Summer on White Bear Lake has made people happy to be together for decades. The city and the lake are teeming with residents and visitors ready to enjoy the day, the week or the entire summer in this Minnesota paradise. The lake is obviously the main attraction and provides the perfect setting for picnics, beach parties, walks along the shoreline, boating, fishing and windsurfing. There are parades, awesome 4th of July fireworks, Manitou Days, Friday morning Farmers’ Markets, dining and dancing. You might also be witness to yacht club races and a little crosstown rivalry, or you can sign up for fishing excursions, lake tours and cruises, and fishing camps for the children.
Thursday evenings from mid-June through July are a real occasion with Marketfest, a festive, downtown social gathering with food vendors, live music at the Gazebo and on street corners, car show, kids’ activities, and lots of opportunity for exploring the amazing shops for some new, exciting treasures. Visitors can also spend time on the lake or at lakeside dining and entertainment options.
(Photo: Peninsular, White Bear Lake, 1889)
Fall brings stunning colors to the lake and a crisp, fresh feeling in the air. You’ll find awesome photo opportunities—maybe even for wedding memories. The lake still hosts fishing boats and sailboats, and, with the stronger autumn winds, windsurfers gather with their colorful equipment and gear. It’s a sight to behold! Outdoor dining and live music are the norm and the perfect way to meet and greet friends near the beautiful shores. Don a jacket and you’re ready. For something new, you can find geocaching trails and a new adventure.
Theatre buffs can’t wait for the next performance at the new location for Lakeshore Players Theatre, a community theatre under professional management. The White Bear Center for the Arts provides art experiences for all ages. Fall is also a great time to visit historical sites such as the Fillebrown House, an 1879 cottage, for a tour or special event, or join in on a pub crawl or walking tour. You’ll find great options for fun and educational programs sponsored by the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society such as a lakeside walking tours or Gangster Tours around the lake.
Winter means a lake covered with snow and ice and boasts ice houses that form their own temporary version of a lake village. If you haven’t done any ice fishing yet, this could be a great, new adventure and possibly with fresh fish for dinner! You’re sure to meet some of the friendliest people in the Midwest. You can also try some of Minnesota’s famous winter sports, like skating, snowshoeing, sledding, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.
In winter, White Bear Lake is a great destination for experienced kiters. You may also decide on ATVing or snowmobiling, or visit the White Bear Lake Sports Center for wallyball, racquetball, skating or hockey. And for the truly brave, there’s the Polar Plunge, a quick dip in the freezing water to raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota. Closer to the holidays, there is also WinterFest and a chance for horse-drawn trolley rides or breakfast and photos with Santa. Let’s not forget the February Gold on Ice which promises food, fun and entertainment, with proceeds going to the White Bear Lake Area Food Shelves. Does winter keep Minnesotans indoors? No way. Come out and play!
Spring is a beloved season of greenery, birdsong and flowing water. Walking is in vogue, and people are quick to store their winter garb and reach for a spring jacket and walking shoes. The trails, boat launches and beaches become busy again, and of course, fishing is an everyday luxury, rain or shine. It’s great to greet neighbors as they walk their pets or stroll lakeside with a friend. Pontoons and jet skis are back on the lake, and golfers are practicing their swing with a bucket of balls.
Once again, the hot spots are humming with activity, dining, sharing a beverage and music. From boutiques to bakeries, antique shops to galleries, spas to taverns, the downtown area is a fabulous destination of its own. You’ll find parades, parks and picnics—options for everyone around the lake and in the city.