With its own portion of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, beautiful parks, and tasty treats, there are plenty of great things to do in Vadnais Heights. You can face the challenge of fishing in a shallow lake, going cross-country skiing, visiting a thrift shop, or hiking along an old rail corridor. We have picked 19 of the best things to do in Vadnais Heights for you to choose from.
Places to Eat
Sak’s Sports Bar
If you are a sports aficionado, then you will love visiting Sak’s Sports Bar, with the relaxed atmosphere and the opportunity to enjoy the games that are broadcast on-screen. The service is friendly and seamless, never getting in the way of you and your game. The food is freshly cooked and there is a variety to choose from. There are indoor and outdoor seating options for both lunch and dinner. Sak’s also hosts more than 60 volleyball teams just about every day of the week, so the restaurant is definitely invested in the sport, you, and your enjoyment of the game.
Panera Bread has one aim and that is to provide their customers with good food in a warm, welcoming bakery-café. There is nothing artificial about the food; everything is as nature intended it. The range of items on the menu ranges from baked goods to sandwiches and soups, to Panera pizza. Just about every option to get your food is available, including dine-in, dine-out, drive-thru, and more. If you can’t get to Panera, then Panera will come to you, with their delivery service.
For the perfect place to unwind after a long day at work, don’t look any further than Macaluso’s Roadhouse. Happy hour extends from 3 pm to 6 pm during the working week. You can extend your visit on a Thursday into the evening and enjoy the live music. Then there are the games you can get involved in, such as giant Jenga. Food includes hoagies, burgers, pasta, pizza… There are truly options for everyone.
Punch Pizza Vadnais Heights
If you haven’t tried one of the pizza pies available at the counter of Punch Pizza Vadnais Heights, then you haven’t truly experienced pizza. The menu offers a wealth of choices of pizza, plus pizza options without tomatoes, and the chance to craft your own pizza. For a real taste of woodfire pizza, this is the place to visit.
If you’re in Vadnais Heights, then you just have to visit Vadnais Lake, which is part of the Vadnais-Sucker Lake Regional Park. You can fish from the shoreline and take your chances at catching Walleye, Black Bullhead, Rock Bass, and Yellow Perch, amongst others. The lake is not stocked artificially, but the fish spawn year after year, so there will always be something for you to cast your hook at.
Another lake to visit in Vadnais Heights is Sucker Lake. Here, fishing is permitted on the river, but only in a particular channel because of the problems with dense aquatic vegetation at certain times of the year. The Sucker Lake Loop is a trail that runs around the lake and is good for all visitors. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Next on our list of great things to do in Vadnais Heights, is to head on over to Lake Owasso. This lake is quite a large lake, covering about 375 acres. It is a relatively shallow lake, with an average depth of 11 feet (3 m). Fishing is allowed in certain areas and, although the shallow water may prevent a large catch, it is well worth the challenge. You can explore the lake by boat, using the boat launch, or have fun in the water, accessible from the public beach.
Shoreview Historical Society
The Shoreview Historical Society focuses on preserving the history of the area by celebrating every historical event and highlighting the achievements of families from the community. One of the presentations presented by the society was a presentation of the results of an archaeological survey conducted around Lake Vadnais.
Theaters and Events
Jimmy’s Event Center
If there is a special event to be held in Vadnais Heights, it is likely to be held at Jimmy’s Event Center. The venue can seat 600 people and has everything required for staging just about anything. Apart from the main space, which includes a dance floor and staging area, there are other rooms and venues.
If you are looking for some live performances or magic on the screen, then an evening out at the Granada Theatre is where you should be. Make it a full night out and enjoy something to eat before the performance, or a drink when it is finished, at the Uptown Lobby Bar and Restaurant.
Parks and Nature Preserves
Lily Pond Park
For a relatively small, neighborhood park, look no further than Lily Pond Park. It covers eight acres, with two being wetlands, so you will have good opportunities to see some interesting wildlife. The park is a great place for all members of the family, with a playground, walking trails, and space for a picnic.
Another neighborhood park you should visit is Bridgewood Park, which covers 18 acres, with nearly 14 of those being under passive wetland. This is a great opportunity to explore a wetland from the comfort of the well-constructed trails. You can take a basketball and shoot some hoops, or play some pickleball on the available courts, or just enjoy a leisurely picnic, enjoying the outdoors.
Rotary Nature Preserve
There is a section of Rotary Nature Preserve that is marsh and swampland, which you can walk over on the boardwalk. This is a great way to enjoy the diversity in wetlands while keeping your feet dry. If you are looking for somewhere to sit for a while and have a picnic, then the picnic shelter will suit you well. The preserve is very scenic and there are many trails you can follow while you immerse yourself in nature.
Bruce Vento Trail
The Bruce Vento Regional Trail is an asphalt surface that runs for 7 miles (11 km) along an old railway corridor from the Bruce Vento Nature Area in St. Paul to Buerkle Road in White Bear Lake. It can be accessed from various points along the way. You can walk, run and cycle along the trail. Then there is always inline skating, for which the surface is perfect. In winter, you can bring along your skis for some cross-country fun. What makes this trail even more versatile is that it is wheelchair accessible, so it really is a trail for everyone to visit.
Gateway State Trail
The Gateway State Trail is an 18 mile (30 km) trail that runs along a converted railway corridor. The paved surface is perfect for walking, running, and cycling. Horseback riding is also allowed on certain parts of the trail. All of this makes the Gateway State Trail a great place to spend some hours exercising your body and spirit in the beautiful surroundings. In winter, the trail allows cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, so you can be out there enjoying it during every season. You can even take the time to stop along the way for a spot of fishing.
Marine Tech Products
The saying goes ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. The same could be said for Minnesota, with its more than 10,000 lakes: ‘When in Minnesota, take to the water…’ In a state with so much available water, you can be sure that there will be a place to buy everything you need for fun on the water. Marine Tech Products is what you are looking for. The company has been around since 2000 and is still the place to visit for just about anything marine.
Farmers Daughter Handmade and Handcrafted Gifts
Gift shopping is not just about finding something on the trot. It is about finding that special something that is perfect for you, someone else, or your home. Visiting Farmers Daughter Handmade and Handcrafted Gifts is the best way to find that perfect, personal thing you are looking for. The goods on sale include jewelry, signs, and even furniture, so no gift, big or small, is beyond the scope of this shopping gem.
GoodThings is one of those stores you have to visit to really experience the joys of one-stop anything shopping. Spend a long time browsing and getting inspiration for that perfect gift – or find something you never knew you needed.
Mission Wearhouse Thrift Store
Thrifting has become the new chic and what better place to find the best clothing items for the best prices than at the Mission Wearhouse Thrift Store, which gives support to its community? The shop itself is not curated, so you will need to look around and even dig for some gems, which you are sure to find. If you are on the other side, then you can donate goods of just about any kind for sale in the shop.
Wrapping Up the Great Things to Do in Vadnais Heights
Vadnais Heights offers the visitor a mix of beautiful spots to explore, interesting eateries, and great shopping experiences. Why not take the time to do all 19 of the things we have picked out – and then begin again, just to make sure you enjoy all the great things to do in Vadnais Heights.
After discovering some of the best things to do in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, let us know which attraction was your favorite.
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.