycle & Skate

What might make a trip to Forest Lake more enjoyable?

Forest Lake Cycle & Skate has you covered if you enjoy going too fast.

This store will probably give you almost everything you need for a good time on two wheels, including bicycles, clothing, helmets, and shoes.

They also operate a hockey shop that offers hockey sticks, skates, and other equipment.

You may also receive expert fits to guarantee you have the correct size skates.

Visit the Hardwood Creek Wildlife Refuge

The Hardwood Creek Wildlife Refuge is part of a huge network of the county’s remaining natural ecosystems.

You’ll find a 60-acre tamarack swamp and a maple-basswood woodland on the premises.

There’s a vast forested snap area where you can stay by yourself and have some peace.

If you travel during the winter, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

A snowmobile route even runs along the southern border.

In the fall, you can hunt bears, deer, and birds.

Likewise, you can hunt small game or explore the forested wetlands, upland islands, and cultivated plains.

Take a Dip in the Forest Lake Community Pool

Cool off at the Forest Lake Community Pool inside the Southwest Junior High School, open to the community year-round.

Kids can enjoy the pool since its shallow end is 3.5 feet deep and the slightly deeper end is six to ten feet deep.

The pool has six 25-yard swimming lanes.

Parents must always supervise children under five years old.

Likewise, the parents must pay a nominal admission charge.

There are locker facilities with showers, bathrooms, and lockers where you may store your belongings.

Forest Lake Community Pool is a great place to relax and swim.

Grab a Drink at Fireside Getaway Restaurant & Bar

The Fireside Getaway is a family-owned restaurant.

The menu features American cuisine with regional and global influences, prepared with the highest quality ingredients.

Admire the beautiful fireplaces and fantastic lake views around this two-story restaurant.

Fireside Getaway also hosts a variety of activities, including bingo on Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays, and more.

You can order appetizers, salads, soups, wings, hummus, chips, and fries.

The Fireside Getaway is all about relishing the small pleasures in life, such as great food and spending time with friends and family.

Experience Minnesota’s Short Summers by Attending Arts in the Park

Looking for a family-friendly event to take your loved ones out while in Forest Lake?

Take them to Arts in the Park!

This yearly event shines a light on the state’s short summer season during June, July, and August.

This jam-packed event comes with free music, a lineup of crafts vendors, and a farmer’s market.

A kid’s zone is available to offer games and entertainment for the youth.

Arts in the Park is one of the staple festivals of Forest Lake, so don’t miss it!

This event takes place at Lakeside Memorial Park on East Broadway Avenue.

Relax within the Open Green Space at Bridle Pass Park

It’s always a good idea to bask in the summer air and fresh breeze when you’re in Forest Lake no matter the occasion.

And you can do this when you come by Bridle Pass Park.

This public park has play structures for energetic youngsters and an open grassy space for reflection and walks.

The park also comes with picnic tables.

Stay at Bridle Pass Park on Lane Court North for a bit of sunset viewing.

It’s sure to be a day you won’t forget.

Get Swimming Lessons at Forest Lake YMCA

When it comes to all-around facilities, Forest Lake YMCA takes the top seat in all of Forest Lake.

This gym-and-fitness-center-in-one takes pride in its community-building programs and activities.

Keep yourself in top shape at the gym and its set of equipment.

If you’d like to take your adventure to the waters, there’s an indoor pool and an outdoor splash deck and pad.

You can also sign up for a swimming lesson!

And after a long day of working out and playing around, get comfortable at the facility’s sauna.

Forest Lake YMCA is on Forest Road North.

Welcome Spring with the Whole Family at the Annual Spring Fling

Forest Lake’s Spring Fling is one of the city’s momentous festivals.

Celebrated annually, this event helps the community gather together for the Easter and spring seasons.

The festival features family-friendly events, including arts and crafts and egg hunts.

There’s also a petting zoo and giveaways that anyone can join.

And best of all, this April event is free for everyone!

Add Forest Lake City Center to your itinerary for the main celebration of Spring Fling.

Various locations in the city take part in the festivities, too, so keep an eye out for those sites.

Practice Your Golf Swing at Tanners Brook Golf Course

Are you a fan of golf?

Then, Tanners Brook Golf Course is a must-visit.

This golf facility opened in 2000 and has been a tourist favorite for those seeking to practice their golf swings and aims.

With 6,887 yards of play, this course offers four tee sets to accommodate every golfer’s skill level.

The golf facility also has two putting greens and 18 holes for actual play.

Call a friend and make your golf play a memorable outing together.

Or to make the stakes higher, why not join special leagues?

Head over to 190th Street North to get to Tanners Brook Golf Course’s entrance.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Hiking at the Hardwood Creek Regional Trail

The Hardwood Creek Regional Route in northeastern Washington County is a 9.5-mile multi-use trail.

Find it in Hugo, Minnesota, 13 minutes from Forest Lake.

Hikers, in-line skaters, cyclists, and skiers will enjoy the Hardwood Creek Regional Trail.

There are paths mainly created for horses in the summer, and in the winter, there are trails made explicitly for snowmobiles.

You may stroll, rollerblade, or ride your bike while taking in the sights.

The route leads tourists through new residential neighborhoods, natural regions, and the commercial districts of Hugo and Forest Lake.

If you’re feeling daring, go hiking on the Hardwood Creek Regional Trail.

Final Thoughts

Minnesota is one of the top vacation destinations in the country.

It’s full of down-to-earth people who live in small communities, but it also has many large cities with attractions for everyone.

Forest Lake, Minnesota, offers an ideal holiday with its blend of outstanding tourist attractions and friendly locals.

Start planning your Forest Lake vacation today!

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