Wayzata is a suburb in Minnesota that is characterized by its lakeside village earning for it the moniker “jewel of Lake Minnetonka”.  True to form, Wayzata is the best location for anyone who wants to get a good view of the famous Twin Cities Lake. Despite a thriving business community, Wayzata has managed to maintain its small town ambiance along with plenty of parks and open spaces. This city is an interesting place not only during summertime when you get to watch the passing cruisers and sailboats but also during wintertime when ice racers and skaters abound.  Life’s modern amenities are also present in Wayzata including a wide-range of restaurants, fashion stores and home accessories making it an ideal place not only for short visits but also for relocation. 

Population Profile With a small population of only 4,113 people divided into 1,929 households, Wayzata is considered a small to medium-size city with a population density of 1,292.6 persons for every square mile of land. Majority or 96.11% of the population are Whites followed by Asians (1.34%) and a mixture of African Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and other races. The average family income in Wayzata is $96,859 while the city’s per capita income is $63,859.  Residents have a fairly comfortable life with only 2.3% of the entire population living below the poverty line.  This is understandable as Wayzata is surrounded by the growing economies of Plymouth and Minnetonka, not to mention Wayzata’s growing reputation as a financial center.

History The name Wayzata, which is sourced from the Sioux word Wayzata, evokes memories of the Indian settlement along Lake Minnetonka.  The lake, which the settlers called “Big Water”, was an ideal site both for fishing and hunting.  However, the settlers were forced out of the area after France claimed the land and sold it to the United States. The pioneering family of Oscar E. Garrison settled in the area in 1852 and filed a claim for the land in 1854.  A year after, Wayzata saw the construction of its first sawmill along with the first hotel and blacksmith shop.  The growing economy of the Wayzata settlers (which relied on corn and wheat) was threatened by a grasshopper plague.  Ultimately, it became a center for ginseng roots which were collected in the surrounding forests and sold to the Orient as an aphrodisiac. One important part of Wayzata’s history is its development as a resort town area which was brought about by the influx of commercial steamboats operating within Lake Minnetonka.  Tourists started to flock in the area after the Civil War.  The extension of the tracks of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad to Wayzata made the area more accessible and was responsible for the construction of hotels and other commercial establishments in Wayzata.  The start of the Gilded Age of Wayzata also saw the construction of an 800-room hotel in Minnetonka beach named Lafayette Hotel.  Wayzata is a living proof of the common economic boom and bust.  And after the tourists moved on, Wayzata was established as a separate government entity with its own council.  Ironically, the first act of the village council was to force the removal of the railroad track which was responsible for the economic boom in the area.  The removal of the track took away Wayzata from the map resulting to an economic slump.  A change of heart of the council led to the construction of the finest track in Wayzata. The residential development of Wayzata started in the 1920s when the area became a tourist destination once again thanks to popular recreations like motor boating.  But this time, most of those who were just visiting Wayzata became so enamoured with the city’s way of life that they decided to stay in the area.   Minnesota real estate particularly in Wayzata became a hit in the 1930s with the rising demand for summer cottages taking up most of the real estate projects. After that came the development of infrastructure (light, water and roads) in the area which makes Wayzata today an ideal area for real estate investing be it for a single family residence, condominiums, duplex, land or even log homes. 

Education Independent School District 284 serves the educational needs of Wayzata and nearby cities like Medina, Maple Grove, Orono and Minnetonka. Those planning to relocate in Wayzata can choose from multi-level schools in the area which caters to Grades 9 to 12, Grades 6 to 8 (3 middle schools) and K5 students (7 public schools for elementary). Among the schools in the District are the Sunset Hill West Middle School, Kimberly Lane, Plymouth Creek Central Middle School, Birchview, Gleason Lake and Greenwood. 

Exposure Wayzata is considered a small city compared to the other cities in the Twin Towers but it had its share of fame in both television (thanks to TV shows Lost and 90210) and the big screen through the movie Fargo. Wayzata Depot The Wayzata Depot in Lake Street is a living remembrance of the beginnings of the railroad which brought the city’s economic development.  The Depot houses the Wayzata Historical Society Museum which is far from the traditional museums where the viewers are forbidden to touch anything.  This museum is an interactive one which allows visitors to experience and even use some of the memorabilia on display. The museum showcases photos of Wayzata way back in the 19th and 20 centuries, the Wayzata Timeline which illustrates the city’s history, a ticket window which sells empire souvenir tickets, a 1930’s model of the Northern Empire Builder, the railroad clock and even the stationmaster’s desk. If you are planning to visit Wayzata or have just relocated to the area, don’t forget to bring the whole family to the Depot.  Children can even use the communication equipment used by the railroad and send a Morse code message. 

Buying a home If you are planning to avail of corporate relocation or employee relocation then you might want to consider the possibility of living in Wayzata.  And when that decision has been made make sure you familiarize yourself with some tips in buying real estate in the Twin Towers. Real estate investing is not an easy task but there are various real estate agents in Wayzata to help you choose homes for sale by owners.  You can choose from single family residences or twos story homes depending on your budget.  Real estate financing is also very accessible in Wayzata and the whole of Twin Towers. When choosing real estate agents, make sure you choose a realtor who is a member of the national Association of Realtors.  This will make your real estate transactions easier sine these realtors follow a code of ethics.    You can also choose from a variety of locations in Minnesota depending on your lifestyle. Wayzata is a second ring suburb just like White Bear Lake and North Oaks. If you want to relocate in a first ring suburb then choose Golden Valley, Oakdale or Roseville. If you own a motorized boat then you might want to opt for real estate that is adjacent to a lake.  However, Wayzata real estate properties near the lake can be very expensive.  A real estate investment near Lake Minnetonka can be very expensive while real estate properties near the smaller lakes also command a price but are affordable. 

Relocation in Wayzata for boat lovers is ideal because it is among the lucky cities with shorelines in Lake Minnetonka.  Among the other cities that are similarly blessed are Deephaven, Shorewood, Orono, Excelsior, and Spring Park.


Here is a link to the City Of Wayzata website:

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